Speaking of Education…It May Be Back to Class for Contractors

It’s no surprise that almost all states require general contractors and some subcontractors to register with regulatory boards and pass a qualifying exam in advance of bidding, contracting, and certainly physically undertaking construction work. That’s not new. However, there is an emerging trend towards requiring general contractors, and even some subcontractors, to participate in continuing education. Depending on the jurisdiction, some contractors and subcontractors are now statutorily obligated to complete a certain amount of continuing education — similar to what has been historically required only of doctors, lawyers, and accountants — to maintain licensure.

For instance, this summer, North Carolina became the most recent state to impose continuing education requirements for general contractors. Effective January 1, 2020, general contractors will be required to complete 8 hours of continuing education per year. Because roofing contractors in North Carolina performing work in excess of $30,000 are required to be licensed as general contractors, they will now be subject to the new continuing education requirements.

This recent legislation and its impact on the roofing industry raises questions about what is required for roofing contractors nationwide. Does roofing require special licensure and registration or continuing education? The answer is entirely dependent on the jurisdiction where the work is to be performed.

The following states currently require licensure for roofing: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Other states don’t require licensure per se but do require roofing contractors to register. For instance, Oklahoma requires roofing contractors to register with the Construction Industries Board. Failure to register is a misdemeanor, and registration and endorsement as a commercial roofing contractor requires 4 hours of continuing education every 36 months. Similarly, Idaho does not require a state license, but requires roofing contractors to register with the Idaho Contractors Board.

As seen in Figure 1, even among the states which require continuing education, the requirements vary greatly both in the amount and type of education required. For instance, Florida law requires contractors holding a roofing license to take 1 hour of wind mitigation methodologies as part of the 14 annually required continuing education hours. In Massachusetts, construction supervisors within the roofing industry are required to take 2 hours of continuing education in code review and four one-hour courses in topics of workplace safety, business practices, energy, and lead safe practices.

Figure 1. Licensing and continuing education requirements by state.

Finally, in those states which don’t require licensure or continuing education, some industry groups have developed self-regulation. These industry groups are aimed at consumer protection and seek to secure public confidence in the roofing industry. In Georgia, which does not require a state roofing license, the Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Georgia (RSMCA) provides a voluntary licensing program. Similarly, Kentucky has no license requirements for roofing contractors. However, the Kentucky Roofing Contractor Association (KRCA) is a nonprofit and professional organization which certifies roofing contractors. To obtain and maintain KRCA certification, roofing contractors must complete 10 hours of continuing education per year.

But just because a state legislature or professional association has not enacted regulations necessitating continuing education does not mean contractors are free from such requirements. While not mandated by the state itself, many cities have imposed their own directives. States such as Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania each contain at least one municipality that compels contractors to take board-accredited continuing education courses. For example, Idaho Falls, Idaho, requires 8 hours of continuing education.

Regardless of where you are engaged in the practice of roofing contracting, it is imperative that all contractors exercise due diligence and review and comply with all state and local regulations before undertaking any project.

Contractors and trades are seeing a rise in regulation through the government by way of mandated continuing education courses. Do you think contractors should be required to take continuing education classes? Is this a necessary void that needs to be filled by the government intervention or is this just another example of unnecessary government regulation? Tell us what you think.

About the author: Lindsey E. Powell is an attorney with Anderson Jones, PLLC practicing in North Carolina and Georgia. Questions about this article can be directed to her at lpowell@andersonandjones.com. Special research credit is given to Kyle Putnam, Juris Doctor candidate and summer law clerk with Anderson Jones, PLLC.

Author’s note: This article is intended only for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

Picturesque Mountain Clubhouse Gets a Metal Roof Upgrade

The Clubhouse at Lake Sconti was recently re-roofed with CertainTeed’s Matterhorn Shake metal roofing. Photo: CertainTeed

Just 60 miles north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the 7,000-acre Big Canoe community is an ideal location where residents enjoy mountains, lakes and a 27-hole championship golf course. The Clubhouse at Lake Sconti serves as Big Canoe’s central hub, with 25,000 square feet of gathering space that is host to weddings, corporate events, writers’ groups, poker clubs, trivia nights and more. Adding another 10,000 square feet to the overall facility is Duffer’s Bar and Grille and an adjoining golf cart storage facility.

Big Canoe’s original clubhouse — established in the early 1970s along with the community — burned to the ground 13 years ago after being struck by lightning. The entire structure was rebuilt, which included the installation of a classic cedar shake roof. After severe wind and hail damage from a more recent storm, the Big Canoe community found itself in the position of needing a complete roof replacement.

“It was a beautiful roof, but we weren’t getting the longevity out of the cedar shake as originally intended,” says Katie Wercholuk, marketing and communications director of the Big Canoe Property Owners Association. “We want our residents to be proud of their clubhouse and to not bear the cost of a new clubhouse roof every 10 years. We needed something with durability that would be able to stand up to mountain weather, which can sometimes be unpredictable.”

After six months of researching the best solution, the Big Canoe Property Owners Association found Colony Roofers, a veteran-owned roofing company based in Marietta, Georgia. Company president Mark Seymour suggested CertainTeed’s Matterhorn Shake in the color Cedar to keep the look of classic cedar shake while adding the benefits of metal.

“You should get about 30-40 years out of a cedar shingle roof, but it was 11 years and the original roof was deteriorating much quicker than it should have,” notes Seymour. “As we started ripping it off, we noticed that it wasn’t vented very well. A lot of the cedar shake shingles were curling up and breaking apart. It also sits inside of a valley and gets a lot of wind, so many of the hip and ridge shingles were coming up.”

Between the clubhouse, restaurant and golf cart barn, the job required 40,000 square feet of metal roof panels. In addition to be being the largest metal roofing job undertaken by Colony Roofing, the job’s secluded location and status as an active business presented additional challenges to the installing team.

“This was a big, six-to-eight-week job,” Seymour says. “Putting a roof on an operating business is difficult, so it required a lot of coordination with the property owners association. Big Canoe is also up in the mountains, so some of the bridges and roads you have to navigate aren’t meant for tractor-trailers and big machinery. If we were doing a standing seam roof where you have to stage long runs of metal and cut them to size, we would have definitely had some issues transporting it.”

Seymour said the way the product is designed and palletized allowed his team to “minimize the footprint” his team had on the property, and that the interlocking panel system allowed his crew to install the product quickly, helping Big Canoe get back to business as usual.

“Weather is unpredictable in the mountains and storms will come and go in the evenings,” says Seymour. “The main thing that helped us move quicker was the Matterhorn system. It goes on well and interlocks in a way our guys can understand. It’s a well-designed, user-friendly product.”

According to Wercholuk, the installation is a “win-win” for the Big Canoe community. “It’s not just low-maintenance, it’s no-maintenance and it looks beautiful,” says Wercholuk. “Anytime you have guests or visitors, the clubhouse is something you want to show off. We have intentionally tight architectural controls here and everything just blends into nature. You would never be able to tell it’s metal from far away.”

Wercholuk said that the product has left a great impression on Big Canoe’s roughly 6,000 residents.

“Everything we’ve heard from residents has been extremely positive,” Wercholuk adds. “Metal provided the look we were after as a mountain community, but with more efficiency.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Colony Roofers, Marietta, Georgia, www.colonyroofers.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: Matterhorn Shake metal roofing in Cedar, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

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

Cornell University Restoration Project Puts Team to the Test

Photo: Cornell University

Originally built in 1868, Morrill Hall was the first newly constructed building on Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, New York. It is one of three structures built using Ithaca bluestone that are collectively known as “Stone Row.”

Buildings don’t last forever. Some need to be renovated every 150 years or so, and Morrill Hall is no exception. This year Cornell University and Charles F. Evans Company, Inc. completed an ambitious and extensive structural renovation project designed to restore the building to its former glory.

The scope of work included replacing the entire roof system at Morrill Hall, including the slate on the mansards and the standing seam metal on the main roof — a total of 3,780 square feet in all. Additional work included rebuilding and waterproofing the built-in gutters, replacing all 27 fourth-floor windows, repairing the ornamental wood cornice, and repointing the stone chimneys.

Morrill Hall was originally built in 1868. It was constructed from Ithaca bluestone. Photo: Charles F. Evans Company, Inc.

The installation challenges were daunting, but so were the environmental concerns posed by the existing materials, which included asbestos and lead. It would take a talented team of design and construction professionals to make it happen. Companies formulating and executing the overall plan included architect Bell & Spina, the construction team at Cornell University, and Charles F. Evans Company, Inc., which served as both the construction manager and roof system installer on this project.

Members of parent company Evans Roofing Company Inc. and Charles F. Evans Company, Inc., who shared their insights on the project with Roofing magazine included Bob Pringle, vice president at Evans Roofing Company; Don Sewalt, construction manager at Charles F. Evans Company; and Dan Nowak, corporate risk manager at Evans Roofing Company. They cited the teamwork of everyone involved on the project as the key to overcoming its many challenges. “The success story for this project was the working partnership we developed with all of the stakeholders,” says Pringle.

Environmental Concerns

Before restoration work could begin, known hazardous materials had to be removed. “There were multiple environmental issues on this job, including asbestos, lead in the metal and lead in the piping of the window glazing,” notes Pringle. “We had to abate all of these areas prior to even tearing off the existing roof.”

Ventilators were custom fabricated in Charles F. Evans Company, Inc.’s sheet metal shop. Crews also installed permanent anchor points pre-engineered by Thaler Industries. Photo: Charles F. Evans Company, Inc.

The company is licensed and all personnel certified in both asbestos and lead abatement for the construction industry. “We are licensed and certified in New York State to remove roofing, which is a significant benefit for our client in reducing costs,” Pringle says. “New York State has very stringent standards, which Charles F. Evans Company, Inc. goes above and beyond for their abatement practices.”

Care had to be taken to ensure no faculty members, students or pedestrians inside or outside the building would be exposed to contaminants or debris. Proper barricades and signage were used to keep everyone away from the abatement areas during the removal process.

Due to the lead time required for the abatement process and the windows, work began at the mansards. W.L. Kline was called in as a subcontractor to rebuild the cornice, remove and install the windows, and handle finished carpentry on the window frames.

The radiused roofs over the dormer windows were field fabricated. Photo: Charles F. Evans Company, Inc.

As the slate was being removed, roofing crews began the process of removing and rebuilding the gutters. The existing gutter system had to be removed according to the abatement standards, as it was constructed of lead-coated copper and lined with a built-up system containing asbestos in the felt. After the original structural sills were replaced, the gutter was rebuilt and topped with Kemperol 2K PUR, a membrane-reinforced, liquid-applied waterproofing system manufactured by Kemper System.

The next step was replacing the curved dormer roofs. “As we installed plywood on the mansard, we also removed the radiused roofs over the dormer windows,” says Sewalt. “We were field fabricating all of the sheet metal, which was a Freedom Gray flat seam. Everything was covered with ice and water shield. We used Polystick MTS, and then covered that with 30-pound felt from CertainTeed before all the radiused roofs were hand soldered in place.”

Installing the Roof Systems

As crews continued on the mansard sections, others began to tackle the main roof. On the mansard, crews installed North Country Unfading Black roofing slate supplied by New England Slate Company. The slate was custom cut to a hexagon shape to match the originals. The slates were all hand nailed in place. Some of the slate had to be hand cut to fit precisely around the curved dormer roofs. Making sure the courses lined up perfectly where they met up at the top of the dormers was critical. “It was meticulous work,” Sewalt says.

The building was fully scaffolded at the eaves. All scaffolded surfaces are fully planked and included a guardrail system and debris netting. Photo: Charles F. Evans Company, Inc.

Where the mansard roof meets the upper roof, attention to detail was crucial. “We shop fabricated our own cornice metal and counter-flashed the top course of slate,” says Sewalt. “We tied in to the eave of the Terne-coated stainless on the upper roof.”

Metal for the upper roof was purchased from Roofinox in coils, and the stainless-steel panels were fabricated in Charles F. Evans Company’s sheet metal shop. After the old roof was removed, new three-quarter-inch plywood was installed over the top of the existing random rough-cut deck boards. Crews then applied Polystick MTS self-adhered underlayment and rosin paper before installing the double-lock metal panels.

The original Ithaca bluestone chimneys were repointed by R.E. Kelley, the masonry restoration subcontractor, and new shop-fabricated step flashings were installed. Charles F. Evans Company also fabricated the large ventilators. “The louvered ventilators were very detailed,” Sewalt points out. “They were all custom fabricated in our sheet metal shop.”

One of the last phases of the roofing portion of the project was the installation of low-slope roofs on two lower-level areas that covered mechanical rooms. “We installed a two-ply modified bitumen system by Soprema,” Sewalt says. “We used Sopralene 180 sanded as a base, and Sopralene 180 FR GR White as the cap.”

The Safety Plan

The height, age and nature of the work posed numerous safety concerns, according to Pringle, but experience on other similar projects helped the company structure a detailed safety, health and environmental plan for Morrill Hall. “Charles F. Evans Company, Inc. is a VPP Mobile Workforce STAR contractor, the only union roofing company in the United States to have this prestigious status,” notes Pringle. “We had to make sure all of our employees were safe, as well as students, faculty, and the members of the public.”

The black roofing slate supplied by New England Slate Company was custom cut to a hexagon shape to match the original. Photo: Charles F. Evans Company, Inc.

A scaffolding system was central to the safety plan. “We had this one fully scaffolded,” notes Nowak. “We try to do this on all of projects if we can. We do it for safety, of course, but secondly it makes it a little bit easier for our crews. Going up a scaffolded stair tower sure beats a ladder any day for safety, and all scaffolded surfaces are fully planked with a guardrail system and debris netting. This way, it protects everyone occupying it and staging our materials and tools are allowed with the proper load ratings. It makes it so much easier to look at the work right in front of them and do the work in a safe manner.”

On the upper roof, workers were tied off 100 percent of the time. As part of the project, crews also installed permanent anchor points pre-engineered by Thaler Industries.

“Cornell has always been on the forefront with safety, not only for the public, the students and the faculty, but their maintenance crews as well,” Nowak says. “We are seeing a lot more permanent fall protection being installed on campus buildings, which is a great thing.”

The safety plan had to also protect people entering the building, as it was in use for much of the installation process. “We had to have proper barricades, signage, and of course entryway protection,” Nowak says. “We basically created a tunnel system with overhead protection so people could access the building.”

Landmark Renovation

Roofing work began in June 2018 and was completed in December 2018, so inclement weather was another big challenge, but the project was completed on time with zero safety incidents. According to Pringle, one key to meeting the deadline was the company’s ability to handle the abatement work itself, which optimized efficiency. “Everybody on that rooftop was certified for abatement, so we could tear and go and keep moving without calling in a subcontractor,” Pringle states. “It’s critical that we can do this work ourselves.”

Pringle and Sewalt commended everyone who worked on the project, including Jim Wilson, roofing superintendent; Brian Babcock, sheet metal superintendent; Brett Sewalt, slate foreman; and Brent Spencer, sheet metal foreman. The roofing crew included Brian Sewalt, Nate Uram, Cal Uram, and Bill Jordan. The sheet metal crew included Sam Morich, Neal Brown, Matt Denson, Bob Corwin, Tony Hoskins, and Jeff Worsfol.

To rebuild the historic landmark with the products of today, bring it up to code, and maintain the original look, is a tremendous accomplishment. “This was a collaborative effort between Charles F. Evans Company, Inc., Cornell University, and Bell & Spina,” Pringle says. “What we leave behind is our craftsmanship. Our client, Cornell University, once again depended on us to deliver another landmark renovation for them. Morrill Hall will continue to dominate ‘Stone Row,’ offering students and faculty a place to learn for years to come.”

TEAM

Owner/Representative: Cornell University (Patrick Conrad), Ithaca, New York, www.cornell.edu

Architect: Bell & Spina, Syracuse, New York, www.bellandspina.com

Construction Manager and Roofing Contractor: Charles F. Evans Company, Inc., Elmira, New York, www.evansroofingcompany.com

Window Contractor: W.L. Kline Inc., Binghamton, New York

Masonry Contractor: R.E. Kelley, Bowmansville, New York, www.rekelley.com

MATERIALS

Slate: North Country Unfading Black Roofing Slate, New England Slate Company, www.newenglandslate.com

Metal Roof Panels: Terne-Coated Stainless Steel, Roofinox, www.roofinox.com

Underlayment: Polystick MTS, Polyglass U.S.A., Inc., https://polyglass.us

Felt: Roofers’ Select 30-pound Felt, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

Flat-Seam Dormer Roofs: Revere Freedom Grey copper, Revere Copper, www.reverecopper.com

Modified Bitumen Roof: Sopralene 180 and Sopralene 180 FR GR, Soprema, www.soprema.com

Gutter Lining: Kemperol 2K PUR, Kemper System, www.kemper-system.com

Roof Re-Cover Meets Challenges of Historic Integrity

Austin Hall is a historic landmark on the campus of Sam Houston State University. It was first occupied in October 1851. Photos: McElroy Metal

Some roofers are simply cut out to do their thing in the spotlight. Empire Roofing of Austin, Texas, executed the removal of an existing leaking stainless-steel metal roof and the installation of McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical copper standing seam roofing system on a historic centerpiece building on the campus of Sam Houston State University.

Historic Austin Hall in Huntsville, Texas, was re-roofed less than 10 years ago. It’s the oldest building west of the Mississippi River to have been used continuously by an educational institution. Austin Hall was first occupied in October 1851 and completed the following year.

Unfortunately, it soon became evident that there were defects pertaining to the 2009-10 roof installation and it needed to be replaced. The stainless-steel interlocking panels were not seamed or soldered as specified and in accordance with historically accurate methods, resulting in widespread water infiltration beneath the metal roof assembly. Armko Industries of Austin was contracted to determine the best plan of action for resolving these issues and restoring the Austin Hall roof, internal gutters and cupola back to a watertight condition. During the evaluation, portions of the existing roof had to be removed to verify conditions. Sam Houston State and Armko requested Empire Roofing assist the evaluation.

At the base of the cupola, the specifications called for the installation of through-wall flashing using 20-ounce copper. Photos: McElroy Metal

“Based on my initial observations, I was hired to come in and actually remove and replace some of the roof near the cupola and internal gutters to assess and verify the exact nature of the perceived defects,” says Aaron Todd, who leads the metal roofing and sheet metal division at Empire Austin. “I hated to be the bearer of bad news, but it was a lot worse than they anticipated. The flat-seam panels were installed using a Pittsburgh seam, which really isn’t designed to be a watertight seam in a low-slope (2:12) roofing application. The underlayment that was installed did a better job of keeping out water than the flat-seamed panels.”

Working together, Empire and Armko put together a plan that required the removal of the stainless-steel flat-seamed panels and the internal gutter liner. The Texas Historical Commission was involved in the renovation to ensure the new roof would be as historically accurate as possible. Plans and specifications issued by Armko Industries were to remove the existing stainless steel and to re-roof with the 20-ounce copper 238T standing seam on all roof sections, interior gutters and related sheet metal components. Specifications and details issued siding removed at the cupola walls and a new liquid-applied waterproofing membrane was applied over the new sheathing, with new siding installed to match the original siding. At the base of the cupola, the specifications and details called for the installation of through-wall flashing using 20-ounce copper. Titanium PSU-30 high-temp self-adhering underlayment covered the roofing substrate and was used as a lining in the internal gutters, under the 20-ounce copper.

Empire Roofing removed the building’s existing roof and installed McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical copper standing seam roofing system the historic structure. Photos: McElroy Metal

“We set up scaffolding and worked on the octagonal cupola first,” Todd says. “The design incorporates a convex curvature with all roof sections meeting at the apex. Together with my superintendent, Diego Trevizo, and our lead foreman, Uri Contreras, we measured everything we needed for the cupola roof and gave the cut list to our shop fabricators, who produced the panels and trim for the cupola roofing, the design of which was proposed by Empire and approved by the Texas Historical Commission and Armko. We also had a 10-foot mechanical brake onsite to fabricate and modify any panels as needed during the installation process. My team and I love working with copper, because aside from the obvious qualities inherent in its chemical makeup, it allows for a more thorough arsenal of seaming and joining techniques due to its unique malleability relative to most other types of commonly used metal components.”

Todd says standing seams were incorporated at each hip of the cupola to avoid the need to solder vertical joints. At the apex of the cupola, standing seams were folded down and lapped under the finial skirt. The crew sealed/riveted/soldered the finial base to the copper panels to create a watertight and wind-resistant detail at this very exposed and relatively flat area.

Standing seams were incorporated at each hip of the cupola. At the apex of the cupola, the seams were folded down and lapped under the finial skirt. Photos: McElroy Metal

Empire Roofing owns roll formers with dies to produce McElroy’s 238T and 138T symmetrical standing seam panels. “Empire’s capabilities with regard to commercial, industrial, and historical roofing projects are far reaching, and we love a good challenge,” Todd says. “If you’ve got a difficult problem, it’s our job to solve it, and we love working with innovative manufacturers like McElroy in doing so.”

Symmetrical standing seam systems do not have male and female legs, but are comprised of panels with matching left and right legs. The panels are joined with a mechanically seamed cap. The panels are non-directional, meaning they can be installed left to right, right to left, or even from the center out. The seam design on a symmetrical panel is more watertight than a double lock because there is no interruption of sealant in the seam at the clip locations. Most importantly, a symmetrical panel can be easily replaced if there is ever damage or a reason to pull a panel out of the roof at a later date.

“Through a judicious use of hydrostatic details utilizing butyl tape in lieu of solder at key areas, we were able to achieve a long-term watertight and wind-resistant roof assembly that only minimally relies on soldered joints and that can accommodate thermal movement much better,” Todd says.

Photos: McElroy Metal

Austin Hall is located on a hill among old-growth trees, so there isn’t much room to park a roll former to produce panels up to 25 feet long. It’s a relatively small project, about 6,000 square feet. “We set up our staging area in the road, about a quarter-mile from Austin Hall,” Todd says. “To minimize disruptions to daily university activities, we decided to run panels in the evening and have 3-4 guys walk the longer panels up the hill, one at a time. We rented a golf cart to transport guys down the hill to the roll former and bring smaller items up to the jobsite. We’ve got a great crew and it was ‘all hands on deck’ for this one. In one night, we produced all the panels and telescoped them to the roof on our spreader bar, which we attached to the forks of our onsite SkyTrack. We didn’t damage a single panel … that’s tough to do with copper.”

Todd was sure the roofing details would be watertight and wanted to make sure the internal gutters didn’t cause any problems. The Empire crew used sandpaper to etch the flat 20-ounce copper before it was fabricated into gutters. Once fabricated and roof-loaded, the gutter pieces were joined in 40- to 50-foot sections in the interior gutter, then lifted out and placed on sawhorses. All joints and seams were fully soldered on the sawhorses and then placed in their respective areas inside the internal gutter troughs, where the few remaining seams were joined and soldered in place. The gutters then were coated with Kemperol 2K PUR, a solvent-free, fleece-reinforced and liquid-applied waterproofing system based in polyurethane resin. Empire used a roller to apply the coating in open areas and brushed on the coating in corners.

TEAM

Building Envelope Consultant: Armko Industries, Austin, Texas, www.armko.com

Roofing Contractor: Empire Roofing, Austin, Texas, www.empireroofing.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: 238T symmetrical copper standing seam roofing system, McElroy Metal, www.mcelroymetal.com

Underlayment: Titanium PSU-30 high-temp self-adhering underlayment, InterWrap, www.interwrap.com

Liquid-Applied Waterproofing System: Kemperol 2K PUR, Kemper System, www.kemper-system.com

Design Combines Modified and Metal Roofs to Achieve Performance and Aesthetic Goals

The new Cumberland County Technical Education Center in Vineland, New Jersey, features a modified bitumen roof system and metal mansards. Photos: Christian Scully/Design Imaging Studios

The original vocational school in New Jersey’s Cumberland County was located in an outlying area many miles from the high schools its students attended, creating transportation challenges for those enrolled. The vocational students would spend the first part of their day at a traditional high school before being transported by bus to the vocational school to participate in specialty courses such as carpentry, electrical, culinary arts and cosmetology, among others. In neighboring Gloucester County, a new model was established that allowed students to fulfill their core curriculum standards at the vocational school while also participating in the specialty courses.

The success of the new model convinced administrators at Cumberland County Technical Education Center (CCTEC) in Vineland, New Jersey, that it was an idea worth exploring. “That new model has really gained traction in New Jersey,” says Bob Garrison, president of Garrison Architects. “Let’s fulfill the core curriculum standards like English, math and science and stop wasting time busing the kids.”

The location chosen for the new school was in a more developed area of the county next to the local community college, increasing accessibility to students. Garrison Architects, who has extensive experience in the New Jersey K-12 and vocational school market, was retained to design the new school. The design team included the architectural firm, school administrators, a representative from the materials manufacturer and members from the state’s department of education.

Design Challenges

The demands of a vocational school and all the equipment required for the various specialty courses provided some design challenges. The shops, located at the back of the school, require a story and a half ceiling height, which differs from the rest of the building. The exhaust fans and other rooftop equipment required for those shops also complicated the design. The original proposed design of a low-sloped roof with parapet wall construction didn’t satisfy the aesthetic goals of school administrators, so they asked the design team to explore the use of a pitched roof. But as Garrison explains, “A pitched roof didn’t work with the width of the building.”

Approximately 187,000 square feet of Garland’s StressPly E FR Mineral modified bitumen membrane was installed as the cap sheet on the low-slope roof. Photos: Christian Scully/Design Imaging Studios

It was ultimately decided that a low-slope modified bitumen roof with metal mansards around the perimeter would achieve both the performance and aesthetic requirements. Garrison worked with The Garland Company, Inc. for the materials as well as help with details, drawings and project inspections. “We needed a company that could provide a high-quality warranted low-sloping system as well as the complementary metal system under one manufacturer,” Garrison says. “That way, the systems are married and it’s warrantable.”

Garland’s StressPly E FR Mineral eco-friendly modified bitumen membrane was installed as the cap sheet on the low-slope sections of the roof. The roof seams were heat welded, providing a seamless appearance across the 187,000-square-foot roof. The metal mansards along the sides and front of the building provide the illusion from the ground that the roof is sloped while also concealing some of the equipment on top of the building. Garland’s R-Mer Span 24-gauge patriot blue steel panels were installed on those mansards. The same panels, some with slopes as steep as 8:12, were used to custom-build the dome atop the clock tower at the main entrance, which serves as a centerpiece of the roof. The metal panels used over the barrel roofs on the gymnasium and cafeteria are continuous, eliminating all possibility of field leaks and contributing to the design the mansards promote.

Just two years after enrolling its first class of students, CCTEC has already developed plans for an expansion that will help accommodate the school’s demand for students focused on a health care path. The proposed 55,000-square-foot, $25 million building will connect directly to the main building via a hallway extension and will accommodate up to 200 students.

About the author: Bill Pancoast has more than 35 years of experience in the commercial roofing industry, providing long-term watertight solutions to a wide range of customers. He is highly knowledgeable in all aspects of the industry, providing his customers with invaluable technical support. He is a territory manager at The Garland Company, Inc.

TEAM

Architect: Garrison Architects, Bellmawr, New Jersey, http://garrisonarch.com

Roofing Contractor: Patriot Roofing Inc., Jobstown, New Jersey, www.patriotroof.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: R-Mer Span, The Garland Company, Inc., www.garlandco.com

Modified Bitumen System: StressPly E FR Mineral, The Garland Company, Inc.

Roof and Walls Are Key to the Design of Lamplighter School’s Innovation Lab

The Lamplighter School’s new Innovation Lab features a standing seam copper roof that transitions to copper wall cladding to wreath the structure in metal. Photo: ©Timothy Hursley

The Lamplighter School is a private school in North Dallas that teaches students from kindergarten through the fourth grade. It features a teaching barn where students learn about animals and an Innovation Lab that spotlights hands-on learning. “It’s a school dedicated to applied learning—the idea of learning by doing,” notes Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Principal, Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The campus was originally designed by O’Neill Ford, a well-known regional architect from Texas, and much if it was built in the 1970s. The school recently reached out to Marlon Blackwell Architects to conduct a series of interventions with some existing buildings and design some additions, including the new Innovation Lab and teaching barn. Part of the overall focus was to help smooth out the traffic flow on the campus. The new 10,000-square-foot Innovation Lab would be in a crucial location, and its roof and wall designs would become instrumental in helping the structure meet its design goals.

“The Innovation Lab we conceived of as a way of reinforcing the center of campus and acting as a connector to other parts of campus,” Blackwell says. “It has a series of porches that act as connectors and also control places for kids to play and learn outside.”

Photo: ©Timothy Hursley

The school administrators wanted a one-story building, and they wanted it to relate to the original architecture of the campus without replicating it too closely. According to Blackwell, the roof was a key component in the design for several reasons.

First of all, the uniquely shaped roof helps define the spaces within the building. “They had a very disparate program,” he explains. “They had science, environmental science, shop, robotics, and a cooking/teaching kitchen — they had a variety of different spaces. We thought we could take the roof and pitch and roll it to scale those spaces — some grand spaces, some smaller. It would be a continuous, folded roof that’s copper on the outside, and that roof would become the envelope as well. So, we wanted timeless materials, and there were already a few copper roofs on the campus, so it was tying into it materially.”

The roof is comprised of standing seam and flat copper panels, while the wall cladding consists of copper flush panels. Carlisle Water & Ice Protection was specified for the roof to serve as a secondary water barrier. Second-growth Cypress planks were used to complement the copper in the porch areas. “So that’s where the material palette and the copper came from, and of course the workability of copper made a lot of sense with this type of roof as well.”

Copper over ice and water shield is a very durable assembly, notes Blackwell. “The whole building is wrapped in copper, and we let the roof do what it does, which is very different, because you’re creating valleys more than ridges, which is a bit unusual for a roof,” he says. “We tried to create really nice spaces for the kids. We wanted lots of natural light and windows to provide controlled views of the landscape and the campus around it. The Innovation Lab really has become a kind of a feature for the campus.”

A Challenging Project

Controlling the water flow on the roof would become one of the biggest challenges on the project. The roof makes use of both internal and external drains, with hidden downspouts at the perimeter. “What we invented in the process of developing the drainage system was using sections of the cladding as actual downspouts,” says Blackwell.

The roof was shaped to define spaces within that house different programs, including environmental science, shop, robotics, and a teaching kitchen. Photo: ©Timothy Hursley

The cladding was approximately 2 inches deep, so the downspouts could be integrated behind the copper wall panels. “You might have a downspout that’s 2 inches by 18 inches, for example, and we just integrated that into the envelope so it’s seamless. You don’t see any gutters or downspouts, and those go directly into the subsurface drainage.”

The general contractor on the project was Hill & Wilkinson of Richardson, Texas. Copper panels were roll-formed and installed by Sterling Roof Systems of Garland, Texas. “They rolled the panels on site, and because of that we could make these downspouts integral to the cladding and have that seamless look,” Blackwell says. “The roof is standing seam, and the vertical walls are butt-jointed, interlocking flat panels, and those work together very well. We also had some big, copper fascias and the installer did a really nice job with that. Overall, it’s a really a great, durable envelope or wrapper for the building.”

Properly integrating the roof and wall systems was crucial. “Making that transition between the vertical and the horizontal was key, and thanks to the workability of the copper you could make clean, crisp, simple details,” Blackwell says. “Otherwise, it is a pretty straightforward system.”

Marlon Blackwell Architects also developed landscape perimeters and boundaries that complement the structure and help control traffic.

The project won a 2019 North American Copper in Architecture Award from the Copper Development Association, which recognizes and promotes North American building projects for their outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys.

Cypress planks complement the copper envelope at the porch areas, which were designed to help channel foot traffic at the campus. Photo: ©Timothy Hursley

The timelessness of copper is part of its appeal, according to Blackwell. “The patina of copper is lovely,” he says. “Over time it becomes a real leathery brown with a little plum in it even. The way in which it ages is really beautiful, and it’s dynamic, and that’s what we like about it, too. It ages differently depending on the orientation or the elevation. It’s just a really great system.”

Architects at Blackwell’s firm are drawn to metals like copper, zinc and CorTen. “We use a lot of metal siding and roofs, and we love these raw metals, these caustic metals that respond to the environment,” Blackwell says. “They have a dynamic surface that’s in constant change, so the building is really never finished, right? The weathering constructs the finish on these buildings, and we love that because it has its own romance. It makes the building distinctive and unique.”

TEAM

Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville, Arkansas, www.marlonblackwell.com

General Contractor: Hill & Wilkinson, Richardson, Texas, www.hill-wilkinson.com

Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractor: Sterling Roof Systems, https://sterlingrooftexas.com

MATERIALS

Roof Panels: Standing seam and flat 16-ounce copper panels, 16-inch exposure

Wall Panels: Copper flush panels, 8-inch exposure

Underlayment: Carlisle Water & Ice Protection, Carlisle WIP Products, www.carlislewipproducts.com