Asphalt Roofing Products Provide a Historic Mansion with Modern Performance Without Sacrificing its Classic Curb Appeal

Historic renovations can pose many challenges to roofing contractors. But when done correctly, a renovation on a classic home maintains the structure’s unique style, provides modern performance and even helps to preserve the rich history of an area. This kind of challenge was presented to Highland, Md.-based Certified Inc. when the roofing company was called upon to install a new roof on a historic mansion in Laurel, Md. By choosing the right roofing materials and utilizing proper techniques, the contractor was able to successfully preserve the home’s Victorian appearance and character using today’s safer, more affordable and reliable products, while also meeting the requirements of the local Historic District Commission.

Formerly known as the Phelps mansion, this Victorian-style house was built in 1888.

Formerly known as the Phelps mansion, this Victorian-style house was built in 1888.

A STORIED PAST

Formerly known as the Phelps mansion, this Victorian-style house was built in 1888. The mansion was the home of Edward Phelps, who served as the first mayor of Laurel. Throughout his seven terms in office, Phelps modernized the rural community by overseeing the addition of electric street lights; brick-paved roads; a telephone system; and a railroad that connected Laurel to Washington, D.C.

Jim Lessig, Certified’s project manager, was immediately drawn to the project when it was referred to him by a previous customer. “I was very interested in the project due to the historic nature and elaborate architecture of the home,” he says. “It wasn’t the largest project of the year for us, but definitely the most interesting and intricate.”

The Phelps mansion is located in the Historic District of Laurel, an area that is part of the original town. In the 1970s, a Historic District Commission was established to ensure the preservation of homes and businesses and keep the area’s small-town charm. When it came time to install a new roof on the mansion in June 2013, the homeowners worked with the commission to receive approval on building materials and roofing techniques based on a set of guidelines drafted by the organization.

Sunny Pritchard, coordinator for the Historic District Commission, describes the mansion as a magnificent old home that “sits on a sweeping piece of land and looks grand and proud with its high roof lines, gables and big open porches.” To Pritchard and the rest of the commission, it was imperative that the roof retained the home’s noble, Victorian look.

AN INTRICATE ROOF

Certified was faced with a historic challenge: How could it imitate the look of the home’s original slate roof while providing the safety and durability of today’s products? The answer came in the form of asphalt shingles, which were selected for the renovation and were approved by the historic commission.

The roofing contractor chose asphalt shingles because they were able to mimic the historic look of the original slate tiles while providing modern performance and reliability.

The roofing contractor chose asphalt shingles because they were able to mimic the historic look of the original slate tiles while providing modern performance and reliability.

“We chose to use asphalt shingles because they were able to mimic the historic look of the original slate tiles while providing modern performance and reliability,” Lessig notes. “The commission approved the shingle because in their view it gave an authentic slate look that maintained the house’s turnof- the century appearance.”

The chosen shingles are individually colored using precision color technology which allows a roof to maintain the color, contrast and authentic look of natural slate. Natural slate is expensive and takes a specialized labor force to install because the process is an art form. Natural slate can also be a heavy product and breakage can occur when you install it. Asphalt shingles provided a great value for the project, while mimicking the look and tone of slate from the curb.

Contractors used a combination of low- and steep-slope materials on the roof, and added built-in copper gutters to really make it stand out. The end result was a roof that is beautiful and durable. The home retains its ability to transport passersby back into a time of horse-drawn carriages, top hats and hoop skirts.

A CELEBRATED PRESENT

Since the installation, the Phelps mansion’s new roof has gained national attention. In February, the historic home received one of the asphalt roofing industry’s top honors—the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) Bronze Award. The annual QARC awards program is run by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Washington, D.C., and recognizes roofing projects that demonstrate the beauty, durability, reliability and affordability of asphalt-based roofing products.

the historic home received one of the asphalt roofing industry’s top honors—the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) Bronze Award.

The historic home received one of the asphalt roofing industry’s top honors—the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award recognized the contractor’s choice of an asphalt roofing product that was easy to work with and provided a safe working environment while successfully replicating the 19th century look and feel of the home.

Because of Certified’s excellent work and the unique products used for the project, this historic mansion will continue to represent the image of the original Laurel district and help preserve the area’s history for many more years to come.

“I would have loved to be one of the preserved boards in this house so I could have recorded the happenings throughout the years,” Pritchard notes. “That is what old homes have, a history of happenings, and if you let the roofs and boards decay and rot and eventually fall down, all of that history goes with it. We want to preserve both—the boards and the history.”

ROOF MATERIALS
Highland Slate shingles: CertainTeed Corp.

Learn More about Asphalt Shingles
To learn about the color process and how asphalt shingles are made, check out this video from the Washington, D.C.-based Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

Learn about ARMA and the QARC awards program.

PHOTOS: EMERY PHOTOGRAPHY

Work Smart, Not Hard

My friend Bart was raised with the motto, “work smart, not hard.” When he was a teenager, Bart’s dad asked him to clean out a large cattle barn while his parents went away for a long weekend. Bart realized he would not be able to clean the barn himself with only a pitchfork in three days time. So he hired his family’s neighbor who had a skid loader to do the chore for him. When his father returned, Bart said his dad was proud (and surprised) he had accomplished the task. While bragging around town about what a good worker his son was, Bart’s dad learned from the neighbor that Bart had not cleaned out the barn himself. His dad returned home angry with him, but Bart reminded him that he had taught him to “work smart, not hard”. Bart explained he cleaned the barn using his brain instead of his back. His father couldn’t argue, and Bart carries this life lesson with him. He says he finds ways to work smarter every day.

As a roofing worker, the motto “work smart, not hard” seems easier said than done. Every day is physically demanding and consists of climbing, heavy-lifting and lots of bending. But there are ways roofers can work smarter, and Mark Carpenter, president of Tualatin, Ore.-based Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal, shares a few of his company’s techniques in our “Safety” column.

Carpenter notes safety is his roofing contracting company’s No. 1 priority and, as such, he strives to keep his workers healthy and safe. Among his tactics is a program called “Save A Back” in which his employees are taught how to prevent back injuries through specific lifting methods and education. In addition, Carpenter’s foremen lead crews every morning in “Stretch and Flex” activities, which further help prevent on-the-job injuries.

I think Carpenter’s proactive approach to protecting his workers’ health helps them to work smart, not hard. After all, back injuries are difficult to cure and are expensive. Consider the following:

    ▪▪ More than 1 million workers suffer back injuries each year. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, D.C.)

    ▪▪ Back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

    ▪▪ One-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

    ▪▪ Thirteen percent of back injuries last two years or longer. (Source: National Council on Compensation Insurance, Boca Raton, Fla.)

    ▪▪ The average total cost of a back injury exceeds $24,000. (Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association)

As Carpenter states in his article, “You are never ‘money ahead’ making sacrifices related to safety. … The value of sending home employees and customers to their families in a healthy way—every day—is priceless.”

CentiMark Corp. Has a Culture of Giving

Although roofing is Canonsburg, Pa.-based CentiMark Corp.’s business, giving back to the community is the company’s commitment. Dedicated to helping people in need, CentiMark offers volunteer or financial support to hundreds of charities across North America that serve the hungry, homeless, at-risk children and families, domestic-violence victims, veterans and senior citizens.

CentiMark corporate associates deliver Back-to-School, Christmas, and Easter food and gifts to families in need and non-profit organizations.

CentiMark corporate associates deliver Back-to-School, Christmas, and Easter food and gifts to families in need and non-profit organizations.

Edward B. Dunlap, founder, chairman and CEO of the 46-year-old roofing company, leads by example in business and philanthropy. Since the early days of the company, Dunlap supported those in need in his community and encouraged volunteerism from his associates. “Giving back to the community has not shaped the CentiMark culture; it is the CentiMark culture,” says Timothy M. Dunlap, CentiMark’s president and chief operating officer. “The culture of giving back and volunteering has been ingrained in us for years. Now, as our company grows, we have more resources to help people.”

For example, in July 2014, 60 of CentiMark’s 80 offices throughout North America held food drives and made financial donations to food banks in their respective communities as part of National Roofing Week, sponsored by NRCA. They did the same thing last Thanksgiving, and they will do it again this Thanksgiving.

As part of their regular Friday routine, CentiMark corporate associates take turns delivering Meals on Wheels, a program near and dear to the heart of Edward Dunlap. “We are committed to the senior citizens in our community who need our help,” he states. Last summer, in the middle of a heat wave in western Pennsylvania, Dunlap instructed his associates to purchase and install air conditioners and fans in the homes of the seniors on the Meals on Wheels route who did not have the cooling appliances.

The company especially is committed to children and families. CentiMark associates teach Junior Achievement and host field trips at their corporate offices to show students how a business works. CentiMark Foundation Executive Director John Rudzik continues to teach Junior Achievement after 35 years. He remembers, “Even when I was a busy CFO and thought I didn’t have time to teach, Ed Dunlap told me I did have the time.” In addition, CentiMark associates regularly stuff backpacks for Blessings in a Backpack programs to provide meals for children on the weekends.

CentiMark participates in "Take Our Kids to Work Day".

CentiMark participates in “Take Our Kids to Work Day” to teach kids about how a business works.

Each year, CentiMark corporate associates deliver Back-to-School, Christmas, and Easter food and gifts to families in need and non-profit organizations. “When you give a child a book bag, school supplies, school clothes and shoes, you not only make their
day, but you reinforce the importance of education,” Edward Dunlap notes. “Plus the peer pressure is so great for children who do not have the latest book bag or school shoes. We try to help the parents who cannot afford all the back-to-school or holiday items.”

“Our non-profit partners tell us: ‘This was the first Easter basket that this child has received’, ” Rudzik adds. “Parents tell us: ‘There would not have been Christmas at our house without your help’. ”

“At CentiMark, we walk, run, bike and golf for charity; we teach school students; we deliver meals; we shop for winter coats; we place Christmas wreaths on veterans’ graves; we support people in need; and we give of our time,” Tim Dunlap says. “We take great pride in our success as a roofing company because our success enables us to increase our charitable and volunteer endeavors.”

A Bermuda-style Roof Composed of Aluminum Includes Intricate Hips, Ridges, Vents and Gutters

Sometimes the most interesting roofing jobs don’t start out as planned. That was the case for Iain Fergusson, owner of Highland Roofing Co., Wilmington, N.C., when he bid on an asphalt shingle reroof for an 11,000-square-foot ranch-style home located along a coastal creek in Wilmington.

Initially bid as an asphalt-shingle reroof, this 11,000-square-foot ranch-style home located along a coastal creek in Wilmington, N.C., features an aluminum Bermuda-style roof. PHOTO: Chris Fisher

Initially bid as an asphalt-shingle reroof, this 11,000-square-foot ranch-style home located along a coastal creek in Wilmington, N.C., features an aluminum Bermuda-style roof. PHOTO: Chris Fisher

After he submitted his bid, the architect, Michael Kersting of Michael Ross Kersting Architecture, Wilmington, asked for an option for standing-seam metal roofing, which is the specialty with which Fergusson established Highland Roofing in October 2005. Although Fergusson was confident about his crew’s ability to install an exceptional metal roof, he became a little nervous when the next request came from the architect.

“We were asked to price out an option for Bermuda-style metal roofing,” he recalls. “Of course I knew what a Bermuda roof was but I had no experience with it; you don’t get much opportunity to do that here.” However, Fergusson put the price together and won the job.

On the island of Bermuda, roofs are constructed of rectangular slabs of local limestone that are mortared together in a stepped pattern over a hip roof frame. The distinctive beauty of these roofs has begun to enter the U.S. though traditional stick-frame housing doesn’t lend itself to heavy limestone. The Wilmington residence consists of a wood-framed roof and brick veneer walls that would not support the weight of limestone, so Kersting opted for metal—specifically aluminum, ensuring the roof would be fully warranted in the coastal environment.

Once the team began moving forward with the Bermuda-style roof, a final set of plans made Fergusson even more anxious. “The plans had all kinds of details that came out of left field—built-in gutters and EPDM sections of the roof,” he says. “The big curve was that the architect wanted to make a feature out of the hips and ridges, because traditional Bermuda-style roofing is wrapped seamlessly around the hips and looks really neat and clean. Kersting knew that it wouldn’t be possible with sheet metal; it would have to be cut and mitered on the corners, so he had the idea of putting raised 2 by 4s on all the hips and ridges and having us wrap that.”

These details are what make this home’s roof impressive and where most of the work came in for Fergusson, who acted as project manager, and his team, which consisted of Roofing Superintendent Richard Hill, Sheetmetal Fabricator Michael Mai and a four-man install crew led by Foreman Marvin Mungia. After considering different panel sizes to ensure oil canning would be avoided, Kersting and Fergusson settled on 0.032 aluminum in 12-inch panels, and Fergusson’s crew was ready to put its skills to the test.

The architect wanted to make a feature out of the hips and ridges; traditional Bermuda-style roofing is wrapped seamlessly around the hips.

The architect wanted to make a feature out of the hips and ridges; traditional Bermuda-style roofing is wrapped seamlessly around the hips.

PROFILES IN COMMUNICATION

Although Fergusson established Highland Roofing in 2005 with a focus only on residential metal roofing, he expanded into all types of steep-slope products within the first couple years. In 2009, Fergusson began moving into the commercial roofing market; today, 70 percent of his revenues are commercial. In the residential sector he has a good mix of reroofing and custom new construction. It’s the custom side that Fergusson takes most pleasure in. “I really enjoy custom residential so much because it’s challenging and so different and it’s generally the most aesthetically appealing project we get to do,” he says.

Because of the firm’s focus on custom work, Fergusson’s crew already was proficient in good communication with each other. But the complexities of the Wilmington job would put Fergusson in direct communication with Kersting, which is unusual. “A lot of times the architect is insulated from the roofing contractor by the GC on the job,” Fergusson explains. “Communicating directly with the architect was a good thing. We could explain which of his ideas would and wouldn’t work.” In addition, Fergusson brought roofing samples to Kersting’s office where they were tweaked before 1-square mockups were tested onsite to see how the installation would be completed along the hip.

Photos: Chris Fisher, unless otherwise noted

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Construction Writing

I recently reconnected with an old friend. We’d been in touch via social media but we hadn’t had a chance to actually sit down in the same room and catch up for many years. As we were talking about our careers, she asked me whether I like writing about construction. I actually am asked this question quite often, and I always admit construction wasn’t what I had imagined myself writing about when I dreamt about a career in writing. However, I am always quick to say how much I love it. There are a couple reasons why:

First, I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world and hoped my career would allow me to give back to others. Construction writing does that. With each issue of the magazine and e-newsletter and post on the website, I am able to share innovative ideas that make buildings more energy efficient, help contractors find new ways of doing things and promote products that make everyone’s lives easier. I especially love when I hear someone completed one of his or her projects differently because of something that appeared in the magazine. For example, when Iain Fergusson, owner of Highland Roofing Co., Wilmington, N.C., first reached out to tell me about the Bermuda-style roofing project that became this issue’s cover story he shared the following with me:

    “You ran a series of articles a year or two back covering all aspects and types of metal roofing, including a section about traditional lead roofing. I had a custom builder at the time who wanted to use ‘something different’ than copper for 3,000 square feet of porches and dormers on a custom home. Having just read the article, I suggested lead and he liked it. We have just finished installing the 24-inch-wide flat lock and soldered lead panels. It’s very cool and different!”

Those of us who work on Roofing may not always know when an idea that appeared in the magazine is constructed somewhere in the country but I can tell you when we do hear about it, it makes for a very gratifying day!

Secondly, I have made a number of very special friends in this industry. I’ll admit I was a little intimidated when I attended my first construction trade shows and industry meetings many years ago. I assumed I was entering a “good ol’ boys club” where women weren’t readily welcomed. I was completely wrong. Everything I have learned about installing a roof, I’ve learned from industry professionals. I feel extremely lucky to work in an industry in which I look forward to trade shows and meetings because I know I’m going to see friends from all over the country. In fact, I’m excited about METALCON, which takes place Oct. 1-3 in Denver. Please say hello if you see my colleagues and me on the show floor.

Construction writing has been an extremely fulfilling career path. If given the choice again, I can’t think of anything I’d want to write about more.

Corrugated Metal Applied in Unusual Ways Brings a 1918 Building into the 21st Century, and a TPO Roof Protects Its Icon Status

Dorchester is Boston’s largest neighborhood and one of its most diverse. In July 2013, the Four Corners commuter rail station opened in the Mount Bowdoin section of the neighborhood, setting in motion plans to bring more transit-oriented buildings to Dorchester. Among the first projects to meet this goal is the AB&W Building, a mixed-use facility located about one block from the Four Corners station.

Originally built in 1918 as a car dealership that sold Model T’s, the AB&W Building has become a neighborhood icon.

Originally built in 1918 as a car dealership that sold Model T’s, the AB&W Building has become a neighborhood icon.

Originally built in 1918 as a car dealership that sold Model T’s, the building has become a neighborhood icon. Therefore, even though the goal was to create an active center that connected tenants and others with the new commuter station, Project Architect P. Nicholas Elton, AIA, a partner in Elton + Hampton Architects, Roxbury, Mass., still desired to connect the new development to its surroundings as much as possible. “The intention was to create a development that was a little denser than the rest of the neighborhood but still respected and tried to be a little like the neighborhood,” he says.

To achieve this, the decision was made to maintain the front façade of the original building and integrate it with all new construction. Elton used specific building materials to pay homage to the surrounding area. For example, a yellowish brick on the front of the new second and third stories of the AB&W Building mimics the brick used on the 1930s-era building across the street. The addition of fiber-cement and corrugated-metal siding breaks up the enlarged AB&W Building’s scale so it better fits in its location.

Elton, who is a fan of corrugated metal, decided also to have some fun with the material, flexing it in unusual ways for overhangs above windows and doors. “When you start using materials that you are using on the walls on the roof, then you get to play a little game,” he says. “The material will come down a wall and wrap into the roof; there are a lot of materials you can’t do that with but you can when you use corrugated.”

It took a team of three metal fabricators from Lancaster Enterprises Inc., a family roofing business in Dedham, Mass., to carefully curve and flex the corrugated metal to meet Elton’s specifications. Meanwhile eight to 10 of the metal fabricators’ colleagues were installing a watertight TPO membrane on the AB&W Building’s six newly constructed roofs.

The 32,096-square-foot AB&W Building features 24 affordable-housing units, primarily rentals with a few coop ownership opportunities, and 3,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The 32,096-square-foot AB&W Building features 24 affordable-housing units, primarily rentals with a few coop ownership opportunities, and 3,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

OLD BECOMES NEW

Elton + Hampton Architects concentrates its work on what the firm’s partners—Elton and Bruce M. Hampton, AIA—refer to as socially relevant projects. The firm almost exclusively works with non-profit organizations on affordable housing and housing for special populations, as well as community-resource buildings.

The 32,096-square-foot AB&W Building features 24 affordable-housing units, primarily rentals with a few coop ownership opportunities, and 3,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space. One retail space is an art gallery and there currently are conversations to merge the other two retail locations for a restaurant specializing in Caribbean cuisine.

PHOTOS: Grieg Cranna

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A Green Roof Provides Residents of a Senior Housing Complex with an Improved View

The Findlay Teller Apartments provides affordable housing for low-income seniors in the Bronx, N.Y. The complex includes 32 one-bedroom and 131 efficiency units. Its 9,925-square-foot green roof is its most prominent green-building element and gives residents a welcomed view of green space.

Built in 1906, the dilapidated building was revitalized by three local Bronx organizations.

Built in 1906, the dilapidated building was revitalized by three local Bronx organizations.

“Many green roofs are on top of buildings where no one can see and enjoy them. The Findlay Teller green roof, particularly the sections installed on the terrace level and second-floor roofs, has many windows that look out on the [green roof sections],” says Antonio Freda, owner of Bronx-based Freda Design Associates Ltd., the architect for the apartment building’s renovation. “In fact, 90 percent of the apartments have a view of the green roof.”

RESTORING A NEIGHBORHOOD LANDMARK

Located at 1201 Findlay Avenue in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx, the community landmark has a long history. The building was constructed in 1906. The Daughters of Jacob, a non-profit service organization, originally used the building as a hospital and nursery facility. It was renovated in 1920. The east and west wings were added in 1952.

Converted to subsidized senior housing under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 202 program in 1978, and known as Findlay Plaza, the building deteriorated over the years. By December 2007, the apartments had a lowly score of 34 out of 100 on HUD’s Housing Quality Standards. Buildings must score at least 86 for their conditions to be rated healthy and safe. Eventually, HUD foreclosed on the property.

In 2009, three local organizations, the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. and the Belmont-Arthur Avenue Local Development Corp. (BAALDC), worked together to win the support of the building’s tenants and neighborhood leaders to acquire and rehabilitate the property.

Roofing workers spread the growing media on the roof.

Roofing workers spread the growing media on the roof.

BAALDC, which strives to prevent the deterioration, blight and abandonment of at-risk housing in the Bronx, established the Findlay Teller Housing Development Fund Corp. (Findlay Teller HDFC) to take on the challenge of assembling financing and renovating the building.

“The building was in a very sad state of disrepair,” notes Joe Cicciu, executive director of BAALDC and president of Findlay Teller HDFC. “We put together $20 million in funds from many different sources, including a major grant from JPMorgan Chase, to save and rehabilitate the building.”

GREEN BUILDING AND A GREEN ROOF

Notias Construction Inc., Flushing, N.Y., was the general contractor for the project. The firm managed the renovation according to Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, a program of Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit dedicated to creating opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities. Required by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the criteria define standards for green-building practices applicable to affordable housing. Thus, the renovation included a new structural roof with two layers of insulation, high-efficiency boilers, replacement windows and new energy-efficient lighting. In addition to the green roof, permeable pavement in the parking area reduces stormwater runoff.

PHOTOS: XERO FLOR AMERICA

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A Minneapolis Neighborhood Plans to Bring Solar, Vegetation and Bees to its Rooftops

As part of its commitment to maintain and enhance the physical, social and economic environment of its Minneapolis neighborhood, the Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) has begun a program in which it is matching the owners of buildings with low-slope roofs to solar and green roof providers, as well as beekeepers.

The Southeast Como neighborhood is surrounded by industrial buildings and essentially is the last of Minneapolis’ industrial hub. A community resident who considered the industrial buildings’ rooftops wasted but valuable space approached SECIA about partnering with Minnesota Community Solar. The for-profit organization builds large solar arrays in locations ideal for generating solar power—like roofs—and works with utilities so any Minnesota ratepayer can have access to solar energy. While SECIA’s Executive Director Ricardo McCurley was researching that option, he met a green-roof consultant who is part of the Minnesota Green Roofs Council, a nonprofit that supports green roofs in the state. In addition, Minneapolis recently eliminated permit requirements to maintain beehives in the city above 1 story.

“It occurred to me we should just play matchmaker,” McCurley says. “Let’s get a bunch of options on the table and match them to local property owners.”

After receiving a $3,000 grant from Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams, an organization that connects individuals and their communities to resources that will help them implement community-based clean-energy projects, SECIA began surveying the neighborhood. “We have an intern who currently is looking at aerial images of roofs and doing rough estimates of square footage, as well as collecting contact information for building owners,” McCurley notes. “Then we’ll be contacting all these property owners in person and via telephone and asking them questions about their flat roofs, like ‘Are you planning to reroof any time soon? How is the stormwater management on your property?’”

If the property owners show interest in learning more about sustainable options for their rooftops, SECIA will invite them to a luncheon that McCurley compares to speed dating. “We’ll have different providers of the various technologies at the luncheon, so they can talk about options,” he says. “Then if we make a match, we’re going to help the property owner through the process of finding grants to make it more affordable for them.”

McCurley thinks the program will be a success if just one property owner opts to install solar panels, a green roof or beehives. But he hopes for many installations and to make more connections within the neighborhood to expand how roofs are used. “We’re big into urban agriculture in the neighborhood,” McCurley explains. “Wouldn’t it be cool if one of the green roofs connects with a farmer who would lease the green-roof space?”

Although the program currently is in its infancy, McCurley is certain it will increase Southeast Como residents’ awareness about the benefits of green roofs, solar arrays, bees and even trees. “We’re dealing with the emerald ash borer here in the Twin Cities, particularly in our neighborhood. We’re already losing a lot of our tree canopy,” he says. “If our residents’ buildings were shaded by a beautiful ash tree and now they’re not, they’re going to feel that in HVAC costs. So what are the options to make a building more efficient? This program provides many great options!”

Want to Be Involved?
If you’d like to assist in the Southeast Como Improvement Association’s mission to bring solar, vegetation and bees to its rooftops, email Rooftops@comogreenvillage.info, SEComo@secomo.org or call (612) 676-1731.

Against the Wind

The city of Moore, Okla., recognizes it cannot keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. You may recall on May 20, 2013, an EF5 tornado did extensive damage to the town. The new residential construction codes are based on research and damage evaluation by Chris Ramseyer and Lisa Holliday, civil engineers who were part of the National Science Foundation Rapid Response team that evaluated residential structural damage after the May 2013 tornado.

“A home is deconstructed by a tornado, starting with the breaching of the garage door,” Ramseyer explains. “The uplift generated by the wind causes the roof to collapse until the pressure pulls the building apart. These new residential building codes could possibly prevent that in the future.”

The new codes require roof sheathing, hurricane clips or framing anchors, continuous plywood bracing and windresistant garage doors. Moore’s new homes are required to withstand winds up to 135 mph rather than the standard 90 mph.

Although the city of Moore deserves to be commended for passing a more stringent building code less than one year after the 2013 tornado, this wasn’t the first damaging tornadic event Moore had experienced. The town also made national headlines in 1999 when it was hit by what was then considered the deadliest tornado since 1971. Moore also was damaged by tornadoes in 1998, 2003 and 2010. In my opinion, it was time for the Moore City Council to do the right thing by its citizens.

As extreme weather events occur more frequently, more emphasis is being placed on commercial roof wind resistance, as well. Robb Davis, P.E., recently attended a continuing-education conference for civil/structural engineers that discussed changes in the 2012 International Building Code and the referenced ASCE 7-10 “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures”. During the seminar, it became clear to Davis that nobody is specifically responsible for the design of wind loading to rooftop equipment as defined in the IBC and Chapter 29 of ASCE 7-10. Therefore, Davis reached out to Roofing because he believes it’s important roofing professionals understand the code requirements for wind loading to rooftop equipment, how the load is determined and applied, and how the load is transferred to the building structure. Davis shares his insight in “Tech Point”.

As Davis points out in his article, by better understanding wind loads on rooftop equipment, roofing professionals will be even better positioned to lead the design and construction industry in creating more resilient roofs and, ultimately, strengthening the structure and protecting the people underneath.

An Atlanta Neighborhood Receives Much-needed Health and Community Services All Under One Roof

Fulton County, Ga., administrators believe policy drives the conditions in which people live and work. When socio-economic conditions are poor and there are few public services, administrators believe the physical and mental health of community residents suffer. As such, in 2008, Fulton County’s Health and Human Services departments were charged with identifying opportunities to improve community health through programs and policies.

Adamsville Regional Health Center is a hybrid building that not only provides primary-care, dental and behavioral health clinics, but also offers child-care facilities, housing resources and access to the library system, as well as a workforce development center.

Adamsville Regional Health Center is a hybrid building that not only provides primary-care, dental and behavioral health clinics, but also offers child-care facilities, housing resources and access to the library system, as
well as a workforce development center.

As part of the resulting Common Ground initiative, county administrators now are providing services to underserved areas. Adamsville, a predominantly African-American neighborhood located on the southwest side of Atlanta, was identified as a community in need. Fulton County’s solution was construction of a hybrid building that not only provides primary-care, dental and behavioral health clinics, but also offers child-care facilities, housing resources and access to the library system, as well as a workforce development center. The space also has approximately 500 square feet available for future use. The county hoped the new building would not only provide assistance to residents but also entice additional businesses and housing development in the area.

Although the project was smaller—34,000 square feet—than most completed by the Atlanta offices of architectural firm Stanley Beaman & Sears and general contractor Whiting-Turner Contracting, the design-build team was attracted to the concept. “We thought it was a good story,” says David Deis, project manager with Stanley Beaman & Sears, a firm that specializes in healthcare design. “It’s kind of a community center that taps into all that Fulton County has to offer, and we were both intrigued by that.”

As the team got started, it quickly realized putting all the disparate parts and pieces together into one facility during the 275-day timeframe Fulton County required was going to be challenging. Teamwork and a roof that identifies this “beacon for the community” brought it all together on schedule and within budget.

ROOF AS METAPHOR

As the design-build team began laying out the building’s program requirements, team members realized something had to organize the many services the new Adamsville Regional Health Center would provide. Deis says the team devised an interior “street” visitors can walk down to access the individual departments. “Visitors can see where the dental clinic is, where the primary care and behavioral health are,” he says. “It’s almost like you’re walking down the mall or a street and you’re seeing all these services.”

The roof is like a “quilt”, bringing all the departments and services together in one space. It also is a predominant feature on the site.

The roof is like a “quilt”, bringing all the departments and services together in one space. It also is a predominant feature on the site.

The team immediately knew the roof would be important. Not only would it be like a “quilt” bringing all the departments and services together in one space, but it also would be a predominant feature on the site.

Built along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a state highway that leads into downtown Atlanta, the building would be seen by a lot of traffic. The site itself is street level next to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive but dramatically drops farther from the street. The design-build team opted to create a 2-story building in which the second story is level with the roadway. Parking and access to the first level were built in the back where the site plummets. The location of the building and the site’s topography dictated a roof that would capture the attention of passersby.

“Once we set the building and looked at it formally, we didn’t want people driving down the street and looking down onto a typical gable-type roof,” Deis says. “We knew the roof would be very dominant and we wanted to keep it clean and allow it to claim the corner at the intersection.”

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