Derbigum: The Product Behind Cornell’s Largest Project

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Derbigum: The Product Behind Cornell’s Largest Project

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has a history of working on many of the best projects in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. The Cornell Promise means every project is completed with Integrity, Dependability, Quality and Responsibility, Cornell’s core values. We are currently working on one of our largest projects in company history.

The project is over 2,100 squares, or 210,000 square feet. And as always, we only use the best products on the market to get the job done. The product featured on this particular project is Derbigum. Cornell is a certified Debigum installer. has a worldwide network, but its USA headquarters is right down road!

With over 40 years of success in the US and over 80 worldwide, Derbigum manufactures a number of industry-leading roofing systems including high quality Modified Bitumen roofing systems. Derbigum works to produce sustainable roofing systems that add value and provide long-term waterproof with a focus on customer satisfaction.

Derbigum’s extensive product line includes:

  • APP Modified Bitumen Membrane Cap Sheets
  • Base Sheets
  • Adhesives
  • Liquid Waterproofing
  • Insulation and Cover Boards
  • Coatings
  • Accessories and Tools
  • Sustainable Roof Add-Ons

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is proud to be a certified supplier of Derbigum products. To learn more about Derbigum, visit their website or ask one of our experienced roofers.

Roofing History and Improvements

Roofing History and Improvements

Most people don’t think about the how their roofing system came about, how it was developed and the history of the roofing industry. The roof is something you always count on but hardly think about, and it literally holds the building together!

Roofs shelter not only the building and those inside, but also protect vital interior utility systems and defines the overall aesthetic. Roofing systems, styles and materials have continued to evolve ranging in performance and physical types. Tiles of wood and slate were popular until the mid-19th century when metal became the market leader. The 20th century also saw the development of roofing materials with several advances in durability and fire resistance, as well as the introduction of roof-related components like gutters, downspouts and flashing.

The evolution of roofing has largely been driven by performance, meaning that sheet metal is at the top of the game when it comes to commercial roofing systems. Cornell is always leading the way in the roofing industry as well. All these improvements have brought the roofing industry a long way, but even the best roofs can’t hold up against everything with out a little help.

That’s where Cornell comes in with our Commercial Roof Assessment. Right now, we’re offering a FREE Commercial Roofing Assessment, up to 20,000 square feet for the FIRST 10 to reply! Roof access is required. This offer good for commercial roofs only within the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. Sign up here!

Cornell’s Commercial Roofing System Options

OneLight_007_160131Kansas City's One Light Tower Construction Progress

Cornell’s Commercial Roofing System Options

You know we do commercial roofing systems, but do you know all the different types of commercial roofing options out there? Our team of professionals install only the best roof systems and stay up-to-date on industry best practices. Through continuing education and training, along with the best equipment in the business, we ensure each roofing system we install meets Cornell’s high standards.

Cornell roofing and sheet metal experts handle everything from urban high-rises to large-scale industrial manufacturing plants. Our team is trained and experienced to handle tons of different commercial roofing and sheet metal systems, including:

  • Built-up Roof Systems
  • Daylighting Systems
  • Flat Roof Systems
  • Green Roof Systems
  • Metal Roof Systems
  • Modified Bitumen Roof Systems
  • Single-ply Roof Systems, EPDM, TPO and PVC
  • Skylights
  • Vegetative PVC

And Cornell only works with the best brands in the industry like Carlisle, Derbigum, Firestone, GAF, Johns Manville, Sarnafil, Siplast, Tamko and Tremco. Working with the best to provide the best!

FREE Roof Assessment for First 10 to apply! Don’t Wait for the Damage to be Done!

Clogged Drain due to Weather

FREE Roof Assessment for First 10 to apply! Don’t Wait for the Damage to be Done!

The weather is changing and that can bring plenty of problems for those not prepared. Have you thought about how you will handle your commercial roofing system maintenance this season? Don’t wait till the damage is already done. Signup today to get your free Commercial Roof Assessment from the roofing professionals at Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, up to 20,000 square feet!

Our Service and Maintenance team uses a Winter Checklist, 10 Point Assessment and a tech-based Roof Assessment tool to cover a variety of common issues that the change of seasons brings along. Our Winter Checklist includes, but is not limited to:

  • Identifying problem areas likely to leak as winter weather worsens;
  • Checking the integrity of the roof to withstand snow, ice and pooling water;
  • Identifying roof penetrations that can lead to costly repairs and damage to interior spaces;
  • Checking waterways, such as drains and gutters to ensure water to exits the roof quickly;
  • Checking tuck points.

All handled by our highly trained, professional team of experienced roofers!

The assessment creates a roadmap for you to understand steps necessary to secure your roofing system and avoid costly issues. Exclusions do apply. To complete the assessment, roof access is required! This offer is good for commercial roofs only within the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area.

If you’re looking to prepare for the cold weather and avoid spending unnecessary cash this winter, be one of the first 10 to sign up here today!

National Institute for Construction Excellence, Kansas City

National Institute of Construction Excellence

National Institute for Construction Excellence, Kansas City

Getting kids interested in excellent career options in the construction industry? NICE!

The National Institute for Construction Excellence, or NICE, is a local 501(c)(3) not-for- profit organization, founded by members of the Kansas City design and construction industry in 1998. The organizations primary focus is to introduce young people, students, parents and educators to the various career opportunities available to them in the engineering, architecture, construction management and skilled trades industries.

And of course, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is a proud area partner! Through support of Cornell and other partners, NICE works with local schools and teachers creating programs designed to integrate with academics life skills and exposure to the construction industry. The impact of these programs helps to introduce students to careers in an often-overlooked industry and provides a solution to the recent decline in skilled workforce.

As an area partner, Cornell Roofing helps NICE make a difference. Not only does the program establish a connection between young people and the construction industry, but it also works to welcome a new and diverse workforce. NICE has steadily worked to appeal to young women and students of varying ethnic backgrounds, encouraging the development of life skills like: accountability, effective communication, problem solving and critical thinking.

NICE programs and projects incorporate: Job Shadowing Program, Speakers’ Bureau, Crayons to CAD, Senior Days, Educators’ Day and the iBuild Showcase. Other are partners include: JE Dunn Construction, Burns & McDonnell, Greater Kansas City, Building Trades Council, Metro Area Schools, Missouri State University, Youth Build, The Builders’ Association and Kansas City Public Schools, to name a few. Learn more about NICE by visiting their website,

Mary McNamara Completes Tuck-KC Executive Education Program

Tuck Exec Ed
Mary McNamara Completes Tuck-KC Executive Education Program

Our Executive Leadership team is always on the hunt for new opportunities to not only grow Cornell as a leader in the commercial roofing and sheet metal industry, but also to further their own continuing education. Just last month, Mary McNamara completed the inaugural Tuck-KC Education program entitled Strategy and Business Development for Minority Business Entrepreneurs. Burns & McDonnell, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, DST Systems, Hallmark Cards, Kansas City Power & Light and Sprint sponsored the program.

The Tuck Executive Education Programs at Dartmouth has hosted continuing learning programs around the nation since 1980 with over 7,000 minority executive, successful alumni. Tuck Executive Education offers classes that cover varying aspects of businesses and industries, including: Brand and Reputation, Growing the Minority Business Scale and Leading Innovation: From Idea to Impact.

This particular program of two and half days focused on the managerial tools to become more successful growing enterprises. Topics included: Strategy Overview, Finance and Accounting, Understanding the Value Chain, Organizational Development and Strategic Marketing. The two and half days was filled with discussions and presentations on small business covering each topic, giving participants insight to capitalize on opportunities at their own companies and organizations.

Over 25 local Kansas City business leaders attended the program, including our own Mary McNamara. Congrats to each and every one, and looking forward to continued success through the knowledge gained from this world-class program through Tuck Executive Education. Learn more about the Tuck Executive Education program here,

Meet Our Partners

contractor partnership

Meet Our Partners

We play well with others! At Cornell we greatly appreciate the trust our clients have in us. We continue to expand not only our capabilities but also the size and scope of the projects we have the privilege to work on. Our partners range from other local Kansas City metro contractors to organizations and businesses we’ve worked in the past in the Commercial, Healthcare, Education and Government sectors.

Our many clients and friends in our four main practice areas include: Bayer CropScience, Honeywell, Nordstrom, KCP&L, Kansas Speedway, Children’s Mercy, HCA Midwest Health, North Kansas City Schools, University of Central Missouri, Park Hill School District, the City of Weston, United States Postal Service, Kansas City Zoo, Mid-Continent Public Library and Kansas City Life just to name a few.

While on the other side of that, we partner with an array of contractors including: Bartso Construction, Rand Construction Company, Purdum Construction, Turner, JE Dunn, McCown Gordon, Newmark Grubb Zimmer, Burns & McDonnell and Staco. And here’s what they have to say about us:

“As promised, your crew was prepared to start earlier than originally scheduled and assist McCownGordon on our fast-track city project. Your immediate response to field conditions showed your commitment to the project and that you make the ‘extra effort.’ Thank you for your professionalism – and working with us to satisfy our customer.” – Brett Taylor, McCownGordon Construction, LLC

We make sure to put that same commitment and professionalism into every project and relationship we work with, continuing the Cornell Way. Promises made. Promises kept – since 1927.

Commercial Roof Inspections and Preventative Maintenance

Commercial Roof Inspections and Preventative Maintenance

XII Apostles Church

Fall is here and the weather is a changing! Just like your own home, commercial roofing systems need to be inspected for upkeep and maintenance too. With colder temperatures, snow and winter on the horizon, it’s best to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature and get to checking on your commercial roofing system.

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal offers commercial roofing inspections. Our expert roofing technicians suggest a roof inspection and to check for minor repairs at least twice a year. All of our inspections include a checklist and records and photos of each inspection for the building owner to have and review. If necessary, we can also create an individual plan of action for any repairs that might need to take place.

And in the meantime between each inspection, building owners can use preventative maintenance to ward off expensive problem issues. Cornell offers a Roof Maintenance Program to help in early detection of potential problems, helping to extend the life of your commercial roofing system. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you prepare!

Hear from one of our customers, Twelve Apostles Parish in Platte City, Missouri. We helped fix the leaky roof of the 3 year old parish that has had issues since day one!

“Bob, I want to thank you and Bill for digging into the roof problems at the church. I can’t begin to thank you enough. I checked the church this morning after the storm last night. Everything looked fine. I do believe that what you discovered under the ridge cap is the probable source of water getting again…Once again thank you and Cornell Roofing,” – Bob Ralston, Twelve Apostles Parish

What it Means to be Woman-Owned

What it Means to be Woman-Owned
Certified WBE
Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is proud to be a fully WBE & DBE certified, woman-owned business. But other than saying a member of the fairer sex runs this well-oiled engine, what does that mean? According to, to become a certified woman-owned business, that business must show:

• All prospective members must provide evidence that at least 51% or more is a women-owned, managed and controlled
• The business must be open for at least six months.
• The owner must be a United States citizen or legal resident.

WBE stands for a Woman Business Enterprise, and DBE means a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, which is somewhat confusing. To make it clear, Cornell is at no “disadvantage”. DBE simply means a business concern where socially and economically disadvantaged individual owns at least 51% of the business. These individuals can be anyone from Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and a multitude of others, but in Cornell’s case it means simply women.

Mary McNamara not only has to have at least 51% ownership in the company, but she also has to show a contribution of capita, direct management, policy, fiscal and operational matters, and perform without the reliance of any other firm or resource not owned by a woman (which she does quite nicely). And it’s important to the Cornell Way to continue to encourage other women to join the trade and pick up tools.

Focus on Markets: Projects that Make an Impact

Focus on Markets: Projects that Make an Impact

Do you know about Cornell’s four main markets? Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal focuses on projects within the Commercial, Education, Government and Healthcare sectors. Not only do these projects help Cornell to grow, but they also provide a greater purpose to our community at large.

Some of our works within the Commercial industry include: The Burns & McDonnell Headquarters building, Kansas City Power & Light Fleet Maintenance Facility, and the Kansas City Power & Light Safety and Training Center. Projects in the Education industry consist of: Swinney Recreation Center on the campus of UMKC, Spring Branch Elementary School, and Cordill-Mason Elementary School. In the Government sector, Cornell has worked on: Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center in Olathe and local post offices. Cornell’s work in the Healthcare industry includes: Truman Medical Office Building and the SurgiCenter of Kansas City.

Whether it’s re-roofing an elementary school or providing a surgical facility to provide healthcare workers a place to practice, Cornell always puts forth the work to bring these projections to completion.