A Talented Team and the Right Products Secure Massive 1.32 MW Solar Array

Replacements, Ltd.’s facility in in Greensboro, North Carolina, is topped by a 200,000-square-foot array of photovoltaic panels. Photos: S-5!

Replacements Ltd., based in Greensboro, North Carolina, touts itself as the world’s largest retailer of china, crystal and silver. The company specializes in locating and supplying hard-to-find and discontinued patterns. Their flagship location houses approximately 12 million items from around 450,000 patterns, and their arena-sized warehouse spans eight football fields.

Always proponents of sustainability, Replacements Ltd. is also an avid practitioner of recycling throughout the facility. The company’s very business model, after all, is predicated on locating and preserving difficult-to-procure fine china and collectibles. Taking this green approach one step further, Replacements Ltd. embraced renewable energy by embarking on a solar panel project for the facility’s rooftop.

Replacements Ltd. had long considered solar power, so when the company expanded into a larger facility, the standing seam metal roof was designed to sustain the additional weight of solar panels.

The Solar Installer and the Distributor

Hoping to offset more than 30 percent of the facility’s total energy use, Replacements Ltd. sought out a company that specialized in large-scale rooftop PV array installation. Such an undertaking meant many qualified companies would be vying for the project. Ultimately though, the competition could not match the stellar reputation, high recommendations, and overall value of Yes Solar Solutions (YSS). The company won the contract.

S-5-H clamps from S-5! were used to support the racking system components and conduit lines on the rail system. The design of the non-penetrating clamp allows it to be installed anywhere along the length of the rib.

Kathy Miller, co-founder and CEO of Yes Solar Solutions in Cary, North Carolina, was enthusiastic about Replacements Ltd.’s plans for solar expansion. To Kathy and her husband Stew, this PV project was yet another opportunity for them to achieve what led them into this business in the first place: “preparing the next generation for a sustainable future.” It was also an opportunity to work side-by-side with a company as dedicated to the environment as they are. YSS fully understands the positive impact solar add-ons can have on companies and on their bottom line.

Never having worked with Replacements Ltd. before was no barrier to efficient operations. The team at Yes Solar includes experts in logistics, industry standards, and sourcing the highest quality materials and equipment. To ensure a smooth project timeline, Yes Solar enlisted the services of a distributor the company had successfully worked with on a number of prior occasions.

Design in hand, Yes Solar Solutions went to a trusted source for material acquisition. CivicSolar, with offices in California, Massachusetts, and Texas, offers a full selection of module, inverters, racking, and storage equipment for solar installation. Having partnered on other projects since 2016, Yes Solar’s director of operations, Rob Smith, reached out to CivicSolar looking for racking solutions for an extensive 1.32 MW rooftop project they had in the works. A solar project of this magnitude would require some logistics magic. Yes Solar arranged for all materials to ship directly to the jobsite. Mary Jane Gilliland, Account Manager from CivicSolar, worked closely with Yes Solar to ensure smooth shipments and consistent timelines.

Mounting the Solar Panels

Yes Solar Solutions provided a bill of materials for the project utilizing the IronRidge rail system and S-5! clamps. In order to provide the most advantageous quote for YSS, CivicSolar cooperated with S-5! and IronRidge to produce a pricing and logistical plan that steered Yes Solar towards success.

CivicSolar supplied all necessary metal roof attachment clamps to secure all racking system components and conduit lines for the rail system. During the installation, a plywood walkway was installed to protect the metal roof.

Coordinating lead times for large material quantities, Civic and Yes Solar Solutions worked closely to ensure smooth and predictable timelines on all deliveries involved in the project. All materials were shipped and delivered according to the anticipated timeline and the project was successfully installed on time. According to Stew Miller, co-founder and president of Yes Solar Solutions, “This project was a result of industry support, as the referral came from a utility scaled solar company. When we got the contract, there was a sudden shortage of solar modules, and another solar company helped us source the materials. It was a good example of how solar companies can work together to the benefit of a customer and the industry.”

The solar array on the Replacements Ltd. building needed an attachment solution that would not only ease installation, but also be low cost and lightweight. S-5! non-penetrating clamps achieved these requirements building a strong foundation of savings across the board for the entire project.

During clamp installation, a plywood walkway was also installed to help with crew safety as well as installation efficiency. By facilitating navigation, crews could inspect the roof, perform maintenance, and protect the existing metal roof.

S-5! clamps were selected because they met the demanding specs required by installation, and they have the rigorous testing data to back them up. The racking system components and conduit lines on the rail system are supported with S-5-H clamps. The clamps accommodate metal roof panels with a horizontal seam and do not penetrate the roof. The design of the clamp features two pieces, making it a perfect choice for this project, as it can be installed anywhere along the length of the rib.

Long-Term Outlook

The final result of Replacements Ltd. rooftop solar array project is a sight to see. Spanning three-quarters of the entire surface of the arena-sized shopping facility, or 200,000 square feet, the PV system will help the company save around $100,000 per year in electricity costs. The array is divided into four separate systems, all on the same roof. It is also the largest net-metered project in North Carolina, and excess power can be returned to the grid for credit.

TEAM

Owner: Replacements Ltd., Greensboro, North Carolina, www.replacements.com

Solar Installer: Yes Solar Solutions, Cary, North Carolina, https://yessolarsolutions.com

Distributor: CivicSolar, Boston, Massachusetts, www.civicsolar.com

MATERIALS

Clamps: S-5-H clamps, S-5!, www.s-5.com

Mounting System: IronRidge rail system, IronRidge, www.ironridge.com

Copper Dome Crowns Hancock Welcome Center at Liberty University

Hancock Welcome Center at Liberty University features a standing seam metal roof with a copper-clad dome in the center. Photo: NB Handy

When the Hancock Welcome Center at Liberty University was built, it was an ambitious new construction project with a very tight schedule. The three-story, 32,000-square-foot structure was designed and built by Glass & Associates of Lynchburg, Virginia. The Jeffersonian-style building features a standing seam metal roof with a copper-clad dome at the center. Finding a roofing contractor that could execute both systems on time was crucial.

Troy Brown, vice president and general manager of Craftsman Roofing in Lynchburg, Virginia, knew his company would be up to the challenge. At the time, the company was known as WA Lynch Roofing; the name was changed to Craftsman Roofing when it was purchased by its current president, Mitch Reaves.

Craftsman Roofing tackles all types of commercial roofing projects, including slate, metal, tile, and low-slope membrane systems, as well as some high-end residential work. According to Brown, the team at Craftsman thrives on unique, one-of-a kind projects, including new construction and restoration projects at churches and schools, so the company was uniquely suited for the challenges of the Hancock Welcome Center.

To meet the demanding schedule, crews worked on both roof systems at the same time, beginning the installation of the main standing seam roof while the dome was constructed on the ground. The standing seam roof system was manufactured from Sentriclad 24-gauge Galvalume in Dark Bronze, while the dome was comprised of 16-ounce copper flat-lock panels.

The Main Roof

According to Brown, the key to meeting the demanding schedule was the decision to erect scaffolding around the entire structure. Brown consulted with Darryl Glass, president of Glass & Associates, and they determined a fully scaffolded system would be the best way to ensure the safety of crews and speed the installation.

The eight-sided dome was completed on the ground and lifted into place after the flat-seam copper panels were installed. Photo: Craftsman Roofing

“The scaffolding was one of the big clinchers on this project,” Brown says. “Glass & Associates scaffolded the whole thing, and it allowed us to go much faster and work more efficiently on the roof.”

Coils of Sentriclad were supplied by NB Handy, and the snap-lock panels were roll-formed at the site. “We fabricated the panels on the ground and we had a lift bring them up to the scaffolding,” Brown says. “There was an extra bay where panels could be stacked. Each day, all of our material and gang box, drills and everything were right there, ready to go, so every morning we could just rock and roll.”

In addition to the scaffolding, the safety plan mandated that roofing crews on the sloped sections were tied off with safety harnesses. They worked strategically to get the roof system installed as efficiently as possible. “The roof is kind of a mirror image, both front and back,” Brown explains. “We worked from the outside edges to the inside, working on the front and back at the same time. Then all the gable ends started coming together so that where we ended was right at the dome.”

Crews left a narrow pathway around the dome so that portion of the project could be completed without damaging the panels. “The easy part was the roof,” notes Brown. “The hard part was the dome.”

The Dome

After a platform and the steel framing for the dome were erected on the ground, a separate crew installed the copper panels before the dome was lifted to the roof. The curving, eight-sided dome was covered with copper flat-lock panels. “There were transverse seams all the way up through it,” notes Brown. “You basically have an octagon, so at every corner you had to make sure you were at the same elevation all the way around. You had to get that right, and the framing guys had to have it right before we could even go to work.”

Photo: NB Handy

The interlocking flat-lock panels were custom fabricated from 16-ounce copper, as were the ridge caps. Work began on one side and continued on the exact opposite side, shifting from one side to the other until all eight sections were completed. “We shingled up to the top through the radius on each section, and those had to intersect left and right of each other, so that everything matched perfectly,” Brown recalls.

The dome was then lifted into place. “There is a hole at the top for the skylight, and they ran slings right down through it and lifted it with a crane,” Brown says. “They picked the entire copper bell up, hung it in the air, and Darryl Glass had a crew that would cut all of the steel out without burning the copper. We then dropped it into place, so we had to be on point with our flashing kits so everything would work out.”

Brown credits excellent planning and communication with the general contractor for the successful outcome. He commends Darryl Glass and his superintendent, Benny Tomlinson, for their expert use of scaffolding on the project, which aided roofing crews, as well as masons, painters and window installers. “They were really good with figuring out things scaffolding-wise, allowing us to have access with safety so we could move quickly and efficiently around the building,” Brown says. “We were committed to getting it done — to getting in, getting out, and getting out of the way so that other trades could get to work.”

Crews also installed an S-5! ColorGard snow retention system. The project was completed on schedule, and Craftsman Roofing is proud to have it in the company’s portfolio of successful projects. “We’re known in the area for doing a lot of standing seam, and we’re known for our ability to get things done,” Brown says. “We are also able to work with a team of general contractors, and they respect us for having a force that can get in there, solve issues that come up, and help get the project in on time with top-quality workmanship. We have changed names, but I’ve been with the company for 27 years, and we’ve demonstrated the same quality all of that time.”

TEAM

Architect and General Contractor: Glass & Associates, Lynchburg, Virginia, https://www.glass-associates.com

Roofing Contractor: Craftsman Roofing, Lynchburg, Virginia, www.craftsmanroofingva.com

Distributor: NB Handy, Lynchburg, Virginia, www.nbhandy.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: Sentriclad 24-gauge Dark Bronze, Sentrigard, www.sentrigard.com

Copper Dome: 16-ounce copper flat-lock panels 

Snow Retention System: ColorGard Snow Rail, S-5!, www.s-5.com

Metal Panels Create High-Tech Appearance for Energy-Positive School

Myrtle Beach Middle School is engineered to be net-energy positive, and the building’s façade was developed to reflect its high-tech performance goals. Photos: hortonphotoinc.com

The new Myrtle Beach Middle School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offers a vision of the future, in both its eye-catching design and award-winning performance. The school, like four other new elementary and middle schools opened in less than two years by the Horry County School District (HCSD), is engineered to be net-energy positive. This means the schools were designed to generate more energy than they use over the course of the year.

Designers mirrored that top-tier energy performance in their plans for a dynamic façade, punctuated by sharp corner angles, punched-out window shading and a dramatic entrance canopy. A bold color scheme created by broad expanses of PAC-CLAD Precision Series metal panels emphasizes this strong architectural statement.

“We felt we were creating a state-of-the-art facility. We wanted to create cutting-edge architecture to emphasize the cutting-edge approach of the school,” says Derrick Mozingo, AIA, senior partner and design principal with the hometown firm of Mozingo + Wallace, which designed the floor plans and exteriors of all five new schools in the HCSD system. “You don’t go by these buildings without noticing them.”

Designers developed a dynamic façade using PAC-CLAD Precision Series metal panels. The design features sharp corner angles and a dramatic entrance canopy.

Mozingo’s firm was a key member of the design/build team that brought HCSD’s five new schools — including two other middle schools, an elementary and intermediate school — online in only 18 months. FirstFloor Energy Positive led the effort, with SFL+A as design professionals of record and Stantec doing interior design and programing work. Panel and roofing installer Spann Roofing also was on board from the start. That company’s president, Jimbo Spann, says the fast-track schedule kept his installers on their toes.

“It was a big undertaking. There was a lot of design going on throughout the project,” he says. “There were time periods when we were working on several schools at the same time.”

In total, Spann’s team installed more than 100,000 square feet of PAC-CLAD 0.40-gauge aluminum HWP panels across all five schools, with colors chosen to highlight each facility’s athletic team’s colors. According to Mozingo, Petersen’s PAC-CLAD product supported both his budget and his aesthetic vision for the schools.

“It created a very affordable skin, and there was no other material out there that would create that look,” he says. “It gave us a surface that would weather well and gave us that architectural ‘tech’ look we were trying to achieve. We went through a number of studies to get what we ended up with.”

Mozingo notes he and his team also counted on Spann Roofing’s expertise as they went through their studies. “We have had a relationship with Spann Roofing for 30 years,” he says. “They worked with us through the design process and were a large component of that process.”

For Spann’s installers, familiarity with the product and with Petersen also were big advantages. With its responsibility for the wall panels as well as roofing for all five schools, Spann Roofing depended on the kind of responsiveness to questions and schedule demands they knew Petersen could provide.

“Petersen was very helpful, making site visits and making sure everything was going well and that we didn’t have any questions,” he notes, adding that the company also was critical in helping Spann keep up with HCSD’s aggressive timeline. “That took a lot from Petersen as well, in having the material ready on time. Without the material, we could have been in a world of trouble.”

With all five schools open, Spann now has had a little time to reflect on yet another successful project with Petersen and the company’s PAC-CLAD panels. “We know Petersen very well,” he says. “They’re like us – they do high-quality work and take a lot of pride in what they do, and it’s a top-of-the-line product.”

TEAM

Architect: Mozingo + Wallace, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, www.mozingowallace.com

Wall Panel Installer: Spann Roofing, Conway, South Carolina, www.spannroofing.com

MATERIALS

Metal Wall Panels: PAC-CLAD 0.40-gauge aluminum HWP, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

A New Roof Now Protects Priceless Literature at the Yiddish Book Center

The Yiddish Book Center was designed to resemble a shtetl, or traditional Jewish town. The complex features multiple steep-slope roof sections with distinctive double rooflines. Photos: Joshua Narkawicz

The Yiddish Book Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and celebrate Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture. Located in Amherst, Massachusetts, the Center is a repository for historic works of literature and art, and it hosts various educational and cultural programs throughout the year to share them with others. The complex that houses the Yiddish Book Center was designed to resemble a shtetl, or traditional Jewish town common in Eastern Europe before World War II. The effect is achieved by incorporating multiple steep-slope roof sections with distinctive double rooflines, all topped by cedar shakes. But when the natural cedar shake roof system began to fail, the priceless works of art and literature were suddenly at risk.

Administrators reached out to Tech Roofing Service Inc., Chicopee, Massachusetts, to repair the leaks and assess the condition of the roof, which included several interlocking steep-slope and low-slope sections. Tech Roofing, founded in 1975, focuses primarily on commercial projects and prides itself on its ability to install a wide variety of systems.

Joshua Narkawicz, vice president of Tech Roofing, says the company thrives on jobs with multiple scopes of work. “We like complex jobs,” he says. “Those are the ones we love. We’re not afraid of anything — the more difficult, the better.”

As Tech Roofing repaired the leaks, Narkawicz realized the roof was nearing the end of its service life. Tech Roofing crew members handled preventive maintenance issues while they worked with the Yiddish Book Center to develop a plan and a budget to replace the entire roof system.

Formulating the Plan

“Two years ago, we started to develop a game plan of what the end stage was going to be on re-roofing,” Narkawicz says. Working with the client and the original architect, the team explored re-roofing with wood shakes, as well as various options for synthetic shake roofing. Narkawicz worked with his local supplier, Beacon Roofing Supply’s branch in Chicopee, Massachusetts, to obtain samples of various synthetic shake products. The goal was to find the product that would most closely mimic the look of real cedar shake while providing a longer service life with fewer maintenance issues. “They ended up deciding to go with the DaVinci Multi-Width Shake product in Tahoe.”

Tech Roofing replaced all of the steep-slope and low-slope roofing on the project, installing custom-fabricated copper flashing and drip edge.

The schedule would be a daunting one, as the job would have to be sandwiched in during a summer break period, with work beginning right after a major event in mid-July and wrapping up before the end of August. “They still had some classes being conducted over the summer, so were kind of playing hopscotch,” Narkawicz notes. “There were four buildings we had to kind of jump around to work on.”

The removal of the existing steep-slope roof was the first step. “We ended up tearing off the existing wood shakes and breather vent,” Narkawicz says. “There was 30-pound felt beneath every layer. We tore everything off, down to the existing tongue-and-groove, which was in beautiful shape.”

As one crew did the tear-off work, a second crew installed custom fabricated copper drip edge and applied Grace Ice & Water Shield to dry in each section before the end of the day. The roofing crew then started installing the synthetic shake roofing tiles.

“Guys were falling back and setting the DaVinci starter courses over the custom fabricated copper drip edges,” Narkawicz explains. “We then started snapping lines and installing the DaVinci Multi-Width Shake. They chose a 9-inch exposure, and it has a multi-width pattern, so they range from 4 inches to 6 inches to 8 inches, and are staggered to get the desired look.”

The synthetic shake tiles were installed using a nail gun and 1-5/8-inch coiled ring shank nails. “There are marks on each shake that determine precisely where the nails should go,” says Narkawicz.

Administrators wanted to find a synthetic shake product that would closely mimic the look of natural cedar shake while providing a longer service life. They chose DaVinci Multi-Width Shake in Tahoe.

With the hut-shaped roofs bunched closely together, the courses had to line up perfectly, so crews were meticulous in the installation process, checking it carefully against the other sections as work proceeded.

At the horizontal break at the mid-roof, it was like starting the roof installation all over again. “That break was purely an aesthetic feature,” says Narkawicz. “We got the shingles up underneath there as high as we could. There was an existing head flashing there, and we sealed it in with copper ring shank nails as the counterflashing went over it. Then we started on the next tier, installing another copper drip edge and starter course, just like we were starting a separate roof.”

Some of the steep-slope roofs had a small section of flat roofing at the peak, while others had ridges where GAF Cobra ridge vent was installed. “DaVinci has pre-molded ridge caps, and we used those on the hips and on the ridge for a uniform look,” says Narkawicz. “They were actually really easy to install.”

After the steep-slope work was completed, work began on the low-slope sections. Tapered insulation was installed and topped with a 60-mil fully adhered EPDM roof system from Carlisle. Tech Roofing crews also rebuilt a small cupola, which was sided with rough cedar planks.

Overcoming Challenges

Challenges on the project included not only the compressed schedule but tricky logistics at the jobsite. Crews had to work closely with the Yiddish Book Center to make sure work did not affect ongoing classes. Narkawicz credits Ollie Schmith, the building and grounds supervisor, for helping coordinate the schedule. “He was phenomenal,” Narkawicz says.

The property is bordered by an apple orchard and has streams running through it, so access to some roof areas was difficult. There are also several elevation changes, and the back of the building features a landscaped terrace.

“We had to make sure the roof was set up correctly with the crane,” Narkawicz states. “We also had two scissor lifts on site, as well as a shingle buggy — the Equipter. The Equipter was huge for the tear-off because of the distances we had to travel to the dumpsters, which had to be located at the edge of the site.”

The project featured a multi-pronged safety plan. On the flat roof, crews used stanchions with a warning line and a safety monitor. During the steep-slope installation, crew members did some of the work from lifts, while other areas were scaffolded. Workers on the sloped sections were tied off at all times. “The guys would have ropes and harnesses,” explains Narkawicz. “We used planks and brackets for the removal, and we would have the shingle buggy down at the bottom to catch the debris. When we started going back up, we had the scissor lifts at the bottom with the material, and the guys did the first 5 feet or so working from the scissor lifts.”

Rainy weather made the schedule even tougher, and crews worked on weekends to keep the project on track. Narkawicz credits the teamwork of his company’s multi-talented crews for the successful outcome of the project.

“It was a great project overall, and a great client to work for,” Narkawicz says. “It just demonstrates the expertise of all the guys. We did the carpentry work, the sheet metal, the installs, the ripping. That’s a huge part of our company — we all do everything as one.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Tech Roofing Service Inc., Chicopee, Massachusetts, https://techroofing.com

MATERIALS

Synthetic Shake: DaVinci Multi-Width Shake in Tahoe, DaVinci Roofscapes, https://www.davinciroofscapes.com

Underlayment: Grace Ice & Water Shield, GCP Applied Technologies, https://gcpat.com/en

Ridge Vent: Cobra Ridge Vent, GAF, www.gaf.com

EPDM Roof System: 60-mil EPDM, CarlisleSynTec, www.carlislesyntec.com