Metal Roof and Wall Panels Capture the Spirit of Shakespearean Theater

The Otto M. Budig Theater is the home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. The new theater was designed by GBBN Architects in Cincinnati. Photos: Petersen Aluminum Corp

For many new arenas and theaters, the sheer size and scope of the project can pose the biggest hurdles. At the new Otto M. Budig Theater, home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the problem was the reverse. The intimate theater was shoehorned into an existing space up against an adjacent building, so logistics were tight. But that didn’t mean the roof system couldn’t be striking. Designed by GBBN Architects in Cincinnati, the building’s exterior features daring angles and multi-colored metal roof and wall panels that combine to help capture the spirit of the Shakespearean theater.

Matt Gennett, senior project manager and vice president of Tecta America Zero Company in Cincinnati, oversaw the roofing portion of the new construction project in the Over the Rhine section of Cincinnati on the corner of Elm Street and 12th Street. “This building was plugged in downtown, and they fit everything in real tight,” he says.

Approximately 5,400 square feet of PAC-CLAD 7/8-inch, 24-gauge Corrugated Panels from Petersen Aluminum Corp. were installed on the metal roofs and walls. Tecta America Zero Company installed the metal roof systems, as well as a TPO roof manufactured by Carlisle SynTec over the main structure and mechanical well. Work began in January of 2017 and the roofing portion of the project was wrapped up in late August.

The Metal Roof System

The building features two different metal roof systems. The roof on the Elm Street side is comprised of three intersecting triangle-shaped sections in two colors, Champagne Metallic and Custom Metallic Bronze. “There were several unique angles on the roof,” Gennett explains. “On the top, there was a second metal roof, a shed roof that went down to the 12th Street side.”

The theater’s roof and walls feature approximately 5,400 square feet of PAC-CLAD 7/8-inch Corrugated Panels from Petersen Aluminum Corp. in two colors. The wall panels are perforated. Photos: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

The metal roof systems were installed over a 2-inch layer of polyisocyanurate insulation and a 2-1/2-inch nail base from Hunter Panels, H-Shield NB. The nail base is a composite panel with a closed-cell polyisocyanurate foam core, a fiber-reinforced facer on one side and, in this case, 7⁄16-inch oriented strand board (OSB) on the other. The nail base was topped with Carlisle WIP 300 HT waterproofing underlayment to dry in the roof.

Crews also installed two rows of snow guards on the metal roof using the S-5! CorruBracket. “The snow guard was a little different,” Gennett says. “It was specifically designed for a corrugated roof.”

The TPO Roof System

The main roof and mechanical well were covered with the TPO roof system, which totaled approximately 8,300 square feet. After Carlisle VapAir Seal725 TR self-adhering air and vapor barrier was applied to the metal deck, crews installed two layers of 2-inch iso. Tapered insulation was applied over the top to ensure proper drainage. The insulation was covered with a 1/2-inch sheetrock and the 60-mil TPO was fully adhered.

Two large smoke hatches manufactured by Bilco were installed over the stage area. The ACDSH smoke hatches measured 66 inches by 144 inches, and are designed for theaters, concert halls and other interior applications that require limiting noise intrusion.

The Installation

The initial focus was to get the roof dried in so work could progress inside the building. The jobsite conditions posed a few challenges. The structure abutted an existing building, and the space was tight. The schedule necessitated multiple trips to the site, which can be a budget-buster on a small project. “We had a lot of trips in and out to accommodate the schedule and get everything dried in so they could meet the interior schedule,” notes Gennett. “We were sort of on call. We made three or four trips out to roof this small project, so it took a lot of coordination because it was completed in pieces.”

Crews tackled the TPO roof sections first. The mechanical well section provided several challenges. Changes in the mechanical well layout necessitated moving some curbs and making adjustments to the tapered insulation. “They were trying to get lot of equipment into a small space,” Gennett explains. “We had to make sure we could get the water to the low spots and route it around all of that equipment. That was probably the biggest challenge on the project.”

Staging material was also problematic, as traffic was heavy and parking space was at a premium. Material was loaded by a crane, which had to be set up in the street. “It’s a postage stamp of a site,” says Gennett. “This is a main thoroughfare, and there is a school right across the street. We had to work around school hours, and we couldn’t be working when the busses were coming in. We usually came in after school started, around 8 a.m., to load materials.”

When it came time to load the metal panels, the cramped jobsite actually paid off. “It was very convenient,” Gennett recalls. “We were able to load the panels onto the adjacent roof and just hand them over. We had a nice staging area for cutting, so all in all it wasn’t bad.”

The corrugated panels were installed with matching edge metal. “It’s not a complicated panel to install, and they look really nice,” Gennett notes. “On the Elm Street side, to the right of the valley was one color, and to the left was another, so we had to match the color with our coping. There were some interesting transitions with our metal. We also had to really pay attention to how the siding was being installed so we could match the metal to the siding and follow the transitions from color to color.”

The perforated wall panels were installed by ProCLAD Inc. of Noblesville, Indiana. “Once the walls were done, we came in and did the transition metal,” Gennett says. “We just had to make sure everything lined up perfectly.”

Planning Ahead

Ensuring a safe jobsite was the top priority for Tecta America Zero and Messer Construction, the general contractor on the project. “Both Messer Construction and Tecta America take safety very seriously. That’s why we’re good partners,” Gennett says. “We had PPE, high-visibility clothing, hard hats, safety glasses for the whole project. All of the guys were required to have their OSHA 10. Anyone outside of the safety barriers had to be tied off 100 percent of the time.”

Planning ahead was the key to establishing the safety plan and meeting the schedule while ensuring a top-quality installation. “This job had a lot of in and out, which is tough in the roofing business,” Gennett says. “But we planned ahead, we made sure everything was ready for us when we mobilized, and we did a good job of coordinating with the other trades. It took a lot of meetings and discussions — just good project management.”

Gennett credits the successful installation to a great team effort between everyone involved, including the general contractor, the subcontractors, and the manufacturers. “We pride ourselves on our great, skilled crews and our great field project management,” he says. “Our superintendents are there every day checking the work and making sure the guys have everything they need. Messer Construction is great to work with, and obviously having the manufacturer involved the project and doing their inspections as well helps ensure the quality meets everyone’s standards and holds the warranty.”

The theater is now another exciting venue in the Over the Rhine neighborhood. “It is really cool spot,” Gennett says. “It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s grown in leaps and bounds in the last seven years. There is a ton going on in Cincinnati. It’s just another part of the city that makes it really fun to go downtown.”

TEAM

Architect: GBBN Architects, Cincinnati, Ohio, www.gbbn.com
General Contractor: Messer Construction, Cincinnati, Ohio, www.messer.com
Roofing Contractor: Tecta America Zero Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, www.tectaamerica.com
Wall Panel Installer: ProCLAD Inc., Noblesville, Indiana, www.procladinc.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof:
Roof Panels: PAC-CLAD 7/8-inch Corrugated Panels, Petersen Aluminum Corp., www.pac-clad.com
Wall Panels: PAC-CLAD 7/8-inch Corrugated Panels, Petersen Aluminum Corp.
Nail Base: H-Shield NB, Hunter Panels, www.HunterPanels.com
Snow Guards: CorruBracket, S-5!, www.S-5.com
Waterproofing Underlayment: Carlisle WIP 300 HT, Carlisle SynTec, www.CarlisleSyntec.com

TPO Roof:
Membrane: 60-mil grey TPO, Carlisle SynTec
Waterproofing Underlayment: Carlisle WIP 300 HT, Carlisle SynTec
Smoke Hatches: ACDSH Acoustical Smoke Hatch, The Bilco Co., www.Bilco.com

North Carolina Legislative Building Restoration Poses Unique Challenges

The North Carolina State Legislative Building was the site of a renovation project that included asbestos abatement in the interior and a complete restoration of the building’s roof systems.

The North Carolina State Legislative Building was the site of a renovation project that included asbestos abatement in the interior and a complete restoration of the building’s roof systems. Photos: SkySite Images

Some of the variables that can make a project difficult include a variety of complex, interconnected systems, unique design elements, and a tight schedule. These challenges are heightened on a highly visible, historic building, where the goal of keeping the design historically accurate must be balanced with making improvements to the structure and functionality of the systems. All of these elements and more were in play during the restoration of the one-of-a-kind roof on the North Carolina State Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina. It took a talented team of design, engineering, and roofing professionals to bring the project to a successful conclusion.

Originally designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, the building has been the home of the state legislature since 1963, but water intrusion under its copper pyramids and at windows and doors on the promenade level precipitated a complete restoration project. Renovation work conducted in 2016 and 2017 included asbestos abatement in the interior and a complete restoration of the building’s roof systems.

The roofing phase of the project included removing and replacing the metal roof systems on the five copper-clad pyramids, as well as re-roofing the low-slope sections adjacent to the pyramids with a two-ply modified bitumen system. A liquid-applied waterproofing system was installed in the planter areas and under the pavers in the promenade section. The project also involved the removal and replacement of windows, doors, and skylights, as well as repairing and coating the concrete surfaces at the perimeter of the roof.

The design of the quilted flat lock copper panel system involved 17 different panel profiles. A false batten was added after the panels were in place.

The design of the quilted flat lock copper panel system involved 17 different panel profiles. A false batten was added after the panels were in place. Photos: SkySite Images

Companies involved in the project included Raymond Engineering, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, which provided engineering and architectural services; Owens Roofing Inc., also located in Raleigh, which served as the general contractor on the roofing phase of the project and installed the low-slope systems; and The Century Slate Company, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, which removed and replaced the copper roofs on the five pyramids.

Some of the key players in the project shared their insights with Roofing, including John Willers, a senior engineer with Raymond Engineering; Bert Owens, president of Owens Roofing; and Mike Tenoever, president of Century Slate.

“This is an iconic state building with a unique roof system which the owner and designer required to be aesthetically replicated,” Tenoever notes. “At the same time, some functionality and technical improvements were incorporated. This is a very high-profile project with a lot of complexity, particularly given the schedule. There were a lot of details compressed into a very short period of time.”

Design and Pre-Construction

Raymond Engineering conducted testing on the existing roofs and specified systems designed to match the originals and provide some necessary improvements, including added insulation and ventilation under the pyramids. Willers worked closely with Jason Mobraten, the senior architect on the project. “We provided the engineering and architectural services, beginning with design and then assisting with bidding and managing the construction phase of this project,” says Willers. “We engineered the copper roof, all of the detailing for the modified asphalt roof, and the detailing for the drainage, the pavers, and the sealants for the promenade.”

Crews from Owens Roofing removed the existing plants, media and drainage system from four 42-foot-by-42-foot fixed planters with skylights. After the substrate was cleaned and primed, a liquid-applied waterproofing system was installed.

Crews from Owens Roofing removed the existing plants, media and drainage system from four 42-foot-by-42-foot fixed planters with skylights. After the substrate was cleaned and primed, a liquid-applied waterproofing system was installed. Photos: SkySite Images

The schedule was an obvious challenge, as the majority of the work had to be completed while the legislature was in recess, and there were substantial financial penalties that would come into play if the work was not completed on time. “The client also required that the asbestos abatement be completed before re-roofing the copper-clad pyramids to avoid the risk of dislodging the asbestos-containing textured ceiling finish. However, doing the work in two phases allowed the asbestos contractor to get started while the rest of the job was designed and bid,” Willers states.

The building houses legislators’ offices, and it was open and occupied during construction, with the exception of the areas undergoing asbestos abatement. The schedule had to be carefully adjusted as the job progressed. “In addition to our role in monitoring the technical aspects of the construction, we closely monitored the construction phasing and sequencing, as it was directly driven by the schedule of the state legislature,” Willers notes. “We had to take a lot of care in developing the schedule and monitoring it.”

Willers and Mobraten knew that the details on this project would be crucial. “There were previously some issues where the copper and the low-slope membrane roofs met,” Willers says. “We detailed that very carefully so that we had redundancy in keeping that watertight.”

Extensive mock-ups of the copper pyramids were constructed and tested to ensure the quilted pattern could be exactly replicated while avoiding the leaks that plagued the existing structure.

Photos: SkySite Images

Photos: SkySite Images

As designers looked for ways to improve construction, they explored the design and construction of the quilted panels. “From a design standpoint, we wondered why we had this odd diamond-shaped pattern,” Willers recalls. “After we played with the dimensions a bit, we realized that if you fly over the building, from above all of those diamond sections look like squares.”

The key was to replicate the design with its false battens while avoiding leaks. “We were concerned about how to detail out the joining of the copper sheets that formed the diamond-shaped panels,” Willers says. “What had been done was susceptible to windblown rain getting in. We did two things differently: the little clips that supported these battens were secured by forming the clips with hooks that would be integral with the single-locked seams and soldering the clips to the top surface of the copper panels. Previously they were held in place by pop rivets, which went through the copper.”

The Secrets of the Pyramids

Century Slate was well prepared to tackle the copper roofing on the project. The company has been in business more than 20 years, and it specializes in historic restoration projects including slate, tile, wood, copper and other historical metals.

Crews from Century Slate removed the existing copper panels. The copper was salvaged and recycled.

Crews from Century Slate removed the existing copper panels. The copper was salvaged and recycled. Photos: SkySite Images

Tenoever knew the design of the original quilted flat lock copper panel system needed to be replicated exactly. “There were 17 different panel profiles, each within a very particular location within the roof’s quilted pattern,” Tenoever notes. “Proper placement of each different profile was essential to the whole system working correctly and looking like the original.”

The first step was to remove the existing copper roofs. “We tore off the entire system down to the deck,” Tenoever explains. “We then installed a semi permeable a vapor barrier, insulation, and a vapor retarder.”

Along with added insulation and Carlisle WIP 300HT self-adhering underlayment, crews also installed a vented nail base from Hunter Panels. “The Hunter Cool-Vent is a vented nail base that gets screwed down,” Tenoever says. “The goal was to have a breathable air cavity. All of the hip caps are actually vented to allow the air to get out.”

With the addition of the insulation and nail base, the roof was built up approximately 6 inches from the previous configuration. This added height necessitated changes in the custom flashing at the base of the pyramids but did not change the configuration of the copper panels.

In all, 22,500 square feet of copper panels fabricated by K&M Sheet Metal in Durham were installed. Each of the 17 different panels was labeled with a letter code. “When they were out at the site, we could just grab an A panel or a B panel, as needed, and bring them to that layout,” Tenoever explains. “Four of the pyramids were the same, and the center one was different, as that was the one that had skylights built into it.”

The areas between the pyramids were covered with a two-ply modified bitumen roofing system. Photos: SkySite Images

The panels feature flat-lock clips that were screwed down to the nail base. “It’s a typical flat seam panel system, and the panels interlock together,” says Tenoever. “You can see the batten panel above it, which is an aesthetic feature. The battens and the clips that held them were amazingly intricate, for what they were. They were cut out with a CNC machine and soldered onto the copper panels prior to installation. Later we came back and installed the batten system over the top.”

Century Slate built new curbs in the center pyramid for the new skylights, which were manufactured by Wasco. “The skylights were one of the last things to go on,” says Tenoever. “They were custom made because even though they look square, there isn’t a square angle on them.”

Custom copper flashings were installed at the bases. “One of the trickier parts for us probably would have been the tie-in of the modified roof, because Owens Roofing had to do their bit, and we were also replacing all of the wood blocking and everything all along the bottom edge before we could put our flashing on,” Tenoever recalls. “It took a lot of coordination between the two trades, but it all worked out.”

The Low-Slope Roof Systems

Owens Roofing served as the general contractor on the project and installed the low-slope roof systems. The company was established in 1986 in Raleigh, and focuses on commercial and institutional buildings, almost exclusively re-roofing. Much of its work is on historic buildings, so Owens was confident he could execute the project and complete it on schedule.

A scaffolding system offered secure roof access, but material had to be loaded and removed from one access point, so logistics had to be carefully mapped out.

A scaffolding system offered secure roof access, but material had to be loaded and removed from one access point, so logistics had to be carefully mapped out. Photos: SkySite Images

Crews from Owens Roofing installed 18,900 square feet of modified bitumen roofing from Soprema over concrete decks, including the areas between the pyramids. Tapered polyiso and half-inch DEXcell cover board from National Gypsum were installed using Duotack adhesive, followed by the two plies of modified bitumen membrane.

A liquid waterproofing system from Sika was specified for the large planter areas. Crews from Owens Roofing removed the existing plants, media and drainage system from four 42-foot-by-42-foot fixed planters with skylights. After the substrate had been cleaned and primed, the Sika RoofPro system was installed.

“Once it’s cleaned and primed, it’s pretty simple,” says Owens. “The product is one part, and you don’t even have to mix it. We applied it with rollers on this project. You embed fabric sheets in the system and then topcoat it. It was a cold-weather job, but fortunately we caught a break last winter in that it wasn’t as cold as usual, and we didn’t miss as much time as we might have.”

The 30,000-square-foot promenade section was originally covered by white granite pavers native to North Carolina. The old pavers were removed and replaced over a new roof system, which was comprised of modified bitumen sheets beneath the liquid-applied waterproofing system. “The concrete deck was primed and a modified bitumen base ply heat welded to the deck,” Owens explains. “This surface was primed in preparation for the Roof Pro system, which was then installed.”

Innovative Roof Services of Raleigh was called in to conduct a high-voltage electrical testing to ensure there were no voids in the system before the pavers were re-installed. The pavers had originally been set in a bed of mortar, and they had to be removed and cleaned, which revealed a problem. “When we took the pavers up, we found out that they ranged between 1-1/8 and 1-3/4 inches thick,” Owens notes. “That wasn’t a problem when they were set in a bed of mortar, but over extruded polystyrene, they would have been all up and down. We put in a change order and had the pavers set in a bed of sand on top of one layer polystyrene.” The sand was adjusted by hand to ensure the pavers were level. New pavers were added to replace those broken over the years.

On the roof’s concrete eyebrows, damaged areas of concrete were repaired, joints were sealed, and a cold-applied waterproofing system from Sika Sarnafil was used to cover 8,800 square feet of concrete.

Numerous Challenges

Important considerations on the project included safety and logistics, as well as the tight schedule. Safety was paramount, and a third-party safety monitor was on the site to ensure the safety plan was designed and executed properly. During the time between when the original skylights were removed and when their replacements installed, the voids in the roof deck needed to be cordoned off and covered according to OSHA regulations. Personal fall arrest systems were used on the pyramids and outside of the safety perimeter, which was marked with flags. “With the promenade, you had a wide concrete eyebrow, so it made it easier to set up the safety lines and keep everyone safely away from the edge,” Owens notes.

This aerial photo taken before the restoration project shows the copper roofs with their green patina. Photos: SkySite Images

“Safety is a key concern as on all jobs, but this one in particular was highly visible out the windows of the nearby Department of Labor,” Owens continues. “We were paid a courtesy visit and agreed with them that an on-site safety meeting conducted by their personnel might be useful. The owner allowed us use of one of their auditoriums and we had a very productive half-day meeting for all trades. Every week we had a meeting with a state construction monitor.”

A scaffolding system was set up that offered secure roof access, but there was only one point for loading and unloading material, so logistics at the site were a concern. “We had to use wheelbarrows and roof carts to transport materials back and forth to the scaffolding tower,” Tenoever notes. “Between the removal of the original roof and the installation of the multiple layers of the new roof system, over 150,000 square feet of roofing materials were moved by hand over an average distance of approximately 200 feet.”

Loading and unloading added another wrinkle to the complicated schedule. “The schedule was based on when the legislature was scheduled to come back to town—not how long the job was supposed to take,” Owens says. “We were all concerned with the ambitious time frame and $1,000 a day liquidated damages included with this job.”

Willers cited excellent communication as one of the keys to completing the project on time. “Fortunately, the project managers for the general contractor and other trades were highly organized individuals,” Willers says. “Regular site meetings were detailed and thorough. Although setbacks did occur, communication kept the ball rolling.”

The roof system on the building’s iconic copper clad pyramids was removed and carefully recreated, matching the original design while adding a vented cavity and increasing the thermal insulation. Photos: SkySite Images

A Unique Experience

Copper removed from the existing roof was salvaged and recycled, notes Willers, with the exception of a few pieces that

were cut into the shape of the state of North Carolina to serve as mementos of the unique project. “We’re very proud of the design and the outcome—and the assistance we got from all of the contractors involved,” Willers says. “We had some pretty heavy rains after the project was completed, including some high winds, and there were no leaks.”

Tenoever also looks back on the project with pride. “A one-of-a-kind roof system was custom built and delivered on schedule and with the owner and designer’s praises,” he says. “Taking something so amazing and restoring it to the beauty it originally had—we all get a kick out of that.”

TEAM

Design and Engineering Services: Raymond Engineering, Raleigh, North Carolina, RaymondLLC.com
General Contractor: Owens Roofing Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina
Metal Roofing Contractor: The Century Slate Company, Durham, North Carolina, CenturySlate.com
Leak Testing: Innovative Roof Services, LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina, IRS-LLC.net

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System
Copper: 20-ounce copper sheet metal
Vented Nail Base: Hunter Cool-Vent, Hunter Panels, HunterPanels.com
Underlayment: Carlisle WIP 300HT, Carlisle, Carlislewipproducts.com
Skylights: Wasco Skylights, Wascoskylights.com

Modified Bitumen Membrane Roof System

Membrane: Sopralene Flam 180 and Sopralene Flam 180 FR GR, Soprema, Soprema.us
Adhesive: Duotack, Soprema
Insulation: Sopra-Iso, Soprema
Cover Board: DEXcell, National Gypsum, NationalGypsum.com

Waterproofing System

Liquid Applied Membrane: RoofPro 641, Sika Corp., USA.Sika.com
Reinforcing Fabric: Reemat, Sika Corp.
Primer: Sikalastic EP Primer/Sealer
Extruded Polystyrene Insulation: Foamular 604, Owens Corning, OwensCorning.com

Polyiso Sump Panel Arrives Ready to Install

Hunter Panels Target SumpTo provide contractors with a faster and easier way to create roof sumps, Hunter Panels introduces its new 4-foot-by-4-foot Target Sump. The polyiso insulation panel is ideal for low-slope applications, ships flat, arrives ready to install and increases the slope around drains to ensure water will flow to the drain instead of ponding.

According to the manufacturer, the Target Sump’s coated glass (CG) facer provides improved dimensional stability, fire performance, resistance to mold growth and is compatible with all major roofing membranes and application techniques.

The new product is Hunter’s second sump panel, extending options beyond the company’s 8-foot-by-8-foot hinged target sump. Both sumps are factory assembled and pre-cut for easy installation. According to the company, they install much faster than cutting insulation on the job site, and eliminate waste, which reduces dumpster fees.

“At Hunter we do whatever it takes to serve our customers,” said Jason Greenleaf, technical & tapered design services manager for Hunter Panels. “Customers asked for a 4-foot-by-4-foot sump option, and we delivered with an innovative product that helps make installation easier, and projects more profitable.”

SOPREMA Joins the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association announced that SOPREMA has joined the group as a manufacturing member.

“The addition of SOPREMA to the polyiso industry and the PIMA family reflects the continuing growth of polyiso as North America’s insulation product of choice,” says Jared Blum, president PIMA. “SOPREMA’s construction industry leadership role is well acknowledged, and the PIMA Board of Directors looks forward to the active involvement of the company.”

SOPREMA joins PIMA’s six manufacturing members: Atlas Roofing, Firestone Building Products, GAF, Hunter Panels, Johns Manville and Rmax.

SOPREMA is an international manufacturer specializing in the development and production of innovative products for waterproofing, insulation, soundproofing and vegetated solutions for the roofing, building envelope and civil engineering sectors. Founded in 1908 in Strasbourg, France, SOPREMA now operates in more than 90 countries.

With its first polyisocyanurate insulation plant in North America, SOPREMA will expand its presence in the construction market by offering complete roofing solutions to its clients, while managing all production phases.

“SOPREMA is proud to join PIMA and contribute to the energy performance of buildings and the reduction of greenhouse gases as a manufacturer of high-performance insulation boards,” says Richard Voyer, executive vice president and CEO of SOPREMA North America.

Polyiso Insulation to Be Used in Innovative Apartment Complex for the Homeless

Polyiso roof insulation will be used in an innovative apartment building project that combines state-of-the-art environmental features with affordable rents for homeless families. The polyiso insulation, donated by the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Associations (PIMA), Hunter Panels and Atlas Roofing Co., will be used in the Transitional Housing Corp.’s Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Commons (Weinberg Commons).

The Washington, D.C., Weinberg Commons will reclaim three blighted buildings in Southeast D.C., using Passive House architectural principles that reduce the carbon footprint and the utility costs for low-income tenants.

When finished in mid-2015, the apartments will provide 36 low and moderate income families including 12 homeless or formerly homeless families with below-market rents, employment services and other support for youth and families. One-third of the units will be reserved for families with more intensive needs.

“Our goal is sustainability, not just in the environmental sense, but in an economic sense to keep these families in a stable, supportive situation,: said Polly Donaldson, executive director of the Transitional Housing Corporation, a D.C.-based nonprofit that functions as the co-developer, landlord and service provider on this project.

Generally considered the most stringent energy standard in the world, Passive House building is an innovative approach to net-zero building. Instead of relying on active energy reduction systems with high installation costs, Passive House buildings concentrate on energy use reduction. Passive House buildings work with natural systems to manage heat gain and loss, saving up to 90% of utility costs. In fact, the U.S. DOE recognizes the Passive House approach as the most efficient means of achieving net-zero building operations

“It is a privilege for our members to be part of a project that addresses both homelessness and sustainable housing,” said Jared Blum, President, PIMA. “Polyiso insulation is known for it high thermal performance and will be a key contributor for this net-zero building that is extremely insulated, heated by passive solar gains and requires ultra-low energy for space heating or cooling.”

The groundbreaking ceremony for Weinberg Commons was held in October and attended by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray.