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 May 2005 Feature
Helene Hardy Pierce, director of Contractor Services at GAF Materials Corporation, has been an active member of Committee D08 for more than 20 years. She is a past board member of ASTM and served as the chairman of the ASTM Finance and Audit Committee in 2003.
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Walter Rossister of NIST and staff manager Joe Hugo of ASTM in gathering much of the information used in this article. Dr. Rossiter’s assistance culling through the data is especially appreciated.

Historical Background — D08 Chairs

1905 - 1918 W. A. Aiken
1918 - 1922 F. P. Smith
1922 - 1931 S. T. Wagner
1931 - 1944 J. M. Weiss
1944 - 1950 J. S. Miller
1950 - 1952 A. J. Steiner
1952 - 1962 H. R. Snoke
1962 - 1968 W. C. Cullen
1968 - 1974 P. M. Jones
1974 - 1980 D. E. Brotherson
1980 - 1986 W. H. Gumpertz
1986 - 1988 R. A. Critchell
1988 - 1989 D. E. Richards
1990 - 1996 W. J. Rossiter
1996 - 2002 C. G. Cash
2002 - 2004 R. J. Wallace

Awards of Merit

1960 R. R. Thurston
1961 H. R. Snoke
1968 G. L. Oliensis
1973 W. C. Cullen
1976 J. J. Klimas
1978 L. C. Haack
1979 D. J. Smith
1980 D. E. Brotherson
1982 W. L. Butterfield
1983 C. G. Cash
1985 D. E. Richards
1986 W. H. Gumpertz
1987 C. R. Lea
1988 J. P. Weideman
1990 D. M. Lawrence
1991 C. O. Pratt
1992 W. Buch
1994 W. J. Rossiter
1994 J. R. West
1995 J. Henshell
1996 R. T. Janicki
1997 M. J. Noone
1998 H. Hardy Pierce
1999 F. O. Moore
2000 C. C. Slusher
2001 R. A. Boon
2002 R. E. Metz
2005 S. I. Dinwiddie

Walter C. Voss Award

1978 W. C. Cullen
1987 W. H. Gumpertz
1991 R. L. Fricklas
1998 C. G. Cash
2000 J. Henshell
2001 W. J. Rossiter

Society Honorary Membership*

2003 C. G. Cash
2004 L. C. Haack

* Current members only

Committee D08 on Roofing & Waterproofing Comes of Age

Download PDF of D08 Timeline

ASTM Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and in celebrating, takes time to reflect on its past. The following early transcript from ASTM’s archives illustrates the narrow focus of a committee that has since grown to be one of the largest of ASTM’s 138 technical committees.
“Committee D-8, since its organization in 1905 has, as indicated by its yearly progress reports, through laboratory tests and experiments, together with examinations of work during construction and after completion, as well as the study of literature on the subject, sought to secure sufficient information to enable it to formulate definite methods for securing waterproof concrete structures.” (1)

The origins of D08 are rooted in much of the same history as that of other early ASTM committees – the railroad industry. Specifically, the committee initially focused on waterproofing concrete structures, especially those that housed electrical equipment, such as power sources for railroad signals.

The committee’s waterproofing work on railroad structures was subdivided into treating exposed concrete surfaces with external waterproofing agents and, interestingly, addressing the direct improvement of concrete permeability. However, the committee soon created subcommittees on tunnels, subways, and hydraulic structures in addition to its railroad activities. If the work of the committee was to “waterproof” these more challenging structures, then its fast evolution into roofing seems logical, as long as one understands the inter-relationship between roofing and waterproofing. Committee D08 was involved in roofing activities in its first decade, although “roofing” would not be included in the committee’s title until the 1920s.

Development — D08 Changes With Changing Times

In studying the history of Committee D08, a natural progression from a narrow focus on test methods and standards to product standards is evident. As methods and equipment matured and new products were introduced, D08’s membership has met the continuing challenge of providing standards to protect the consumer and provide a common language within the marketplace.

Each decade in Committee D08’s history is defined by the needs of the era. The timeline on the previous pages shows how the work of the committee and its subcommittees has evolved and matured. During the first few decades, D08 was focused on defining its products and test methods. Yet, as early as the 1930s, the committee was looking at different aspects of performance in situ as characteristics that should be measured and then defined by their measurement.

From the 1930s to the 1970s, Committee D08 continued to focus on contemporary products and test methods. Revised versions of many of these early standards continue to be used today. During the past 25 years, the focus of D08 has been to continue to define the performance characteristics that first became a part of the committee’s activities more than 70 years ago.

As the committee has evolved, the tone of its product standards has changed. While earlier versions of product standards were prescriptive in nature and provided a “formula” for the manufacturer to follow, the committee now works to develop product standards that better define the expected performance of the finished product. This change has resulted in products that consumers have come to expect will meet their needs for roofing and waterproofing.

As product standards have matured, so too has the need to define the use of products and systems. Standards that define roofing and waterproofing systems and that guide the user in how such systems should be installed have become much more common in recent years.


1913—D-8 on Waterproofing Materials

1926—D-8 on Bituminous Waterproofing and Roofing Materials

1961—D-8 on Bituminous Materials for Roofing, Waterproofing, and
Related Building or Industrial Uses

2005—D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing

I: Railroad structures

I. Nomenclature and Definition

I. Nomenclature, Definitions, and Editorial

D08.01 Nomenclature, Definitions and Editorial

II: Tunnels and subways II. Research and Standardization of Such Additional Tests as Are Necessary for the Examination of Waterproofing Materials in General II. Prepared Roofings, Shingles and Siding Materials D08.02 Prepared Roofings, Shingles and Siding Materials
III: Hydraulic structures III. Investigation of Bituminous Grouts and Mastics Used For Waterproofing Purposes III. Bituminous Grouts and Mastics D08.03 Surfacing and Bituminous Materials for Membrane Waterproofing and Builtup Roofing
IV: Buildings IV. Specifications (Including Analytical Methods) for Membrane Material IV. Membrane, Waterproofing and Built-Up Roofing D08.04 Felts and Fabrics
V: Technical Committee V. Specifications for Bituminous Coatings for Cold Applications V. Bituminous Cut-Back Coatings for Cold Application D08.05 Solvent-Bearing Bituminous Compounds for Roofing and Waterproofing
VI. Methods for Fiber Analysis D08.06 Spray Polyurethane Foam Roof Systems
VIII. Accelerated Tests on Roofing Materials D08.09 Bituminous Emulsions
IX. Bituminous Emulsions D08.18 Nonbituminous Organic Roof Coverings
X. Standard Coefficient of Expansion for Bituminous Materials D08.20 Roofing Membrane Systems
XI. Bituminous Joint Compounds for Sewer Pipe D08.22 Waterproofing and Damp-proofing Systems
XII. Mineral Surfacing Materials D08.23 Laboratory Accreditation
XIII. Stain Properties of Bituminous Materials D08.90 Executive
XIV. Compatibility Test D08.91 Long Range Planning
XV. Rheological Properties D08.92 Awards and Honors
XVI. Bituminized Fibre Pipe
XVII. Industrial Pitches

D08 — Today and Tomorrow

It is interesting to note the early emphasis that Committee D08 placed on workmanship and the inherent difficulties found in duplicating laboratory work in the field. A statement from the 1913 ASTM Yearbook highlights something that still sounds relevant in today’s construction industry: “it is seemingly often a commercial impossibility on large construction to obtain workmanship even approximating that found in laboratory work.”

Nevertheless, in spite of this recognition, guides and practices were not in D08’s early list of accomplishments. However, the committee has published 18 guides and practices during the past 15 years and is committed to the continued development of these types of standards.

A glance at the timeline confirms a fact well-known to D08 members: the committee’s work has exploded during the last 25 years. Innovative changes in roofing and waterproofing technologies introduced a number of new products based on synthetic elastomers, plastomers, and foams. Polymer-modified asphalts have also spurred the development of new products.

At the same time, traditional technologies based on bituminous roofing have also undergone changes that have led to new products. The result was tremendous pressure on D08 to provide new standards to define these products and their application methods for sellers and users alike. To the credit of D08 members, the challenges driven by the rapidly expanding marketplace were well-met in a timely fashion. Committee members are very confident that the pace of standards development for roofing and waterproofing will continue and exceed, for example, even that of the past decade, when 48 new standards were developed. Certainly, many new standards will be focused on new products, as well as on the use of these products.

Because virtually every building has a roof and some form of waterproofing, it is easy to see the importance of Committee D08’s work. Products that conform to ASTM standards meet standards developed by a very broad and deep representation of the roofing and waterproofing industry. Members of D08 bring a vast amount of experience and knowledge that is reflected in the standards that have been developed by the committee.

Consumers have come to expect that Committee D08 will develop standards on state-of-the-art products. If there is a new technology available, the appropriate subcommittee of D08 (or even a new subcommittee if necessary) will focus time and effort on defining it. This type of timely response allows users (for example, architects and specifiers) to use products that meet Committee D08 standards confidently, not just for their “formula,” but for expected performance characteristics as well.

Providing a common language to buyers and sellers of products and services is an important purpose of ASTM standards. Given the quality and breadth of Committee D08’s work, homeowners, property owners, roofing contractors and specifiers can rest assured that D08

standards provide an excellent language for them to “talk” about roofing and waterproofing. Committee D08 plans to continue to be the primary standards development place for roofing and waterproofing products and services for the next 100 years. //


(1) 1913 ASTM Annual Yearbook

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