Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a research and development center for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Built in 1952 by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as a warehouse and storage facility to house commercial grade and industrial “materials”.  The roof consists of 9 distinct bays with 6 barrels each. The structure encompasses 112,000 square feet of two-dimensional area, with actual square feet of the three-dimensional area unknown.


Project Scope:

The building is located within the Secured Perimeter at LANL. Access is controlled through the vehicle access portals, and any deliveries to the site must be through a secured Truck Inspection Station and be approved for entry by the Protective Force officers.  All drivers are subject to thorough vehicle and personal inspections and adhere to strict regulations while on-site at LANL.

The barrels of this concrete structure is very steep, and traveling across them with conventional methods was nearly impossible and presented safety issues. RSS proposed using short wheelbase 4x4s to avoid high centering on the crown of the barrels while pulling the tear-off carts over the barrels to the perimeter, where the debris was removed with a reach lift.  We feel this is the one key element that leads to the successful procurement of the project and being able to meet time and weather restrictions. The site has an abundance of safety regulations and an extensive submittal approval process, and when all materials and processes were approved, the removal of the existing roof began. The concrete structure supporting the weight of the vehicles became a safety concern, as well as the hazard of the motorized equipment on the roof. We were able to demonstrate to the LANL Safety personnel how the use of the 4x4s was actually the safest method for our crew, and structural analysis was performed, which allowed us to proceed with the use of the 4x4s.

Los Alamos resides at 7,300 ft. elevation in the Jemez Mountains and the weather was a major concern. July-August is the rainy monsoon season. We dealt with lightning and wind red-flag wildfire conditions at the same time.  To maximize production and minimize the risk of any weather issues, RSS removed all the existing roofing down to the concrete deck and installed an SA 106 Vapor Barrier/temp roof over the entire structure prior to installing any insulation or roofing.


Once RSS was able to complete the tear-off, the new roof installation began, which consisted of:

2 Layers of 1.5” Sarnatherm in OM Board Adhesive

¼” Dens Deck Prime in OM Board Adhesive

Tapered Crickets at the valleys of each barrel

80 mil G-410 Fleeceback membrane in OM FB Membrane Adhesive


The weather challenges continued with the mid-day monsoons and continuous lightning warnings that would require our crew to evacuate the roof and wait out any possible lightning hazard. RSS remained diligent and very tactical in their daily approach and successfully completed the project without any issues and performed the project without any safety incidents.


RSS is very proud of this project as well as very grateful to have the opportunity to work for the Department of Energy, NNSA, Los Alamos National Lab in conjunction with Technical Assurance Building Envelope Consultants who developed roof specifications and provided site management and support.


Operating Unit: Roofing Services and Solutions
Client Los Alamos National Laboratory
Location: Los Alamos, NM
Square Footage: 120,150 square feet
Systems Installed: Sarnafil G410 PVC