Restoring Warehouse District Complex Poses Re-Roofing Challenges

Five warehouse buildings constructed in the early 1900s were renovated into mixed-use space in 1980. The complex was topped with a new roof system in 2020. Photos: Central Roofing Company

In the trendy North Loop section of Minneapolis, the Warehouse District is anchored by Itasca Lofts condominiums. More than 100 years old, the converted warehouse is home to 71 units plus a restaurant, comedy club and commercial space on the first floor. Six stories tall, the structure’s old roof was failing until Encompass Inc. and Central Roofing Company stepped in to help.

Built in the early 1900s, Itasca’s five warehouse buildings were renovated into mixed-use space in 1980 by the Cuningham Group. Four decades later, age-related issues and leaks resulted in Itasca getting a new roof in 2020. The difficult project revealed layers of roofing challenges.

“We started by removing a built-up roof (BUR) that was probably 35 to 40 years old,” says Henri Germain, project manager with Central Roofing Company. “Once we got down to the original roof deck, we were surprised to discover it was made of old three-inch thick planks. Today’s roof decks are made of one-half-inch of plywood. These original planks were an old style of tongue-and-groove. It’s fascinating to really see the way structures were built more than a century ago.”

Forensic Roof Review

Before the Central Roofing team started the re-roofing process on the 30,000-square-foot roof space, Encompass was brought in to analyze the failures of the roof system and oversee the construction. Through a bid process they hired Central Roofing.

“There were various unknown elements and unforeseen conditions when the project started,” says Ben Sandvig, project engineer with Encompass, Inc. “Central Roofing’s experience was evident and critical to executing this project effectively.”

Rooftop Obstacles

Challenging aspects of the project included numerous penetrations, curbs, pavers and HVAC units on the existing roof.

According to Germain, the most challenging aspect of the project was working around dozens of different rooftop elements. A variety of penetrations, curbs, pavers and HVAC units exist on the condo’s roof. To help make the job easier, a Potain crane was brought to the site.

“We started by installing plastic on all the interior ceilings to protect the individual homeowner units,” says Germain. “Then our foreman Adam Freitche and superintendent Matt Tueffel led the effort to demolish all the wood decks and railings owned by top floor unit owners. After that, we removed flashing at the parapets between sections. Next, the old tar and gravel roof system was taken out down to the wood planks.”

Rebuilding the Roof

To start the rebuilding of the roof, the Central team used a variety of Johns Manville products. The fully adhered roof system includes 90-mil EPDM to reduce the potential of future leaks. Three-inch JM Enrgy 3 ISO insulation was installed along with a half-inch coverboard. The roof system included a JM Vapor Barrier SA.

As the weeks of work progressed, 17 Wasco and Velux skylights were installed, and curbs were raised to account for the height of the roof. At the roof entry doors, along with the base and top of the stairs, walkway pads and paths were installed to access HVAC units. Paths were also created for the top floor unit owners to reach their newly-built roof decks.

Working around the stand-out roof structures, the Central team installed Firestone Una-Clad 24-gauge sheet metal to provide a roof with a stunning appearance. Just over five months of re-roofing was completed in late August of 2020.

Team Effort

With the re-roof now complete, the leaks are gone and condo owners are once again enjoying their Warehouse District living space.

“The Encompass and Central Roofing teams really worked well together on this project,” says Brian Droske, association manager with FirstService Residential. “Our company has managed the homeowners association for Itasca Lofts for about 40 years. The top floor condo owners are especially pleased with the roof renovation.

“These owners have the ability to purchase a license agreement from the condo association, allowing them to build roof decks directly on top of their units. Some of these owners also have roof access staircases going from their unit to their rooftop decks that overlook the Mississippi River. The new roof and their roof decks make these condos all the more valuable for residents.

“Despite many challenges that everyone acknowledges, this project was completed successfully. Central Roofing’s experience was evident and critical to executing the project effectively given the various unknown and unforeseen conditions of the existing construction.”


Architect: Cuningham Group, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

Roofing Contractor: Central Roofing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota,

Consulting Engineer: Encompass Inc., Minnetonka, Minnesota,


Membrane: 90-mil EPDM, Johns Manville,

Insulation: JM ENRGY 3 ISO, Johns Manville

Vapor Barrier: JM Vapor Barrier SA, Johns Manville

Edge Metal: Una-Clad 24-gauge sheet metal, Firestone Building Products,

Case Study: The Monarch School

The Monarch School in Houston was founded in 1997 in response to a critical need to serve students with neurological differences that required programs that were not offered in schools, or even in the state. After nearly 10 years, the Monarch School moved to a new location to support their growing institute. Following an aggressive campaign, the Chrysalis Building was completed in August of 2009 and the second phase, the Butterfly Building, was completed in 2013.

The direction of this project came from sitting down with the Monarch School and meeting with them to develop and address their needs, wants and concerns. Low maintenance costs were a high priority when deciding what panels to use for the new building. Creating a space that allowed the students to feel safe and providing a sustainable energy solution were the main focus of the project.

Jackson & Ryan Architects of Houston designed the project and Mission Constructors of Houston worked as the General Contractors.

Metal was used in this project because of its durability and its ability for customization with the school’s architecture. They also used metal roofing to meet LEED requirements of reflectivity and roof pitches of 2:12. It was very important for Monarch School to be green, which started on the inside with the importance of indoor air quality for the children attending this school and moved outward.

All 20,000 square feet of Houston’s Monarch Schools Chrysalis Building roofing panels are MBCI’s 24-gauge SuperLok standing seam roof system in Galvalume. SuperLok is a mechanically fieldseamed, vertical leg standing seam roof system that combines a 2” tall slim rib with exceptional uplift resistance. SuperLok® has been designed to withstand the most rigorous weather conditions and holds numerous UL 580 ratings as well as Air and Water Testing approvals.

Not only was metal selected because of its durability and reflectivity performance, but the Galvalume roof was selected for its natural look. It was also chosen because of its longevity, recycled content, regional materials department and its highly sustainable material. The Chrysalis Building has achieved LEED Gold certification and has earned the “Designed to Earn the Energy Star rating.”

NRCA Announces 2021-22 Officers and Directors

The National Roofing Contractors Association has announced its 2021-22 slate of officers and directors. Most officers and directors will remain unchanged after the NRCA Nominating Committee met Feb. 17 and unanimously voted to recommend the Extension of Force Majeure to the NRCA Executive Committee and board of directors as stated in Article IX, Section 3 of NRCA’s bylaws. The Executive Committee and board of directors voted to approve the Nominating Committee’s recommendation March 1. As a result, the 2020-21 Executive Committee and board of directors will serve an additional year starting June 1. 

Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Illinois, remains NRCA chairman of the board, and Kyle Thomas, vice president of Thomas Roofing, Mobile, Alabama, remains chairman of the board-elect.

In addition, the Nominating Committee nominated the following individuals to serve three-year terms as NRCA directors:

  • Brad Baker, owner of Professional Roofing, Bellevue, Idaho
  • George Patterson, president of Bennett and Brosseau Roofing Inc., Romeoville, Illinois

A complete list of NRCA directors is available at

RoofersCoffeeShop Announces 2021 Roofing Influencers

RoofersCoffeeShop the 2021 RCS Roofing Influencers. RCS Influencers contribute thoughts and wisdom monthly through interviews, videos and articles on RoofersCoffeeShop concerning pertinent industry and roofing topics. The Influencers represent all facets of the industry including contractors, associations and industry service providers. Their insights are recognized in a special category on the site called RCS Influencers. 

“We have been asking important questions to diverse groups of RCS Influencers for the last four years and have found that they all have expertise in completely different areas of a roofing contractor’s business.  We have been committed to sharing that thought leadership since 2017,” states Heidi J. Ellsworth of RoofersCoffeeShop.  “With our RCS Influencers’ opinions, tips or advice, our readers get a feeling for all sides of a topic. Our Influencers are true thought leaders in the roofing industry and bring diverse and informative perspectives based on their interactions and relationships.”

We are proud to announce the following 2021 RCS Influencers:

1.       Rae July – Chinook Roofing

2.       Tammy Hall – CFS Roofing Services

3.       Pete Harding – Go Green Roofing

4.       Greta Bajrami – Golden Group Roofing

5.       Michelle and Christian Kettering – LTD Exteriors

6.       Danny Kerr – Breakthrough Academy

7.       Julissa Chavez – SRS Distribution, Inc.

8.       Rod Petrick – Ridgeworth Roofing Co Inc

9.       Charles Antis – Antis Roofing & Waterproofing

10.    Michelle Boykin and Curtis Sutton – Rackley Roofing

11.    Trent Cotney – Cotney Construction Law

12.    Thea Dudley – Pocket Protectors, LLC       

13.    Heidi Ellsworth – RoofersCoffeeShop

14.    Rudy Gutierrez – Shell Roofing Solutions

15.    Wendy Marvin – Matrix Roofing and Home Solutions

16.    Mandy McIntyre – 1st Choice Roofing

17.    Mike Pickel – Texas Traditions Roofing

18.    Marty Stout – Go Roof Tune Up

19.    Ashley and Seth Pietsch – Integrity Insurance & Bonding Inc

For more information, visit

U.S. Department of Labor Encourages Industry Employers to join OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it has scheduled the eighth annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction for May 3-7, 2021. OSHA encourages construction employers and other stakeholders to join the event to promote awareness and training to address one of the industry’s most serious dangers.

“Workers suffer serious and fatal injuries from falls and have a devastating impact on families and businesses,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health James Frederick. “This important collaboration with the construction industry encourages employers to learn how to better control fall-related hazards and improve their safety and health programs.”

OSHA developed the fall prevention campaign, as part of the national safety stand-down and in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, and The Center for Construction Research and Training. Since 2014, this collaboration has helped train nearly 10 million workers on fall prevention.

OSHA encourages everyone to use #StandDown4Safety to promote the event on social media, and to share feedback after their events and obtain a personalized certificate of participation.

OSHA’s Fall Prevention Stand-Down webpage offers a wide range of compliance resources in many languages, including Spanish, Polish, Russian and Portuguese.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

For more information, visit

New Roof Vent For Clothes Dryer Exhaust

InOvate, the creator of premium residential construction venting products, has taken roof venting to new heights with the introduction of a re-engineered roof termination. The company focuses on safety and exhaust performance improvements for clothes dryers with product solutions that solve common venting problems. An impassioned commitment to detail and product quality has helped bring new innovations to market, including products that are advanced in their simplicity and performance.

The new DryerJack Model 477 enjoys the same commitment to quality as the entire family of InOvate products. Its design maximizes dryer exhaust system efficiency and safety. Model 477 is deep-draw manufactured of Galvalume steel for durability and is available in four powder-coated colors. The deep draw process delivers a seamless hood providing extra protection against the elements as well as a sleek look for improving home aesthetics.

“As with all InOvate product development, the team started by listening to customers and working to engineer advanced solutions to best meet their needs, delivering superior quality and performance,” said Cliff Budnick, InOvate’s President. “Lab and field testing have proven the 477 to be perfect for properly venting clothes dryers through the roof.”

International building code forbids the use of screens, requires a damper and a venting passageway larger than 12.5 inches for dryer exhaust systems. The DryerJack exceeds all manufacturer and building code requirements without any modifications. It is ready to go right out of the box.

Superior airflow efficiency is achieved with a large clean opening and lighter Galvalume curved damper. This, combined with rear placement of the vent passageway that increases in size, allows the dryer to operate at peak performance, maximizing airflow efficiency and helping reduce the chance of dangerous dryer fires. The larger opening also provides easy cleaning and maintenance access while blowing lint straight out, not down.

For more information, please visit .

The Roofing Alliance Announces 2021 Gold Circle Finalists

The Roofing Alliance, celebrating 25 years as the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), proudly announces the finalists of the prestigious 2021 Gold Circle Awards honoring outstanding contributions and unique roofing-related jobs and services.  Award winners will be announced at NRCA’s Virtual Awards Ceremony, Friday, March 5, 2021 at 3:00 pm EST. 

The Roofing Alliance and NRCA members are encouraged every year to submit their best work in the following categories: Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions; and Safety Preparedness and Performance.  More than 100 winning companies have been recognized for their achievements since the award’s inception. 

Following are the 2021 Gold Circle Award finalists for Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions and Safety Preparedness and Performance:

  • CFE Inc., Elmira, N.Y.
    • Project: International Paper Power Plant, Augusta, Ga.
  • CMR Construction and Roofing, St. Ann, Mo.,
    • Project: Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture, Texas
  • Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas
    • Project: Las Vegas Convention Center
  • Douglass Colony Group Inc., Commerce City, Colo.
    • Project: Sie Welcome Center at Denver Art Museum
  • F.J.A Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., a Tecta America company, Milwaukee
    • Project: St. Stanislaus Bell Tower, Milwaukee
  • Renaissance Roofing Inc., Belvidere, Ill
    • Project: Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis
  • The Durable Slate Co., Columbus, Ohio
    • Project: St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Roanoke, Va.

All entries were evaluated by a panel of judges within the roofing industry. The 2021 Gold Circle Award winners were the projects with the highest-ranking scores. Along with receiving formal recognition at the NRCA Virtual Awards Ceremony, Gold Circle Award winners will also receive a Gold Circle trophy, recognition in Professional Roofing magazine, press releases notifying industry trade press and local media and the honor of serving as inspiration to fellow Roofing Alliance members, NRCA members and overall roofing professionals striving for excellence.

There is no cost to attend the 2021 NRCA Virtual Awards Ceremony on March 5 and everyone is encouraged to watch.  Visit the NRCA event page and add the event to your calendar to receive the Zoom link.  For more information or to learn more about the Gold Circle Awards Program, visit or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director at 

For more information, visit           

New Modular Wall Panel Series

ATAS International is proud to launch Omawall, a new modular wall panel series, which is the most recent addition to their vast product offering. The product name pays tribute to the Dutch heritage of the founders of ATAS.

Omawall is an architectural back ventilated rainscreen wall panel, manufactured in .063 aluminum. It installs quickly and easily in horizontal or vertical orientation without separate gaskets or metal splines, due to the unique interlocking dry joint design. The standard module size is 18” x 96”, however, custom sizes are available. The depth of the panel is 1-1/2” and the reveal measures 5/8”. This panel is ideal for all types of commercial, educational, and healthcare buildings, as well as multi-family residential and mixed-use buildings. Omawall is available in over 40 standard colors, including the new series of matte colors, and in custom colors. For small orders, ATAS has the capability of post-painting the panels at a cost far less than prepainting an entire coil, which ensures meeting a building’s design intent without breaking the budget.

ATAS International, Inc. is a family-owned business that went from a siding and trim installer to an industry leading manufacturer of metal panels for the building envelope, with locations across the United States. Aluminum Trim And Shapes was founded in 1963 by Jacobus “Jack” P. Bus in his home’s basement in Rochester, NY where he and wife, Nel, and children resided.

The journey to become business owners started when Jack and Nel moved from the Netherlands in the 1950s. The hardworking duo saw a business opportunity while Jack was installing siding and trim in Rochester. Prior to the advent of portable forming equipment, he noticed contractors did not have the ability to bend their own products on-site. Jack then had the idea to do it for them and provided bent trim and other products to the contractors for their projects. This business was well-received, and the company has seen tremendous growth over the decades.

Opaline has been a popular product offered by ATAS for many years, which is used in wall, soffit, and ceiling applications. Opa is Dutch for grandfather, so it seems fitting that Omawall join the family of products, as Oma is Dutch for grandmother.  If viewed as an acronym, OMA also stands for Outstanding Modular Application.

Dick Bus, president of ATAS, stated, “Since my parents started this company over 57 years ago, we have continued to increase our product and color offering to meet the desires of building owners and architects.  I’m pleased to add Omawall to our family of products, as a nod to my parents, and the company’s third-generation owners’ grandparents; their Oma and Opa.”

 For more information, visit

MCA Honors Ed Karper and Karl Hielscher with Service Awards

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) presented its annual Patrick R. Bush Service Award to Ed Karper and Larry A. Swaney Award to Karl Hielscher in appreciation for their service to the association and the metal construction industry. The awards were given on February 3 during MCA’s Winter Meeting which was held virtually.

Patrick R. Bush Award

This award recognizes an MCA member who recently made significant volunteer contributions to the Metal Construction Association. It was established to honor Pat Bush, an influential long-time MCA board member.

The 2021 recipient, Ed Karper, has held many volunteer leadership roles on behalf of MCA. Among the positions Karper has held are chairman, vice chairman, treasurer/finance committee chair, METALCON liaison chair, and program committee vice-chair. Karper is also an original member of the Metal Initiative team, and also a member of the original certification committee. He also was a member of the Ohio congressional lobbying group on behalf of the MCA for Energy Star® federal tax credits program and the MCA representative to the Washington State Roofing Task Force for rainwater runoff.

“To say that Ed has been a major contributor to MCA and the entire metal industry is an understatement,” says James Bush, MCA’s executive committee chairman. “The list of his roles might be long but it’s nothing compared to his accomplishments. This recognition is well deserved!”

Larry A. Swaney Award

Named for one of MCA’s founders and its first president, this award has been bestowed upon outstanding industry professionals for their contributions to the success of the association and the betterment of the metal construction industry. This year’s award goes to Karl Hielscher.

Elected to MCA’s board in 2009, Hielscher served through many board positions before serving as chair in 2014 and 2015. His service to MCA is unique, because he moved beyond the volunteer leadership position to become MCA’s executive director from 2016 until his retirement in 2020.

James Bush commented, “Karl always put the association and its work first, and when it was time to buckle down, he really got things done. In addition to his own work ethic, Karl helped others make progress on MCA matters by helping everyone find common ground, even when there were disagreements. MCA and the metal industry have benefited enormously from Karl’s dedication and commitment.”

For more information, visit

Polyglass to Showcase Innovative Roofing Technology at the 2021 Virtual IRE

Polyglass U.S.A., Inc. announced that it will be an exhibitor at the Virtual Edition of the International Roofing Expo (IRE) on March 2-4, 2021.

As one of the roofing industry’s most reputable and widely attended trade expos, this year’s IRE Virtual Edition will be available via a robust online platform, which attendees can access from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm ET daily.

Polyglass will be featuring a wide range of products and technologies this year in their virtual IRE booth, with plenty of information and educational opportunities for contractors to learn the features and benefits of these products.

The featured technologies and products that Polyglass will showcase at this year’s show include:

● ADESO Self-Adhered Technology – Polyglass’ patented dual-compound self-adhered (SA) membranes feature a true APP or SBS formulation on the top weathering side and an aggressive self-adhered formulation on the bottom side of the reinforcement. This technology provides easy and effective application, enhanced lap sealing and solutions for multiple surface types.

● Elastoflex SA Polar Cap and Base – Specially designed for cold weather applications, Polyglass’ low-temperature SBS membranes improve application speed and removes the need for torches, hot asphalt or bonding adhesives on the job site.

● Polyflash 1C – When combined with PolyBrite Reinforcing Polyester, this one-component, moisture-cure silane modified polyurethane flashing compound seals a wide range of roofing and waterproofing details, including walls, curbs, vents, roof drains, pitch pans and unusually shaped penetrations.

● Polystick XFR and Polystick P – Premier underlayment products specially formulated for high-temperature environments.

How to register for IRE 2021

During the virtual tradeshow, attendees will be able to access live and on-demand educational content, browse exhibitors and products, and schedule meetings with exhibitors.

Each day, the IRE will begin with a special “Ask the Experts Live” session covering a variety of topics that include business, technical, legal/HR, workplace safety, exhibitor seminars, and more.

Access passes for the International Roofing Expo — Virtual Edition are only $55 for registered attendees, which is a sharp discount from the cost for in-person events, which can run as high as $700. The virtual pass provides the following benefits:

  • Access to the IRE Virtual Edition online platform
  • Access to the IRE virtual conference live and on-demand sessions
  • Access to the virtual exhibitor profiles
  • Access to the virtual product directory
  • Access to the Matchmaking technology
  • Video chat meetings & business card drop options

In addition, virtual pass holders will continue to have access to the online platform for on-demand viewing until April 2, plus they will receive a free Expo Hall Pass to the next live IRE, scheduled for August 10-12 in Las Vegas.

Be sure to join Polyglass at this year’s International Roofing Expo – Virtual Edition.Register today or contact Polyglass to learn more about their innovative roofing and waterproofing products.

For more information, visit