Acoustical Smoke Vents Are Key Priority for School’s Theater Renovation

The renovation included the construction of a new visual arts wing that integrates a rich cross-section of artistic disciplines with a gallery, studio and classroom spaces. Photos: Sarah Hamlin/Everchangingphoto

Roofing experts are well aware smoke vents can save lives and reduce the amount of property loss. While life and property safety are their primary function, acoustical smoke vents also play an important part in noise mitigation. When Middlesex School in Massachusetts renovated the 55,000-square-foot Bass Pavilion for the Arts and Danoff Visual Arts Center, the architectural team from CBT Architects selected four acoustical smoke vents manufactured by The BILCO Company.

“The features that were included in the smoke vents were geared to student safety,” says Michelle Oishi, the lead architect on the project for CBT. “That was of paramount importance. They were also space considerations, and the automated aspect of the vents was important due to the fact that we wanted very few things interfering with the rigging sets.”

Broad Scope

The primary objective of the project aimed at improving the existing theater and creating a space where the school’s entire 400-plus students and nearly 100 faculty members could assemble. The previous structure was built in the 1960s. The school opened in 1901.

“There’s a commitment to theater and the arts,” says Steve McKeown, the school’s project manager. “It’s not any different than our commitment to clubs, sciences or athletics. We provide spaces for students who are interested in a variety of things. There’s a lot of cool opportunities for students to find their promise.”

Middlesex School recently completed an extensive renovation project of the school theater. The project included six double-leaf acoustical smoke vents manufactured by The BILCO Company.

Architects, engineers and contractors needed a large dose of creativity to execute the project. The theater’s original roof structure and perimeter walls needed to remain standing. In essence, the renovation was a major do-over of the existing space without adding additional square footage. “We had to work within the confines of the existing roof structure and the surrounding walls,” Oishi said. “A certain amount of the existing building was out of character with the rest of the school.”

The acoustical smoke vents used in the Middlesex School renovation are 6-foot-by-6-foot double-leaf smoke vents with motorized operation that allows them to be opened and closed from a remote location. They also include limit switches, which allow for monitoring if the vents are in the open or closed position.

Automatic smoke vents protect property and aid firefighters in bringing a fire under control by removing smoke, heat and gases from a burning building. This ensures better visibility, evacuation time, and protection against fire spread, as well as reduced risk of smoke inhalation and structural damage. They are activated upon the melting of a fusible link, and are ideally suited for large expanses of unobstructed space such as factories, warehouses, auditoriums and retail facilities.

Acoustical smoke vents, however, take on the added quality of controlling noise. They are used in theaters, concert halls and other projects where it is important to limit noise intrusion.

Know Your Ratings

Acoustical smoke vents and their ability to block out noise are determined by ratings in Sound Transmission Class and Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class. For acoustical smoke vents, the OITC rating is the more important figure for architects to consider.

OITC rates the transmission sound between outdoor spaces and indoor spaces in a structure. Like the STC rating, OITC measures sound intensity loss in decibels. The OITC rating was developed in 1990 and is typically used to measure sound transmission loss over a frequency range from 80 to 4000 hertz. It is most applicable for measuring the prevention of low frequency exterior sounds such as automotive traffic, construction, and low-flying airplanes through exterior building surfaces.

STC measures the extent to which sound is prevented from being transferred from one area to another. The higher the STC value, the less that sound can be transferred through a building product. STC is typically used to measure sound transmission loss over a frequency range from 125 to 4,000 hertz and is most applicable for interior areas that experience mid to high frequency noises, such as conversation, television, telephones, and office equipment.

“OITC is the preferred rating when addressing sound insulation from exterior noise — especially when transportation noise sources are impacting a building facade with significant low-frequency (bass) sound,” says Harold Merck, principal and acoustician for Merck & Hill Consultants of Atlanta. “While STC ratings may be fine for typical interior noise sources such as voices, STC doesn’t adequately address the extended low-frequency noise contribution of aircraft, traffic or even large roof-top equipment. The OITC better addresses low-frequency noise impacts and is the more applicable sound rating for roof mounted automatic smoke vents.”

The BILCO Company recently unveiled a new acoustical smoke vent, with an STC rating of 50 and an OITC rating of 46, that provides the highest level of protection against exterior noise intrusion. In addition, the product has also received an ISO-140-18 sound rating when tested against rainfall sound. The rating measures the impact of sound insulation on building materials — such as roofs, skylights and roof/ceiling systems — incur when exposed to artificial rainfall.

Checking All the Boxes

From the roof on down, the completed project at Middlesex checks all of the boxes that were the target of the two-year renovation.

The main stage now includes balcony seating that allows the entire student body and faculty to fit comfortably as an audience for performances, guest speakers and all-school assemblies. It features a motorized orchestra pit that can be raised up to the stage level.

There are gallery space and pin-up areas as new arenas to celebrate and encourage the artistic pursuits of students. There is also a new “mindfulness” space that will provide “emotional and intellectual space to reflect and recharge,” according to the architect. Workers also improved a courtyard to provide accessible entry to adjacent buildings which includes a terrace that serves as an exterior performance venue.

Thanks to the acoustical smoke vents, it also includes important life and property safety features that also limit exterior noise.

“It’s an awesome space,” McKeown said. “The entire community gathers there on a weekly basis, and it’s very comfortable. It provides a space where our community can gather, and that’s something that is very important to our school.”

About the author: Thomas Renner writes on building, construction, and other trade industry topics for publications in the United States.

TEAM

Architect: CBT Architects, Boston, Massachusetts, www.cbtarchitects.com

Contractor: J.S. Mortimer Inc., Auburn, Massachusetts, www.jsmortimer.com

MATERIALS

Smoke Vents: Acoustical Smoke Vents, The BILCO Company, www.bilco.com

Shingles: Landmark, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

State-of-the-Art Wall System Protects New Gymnasium Complex

The new $6 million gymnasium complex at Pacific Christian School features Enerfoil Wall Insulation and the AquaBarrier AVB System from IKO. Photos: IKO

A state-of-the-art $6 million gymnasium for Pacific Christian School in Victoria, British Columbia, replaced the school’s existing facility, constructed nearly 40 years earlier.

The new facility created a double-sized gymnasium with a mezzanine, changing and locker rooms, and a commercial kitchen. The school has 900 students enrolled from preschool to grade 12.

The Pacific Christian School project demanded a wall system that would perform well with the wet weather conditions of the Pacific Northwest. Since school was in session during the project, a fixed timeline was imperative. Brytar Contracting worked around the school’s daily routine, and certain parts of the school were off limits, with only one door accessible to construction staff.

For the building’s walls, Brytar Contracting proposed IKO’s Enerfoil system because of its superior R-Value and ease of installation. According to Brytar Contracting Business Development Manager Les Starling, the company full service general contracting company that specializes in wall panels. “Our work includes lots of multi-family and high rise projects, so we were looking for an alternative to a rigid wall solution for this project,” he says.

In all, approximately 8,640 square feet of wall systems were installed on the project, which qualified for an IKO AquaBarrier Waterproofing Material Warranty. “While we used AquaBarrier AVB on another school project, this was Brytar’s first time to install the IKO Enerfoil insulation product,” notes Starling. “Both are outstanding products and performed perfectly. As we see it, all-insulated wall systems are the way of the future.”

This was the first significant project supplied by Roofmart in Victoria using IKO Enerfoil and IKO AquaBarrier AVB, according to Rob Strickland, Regional Manager, Roofmart Vancouver Island.

TEAM

Architect: HDR, Vancouver, British Columbia, www.hdrinc.com

General Contractor: Kinetic Construction Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia,www.kineticconstruction.com

Wall Contractor: Brytar Contracting, Vancouver, British Columbia www.brytarcontracting.com

Distributor: Roofmart, Vancouver, British Columbia, www.roofmart.ca

MATERIALS

Wall System: Enerfoil Wall Insulation and AquaBarrier AVB System, IKO, www.iko.com

Massive High School Re-Roofing Addresses Urban Heat Island Concerns

Martin-Tomlinson Roofing Company recently re-roofed 195,000 square feet of the Marcus High School campus. Photos: Johns Manville

Marcus High School is one of more than 65 facilities that comprise the Lewisville Independent School District (LISD). Located north of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the massive127-square-mile district serves more than 53,000 students. Over a decades-long partnership, Johns Manville and Martin-Tomlinson Roofing Company (M-T) have built a great track record with LISD and have completed dozens of roofing projects for the school district together.

On this project, the roof systems were replaced on several attached buildings with a roof area totaling approximately 195,000 square feet. This massive project covered only half of the Marcus High School campus, and there were very few places where M-T had flat surfaces to work on. With the client requiring minimal disruption to students, most of the work was completed over summer break. Then, exceptional care was taken once school was back in session to keep students and faculty apart and safe from the jobsite where M-T’s 10-man crew continued to progress.

The new roof also needed to be highly reflective and compliant with the International Energy Conservation Code, as required in the southern United States. The heat island effect is a concern under the relentless Texas sun.

The New Roof System

After evaluating the roof, Martin-Tomlinson and a third-party roofing consultant determined that some of the existing insulation could be left in place and that the tear off only had to go down to the cover board — not down to the roof deck, a few inches below. Salvaging existing insulation benefited the school financially, and it is better for the environment since fewer materials had to be discarded and replaced. Additionally, not removing those additional inches from the roof saved time, which lowered the installation cost for the school district. Before starting the tear off, specialized equipment was brought in to remove loose gravel to create a clean working surface. Then, the existing four-ply built-up roof was removed.

The two-ply SBS heat-welded modified bitumen roof system from JM features a highly reflective surfacing to help minimize the heat island effect. The new roof is Energy Star certified.

The updated roofing system is a two-ply JM SBS heat-welded modified bitumen roof system with highly reflective surfacing. JM ENRGY 3 polyiso roof insulation and DensDeck cover board were applied with JM RS Urethane Adhesive low-rise foam. The roof was covered with the SBS roofing system, which consisted of one-ply each of JM DynaWeld Base and DynaWeld Cap FR CR G. Heat island concerns are diminished with the cap sheet, and the roof is Energy Star certified.

M-T Vice President Jesse Byrd credits the technical knowledge of his JM sales rep and the outstanding service of his JM support person with the success of this job. “I never needed to call technical support with questions,” he says. “I went right to Joel Lewallen, the most knowledgeable roofing guy I know, and I know lots of them. We never had to stop work waiting on materials. JM technical representative Andy Austin was always available for support and he made sure we could keep working.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Martin-Tomlinson Roofing Company, Dallas, Texas, www.m-troofing.com

MATERIALS

Modified Bitumen Roof System: DynaWeld Base and DynaWeld Cap FR CR G, Johns Manville, www.JM.com

Insulation: ENRGY 3 Polyisocyanurate, Johns Manville,

Cover Board: DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.buildgp.com

Recycling Membrane Saves School District Money and Protects the Environment

More than 8,700 pounds of the existing PVC membrane was recycled as part of the Bishop Elementary School re-roofing project as part of Duro-Last Roofing’s Recycle Your Roof program. Superior Services RSH Inc.

When the roof on Bishop Elementary School outlived its warranty, the Lincoln Consolidated School District put the roof replacement project up for bid. The school district already had a specific product in mind, and that made things pretty straightforward for Superior Services RSH Inc., headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

Founded in 1975, Superior Services focuses on commercial and industrial low-slope roofing. The company also has an architectural metals division and a dedicated service and maintenance department. According to Derek Heins, its vice president, the company works closely with Duro-Last Roofing, and that relationship was key to being awarded the bid to re-roof Bishop Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

“The existing roof that was on this building was a Duro-Last roof. It had been on there for more than 20 years, and the school had been very happy with its performance,” Heins says. “Most of the other buildings in the Lincoln Consolidated School District have Duro-Last roofs, so they are really comfortable and really familiar with the product. The school likes the single-ply PVC and the reflectivity of the white membrane, and have been really happy with the performance.”

The recycled material was secured to pallets in a staging area and then taken to the Duro-Last factory on a trailer. The recycled material is used to make products including flooring, walkway pads, and concrete expansion joints.

During the bidding stage, Heins suggested a way the project could save money while putting less stress on the environment. “We suggested utilizing the Recycle Your Roof program with Duro-Last Roofing,” he says. Through the program, mechanically attached Duro-Last PVC membrane can be returned to the manufacturer at the end of its useful life.

Heins explained the benefits of the recycling program to the district, which included a lower installation cost. “You’re reducing landfill costs by not bringing in dumpsters and paying for disposal of the old membrane,” he notes. “We essentially take it directly to Duro-Last’s factory, where they grind up the material and use if for making products including flooring and rooftop walkway pads.”

The school district agreed, and more than 8,700 pounds of the existing PVC roofing membrane was recycled as part of the re-roofing project.

Removal and Replacement

The 77,000-square foot roof featured different elevations. The center area where the two wings met was divided into several sections, most separated by parapet walls. The roof also features a large skylight, which was replaced as part of the project. The site-specific safety plan incorporated for each section included a perimeter warning line system and personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). A guardrail system was set up around the skylight.

The first step was the tear-off. The roof removal process is critical for the recycling program. “When we started the project, we sliced the roof membrane at the fastening rows,” explains Heins. “By doing this, it allowed us to roll up the loose membrane between the fastening rows. The rows were approximately 5 feet wide. After rolling them up, we tack welded the rolled-up material using a hot-air welder.”

Superior Services RSH Inc. installed a new Duro-Tuff PVC roof system. Details included a custom-made Velux skylight and a Bilco roof hatch.

The rolls were removed from the roof with the assistance of a telehandler, stacked on pallets, and secured with straps. Crews then removed the fastening tabs and fasteners from the existing roof system, using screw guns to back out the fasteners from the metal deck.

The next step was inspecting the underlying polyiso insulation for any moisture, damage or deterioration. It was replaced as necessary, but the vast majority of it was reused, which offered additional cost savings.

New tapered drain sets were installed for all of the internal drains on the building. “We used the Duro-Guard insulation tapered drain sets,” Heins notes. “We cut out the existing insulation and put in new wider drain sets to help promote water flow on the roof.”

The tapered drain sets are prefabricated and pre-sloped. They are available in two sizes: 4 feet by 4 feet, and 8 feet by 8 feet. “We try to use larger size drain sets whenever possible,” Heins says. “They unfold to form an 8-foot box around the drain. The marked center circles allow you to simply lay it over the drain sump and cut out the sump opening.”

Crews then installed the 50-mil Duro-Tuff PVC roof system, which was mechanically attached. Enhancements at the perimeter were made using a RhinoBond induction welder.

“We install a hybrid perimeter using RhinoBond induction welding,” Heins explains. “We run two wind rows around the perimeter of the building. Then we roll out the 10-foot wide membrane rolls. With the membrane rolled out, we fasten it down per the manufacturer’s specifications. After we finish putting the membrane down, we go back and use the RhinoBond machine to weld the membrane down to all the perimeter plates for our wind laps.”

Final Details

Crews then installed prefabricated accessories, including custom-manufactured wall flashings, curb flashings, and stack flashings. Drains were fitted with new drain inserts and strainers. Crews also installed a new Bilco S-20 roof hatch.

Perimeter metal and copings were supplied by Exceptional Metals. “We used their two-piece compression metal,” Heins notes. “We also installed custom scupper collector boxes and downspouts on the project as well. By using Exceptional Metals, a division of Duro-Last, we were able to include everything in their Edge to Edge Warranty.”

Heins points to the large skylight as one of the most difficult details on the project. The existing skylight was replaced with a new custom-made Velux double dome skylight, which was installed after the roofing work was completed. When the new skylight arrived at the site, crew members lifted it to the roof and removed the existing skylight. The temporary flashings were replaced with new flashings as the new skylight was installed.

The biggest challenge on the job was the tight schedule. The project was completed in two weeks during July of 2019. “We had a limited window of time to complete this project,” says Heins. “Like most school construction projects, we were required to complete the roof during the summer break, making it essential to finish as much work as possible each day.”

Recycling

At the end of the project, the old membrane was put on a trailer and returned for recycling.

Heins is proud to promote the Recycle Your Roof program as a win-win proposition. “It’s best for everybody to be conscious of the environment,” he says. “We focus on being environmentally friendly, and we also focus on the cost savings. Recycling the membrane and reusing the insulation that is in in good condition offers a big cost reduction for our customers — and it keeps the material out of the landfill.”

According to Heins, this project highlights some of the strengths of Superior Services. “One of the things this project demonstrates is our commitment to utilizing the latest roofing technologies,” he says. “One example is Duro-Last’s prefabricated accessories. Duro-Last has always been a frontrunner in providing prefabricated and custom accessories, and Exceptional Metals offers further custom fabrication. It is important to us, as a company, to strive to be on the leading edge of technology, both on the roof and in the office. It’s part of our culture, as well as emphasizing sustainability and energy-efficient roofing.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Superior Services RSH, Inc., Lansing, Michigan, https://superiorservicesrsh.com

MATERIALS

Roofing Membrane: 50-mil Duro-Tuff PVC, Duro-Last, www.duro-last.com

Edge Metal: Exceptional Metals, www.exceptionalmetals.com

Roof Hatch: S-20 Type S Roof Hatch, BILCO, www.bilco.com

Skylight: Custom-Size Double Dome Acrylic Skylight, Velux, www.veluxusa.com

New Roof System Addresses Challenges at Clarkson University’s Athletic Facility

When the existing roof on the athletic center began to leak, Clarkson University needed a flexible but durable roof system to stand up to harsh winters. A fully adhered EPDM roof system from Carlisle SynTec Systems was chosen for the re-roofing project. Photos: RSI Roofing, Inc.

How do you put a new roof on a 66,300-square-foot hyperbolic paraboloid?

It takes a lot of skill, a lot of attention to safety, and the right choice of a roofing membrane — especially when the roof has to protect a full-service fitness center that serves thousands of college students and includes a swimming pool, locker rooms, a Jacuzzi and saunas. But we’re getting a little ahead of our story.

Faced with the combined threats of a global pandemic and major storms served up by the 2020 hurricane season, school buildings, their designs, and their resilience are being scrutinized now more than ever. School boards, university administrators, parents, students and teachers are looking at these structures with an eye to their impact on the health of the people who work and live there. Additionally, entire communities may be counting on school buildings to house and protect their citizens during a cataclysmic weather event.

When Clarkson University embarked on a project to rehab the roof of its Indoor Athletic Facility three years ago, to most of the American public, pandemics were something that happened in other countries, preferably distant ones. But given Clarkson’s location, in northern New York state, energy conservation during the harsh winters was a dominant concern. Just as important, the new roof needed to stand up to freezing temperatures and frequent ice storms. Winters in Potsdam, New York, where Clarkson is located, can serve up average lows of 9 degrees. A “warm” winter day might see a high temperature of 26 degrees.

The Clarkson staff was spurred to action by the deteriorating conditions of the existing roof, resulting in multiple leaks. They were working on a very tight time frame, and wanted to complete the work during the three-month window between the end of the fall semester and beginning of the spring semester. And, as a university committed to focusing on sustainable energy solutions and environmental technical innovations, they wanted the most energy efficient roof available for their climactic conditions. The design of the roof itself — the 66, 300-square-foot hyperbolic paraboloid referenced above — presented additional challenges.

The roof system included two layers of 2.6-inch polyiso insulation and a half-inch layer of cover board.

Initially, the design team considered reflective roofing but were soon convinced that a dark membrane would offer maximum energy efficiency in the northern climate, and keep energy costs down during the cold winter months. Additionally, given the installation challenges presented by the building’s structure, the membrane needed to be flexible but durable in the face of winters that promised snow and ice. Given those parameters, the team chose EPDM membrane to be installed in a fully adhered system. This meant that the membrane could be fully fastened to the underlying insulation, leaving no unsightly metal fasteners protruding through the membrane and detracting from the rooftop’s appearance. But this choice was about more than aesthetics: the fully adhered system increased the roofing system’s wind uplift resistance due to the strength of the adhesive and the reduced number of membrane seams present on the fully adhered system (as compared to a mechanically fastened system).

Demanding Installation

RSI Roofing from nearby Gouverneur, New York, served as contractor for the job, working through a series of special challenges presented by the building itself and the site of the structure. Temporary roads were installed to accommodate the use of manlifts and forklifts. Given the slope of the roof surfaces, all workers on the job needed to be tied off using harnesses and lanyards for fall protection. To ensure that the roof was aesthetically pleasing, membranes needed to match all the way around the building with laps and sheet length going the same way on each section.

The first step in this installation was tearing off the existing roofing membrane and installing new perimeter wood blocking around the existing wood deck. The crew then installed a vapor barrier directly to the wood deck, followed by mechanically installing two layers of 2.6-inch polyiso insulation, and a half-inch layer of cover board.

Crews from RSI Roofing installed approximately 66,300 square feet of EPDM membrane on the project.

The final step was installation of the new 115-mil FleeceBACK EPDM roof system from Carlisle SynTec Systems. The installation crew applied adhesive to the cover board, and then rolled out the EPDM membrane. The use of the adhesive added thermal efficiency to this already energy-efficient system for even greater environmental protection and reduced energy costs. Once the membrane was in place, RSI installed perimeter sheet metal with new gutters and downspouts.

The Clarkson gym was designed to shelter students as they engaged in a wide variety of physical activities. But with its durable and energy efficient EPDM roof, like many other educational buildings throughout the country, it could most likely provide a resilient shelter during a cataclysmic storm or other natural disaster.

While there may be debate about the cause, global statistics confirm the increasing frequency of more extreme weather: intense tornado outbreaks, record-setting heat, catastrophic wildfires, heavy downpours, longer droughts, and more frequent hurricanes. These extreme weather events are assaulting the built environment with record-setting strength and intensity, creating an urgent need for more resilient structures. Since the roof of a building is a first line of defense, any discussion of resilience must include careful consideration of roofing systems.

In June 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported that many of the nation’s fifty million school children are at risk because of aging school buildings, or buildings that do not meet basic resilience standards to withstand a natural disaster. The FEMA report, “Safer, Stronger, Smarter: A Guide to Improving School Natural Hazard Safety,” points out that “many of our nation’s school buildings are older unreinforced masonry structures that are vulnerable to severe damage and collapse in the next earthquake, or are of lighter frame construction that is vulnerable to other types of natural hazards such as a tornado, hurricane, high winds, or flash flooding.”

The FEMA report noted that the average public school building at that time was 44 years old. And while some of these schools have undergone major renovation, “the original construction of numerous school buildings predates many of the modern building code requirements protecting occupants from natural hazards.” In other words, millions of schoolchildren are being educated in buildings that are using 20th century construction standards to meet 21st century hazards. And those 21st century hazards are becoming more and more of a threat.

Given these challenges, FEMA is offering extensive specifics on upgrading school structures to improve safety and notes the critical importance of roofing systems to protect the integrity of a school building. It warns that a roof that is damaged in a hurricane “will result in significant interior damage due to water leakage” and any roofing system that is “extremely susceptible to wind damage … should be mitigated as soon as budget permits.”

Whether your focus is a new gymnasium for college students, the renovation of a high school, or the repair of an elementary school, the roof is an essential component of a resilient building. If the roof fails, the structure as a whole will be compromised. The occupants of the building, students or members of the community who are literally seeking shelter from the storm, will be exposed to the potentially deadly impact of severe weather.

To assist the educational community in creating resilient buildings, the EPDM Roofing Association has published its second edition of Building Resilience: The Roofing Perspective. This report includes excerpts from the FEMA School Safety Report, as well as links to the complete report. The report as a whole provides insights on how to create a resilient roof, and the contributions that EPDM can make to a resilient roofing system. You can find the ERA report at https://epdmroofs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Building-Resilience-051320-3.pdf

About the author: Louisa Hart is the director of communications for the Washington-based EPDM Roofing Association (ERA). For more information, visit www.epdmroofs.org.

TEAM

Architect: LaBella Associates, Rochester, New York, www.labellapc.com

Roofing Contractor: RSI Roofing, Inc., Gouverneur, New York, www.rsiroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roofing System: 115-mil FleeceBACK EPDM membrane fully adhered with FASTTM Adhesive, Carlisle SynTec Systems, www.carlislesyntec.com

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design Lives Up to its Name

The Kendeda Building is engineered to produce more energy than it consumes and capture rainwater for collection in an underground cistern for reuse. Photo: Jonathan Hillyer

When the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) decided to design its new building as a “Living Building,” the project team knew they had to be extremely thoughtful in their design choices and building materials selections. The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most ambitious green building program and requires that projects meet 20 rigorous performance requirements throughout the construction process and for a full year after completion. Made possible through a partnership with the Kendeda Fund, the new Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is the first academic and research building in the Southeast to attempt this certification and is designed to use one-third the energy of a comparable building.

With a combination of great insulation, energy-efficient systems, and a rooftop solar array, the 46,800-square-foot Kendeda Building is engineered to actually produce more energy than it consumes. The roof is also designed to capture rainwater for collection into a 50,000-gallon underground cistern where it is filtered for reuse throughout the building, including as drinking water. The building’s roof is also host to a 1,000-square-foot accessible roof deck and a 4,300-square-foot rooftop garden with a honeybee apiary, pollinator garden, and blueberry orchard.

The photovoltaic array is comprised of 913 solar modules covering approximately 15,860 square feet of area, with a total capacity of 330 kW. It forms a floating canopy above the building. The panels will tilt from the horizontal plane by 5 degrees to face south. This slight adjustment increases solar exposure and improves drainage.

Multi-Functional Roof

As you can imagine, a roof with so many functions demands the use of only the most exacting roofing products. The project team chose a 3-inch base layer of non-halogenated polyiso roof insulation to cover nearly the entire roof and approximately 13,000 square feet of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane. GAF supplied the polyiso insulation and 60-mil EverGuard Extreme TPO roof system for the project, and it was installed by Roof Management Inc., headquartered in Norcross, Georgia.

The solar array forms a floating canopy above the building. The panels tilt to increase solar exposure and improve drainage. Photo: Vertical River

The design team also chose to direct rainwater into capture systems by the judicious use of tapered insulation over the flat material, which created the proper rooftop slope and drainage.

Even without this water catchment system, tapered insulation can be a very beneficial design feature for low-slope roofs. Ponding or standing water can add enormous stress to a building’s roof and lead to premature failure of roofing materials if water stands on the roof surface for more than 48 hours. If unaddressed, frequent ponding of water can lead to serious problems such as structural deflections of the roof deck, the growth of bacteria or unwanted vegetation on the roof, and can ultimately cause water intrusion into the building that can be costly to remediate. That the Kendeda Building roof can use this design to also collect water for reuse is an added bonus.

The Living Building Challenge specifies that materials in Living Buildings should avoid the use of certain chemicals. Polyiso insulation products manufactured with non-halogenated flame retardants satisfy this challenge while offering superior performance.

  • Polyiso insulation offers superior performance qualities, including:
  • High R-value per inch compared to other types of insulation of equivalent thicknesses.
  • High moisture resistance.
  • Improved fire resistance.
  • Lightweight boards for easy handling and installation.
  • Blowing agents with zero ozone depletion potential and negligible global warming potential.

Beneath its carefully designed roof, the building holds classrooms, laboratories, offices, an auditorium, and a student commons. But the educational mission of the building extends beyond these learning spaces. The entire project — from its low-waste construction to its low-consumption energy use — offers unique learning opportunities for designers, builders, and building operators, such as how a building’s design can conserve energy and water while mitigating a region’s humidity and potential droughts.

Salvaged Material

The Living Building Challenge is organized into seven performance areas — one of which addresses the materials used on a project. New building projects are required to include one salvaged material per 500 square meters of gross building area, which worked out to 10 salvaged materials for the Kendeda Building. These included the following:

The building’s roof features a 1,000-square-foot accessible roof deck and a 4,300-square-foot rooftop garden. Photo Credit: Justin Chan Photography

· Slate shingles: The project acquired a number of pallets of gray slate shingles when the aging roof of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association was renovated. These singles were used as tile on the walls and floors of showers and restrooms.

· Nail-laminated floor decks: 500 10-by-6-foot nail-laminated floor decks were created from two-by-fours salvaged from movie sets, including those form the show “24” and movie “Rampage,” with support from the Georgia Works training program.

· Heart pine joists: 140-year-old Tech Tower provided heart pine joists that serve as treads for the Kendeda Building’s monumental staircase.

· Lumber from felled trees: George Tech’s ground crew helped by collecting fallen trees across the campus, which were then turned into lumber used to make counters and benches.

· Granite curbs: Atlanta’s old State Archives Building provided granite that was used for curbs in the landscaping.

· Wood boards: A former church in Atlanta was the source of the wood that can be found on some of the decorative wall as well as the lobby’s ramp.

The Living Building was designed by a collaboration between Lord Aeck Sargent and the Miller Hull Partnership, constructed by Skanska, and funded through a $30 million grant from The Kendeda Fund, one of the leading philanthropic investors in civic and environmental programs in the Atlanta area with a commitment to ecological and social causes.

Certification by the Living Building Challenge 3.1 is anticipated in 2021, and the project is also pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification at the Platinum level.

About the author: Justin Koscher is the president of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), a trade association that serves as the voice of the rigid polyisocyanurate insulation industry and a proactive advocate for safe, cost-effective, sustainable and energy-efficient construction. For more information, visit www.polyiso.org.

TEAM

Architects: Lord Aeck Sargent, Atlanta, Georgia, www.lordaecksargent.com; and The Miller Hull Partnership, Seattle, Washington, www.millerhull.com

General Contractor: Skanska USA, Atlanta, Georgia, www.usa.skanska.com

Roofing Contractor: Roof Management Inc., Norcross, Georgia, www.roofmanagementinc.com

MATERIALS

TPO Membrane: EverGuard Extreme 60-mil TPO, GAF, www.GAF.com

Insulation: EnergyGuard Non-halogenated (NH) Polyiso Roof Insulation Board and EnergyGuard NH Tapered Polyiso Roof Insulation, GAF

Vapor Retarder: GAF SA Vapor Retarder, GAF

Insulation Adhesive: OlyBond500 Insulation Adhesive, OMG Roofing Products, www.OMGroofing.com

Cover Board: 1/2-inch DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.buildgp.com

Solar Panels: X-Series X22-360-COM, SunPower, https://us.sunpower.com

Custom-Colored Metal Panels Create Standout Roof for Pennsylvania School

Approximately 18,000 square feet of 22-gauge Tite-Loc Plus panels in a custom finish help emphasize the angled gables topping the new school. Photos: hortonphotoinc.com

Latrobe Elementary School is a state-of-the-art facility featuring two-story classroom wings, a cafeteria with a stage, a full-prep kitchen, gymnasium, media center, science and technology classrooms, band/music rooms, a center for student creativity, administrative offices and support spaces designed to serve nearly 700 students.

Located outside of Pittsburgh in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the school is within easy driving distance of several popular ski areas, and the building’s design, by Monroeville, Pennsylvania-based Axis Architecture, has a bit of a Swiss chalet in its roofline.

More than 18,000 square feet of Petersen’s Tite-Loc Plus roof panels in a distinct, custom Marquis Orange finish help emphasize the angled gables topping the new school. The 22-gauge panels, along with 3,800 square feet of .032 gauge PAC-750 soffit, complement the classic terra cotta-toned brick that clads the upper two-thirds of the school’s façade.

The roof also features low-slope sections where a hot asphalt roof system from The Garland Company was installed.  

Installing the Roof Systems

The roof systems were installed by Pennsylvania Roofing Systems (PRS), headquartered in Bakerstown, Pennsylvania. PRS handles all types of commercial roofing, including slate, tile, hot asphalt, built-up, single-ply and sheet metal.

The new construction project was appealing to the company for several reasons, including the size and the scopes of work that included metal and hot built-up roofing.

Crews from Pennsylvania Roofing Systems installed the metal panels, along with 3,800 square feet of .032 gauge PAC-750 soffit.

Two different crews tackled the metal roofs and flat roofs as the sections were being built by the general contractor, The Foreman Group.

On the low-slope sections, one crew installed the Garland hot asphalt roof system, consisting of insulation, base plies, and Garland’s modified cap sheet. Another crew tackled the metal roof, installing 16-inch-wide PAC-CLAD Tite-Loc Plus panels, which were mechanically seamed.

Pennsylvania Roofing Systems faced quite a challenge on this project as the acoustical deck for approximately half the building was running in the wrong direction. This posed a problem, as attaching the clips for the metal panels would perforate the acoustical deck. PRS came up with a solution to the problem. The company fabricated a 16-gauge hat channel that was installed over the acoustical decking, and the clips were fastened to it.  

The roof panels were rolled on the site. PRS used its own Series 1100 National Crane and a Skytrak to lift material to the roof. Crews also installed 3,800 square feet of .032 gauge PAC-750 soffit.

The Snow Guards

School administrators were concerned about mounting snow on the new metal roof and the safety of schoolchildren down below, so material supplier Brock Associates suggested installing ColorGard snow retention by S-5! The S-5! system is exclusively recommended by both Petersen, the roof manufacturer, and Brock Associates, the panel supplier.

The S-5! ColorGard snow retention system installed on 10 sections of the metal roof perfectly matches the roof color.

Manufactured from certified, high-tensile aluminum and extensively tested for load-to-failure results, ColorGard controls roof snow migration and dramatically reduces the risks associated with rooftop avalanches.

PRS installed the snow retention system on 10 sections of the metal roof. The non-penetrating system was easy to install and perfectly matches the roof color. After the panels are mechanically seamed, the non-penetrating S-5-V Clamps are installed. The ColorGard system features a continuous extruded aluminum crossmember, and strips of prepainted metal are slid into the face of ColorGard to match the roof.

Great Teamwork

The complicated project went smoothly, according to PRS, thanks in part to excellent coordination between the general contractor and various trades. PRS management noted the company selected Petersen’s PAC-CLAD products because of the manufacturer’s excellent local representation, including distributor Brock Associates. Petersen’s reputation for good field support also played a role in this selection.

TEAM

Architect: Axis Architecture, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, www.axisarchitecturepc.com

General Contractor: The Foreman Group, Zelienople, Pennsylvania, www.foremangroup.com

Roofing Contractor: Pennsylvania Roofing Systems, Bakerstown, Pennsylvania

Supplier: Brock Associates, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, www.brock-assoc.com

MATERIALS

Metal Panels: Tite-Loc Plus, PAC-CLAD | Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

Low-Slope Roof System: Three-Ply Mineral Mod Bit System in hot asphalt with two plies Type IV Felt and Stressply FR Mineral, The Garland Company, www.garlandco.com

Snow Retention System: ColorGard, S-5-V Clamps, VersaClip and SnoClip II, S-5! www.s-5.com

New Roof Systems Top University of Minnesota’s Renovated Pioneer Hall

Pioneer Hall was renovated by the University of Minnesota in 2019 at cost of $104 million. Photo: Central Roofing Company

Pioneer Hall is a central fixture on the University of Minnesota campus. Built in 1934, the five-story structure serves as a freshman dormitory and dining hall. The building was almost totally rebuilt as part of a $104 million renovation project in 2019.

A key goal of the project was to keep the distinctive, highly visible brick facades on the four outer wings in place while totally replacing the main section of the building. Work included entirely renovating the interior, replacing all mechanical systems, and installing a new roof.

Working along with McGough Construction, the St. Paul-based general contractor on the project, Minneapolis-based Central Roofing Company installed the new roof systems on the building, which included 47,000 square feet of synthetic slate, as well as built-up roofs, EPDM roofs, and a garden roof.

Central Roofing has been in business since 1929, and the company is a fixture on the University of Minnesota campus. “We do a wide variety of different types of commercial roofs, ranging anywhere from flat to steep to sheet metal roofs,” says Michael Mehring, vice president of commercial sales for Central Roofing. “We also have a metal panel division. There is no system that we cannot do in regard to flat roofs. On steep roofs, we do both tile and shingle as well as sheet metal. In addition to that, we have one of the largest service divisions in the Midwest.”

The building’s 93 dormers posed some detail challenges. The dormer roofs were topped with synthetic slate, and the sides were clad with it as well. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The project involved multiple scopes of work, including the DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic slate on the steep-slope sections, Johns Manville built-up roofs on the main roof and green roof area, as well as sheet metal work, gutters and downspouts. Central Roofing developed a detailed plan to bid on all the scopes of work — and execute everything.

“The project was interesting in the sense that approximately 75 percent of the building was demolition,” notes Mehring. “That included all of the internal parts of the building. The four bays around the perimeter were saved because of historical ramifications. The university wanted to try and keep those four bays because of the distinctive windows and the brick. The middle portion of the structure was pretty much demoed out. So much internal work was needed on the mechanical and electrical systems that they couldn’t save it.”

Synthetic Slate Roof

Central Roofing worked closely with McGough Construction and the project architect, St. Paul-based TDKA Architects, to ensure the new synthetic slate roof system would closely replicate the structure’s original slate roof. According to Henri Germain, project manager/estimator with Central Roofing, the DaVinci Multi-Width Slate product was approved for the project because it so authentically duplicates real slate.

DaVinci Multi-Width Slate in a custom color blend was chosen for the steep-slope sections of the roof.

“We started by making presentations of product options to the project architect,” says Germain. “The architect moved forward with the DaVinci product because of the aesthetics, value, and long-term benefits to the university.”

Selection of a roofing color was also a critical factor. DaVinci created a custom color blend of dark purple, medium brown, dark stone, medium green and dark green for Pioneer Hall. “The capability of DaVinci to develop the custom color blend was amazing,” says Germain. “The roofing colors really complement the dormitory plus other structures on campus.”

Installation Begins

Work began on the steep slope sections with the installation of the synthetic slate system on the brand-new metal deck. “From a scheduling standpoint, the first thing that we did was the tile areas,” Mehring recalls. “In order to maintain the milestones that McGough had, we had to essentially get them watertight within 60 days. To do that, we did the tile work in phases utilizing 15-20 workers every day.”

The men were split into three crews. A crew of six to seven roofers began installing the substrate board and Grace Ice & Water Shield, which served as the vapor barrier. The second crew came in behind the first to install the wood blocking and insulation, which was capped with plywood and covered with Grace Ice & Water Shield and GAF FeltBuster synthetic underlayment.

Crews from Central Roofing Company installed RG 16 Snow Guards from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards.

A third crew of four or five technicians then installed the DaVinci synthetic slate tiles. The product was easy to install, notes Germain, but the numerous details — including some 93 dormers — posed some challenges. Crews also installed RG 16 Snow Guards from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards Inc.

“There were many details, and because of the extreme difficulty in accessing the area after the scaffolding was removed, everything was treated as if it would never be returned to in the lifetime of the roof — not for caulking, not for anything,” Germain says. “The thought was to make sure it was done once and done right.”

As the tile work progressed, the sheet metal crew started installing the gutters. The waterproofing, gutter installation and tile application had to be coordinated carefully to make sure everything was tied in perfectly. “It was a sequencing nightmare,” says Mehring.

Central Roofing crews installed the wood blocking, sheathing and waterproofing in the decorative cornices, which had been recreated out of fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) by another subcontractor. Central Roofing then fabricated and installed the copper internal gutters, as well as the downspouts, which were constructed of pre-finished steel to match the window frames.

On the smaller flat roof areas abutting the steep-slope roof, a 60-mil EPDM system from Johns Manville was installed. These areas were completed as work progressed on each section.

Built-Up Roofs

On the low-slope sections of the main roof, crews applied a four-ply built-up roof system manufactured by Johns Manville. Approximately 31,500 square feet of JM’s 4GIG system was installed and topped with a gravel surface.

Central Roofing’s sheet metal crew installed custom fabricated gutters. The waterproofing, gutter installation and tile application had to be carefully coordinated.

The built-up roof areas were bordered by parapet walls, which were east to tie into, notes Mehring. “What made this project a tad bit easier is that the other scopes of the work — the flat roofs — didn’t have too many sequencing issues with the tile work and the gutters,” he says. “The built-up roofers were on their own and had their own schedule.”

On the 13,000-square-foot area for the green roof, a Johns Manville three-ply system with a modified cap sheet was installed. The green roof features a built-in leak detection system from International Leak Detection (ILD). “The leak detection system is encapsulated between the polyiso and the cover board,” notes Mehring. “We installed a JM modified cap sheet. All of the seams had to be reinforced with their PermaFlash liquid membrane to maintain the warranty because of the green roof.”

Installation Hurdles

Challenges on the project included a tight schedule and difficult weather. “Essentially we had a 40-day schedule to get all of the built-up roofing on,” Mehring says. “The challenge with not only the built-up but the tile as well is that the work started in the late fall and we had to work through the winter. You can imagine the problems with the Minnesota weather.”

Days were lost to rain, snow, cold temperatures and high winds. The green roof system couldn’t be completed until May, near the end of the project, when Central Roofing installed the growing medium and plants. After a drainage layer was installed over the cap sheet, crews applied engineered soils and sedum mats supplied by Hanging Gardens, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Access at the site was also difficult. Central Roofing used its Potain cranes to get materials on and off the roof. “Those self-erecting stick cranes can go 120 feet up in the air and they also have the ability to deliver materials 150 feet from the setup location,” Mehring explains. “That was critical because we only had two locations we could set up: on the south side, in between the opening of the two wings, and on the north side, also in the opening between the wings. We had to have the ability to get material to the middle section and the corners of all four wings, and that was the only way to do it.”

Another logistical challenge was posed by a large tree at the southeast corner of the building — the oldest tree on campus. Great care had to be taken to avoid damaging it. “The tree goes as high as the steep roof, and you had to work right by it,” notes Germain. “While working and using the crane, we couldn’t touch it. The guys were very careful and very conscious of it. Adam Fritchie, the foreman on the project, did a great job communicating with the university and the crews to make sure everyone understood the project goals.”

Safety Plan

As part of the site-specific safety plan, crew members were tied off 100 percent of the time on the steep-slope sections — even with scaffolding in place for the project. The flat roof areas were bordered by parapets, but they were only 2 feet high, so safety railing systems were installed. “We used Raptor Rails all the way around, and when we were installing the railings, we used Raptor carts,” Mehring says. “Our men were fully tied off while installing the railings — and taking them down.”

It was a complicated project, but executing complicated projects with multiple scopes of work is one of the company’s strengths. “Overall, I think we had more than 20,000 hours on this project,” Mehring says. “So, I think that a roofer having the ability to garner 20,000 hours on a project speaks for our ability to finish large and challenging projects within the milestones required — as well as keeping safe protocols and paying the bills. The tile, the copper, the sheet metal, the built-up roofing, the green roofing, the EPDM — all of those were self-performed by our guys.”

“This was such a special project,” Germain says. “Aside from the sheer size, it captures the heart. When we look at the finished structure we’re extremely proud. Our team, which also included Lloyd Carr, Matt Teuffel and Corey Degris, played a big part in re-establishing Pioneer Hall as a key building on the University of Minnesota campus.”

TEAM

Architect: TDKA Architects, St. Paul, Minnesota, www.tkda.com

General Contractor: McGough Construction, St. Paul, Minnesota, www.mcgough.com

Roofing Contractor: Central Roofing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, https://www.centralroofing.com

MATERIALS

Synthetic Slate: DaVinci Multi-Width Slate, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com

Built-Up Roofs: Four-ply 4GIG system and, Johns Manville, www.JM.com

EPDM Roof: 60-mil EPDM, Johns Manville

Vapor Barrier: Grace Ice & Water Shield, GCP Allied Technologies, www.gcpat.com

Underlayment: FeltBuster synthetic underlayment, GAF, www.GAF.com

Leak Detection System: International Leak Detection, https://leak-detection.com

Snow Guards: Rocky Mountain RG 16 Snow Guards, Rocky Mountain Snow Guards Inc., www.rockymountainsnowguards.com

Green Roof: Sedum mats, Hanging Gardens, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, www.hanging-gardens.com

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.

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