Cornell University Restoration Project Puts Team to the Test

Photo: Cornell University

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environmental Concerns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Installing the Roof Systems

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Safety Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Landmark Renovation

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

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

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

TEAM

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

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

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

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

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

MATERIALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roof Re-Cover Meets Challenges of Historic Integrity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos: McElroy Metal

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

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

TEAM

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

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

MATERIALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Design Challenges

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

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

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

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

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

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

TEAM

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

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

MATERIALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: ©Timothy Hursley

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

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

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

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

A Challenging Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TEAM

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

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

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

MATERIALS

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

Wall Panels: Copper flush panels, 8-inch exposure

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