A Design Firm Trusts Its Regular Roofing Contractor to Install a New-to-him Insulated Metal Panel on its Office

David Miller, owner of Alpine Roofing LLC, Durham, N.C., has been in business since 2008. He specializes in what he calls the “complete roofing package”—making sure that all the areas of a roof are properly installed so the roof system lasts for 30 years or more without any problems. Miller and his crew’s attention to detail has made him the chosen roofing contractor of Durham-based BuildSense Inc., a residential design and construction firm that has a sustainability emphasis.

BuildSense Inc. is a Durham, N.C.-based residential design and construction firm that has a sustainability emphasis. PHOTO: Catherine Wilborne Photography

BuildSense Inc. is a Durham, N.C.-based residential design and construction firm that has a sustainability emphasis. PHOTO: Catherine Wilborne Photography

Miller knew he was doing good work for BuildSense, but he was assured of this fact when BuildSense’s owners—Randall Lanou, LEED AP, MCGP, and Erik Van Mehlman, AIA, CGP—asked him to reroof the existing building that would become the firm’s new office. Not only did they trust Miller enough to reroof their practice’s new home, but they also entrusted him with a roof cover he had never installed before.

“They knew I hadn’t worked with this insulated metal panel product before,” Miller recalls. “But they said I had always done them right and they wanted to give me the opportunity to look at this type of project. It seemed like it was up our alley. We handle things we haven’t done before with attention to detail and an understanding of how water causes problems. We try to do the best job we can.”

Sustainability Focus

BuildSense’s new office at 502 Rigsbee in Durham was built in 1945 as a farm-equipment-maintenance building. The structure had spent its last 30 years as various automotive service centers. The 1-story, 6,000-square-foot solid masonry building had optimal orientation to achieve Lanou and Mehlman’s daylighting and solarpower goals. By adding a second story in which BuildSense and tenants (occupied today by a marketing firm and a yoga studio) could operate, Clear-Vue Glass, BuildSense’s partner in the building’s purchase, could maintain an office, fabrication facility and showroom at pedestrian level.

To create the most energy-efficient building possible, Lanou and Mehlman opted to take the existing structure down to its skeleton, leaving only the masonry shell and primary steel columns and girders. Originally, they planned to maintain the existing roof and build the second story on top. However, the roof sloped from north to south about 3 inches for drainage. The partners decided to remove the wood framing, add more steel and a metal deck, and pour a new level composite concrete slab for the second story.

BuildSense pursued a tight, well-insulated building envelope. For the roof, Lanou and Mehlman specified an insulated metal panel featuring a 6-inch urethane core that boasts an R-value of 42. “It’s also painted white, which significantly helps us reduce our cooling loads in the summer—the predominant loads in a commercial building in our climate,” Lanou explains. “It’s very well air-sealed, very well insulated and it’s reflective.” In addition, the roof cover, insulation and finished ceiling are provided in one component.

Roof Install

A crane was required to lift all panels to the roof from one side of the building because power lines impeded the other sides. “The crane would grab the bundle of panels, which were staged on the high side of the building, and lift them up and over the building to place them on the low side,” Miller says. “It would’ve been so much easier if we had access completely around the building but we had to have a big crane come out there and do that lift.”

The roof cover, insulation and finished ceiling are provided in one component. PHOTO: Barrett Hahn

The roof cover, insulation and finished ceiling are provided in one component. PHOTO: Barrett Hahn

Once the panels were on the building near where they would be installed, manlifts further assisted with situating the panels on the roof. “The larger panel sections were 400 pounds each and 42-inches wide,” Miller explains. “They were awkward to handle. You also had to make sure when you were moving them around on top of the steel trusses that you didn’t scratch the finished paint on the underside of the panels, which would serve as the second-floor ceiling.”

Miller says safety was the biggest challenge on the project. His crew was tied to steel beams or apparatus that bolts onto the standing seam once they were past the leading edge. “We also made sure no one got hurt while we were moving the 400-pound panels. You don’t want a 400-pound panel on one man and he’s trying to hold the thing up without his knowledge. Honestly, a 400-pound panel once it is in motion may end up being 2,000 pounds of live load so we had to work in unison. We had one crew leader who would call out the play, saying ‘1, 2, 3, we’re going down’ or ‘1, 2, 3, we’re moving the panel over’.”

The coordination among the crew helped because the panels weren’t packaged exactly as they would be installed on the roof. “Some of them were upside down and we had to rotate,” Miller notes. “Without a lift there fulltime, it would’ve been even more challenging. Plus, we were working about 35 feet above the ground and 15 feet above the concrete floor of the building. We had to stay safe, stay tied off.”

Once the lifting and maneuvering were handled, Miller says the installation, which took about a week, was similar to any standing-seam roof, except each panel is 8-inches tall. “The top of the lock must be engaged while the panel is rotated so the tongue at the bottom of the panel engages with the lock,” he says. “Once you are engaged at the top and bottom, then you manually seam the locks together at the top. When you’re all finished you take a massive power seamer and run down the seam and it locks that joint together, so you have all kinds of wind-uplift value.” [Read more…]

Projects: Offices/Manufacturing

Accident Fund Holdings Inc. Headquarters, Lansing, Mich.

Team

Roofing Contractor: Bloom Roofing, Brighton, Mich.
Construction Manager: The Christman Co., Lansing
Architect of Record: HOK, St. Louis
Construction Engineer: Ruby + Associates Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich.

Roof Materials

Accident Fund Holdings Headquarters features a white TPO roof. PHOTO: Image Michigan and The Christman Co.

Accident Fund Holdings Headquarters features a white TPO roof. PHOTO: Image Michigan and The Christman Co.


An insulated cool roof minimizes the building and surrounding area’s heat-island effect.
White TPO Roof: Firestone Building Products Co.
Polyurethane-foam Adhesive: OMG Roofing Products
Caged Roof-hatch Grab Bars: LadderPort

Roof Report

Accident Fund Holdings, the nation’s 13th largest workers’ compensation insurer and a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has been headquartered in Lansing, Mich., for more than 100 years. When it outgrew its office, the firm’s leaders were determined to stay in Lansing.

By revitalizing the iconic Ottawa Street Power Station, which was built along the Grand River in 1939 but had been mostly abandoned since 1992, the company would have 9 stories and 122,000 square feet to grow into. To support Michigan’s economy, 106 of the 118 contracts and suppliers that participated in the project were Michigan-based firms and 54 of those were Lansing-based.

To remove existing building elements, including catwalks, elevator/ stair shafts, framing and platforms, the team cut two 40-foot-long by 20-foot-wide roof hatches so a crane operator could move about 8,900 pieces of steel in and out of the building while the floors were built from the bottom up.

Since Accident Fund moved into its new headquarters, the building has won numerous awards, including the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation from the state of Michigan and an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the Washington, D.C.-based International Economic Development Council. [Read more…]

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Projects: Hospitality & Entertainment

Refinery Hotel, Manhattan

The lean-to-enclosure features a bi-parting roof measuring 24 feet 4 inches by 40 feet 5 inches with a 40-foot 5-inch- by 12-foot 5 1/2-inch-high front wall.

The lean-to-enclosure features a bi-parting roof measuring 24 feet 4 inches by 40 feet 5 inches with a 40-foot 5-inch- by 12-foot 5 1/2-inch-high front wall.

Team

Retractable roof designer, manufacturer and installer: OpenAire, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Architect: Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners, New York

Roof Materials

The lean-to-enclosure features a bi-parting roof measuring 24 feet 4 inches by 40 feet 5 inches with a 40-foot 5-inch- by 12-foot 5 1/2-inch-high front wall. Installation is along a 7.72-degree slope. The four dividing roof sections each measure 10 feet. Two sections bi-part up to 50 percent from the center, moving outward and “parking” over the fixed end bays.

Roof Report

Located in Manhattan’s Fashion District, Refinery Hotel welcomes guests to its rooftop, which opened in June 2013. The industrial aesthetic of Refinery Hotel extends onto the rooftop, where cocktails can be enjoyed within three distinct lounge spaces: indoor, outdoor and a space “in-between” that features the integrated bi-parting skylight/roof. The retractable glass roof enhances the view of New York’s city sunsets and allows guests to take in the skyline, including the Empire State Building.

“The rooftop has a warm industrial aesthetic for which the skylight was a perfect complement,” says Christina Zimmer, principal at Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners. “The massive skylight brings the outside in and vice versa while sheltering guests from the elements.”

The retractable glass roof enhances the view of New York’s city sunsets and allows guests to take in the skyline, including the Empire State Building.

The retractable glass roof enhances the view of New York’s city sunsets and allows guests to take in the skyline, including the Empire State Building.

Pinky Vaid, owner of Refinery Hotel, adds: “The retractable skylight has become a focal point for our guests with evening hours spent enjoying access to the Manhattan skyline. OpenAire enabled us to realize our original vision for the rooftop, from conception to execution of the finest details.”

Photos: OpenAire

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Nashville, Tenn., Begins Revitalization of Its City Center with a New Convention Space that Features a Truly Unique Roof

It isn’t often that a nightmare becomes a pleasant reality. Andy Baker, vice president of Raleigh, N.C.- based Baker Roofing, recalls the year he spent as project manager for the roofing of the new Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., as one of his most challenging jobs. “The logistics, a tight spot downtown, the size of the project and everything that goes along with that—thousands of people trying to work and everyone needs their material in that area at the same time. Even the unique shape of the building made it hard,” Baker remembers. “We’re glad it’s done and we can look back on it now and say: ‘Wow! We did that.’”

The Music City Center was built to be the catalyst for more development in the SoBro neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn. It is intended to create a diverse economy that won’t be affected if flooding occurs, like in May 2010.

The Music City Center was built to be the catalyst for more development in the SoBro neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn. It is intended to create a diverse economy that won’t be affected if flooding occurs, like in May 2010.

Baker and his crew of up to 50 roofing workers have much to be proud of. The completed project is the largest capital construction project in Nashville’s history and was designed to bring prosperity to the area known as SoBro, or South of Broadway, which was affected by massive flooding in May 2010. The Music City Center lies outside the flood-prone areas and hopefully will be the catalyst for more development, which will create a diverse economy that won’t be affected if another flood occurs.

In addition to the Music City Center’s imaginative design that resembles various musical instruments, the building boasts a number of features that are ideal for a high-profile project. Many of these features are located in the most opportune of places—the roof. An Energy Star-qualified thermoplastic PVC membrane covers the 643,752-squarefoot roof while a 186,700-square-foot vegetated roof literally mimics the rolling hills of Tennessee’s Highland Rim. The rooftop also hosts a 211-kilowatt solar-power system on the 1-acre area that is over the Grand Ballroom, a rooftop space that resembles an acoustic guitar in shape. Lastly, the roof collects rainwater that is funneled to a 360,000-gallon tank before it is used to irrigate the site and flush hundreds of toilets inside.

Construction Challenges

Baker and his colleagues knew the Music City Center would present many challenges even before work began. “We knew it was going to be a logistical nightmare going in but then you have to live it,” he recalls. “You would think four city blocks would be a large enough area to work from but there were thousands of contractors working and receiving materials at the same time. Trying to keep truck drivers and suppliers happy was difficult. The community was great though; there were a lot of police officers around to direct traffic.”

Baker Roofing's team of up to 50 roofing workers spent one year working on the Music City Center.

Baker Roofing’s team of up to 50 roofing workers spent one year working on the Music City Center.

Installation also proved perplexing because of the roof’s undulating slopes of 1/4:12 to 12:12. Baker likens the rolls to waves and points out in some places they were almost conical in shape. In the areas in which there was no vegetated roof, the crew fastened two layers of 1.7-inch polyisocyanurate insulation followed by 1/4-inch roof board. Then a 60-mil thermoplastic PVC membrane in a light gray color was fully adhered to the assembly. The membrane features a lacquer coating to reduce dirt pickup.

Photos: Keri Baker

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Best Roofing Projects of the Carolinas

We celebrate the best roofs installed in North and South Carolina with our final issue of Carolinas Roofing. From metal to shingles to single ply and coatings, these roof coverings protect newly built and reroofed schools, homes, manufacturing facilities, city-service buildings and more.

Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse and the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse and the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse and the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Team

Roofing contractor: Baker Roofing Co., Charlotte, www.bakerroofing.com
Designers: Jenkins-Peer Architects, Charlotte, www.jenkinspeer.com, and DLR Group, www.dlrgroup.com
Construction manager: Rogers PCL Russell, a joint venture of Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte, www.rodgersbuilders.com; PCL Constructors Inc., Charlotte, www.pcl.com; and H.J. Russell & Co., Atlanta, www.hjrussell.com
Metal roofing manufacturer: McElroy Metal, Bossier City, La., www.mcelroymetal.com

Roof Materials

New metal roofing matches the campus scheme on many other buildings. It also offers overall longevity, durability and low-maintenance features.

The field house and press box are covered with 11,000 square feet of Maxima 216, 24-gauge Kynar in Slate Gray and 4,000 square feet of 24-gauge flat stock metal roofing and low-slope roofing trim.

Roof Report

2013-14 is the first year for Charlotte 49ers football. This new 15,000-seat stadium was built for the new team and is designed to be expanded to 40,000 seats. The main building, the Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse, located in the south end zone, has been named after the university’s longtime athletic director.

The stadium includes several other buildings, including the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, named in honor of Hugh McColl, former Bank of America CEO, and Jerry Richardson, owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

Photo courtesy of McElroy Metal, Bossier City, La.

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Project Profiles: Government

Richland County Landfill Columbia, S.C.

Petersen Aluminum roofing

Team

Roofing contractor: Aqua Seal Manufacturing and Roofing Inc., West Columbia, S.C.
Metal roof, soffit and wall manufacturer: Petersen Aluminum Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Roof Materials

The following materials were used on the roof:

  • 6,903 square feet of 24-gauge Tite-Loc in the Cityscape color
  • 1,216 square feet of 24-gauge HWP 16-inch Panel in the Cityscape color
  • 1,673 square feet of 0.032 PAC-850 Full Vent in the Cityscape color

Roof Report

Petersen Aluminum roofing
This new construction project began in early October 2012 and was completed in April 2013. Petersen Aluminum provided a complete metal system: roof, soffit and wall.

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

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