Waste Not
Sika Sarnafil’s Retractable Roof for the Rogers Centre Is a Case Study in Recycling and Reuse

When Toronto’s Rogers Centre stadium needed a new roof, the owner turned to Sika Sarnafil — the manufacturer of the original vinyl roof membrane. Choosing a Sarnafil roof provided the additional benefit of the company’s recycling program.

The Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto has a storied history as a sports arena. The 50,000-seat stadium is home to Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays, who’ve won two World Series on its field. It’s also the original home of the NBA Raptors. The Rogers Centre has hosted football games, soccer matches and even the occasional pro wrestling event.

One reason the venue is so popular? It was the first stadium to have a retractable roof. The roof, which featured a vinyl roofing membrane, performed well for decades and in extreme temperatures. The games went on, even in inclement weather.

In 2018, however, wintery weather wreaked havoc on the stadium. A giant chunk of falling ice from the 1,800-ft tall CN Tower punctured a steel deck and caused significant structural damage to the stadium.

While the roof remained in excellent condition and mostly intact, Rogers Centre opted to take advantage of the construction window to put on a new roof. The owner turned to Sika Sarnafil, the manufacturer of the original vinyl roof membrane. Choosing a Sarnafil roof provided the additional benefit of the company’s recycling program, which offered Rogers Centre an opportunity to participate in a meaningful sustainability program.

A New Rogers Centre roof with material from the old roof

Image credit: Sika Sarnafil

“Our ability to recycle the existing PVC roof was one of the key drivers in the building owner’s decision to replace it,” said Bill Bellico, Sika Sarnafil’s Director of Marketing and Inside Sales.

Sika Sarnafil is no stranger to PVC roof recycling. The company has been recycling millions of square feet of used roofing each year. To date, it’s processed over 800 million pounds of recycled material. In so doing, the company has converted more than 98 percent of its vinyl raw materials from manufacturing into new roofing and waterproofing membranes.

Every pound of post-consumer recycled material reduces the amount of material that ends up in landfills. In the case of the Rogers Centre, that translated to 460,000 square feet of PVC roof membrane. The old membrane was recycled and put into the backside of new roof membrane. Every square foot of Sika Sarnafil roof membrane contains a UL-certified 10 percent recycled content.

“We were able to completely recycle the roof membrane and put it back into Sika Sarnafil roofing products,” Bellico said. “It is satisfying to see our 30-year-old Sarnafil roof come back full circle and get a new life as a roof membrane that will protect another building.”

The Rogers Centre’s experience speaks to the durability and resilience of PVC, which lends itself to greater sustainability. Equally important, it highlights that recycled content is an excellent option for other buildings looking for sustainable, long-lasting solutions.


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