SPF Roof System Solves Problems for Renovated Office Complex

Historic Pier 70 in San Francisco was a steel mill and a shipyard before it was converted into a modern mixed-use office complex. Central Coating Company applied an SPF roof system from Carlisle Roof Foam and Coatings on 88,000 square feet of the original corrugated metal roof. Photos: Central Coating Company

For more than 100 years, Pier 70 in San Francisco had a storied history, serving as a steel mill and a shipyard that produced destroyers during World War II. The site is a historic landmark, but it sat idle for some two decades before an ambitious restoration project brought it back to life as a mixed-use office complex. The facility now is home to companies including Uber Advanced Technology Group, which set up new offices in 82,000 square feet of the project’s first phase.

When the new tenants found interior temperatures became uncomfortably warm in the summer, Luke Nolan, president of Central Coating Company, was called in to consult on the roof system. With locations in San Jose and Madera, California, Central Coating specializes in spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing. The vast majority of its work consists of commercial and industrial re-roofing.

Two inches of SPF added a layer of R-13 continuous insulation, eliminated existing leaks and minimized heat gain from the uninsulated metal roof.

“California’s Title 24 doesn’t apply to historic buildings, so modern energy codes did not apply, and the renovation was completed without thermal insulation,” notes Nolan. “Modern office space was set up in a building where they used to forge steel and used natural ventilation. There was no air conditioning. With the uninsulated roof system, even in moderate San Francisco, radiant heat could cause interior temps to rise to 85 degrees on summer days.”

Nolan used infrared imaging to document the radiant heat entering the building from the roof. Temperatures on the underside of the metal roof topped 135 degrees. He recommended applying an SPF system as the only viable solution to minimize radiant heat, prevent recurring leaks, and preserve the building’s historic status.

Central Coating put together some budgets and commissioned a study by a roofing consultant to quantify the possible reduction in radiant heat. Roger Morrison of Deer Ridge consulting calculated the reduction in radiant heat from various thicknesses of spray foam. The recommendation was for at least 2 inches of SPF, which would add a layer of R-13 continuous insulation.

The next hurdle was making sure the system would meet the standards for the historic building. “The historic architect wanted to make sure that we were able to maintain the look of the corrugated metal on the existing roof,” Nolan says. “That helped us make the decision to go with a 2-inch system instead of going up to 3 inches, because at 3 inches the foam would self-level, and you’d lose the print-through of the corrugations.”

Central Coating was required to do a prototype installation on the building before the project was approved. “We basically did two 200-square-foot areas,” Nolan notes. “Talk about pressure. We knew we had to get it right.’”

After the test areas were finished and approved, the project got the green light.

Completing the Installation

The existing corrugated metal roof was comprised of multiple peaks, many featuring monitors — raised structures that housed rows of clerestory windows for daylighting.

The building was occupied and in use at the time, adding to the complexities of the safety planning. Central Coating had to erect scaffolding and pedestrian canopies to protect passers-by on sidewalks and at building entrances. Safety equipment for Central Coating’s crew members included horizontal lifeline systems on all of the ridges and temporary guardrails along all exposed edges.

The next step was substrate preparation. Crews power-washed the surface, capturing the water, which had to be filtered before it could be returned to the sewer system. The team then installed custom-designed metal flashings at the perimeter and masked the windows before the spraying began.

Working in sections, crews applied a spray foam system manufactured by Carlisle Roof Foam and Coatings. Crews covered approximately 5,000 square feet a day. The total project consisted of more than 88,000 square feet.

Carlisle GP Primer was applied with a sprayer to help increase adhesion of the spray foam. According to Nolan, it dries very quickly, usually within an hour, and the Carlisle PremiSEAL 70 SPF was then sprayed in place.

As part of the goal of maintaining the look of the corrugated metal, the SPF was applied in one application. “You can spray 2 inches in two lifts, but you are more prone to leveling out the surface,” Nolan explains. “We also sprayed the foam a little bit colder than you normally would, which somewhat negatively affected our yield, but we needed to maintain that corrugated look. It’s funny — usually we’re trying to get the foam as flat as possible, but that wasn’t the case here. However, it really worked out well. The sprayers did an excellent job. It was like an art project.”

The Carlisle SeamlessSEAL FR acrylic coating was applied in multiple passes. “The first base coat goes on the same day as the foam is sprayed,” Nolan notes. “Once we covered a certain area, we fell back to apply the mid coat and top coat.”

The top coat was produced in a custom color, Battleship Gray, to match the existing building. Granules were broadcast into the top coat.

Well-Executed Plan

The new SPF system qualified for a 20-year system warranty and achieved its goals, including minimizing heat gain. “The benefit to building comfort was absolutely huge,” Nolan says. “We reduced the temperature of the underside of the metal roof by almost 40 degrees on warm days.”

It was a challenging project, but everything went smoothly, notes Nolan. He credits detailed planning for the project’s success. “This took a tremendous amount of work just to get through the proposal and submittal process — and get the approval of the tenant, the owner, the Port of San Francisco, and the State Historic Preservation Office. And then we just had a really good plan in place for safety and logistics,” he says. “Everyone was very pleased with our process as well as the final result.”

Since the building was occupied, communicating with the tenant was crucial. “There was a lot of coordination with the people working downstairs,” notes Nolan. “The noisier steps, such as installing our metal or installing our safety equipment, we began very early — starting at 5:30 and finishing at 8:30 — so we were not bothering people in the offices during the workday. It’s one of those things that goes to show the importance of having a good plan, communicating that plan, and then executing it.”

The experience stands out for Nolan for many reasons. The project received a 2020 SPFA Annual Excellence Award from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. The Historic Pier 70 project was named the winner in the in the category of “SPF roof over 40,000 square feet.”

It was also a bit unusual. “For us as a foam roofing contractor, we typically do roofing projects that have the benefit of adding insulation to the building,” Nolan says. “What I mean by that is someone is usually calling us up because their existing roof is at the end of its useful life, and foam will have the added benefits of cutting down their energy bill and making their building more comfortable — but we’re doing it primarily because they need a new roof. This one was different in that we were doing a foam roofing project that was really an insulation job.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Central Coating Company, San Jose and Madera, California, www.centralcoatingcompany.com

MATERIALS

SPF System: PremiSEAL 70, Carlisle Roof Foam and Coatings, www.carlislerfc.com

Acrylic Coating: SeamlessSEAL FR, Carlisle Roof Foam and Coatings

Outfitter’s New Roof Is Designed to Look Great, Withstand the Elements

When the owners of the Bass Pro location in Pearl, Mississippi, looked for a new roof, they initially considered the spruce green color shared by many of the company’s other outlets, but the existing fascia boards inspired them to choose Colonial Red from Petersen’s palette of stock colors. Photos: hortonphotoinc.com

Bass Pro Shops brands itself as a supplier of performance products designed to endure the great outdoors, but at its Pearl, Mississippi, store, the roof was falling short of that standard. The roof’s mix of membrane and metal roof systems was damaged during a severe weather event, which prompted a re-roofing initiative.

“They had a hailstorm come through and they wanted to upgrade,” says Roman Malone, president of the installing firm, E. Cornell Malone Corp., based in nearby Jackson, Mississippi. In addition to installing a new membrane roof, the project including replacing the existing bare Galvalume steel panels with 59,000 square feet of Petersen’s Snap-Clad roofing panels Kynar-finished in PAC-CLAD Colonial Red. The panels form the highly visible sloped portions of the roof, along with a canopy overhang over the building’s storefront walkway and entrance.

After the metal roof system was installed, crews completed Firestone TPO roof on the low-slope section.

The 100,000-square-foot store was a founding anchor retailer in the 150-acre-plus Bloomfield Development. It shares the title with Trustmark Park, home of the Atlanta Braves’ minor-league baseball team, the Mississippi Braves. People visit the retailer for more than just shopping — the facility includes a large aquarium, shooting gallery and 3-D archery range along with a bar and restaurant. Since its 2005 opening, the surrounding development has grown to include The Outlets of Mississippi, the state’s largest outlet center, which welcomes almost 4.5 million visitors every year.

The metal portion of the re-roofing effort included removing the existing panels along with the ice and water shield below, while the existing plywood decking and insulation remained in good shape. For the roofing pros from E. Cornell Malone, the heavily trafficked surroundings proved a greater challenge than the roof itself. “We had to keep the front door open,” Malone recalls. “The flagpole and the tallest part of the standing seam roof are right over the main entrance. There was a period of time when we had to work there, and we had to use the exit door as an entrance and block off that area for safety reasons. We had to move as fast as we could to minimize the disruption. We also had to use cranes to get the material up to the roof and the demolished material off the roof.”

Eye-Catching Color

While the profile of the standing-seam roof remained similar to its original appearance, the Colonial Red finish certainly creates a major pop for the building. Malone says store managers initially were considering the spruce green color shared by many of the company’s other outlets, when they happened upon Colonial Red in Petersen’s palette of stock colors. “The fascia boards just happened to be the same color as the roof — so, when they saw the Colonial Red, it was an obvious color choice for them,” Malone says. “We didn’t paint that fascia, and it just matched perfectly. I believe this is the first Bass Pro Shop in the country to use this color on their roof. It looks really good.”

E. Cornell Malone Corp. installed approximately 59,000 square feet of Petersen’s Snap-Clad roofing panels on the project.

Crews installed the metal roof system first, and then completed the installation of the single-ply roof on the low-slope section. “We had to use the flat roof as a work platform to reach the high part of the metal roof. We protected what was there, and then came back and put the TPO roof on. That way, we wouldn’t damage it during the installation of the metal roof.”

Crews mechanically attached a Firestone 60-mil TPO system over 1/4-inch DensDeck cover board. “The TPO portion of the project was pretty straightforward,” Malone says. “The highlight of this project is really the metal roof. You can’t see the TPO roof from the ground, but it complemented everything else, brought everything under warranty and got them up to date.”

An interesting detail on the project involved the large flagpole on the metal roof over the entrance. The safety system incorporates shock absorbing anchors, S-5! clamps, and a 100 feet of stainless steel line with hands-fee Unigrab Travelers and dedicated lanyards. “We worked with a safety company, Rooftop Anchor, to engineer a safety system so people could manage the flag and be safe,” Malone says. “Before that, the owners used to hire us to come out and raise and lower their flag. Now that they have a safety system in place, they can manage the flag themselves.”

Feedback on the new roof has been very positive, notes Malone. “The customers are ecstatic about the roof. It has totally transformed the building — it’s definitely an upgrade.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: E. Cornell Malone Corp., Jackson, Mississippi, www.ecmalone.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof: Snap-Clad roofing panels Kynar-finished in PAC-CLAD Colonial Red, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

Low-Slope Roof: 60-mil TPO, Firestone Building Products, www.firestonebpco.com

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

Flagpole Safety System: Rooftop Anchor, Heber City, Utah, www.rooftopanchor.com

Standing Seam Clamps: S-5!, www.s-5.com

The Calcaire House Meets Strict Energy Codes — and Does it in Style

The residential compound is made up of five interconnected buildings and features both gabled standing seam metal roofs and low-slope TPO roofs. Photos: S-5!

The Calcaire House is a 15,000-square-foot modern Colorado single-family residential compound consisting of five interconnected buildings. Floor-to-ceiling glass connects the interior space to the exterior landscape, offering spectacular views of the Boulder Flatirons. A combination of exposed timber, stone and steel structural design elements, and exposed custom roof trusses complement the gabled standing seam metal roof.

Boulder Roofing Company and The Solar Revolution were charged with installing a metal roof and solar array with more than 60 kilowatts of solar dispersed over multiple rooftops. Boulder Roofing installed both standing seam metal and TPO roof systems on the project. Crews installed approximately 12,000 square feet of 14-inch, 24-gauge panels from Drexel Metals in traditional black over Titanium PSU30 high-temp peel and stick underlayment.

They also installed 3,000 square feet of 60-mil Versico TPO over low-slope areas. The TPO was adhered to quarter-inch DensDeck Prime over tapered EPS insulation. Boulder Roofing fabricated and installed custom flashings and coping, and also installed an S-5! snow-guard system incorporating the S-5! ColorGard bars, S-5-S Mini clamps, SnoClip IIs, and VersaClips.

The Energy Challenge

The city of Boulder has strict energy codes in place and requires all new construction to meet a certain level of efficiency. The requirements are based on the square footage of the home and are more stringent on larger homes — the larger the home, the more efficient it needs to be. The goal is to have a net-zero home, not taking energy from the grid, and the only way for a larger home to achieve this is with solar. A modest home or small addition might only require about 2 kilowatts. A large home might require 20-30 kilowatts.

The most optimal rooftops for solar were also the most visually prominent, and the homeowner was concerned about aesthetics. These concerns were alleviated after seeing a small-scale mock-up of the S-5! PVKIT 2.0 solution combined with an all-black solar module.

In addition, the area is considered a high-wind area and would require a study to account for windspeeds, as the solar installers could only rely on the roof itself and its attachment to the wood sheeting when attaching solar panels using S-5!’s zero-penetration system.

Another difficulty was finding a viable path to route the energy created by the solar panels back to the point of connection with the home’s distribution. The Solar Revolution worked with the builder and the architect, and analyzed photos and design plans to find ways to conceal the conduits. They ultimately found a viable path that was aesthetically pleasing, code compliant and cost-effective.

The Solution

The Solar Revolution installers utilized S-5!’s PVKIT 2.0 to build the solar array. The installation team started at ground level prepping S-5! PVKIT MidGrabs and EdgeGrabs. Another team member prepared the solar modules by installing the power optimizers and managing the various wires. By completing this work on the ground, the roof crew could focus on setting modules, and it minimized their time in harnesses on a steep metal roof. The solar installers prefer to install modules starting with the bottom row and working up. Extra care is taken when aligning the first row. This precision allows for subsequent rows to drop into place on the S-5! PVKIT MidGrabs.

The Solar Revolution installed a solar array that provides more than 60 kilowatts of power.

“The Solar Revolution has been utilizing the S-5! PVKIT 2.0 solution since it first hit the market,” says Doug Claxton, CEO of The Solar Revolution. “Hands down, it is the best solar mounting solution for metal roofing of any description. At first, we were a little worried about wire management and installing in landscape, but those worries were overcome with our first installation. It’s a piece of cake.”

Long-Term Outlook

With the S-5! PVKIT 2.0, the Calcaire House was able to meet the city code requirements for solar and establish itself as an energy-efficient, net-zero home. Because the PVKIT comes in black, it matched the roof nicely, pulling together all of the design elements in an aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective manner — saving the customer time and money on installation and materials.

TEAM

Architect: Surround Architecture, Boulder, Colorado, www.surroundarchitecture.com

General Contractor: Harrington Stanko Construction, Niwot, Colorado, www.harringtonstanko.com

Engineer: Anthem Structural Engineers, Boulder, Colorado, www.anthemstructural.com

Roofing Contractor: Boulder Roofing Company, Boulder, Colorado, www.boulderroof.com

Solar Installer: The Solar Revolution, Boulder, Colorado, www.thesolarrevolution.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof: 175SS 14-inch, 24 gauge panels, Drexel Metals, www.drexmet.com

Underlayment: Titanium PSU30, Owens Corning, www.owenscorning.com

TPO Roof: 60-mil Grey TPO, Versico, www.versico.com

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

Solar Attachment: S-5! PVKIT 2.0 in black with S-5-S Mini Clamps, www.S-5.com

Snow Guards: S-5! ColorGard, S-5-S Mini Clamps, SnowClipIIs and VersaClips

Won Over by Metal Roofing

A finished Matterhorn Tile application on an Oklahoma City-area home.
Photos: CertainTeed

Scott McCollum, owner of McRoof Residential and Commercial Roofing, has been in the contracting business for half a century. Since 2007, his Edmond, Oklahoma-based roofing business has concentrated on wind and impact-resistant asphalt products — the kind needed for homes often in the path of tornados, hailstorms and other wind events common to Oklahoma and Northern Texas.

“We’re right in the middle of the hail belt and tornado alley, so people are extremely concerned about hail and wind,” says McCollum. “Those are really big drivers that make people willing to spend more on a roof that is going to give them better performance.”

In 2019, McCollum introduced CertainTeed’s Matterhorn Metal Roofing into his product offering. The lightweight, steel panel roofing system offers top-tier wind and impact resistance, with bold colors and designs that emulate popular styles like shake, slate, and clay tile.

McCollum said most of his customers are homeowners and business owners making insurance claims due to severe hail and storm-related roof damage. He often recommends higher-end and SBS-modified asphalt products, but began offering metal roofing due to a surge of consumer interest. After experimenting with a few metal systems, McCollum settled on Matterhorn from CertainTeed for its looks, solar-reflective color options and ease of installation.

“We really believe it’s the most beautiful metal roofing product on the market,” says McCollum. “We’ve always been a value-added contractor, so this is a good fit for us.”

Overcoming Contractor Concerns

According to McCollum, customers typically come to McRoof because they are frustrated with typical products after several roof repairs or replacements following storms. “Some have had to replace their asphalt roof every five to seven years, so we’ve always recommended higher-end products,” notes McCollum. “I’ve always understood the benefits of metal roofing when it is installed correctly, but I was concerned about introducing it into our product line with our available labor resources. What was the learning curve, and what does it take to get the job done … those were the questions I had.”

Since its inception, McRoof has relied exclusively on CertainTeed for its asphalt products. After a chance meeting with a CertainTeed Matterhorn metal roofing field representative, McCollum decided to give the product a try.

“Most of the concerns I had went away after the first one or two installations,” McCollum says. “Matterhorn is a well-thought-out product and the way it fastens and goes together is seamless. It takes a little more time to get drip edge and hips and ridges done, but once the deck is prepared, the installation of the field tile goes very quickly.”

McCollum said that on the first couple of Matterhorn roofing installations, CertainTeed sent field representatives to the project site who worked alongside McRoof installers to help them avoid any costly or time-consuming installation errors.

“Some contractors are worried about getting into metal roofing, but the monetary investment for the hand tools you need is next to nothing, and the learning curve is very low,” says McCollum. “With a metal nibbler, some snips, a crimper and a handbrake, you’re good to go. The additional revenue basically doubles the size of my company.”

Making the Sale

McCollum says that in storm-prone Oklahoma and Texas, most of his customers are open to the idea of metal roofing, which is known for its durability and longevity. Most metal roofs have a useful lifespan of more than 50 years, which is music to the ears of many homeowners living in the hail belt. He says it’s important to establish the benefits with customers and to explain the advantages of going with a longer-lasting product on their “forever home.”

“People know that metal roofing is a little more expensive than asphalt,” said McCollum. “However, customers are looking for impact, fire and wind resistance, as well as solar reflectivity. I’ve had people tell me they’ve wanted a metal roof for years, but they don’t want it to look like a barn. When you’re able to actually show customers the samples, their eyes light up.

“Clay tile is very popular in the Southwest and the Matterhorn is especially spot on,” McCollum continued. “I grew up in New Mexico surrounded by stucco homes with tile roofs and you could put a Matterhorn Tile roof in the middle of 10 clay tile roofs and you would not be able to tell the difference. It’s that good, so we think there’s a huge potential market for it with architects and specifiers.”

McCollum says contractors should consider metal roofing specialization a long-term investment. He suggested becoming a credentialed installer in order to demonstrate expertise and be able to offer better installation warranties.

“When I was looking at metal roofing, I wasn’t looking at it to make a lot of money right away,” says McCollum. “We were concerned about learning how to do it correctly as opposed to squeezing money out of the first couple of jobs. My best advice would be to find a mentor and do some training. It’s money well spent.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: McRoof Residential and Commercial Roofing, Edmond, Oklahoma, https://www.mcroofrx.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: Matterhorn Tile, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com/metal-roofing

New Roof Systems Make Shopping Center a Showplace Once Again

Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

LK Construction tackles many composite shingle roofing projects each year. On an average, they’ve been known to knock out 20 or more commercial and residential composite roofs annually. And, while each project is special, nothing compares to their 2018 mega-project: the re-roofing of South Lake Village Shopping Center in Reston, Virginia.

With almost two dozen retailers and businesses, the shopping center has 109,527 square feet of space. And every building in the connected community center had a failing cedar roof.

Built in 1984, South Lake Village had a natural cedar roof complementing a low-slope membrane roof system. Fast forward to 2018. Functionally, the roof was failing badly. Stores complained of water leaks. Shingles were cracked and had moss growth, degrading the look of the entire shopping center. That’s when the management company decided to invest in a new roof system featuring Bellaforté Shake from DaVinci Roofscapes.

“We knew this project was a winner the moment we started the installation,” says Scott Kim, vice president at LK Construction in Annandale, Virginia. “Both store residents and shoppers were astonished by the transformation. Everyone expressed their excitement at the look of the new synthetic shakes. We immediately got calls from people wanting the Bellaforté Shake on their homes. Within several months, 10 houses in the area had composite shake roofing. And now there are many other homeowners inquiring about the DaVinci product on a regular basis.”

Safety First

The process of re-roofing South Lake Village came with a unique set of challenges for the team at LK Construction. While shoppers were going in and out of Safeway, Starbucks, CVS Pharmacy and other stores, the team had to take great care.

The roof replacement project at South Lake Village Shopping included a new TPO roof system on the low-slope section and synthetic shake on the steep-slope sections.

“This is the largest DaVinci project we’ve ever done,” says Kim. “There were a lot of moving pieces. From ordering, receiving and storing the composite shakes to staging onsite. In addition, when it came to assuring pedestrian safety during the roofing process, the challenges were enormous. We focused a great deal on safety measures throughout the entire two-week project.”

LK Construction brought in traffic controllers and road guards to help control the active environment. “Our goal was to safely install the composite roofing without disturbing the businesses,” says Kim. “Safety was our top priority. And, we were able to achieve that goal.”

The shops at South Lake Village now feature Bellaforté Shake composite shingles from DaVinci Roofscapes.

As shoppers moved smoothly in and out of stores, the LK Construction team replaced the flat roofing with a new thermoplastic membrane. Approximately 52,000 square feet of Sure-Weld TPO from Carlisle SynTec was installed on this project.

Crews then installed the Bellaforté Shake tiles. Made to withstand fire, impact and severe weather, the synthetic shakes are ideal for the shopping center location.

“There’s no other synthetic product in the market that can mimic natural hand-split cedar as perfectly as Bellaforté Shake,” says Kim. “These tiles are designed to simulate a multi-width look. They’re extremely realistic and cost-effective.”

Mission Accomplished

With their beautiful new roofs overhead, the shops at South Lake Village now stand out again as a showplace in the Reston community. From banks to restaurants to retailers, each structure can count on their DaVinci roofs to provide long-term beauty and durability.

“The high visibility of this project opened the door for us even more in this marketplace,” says Kim. “We’re now busy replacing old cedar roofs throughout the area with synthetic shake.”

“People are embracing the look of Bellaforté,” he continues. “They love the many advantages of the product. At this point, we’re forecasting a great number of homeowners throughout Reston will switch to DaVinci products in the near future.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: LK Construction, Annandale, Virginia, www.lkconstructionusa.com

MATERIALS

Composite Shingles: Bellaforté Shake, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com

Low-Slope Roof: Sure-Weld TPO, Carlisle SynTec, www.carlislesyntec.com

Soft, Diffused Natural Light Transforms Eagles Nest Outfitters’ Office

VMS Northlights bathe the design and sales work areas in diffused natural light. Photos: VELUX

For years the staff of Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) worked in cramped, dark offices in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Their second office didn’t even have any windows, which isn’t ideal for an outdoor equipment company specializing in portable hammocks and camp chairs.

So, when it came time to move from downtown to a location that could accommodate both the office and a warehouse, the company’s leaders challenged architects to connect the new space to the outside.

“We’re an outdoor company, and we’d all rather be outdoors each and every day,” says Lane Nakaji, general manager with ENO. “No one wants to work in darkness.”

Challenge: Opening Up a 1970s Building

The new building was at first not very promising. Located in a business park with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it dated back to the 1970s with a red brick exterior and a cedar shake mansard roof.

“It was a rabbit warren of an office,” says Charles Krekelberg, the project manager on the ENO project for Samsel Architects. “They had perimeter windows behind arbor vitae trees, so it was oppressively dark.”

“They wanted to radically transform the space,” Krekelberg adds. “They wanted open spaces for people to collaborate, planters and natural light.”

The building was gutted down to the exterior walls and a new roof constructed. Inside, the maze of hallways and offices became open space. And to solve the lighting problem, architects turned to two VELUX products: VELUX Modular Skylights (VMS) – Northlight Configuration and Fixed Curb Mounted skylights.

The VELUX Modular Skylight system eliminates the need for on-site glazing and can be installed quickly in varying weather conditions, which for this project included freezing rain and snow.

Ridgelights 25-40° have the classic A-frame look: two rows of self-supporting skylights mounted on standard steel profiles. The skylight installer, JP Ross & Co., installed 320 Ridgelight modules on the Burkert building configured into four rows over the center of the manufacturing space.

“We only turn the lights on when it’s raining or very cloudy,” says Allison Ettinger, ENO’s credit manager. “Natural light is generally more relaxing. It’s definitely softer than turning on the electric lights.”

The skylight units are all fixed with dimensions of 39.4 inches in width by 47.2 inches in height and high-efficiency glazing. The LowE3, argon-filled dual paned glazing assembly consists of a high-strength outer tempered pane and an inner laminated pane. The system is equipped with electrically controlled shades, which employees say are only drawn on weekends to optimize the building’s energy efficiency.

The office also has nine VELUX Fixed Curb Mount skylights (FCM 2246) with LowE3, laminated glazing and solar-powered remote controlled shades installed over offices, hallways and conference rooms. The building is topped by a 24-gauge standing seam metal roof system manufactured by Englert Inc., which was installed by DLV Roofing.

Quick Installation

Like other VMS configurations, the Northlight system arrives on the jobsite palletized for easy staging. Its plug-and-play installation method takes less time than custom, site-glazed skylights. It took the crew from JP Ross & Co. one week to complete the installation.

“We focus only on skylight design, sales and installation and have over 20 years of experience,” notes Jason Peterson, project manager with JP Ross &Co. “The only difference with the Northlight was that the panels were installed vertically.”

A vapor barrier wraps around the skylight modules and lines the interior roof rough opening for an airtight seal between the skylight modules and the building, creating a very energy-efficient building envelope.

Natural light bathes the sales department and product development area throughout the day, and employees are happy to have it. “When we don’t have that glare from artificial lights, it creates a calm,” says Julia Schell, manager of e-commerce at ENO. “Things get hectic round here. Sometimes when we come in after the weekend and the blinds have been closed, we forget and turn the lights on and it’s like ‘What’s wrong?’”

The Northlights also give the building’s exterior a unique look. “The owner wanted the skylights to be as much of an exterior expression of the design as an interior lighting device,” Krekelberg says. “They truly liked the look of the skylights and wanted them on the roof.”

TEAM

Architecture/Design: Samsel Architects, Asheville, North Carolina, https://samselarchitects.com

General Contractor: Heritage Restoration & Construction, Asheville, North Carolina, www.heritage-restoration.com

Roofing Contractor: DLV Roofing, Asheville, North Carolina, www.dlvroofing.com

Skylight Installer: JP Ross & Co., Charlotte, North Carolina, www.jprossskylights.com

MATERIALS

Skylights: VELUX Modular Skylight system – Northlight Configuration and Fixed Curb Mounted skylights, VELUX, www.veluxusa.com

Metal Roof: 24-gauge mechanically fastened standing seam roof system in Charcoal Gray, Englert Inc., www.englertinc.com

Installing Tubular Skylights on Cement and Clay Tile Roofs

Elite Solar Systems installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans, incorporating them into the existing tile roof of this 3,900-square-foot Gilbert home. Photos: Elite Solar Systems

Installing tubular skylights, or solar tubes, can add a profit niche for any roofing company and provide a lifestyle enhancement for existing and new clients.

“Tubular skylights allow natural light in to brighten rooms and offices during the day without the need for an electrical light source,” explains Jovane Estrada, general manager for Elite Solar Lighting & Fans, based in Chandler, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix. “They can be retrofitted into any existing roof system and placed where windows or traditional skylights are not options.”

In the desert Southwest, cement or clay tiles on pitched rooftops are a popular choice by owners of upscale homes. Recently, Estrada’s team installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans on a 3,900-square-foot two-story home built in 2009 with cement tiles in Gilbert, Arizona.

In 2001, the company began offering high-quality residential and commercial tubular skylights, solar-powered attic fans and garage exhaust fans. The parent manufacturing company, Southwest Metal Spinning, was founded 26 years ago by Estrada’s father, Saul, and brother, Juan. The components for the Elite product are made in the same location.

Typical tubular skylight components include a high-impact acrylic dome, which locks into a ring on the 1100-O aluminum flashing; this seals to a flat or pitched rooftop, protecting against rain and cracking. Beneath this, an acrylic diffusing lens connects to highly reflective anodized tubing leading to the ceiling, where it fits into a three-glazed polycarbonate diffuser.

For the Gilbert home, Elite installed a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight with a bathroom exhaust fan kit and light kit; a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight through the garage into a downstairs bathroom where the skylight was installed on a wall; four 13-inch-diamter tubular skylights with synchronized dimmers, which open and close the solar lights at the same time and position; two solar-powered attic fans; and a solar-powered garage exhaust fan.

“Experienced professionals can install a tubular skylight with any roof penetration,” Estrada says. “If they can cut and seal roof flashing on the tile roof, they should know or learn how to install the tubular skylight fairly easily, and your clients can enjoy new light and the peace of mind knowing the job has been done right.”

Cement Tile Challenges

The tools required for a cement or clay tile installation are minimal: safety googles; gloves; stud finder; measuring tape; pencil; drill gun; ladder; reciprocating saw to cut wood deck; grinder to cut roof tiles; caulk gun for sealant; drywall saw; tin snips; utility knife; and plumb bob/laser.

Of course, installing tubular skylights through cement tiles requires following the basic steps for any roof breach.

To avoid damage to clay tiles, unless a roofer has a great deal of experience walking on them, Estrada recommends that the tiles be removed from walk areas on the roof up to where the tubular skylight will be installed.

“Make sure the install is possible — and sometimes it isn’t, at least exactly where the client wants it — and have the appropriate tools and materials available,” Estrada says.

Next, mark where the tubular skylight is to be placed and check in the attic or crawl space for plumbing pipes and vents, wires, trusses, HVAC heat pumps and ductwork, water pipes and roof valleys that might be obstructive. “If there is an obstacle, the challenge is determining if using tubular skylight adjustable elbows will allow the install to be completed,” he says.

With the attic inspection and cuts done, an aluminum tile skirt and pitched flashing must be installed properly to the deck. “Most roofers do not use a tile skirt for tile roofs, and later a leak can damage the paper underneath the tiles,” Estrada says. He recommends applying a premium flexible sealant (supplied) to the flashing.

In this home, the central challenge was installing the tubular skylight on the roof through and into the first-floor bathroom, without disturbing the second floor just above it. “We knew we had to go through the side wall of the bathroom, but we had to make sure we had the room in the attic and inside the adjacent garage to install the tube on the sidewall,” he explains.

To do this, the 90-degree adjustable elbows were needed to be able to make the turn from having the tube travel straight down into the inside of the garage and then shift direction into the bathroom, Estrada says.

“This kind of installation requires more effort and time,” Estrada says, “but the result is that a lower level, even a basement, can be enhanced with more natural light.”

All Ups, No Downs, for Roofers, Clients

For the roofer and the homeowner, the best time to install a tubular skylight (other than at construction) is during a roof replacement or repair. The attic space and roof are open and accessible and can be sealed along with the new roof or repair. But as this case study shows, most retrofits can be easily completed, too.

“It’s an extra income stream and an incentive for customers to choose your company,” Estrada says. For example, one of Elite’s roofer clients offers a free 10-inch tubular skylight with each signed re-roofing contract.

With these, home- and business-owners light up their homes, garages, offices, hallways, bathrooms and warehouses. And, tubular skylights also offer lifestyle benefits for pets, plants and people, Estrada says. “They’ve been reported to improve a person’s mood, and the owner of this home in Gilbert told us they’ve simply changed his life.”

About the author: David M. Brown has been writing books and articles for newspapers, magazines, ezines, websites and businesses for many years. A graduate of LaSalle University and Temple University in native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he is the father of two grown children, Shaun and Sheena, who live near him in the Phoenix area.

TEAM

Tubular Skylight Installer: Elite Solar Systems, Chandler, Arizona, www.elitesolarsystems.com

MATERIALS

Tubular Skylights: 10-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, 13-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, Elite Solar Systems

Attic Fans: 20-Watt Elite Solar Attic Fan

Tips for Tubular Skylights

Once the vertical pitched flashing is sealed and fastened properly on the roof deck, place the aluminum tile flashing over the pitched flashing, with the EPDM rubber facing down toward flashing. Fold the sides of the aluminum tile flashing and make sure flashing goes over the bottom tiles.

1. Follow the step-by-step instruction manual, supplied with the tubular skylight. Call the manufacturer and ask questions, if necessary.

2. Use all of the parts included with the tubular skylight kit. “Typically, when a part is left out, it is because the installer or roofer does not know its function,” Estrada says. “Leaving out a part can cause condensation issues, dust or bugs to enter the unit, a rainbow (distracting prism) effect on the interior of the home or other issues down the line.”

3. Quality and safety are paramount: Tested and certified products ensure your clients that the units will last through the harshest weather. Check products for certification by the International Code Council (ICC). Secondly, quality products offer UV-protection plastic, which inhibits fading of interiors. And, for installers, find out if the tubular skylights adhere to OSHA fall-protection standards.

The roof install is complete, with the tiles back in place. Notice that you can see the aluminum tile flashing toward the bottom of the tiles. Both the flashing and the aluminum tile flashing can be painted to blend in with roof.

4. For condensation control, the skylight must breathe, so don’t place sealant between the dome assembly and the roof flashing. This will cause condensation buildup.

5. For condensation, dust and bug issues, seal any gaps between the ceiling kit and the light tube as well as the light tube and the flashing with tape or spray-foam insulation, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

6. Offer no-leak guarantees to fully back your work for your customers. As a respected roofing company, you offer warrantied materials and installation. Look for that, too, in the tubular skylights you install.

Roof System Protects Health Care Facility in Northern Saskatchewan

The roof system specified for the William Charles Health Centre was a two-ply modified bitumen roofing system manufactured by IKO. Photos: IKO

When the $11.5 million William Charles Health Centre was built north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, durability and longevity were key considerations in the design and construction. The facility provides a variety of health care programs to meet the needs of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation.

The roof and walls were designed to last, even in tough weather conditions. The roof system specified was a two-ply modified bitumen roofing system manufactured by IKO. IKO’s Aquabarrier AVB was selected as an exterior peel-and-stick air and vapor barrier to support the facility’s exterior insulated wall system.

Oakwood Roofing& Sheet Metal Co., headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, installed both the roof and wall systems. Founded in 1977, Oakwood Roofing is a full-service roofing and sheet metal contractor handling all types of commercial and residential projects including new construction, roof replacement, service and maintenance. The company also has a Building Division.

“We do all types of roofing and repairs,” notes Brett Laing, an estimator and project manager with Oakwood Roofing. “We do infrared scans, roof reports and assessments, budget pricing for new and re-roof projects, as well as metal cladding and composite panels. We also provide custom roof maintenance programs for companies, property owners and property managers.”

The company was invited to bid on the William Charles Health Centre installation by NDL, the construction manager on the project, and emerged as the low bidder. The roof on the new construction project was approximately 18,500 square feet. On either side of a slight peak, the metal deck slopes to the exterior, where gutters were installed for drainage. The slope on one side of the roof was 13.9 percent, and on the other it was 21.8 percent.

“The roofing wasn’t too difficult,” says Laing. “It’s a conventional two-ply mod bit system, but some of the components are not used that frequently. We use Z-girts to hold the insulation in place in high-wind applications.”

The first step was mechanically fastening 5/8-inch DensDeck Prime to the steel decking. Then a vapor barrier was torch-applied to the cover board. Two 4-inch layers of IKOTherm insulation were installed using Z-girts. Oakwood Roofing fabricated the Z-girts in the company’s sheet metal shop and installed them spaced 24 inches on center. The two layers of insulation and Z-girts were installed perpendicular to each other.

The insulation layers were topped with a layer of half-inch DensDeck Prime. “We used torch tape on all the laps, and ultimately torched the TP 180 FF base sheet from IKO over the top, and then torched the cap sheet to that.”

Oakwood Roofing also installed the wall systems. “We also installed the vapor barrier and longboard siding on this project,” says Laing. “It was a pretty good project for us.”

The remote location posed some difficulties, as crews stayed near the site. Weather is always a concern, and it can be even more problematic when crews are working remotely, but there were no delays on the project. The weather was mild and coordination of trades at the jobsite was excellent, according to Laing.

“NDL was the construction manager on the project, and they are very well organized with their scheduling,” he notes. “It was nice to work with such a professional team, and there were no issues. Everything went smoothly.”

The roof system was specified for its durability and ability to withstand severe weather conditions. “IKO put their name behind it and warranted the roofing system for 15 years,” Laing says. “They came out and made sure it was installed by us to their requirements. The project qualified for a no dollar limit warranty for 15 years, so that says it all right there about how durable the system is.”

Safety First

The fall protection plan incorporated warning lines at the perimeter and personal fall arrest equipment. “Everyone was tied off at all times on the roof,” Laing says.

For torch-down applications, the company’s policy it to institute a two-hour fire watch every time a torch is turned off. “We basically go around and test areas with a thermal gun,” Laing says. “Obviously, if temperatures are dropping, then we are headed in the right direction. We want to ensure that no hot spots are getting hotter, there is no fire risk, and that everyone is safe.”

Oakwood Roofing bears a Certificate of Recognition (COR), a nationally trademarked and endorsed program instituted by participating members of the Canadian Federation of Construction Safety Associations (CFCSA). “We are COR certified at Oakwood Roofing, so we hold our degree of standing to the highest for everyone involved — the workers, the owners of the building, the other trades,” Laing says. “Safety is at the very top of our list when we get into a project.”

For Oakwood Roofing’s experienced crews, this project was just another day at the office — even if the jobsite was 11 hours from home. “We’ve done a lot of work in the Prairie Provinces, in Ontario and into the Northwest Territories,” says Laing. “We are a special company. We wouldn’t have survived for 44 years if we weren’t. We’ve developed special skills and methods to overcome any obstacles that come our way, including extreme weather.”

TEAM

Architect: Patrick R. Stewart Architect, Chilliwack, British Columbia

General Contractor: NDL Construction Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, www.ndlconstruction.com

Roofing Contractor: Oakwood Roofing& Sheet Metal Co., Winnipeg, Manitoba, www.oakwoodroofing.com

MATERIALS

Cap Sheet: Torchflex TP-250-CAP Heat Welded Cap Sheet, IKO, www.iko.com 

Base Sheet: Torchflex TP-180-FF-Base Heath Welded Base Sheet, IKO

Insulation: IKOTherm Commercial Roof Insulation, IKO

Wall Vapor Barrier: IKO AquaBarrier AVB Vapour Barrier, IKO

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

Innovative Solution Serves Up Perfect Blend of Color and Strength for Restaurant

A barrel-vaulted canopy made up of Pentaglas panels in a rainbow of hues lends a festive flavor to the outdoor dining area at Mexican Radio Restaurant. Photos: Kingspan Light + Air

Located in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District, Mexican Radio specializes in two things: tacos and cold drinks. The newly opened concept restaurant conceived by A Good Egg Dining Group occupies a lively, fun space.

The property’s major restoration includes a covered outdoor dining area. There, a translucent vaulted canopy crowns the space in a swirl of bright colors. Inspired by a colorful fine art glass installation, the owners and architect collaborated to find the right solution.

The canopy adds more than just a bright accent for diners: It creates an additional dining space that protects diners from the elements and makes the space useful nearly year round.

Style and Substance, on Budget

During the renovation, the outdoor dining area was demolished down to the existing steel tube structure. Kingspan Light + Air manufactured a fully engineered, customized and prefabricated vaulted canopy to fit the existing steel structure. Kingspan provided a clear anodized aluminum structure, and six unique glazing colors designed to bring the owner’s vision to life.

“We knew colored glass wouldn’t work on this budget,” says Zack Woods, AIA, with Gardner Architects. “But with the Kingspan product, we could get the bright tones of color the customer wanted, and we could cover more square footage, spanning a full patio instead of a very small area.”

Mindful of the project budget, Kingspan provided a variety of color panels with no high setup costs. Non-standard “off the rack” hues lend a lush, custom-job look. “The tones of colors used give this a unique feel and kept the budget on track,” Zack says.

The canopy provides a durable, inviting and comfortable venue for diners. Because one end of the canopy is open to the street and the other is connected to the building, the space is largely sheltered from the elements. Ceiling and attic fans circulate air and pull heat out in the warm summer months; patio heaters create a cozy space in the winter.

Providing more than just a comfortable environment, the Kingspan Light + Air Pentaglas canopy system is built to last. The system has undergone rigorous 10-year testing to ensure both color stability and impact durability over time. Should the need arise, the unique KLA system allows spot replacement of single panels, so the entire canopy does not have to be replaced.

TEAM

Architect: Gardner Architects, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, https://gardner.studio

Contractor: J&R Windows, Goldsby, Oklahoma, http://www.jandrwindows.com

MATERIALS

Barrel Canopy: 12mm Pentaglas in six colors, glazing, purlins and rafters, Kingspan Light + Air, www.kingspanlightandair.us

Re-Roofing a Frank Lloyd Wright Home

The Thomas P. Hardy House in Racine, Wisconsin, was designed and built in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Frank Lloyd Wright. Just the name brings to mind images of beautiful homes. So, when the team at Allrite Home & Remodeling had the opportunity to work on one of Wright’s creations, they jumped at the chance. A year later, the newly-added DaVinci Single-Width Shake roof brought the team industry recognition along with praise from Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts.

The home, on the shore of Lake Michigan, is located in Racine, Wisconsin. It was designed and built in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright for attorney Thomas P. Hardy. The stucco finished front, intricately detailed windows and breathtaking waterfront views make this a home like no other in the neighborhood.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Wisconsin, the Thomas P. Hardy House has changed hands seven times. In 2012, the then-homeowner began working to restore the home to its former beauty.

The exterior was repainted to the original terracotta color. The foundation was jacked up and rotting beams were replaced. And, original light fixtures and pocket doors were all restored. As the restoration progressed, Allrite Home & Remodeling was brought in by the home’s newest owner to tackle the roof.

Selecting the Right Shake Roof

“The homeowner had three very important priorities for this historic renovation project,” says Randy Miller, owner of Allrite Home & Remodeling. “First, they wanted cedar shake, just as Frank Lloyd Wright had intended for the roof. However, they wanted to take advantage of modern advances in materials. Second, they wanted to be environmentally responsible. And third, they wanted the roof selection to please Frank Lloyd Wright loyalists.”

Many years prior, previous owners had asphalt roofing installed on the home, which was not consistent with Frank Lloyd Wright’s style. After reviewing a variety of products, the current owners decided on a composite shingle that simulates a cedar shake roof.

Single-Width Shake from DaVinci Roofscapes in the natural Aged Cedar color was chosen to restore the original appearance to the home’s exterior.

“The DaVinci product has the right quality, texture, color and warranty that the owners wanted,” says Miller. “The Single-Width Shake in the natural Aged Cedar coloring brought back the original appearance to the home exterior. As an added bonus, the composite shake shingle has a longer lifespan and will require far less maintenance.”

Soon after the team started removing the old roof, they noticed significant fire damage to the rafters above the kitchen area. Apparently a fire in the early 1960s extensively damaged the inner structure of the roof.

“The current owners had no idea so much harm had occurred,” says Miller. “We proceeded to replace the damaged wood. That was important so the home will be structurally sound and able to support the new roof.”

According to Miller, safety was also a concern. The home is located on a steep bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. High winds were a challenge as the team worked to keep materials, tools and technicians secure.

Another challenge was the location of the home on a busy road. There was also a walled-in yard. This meant there was not a good staging location for materials or a dumpster. They were able to squeeze a dumpster onto the property, but neither the placement nor the access was ideal.

Finishing Touches

After the installation of the composite shake roofing came the finishing touch: copper accents. The area around the chimney had previously been plain brown flashing. It was decided to update it with copper flashing that will continue to add character to the home as it ages and patinas.

“Installing the copper without it rippling required our expert technicians to be extremely precise as they worked,” says Miller. “Then there was the added pressure of knowing that every step of this project was being scrutinized.”

Copper accents were added, including copper flashing around the chimney.

“There are Frank Lloyd Wright fans and enthusiasts both online and in our community who watched our progress closely,” Miller continues. “They wanted to make sure every step of the way that we honored the original design of the home.”

For their successful efforts, the team at Allrite Home & Remodeling won an award in the 2019 National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Milwaukee Remodeler of the Year Awards competition. The home received a Silver Award in the category of “Residential Historical Renovation/Restoration.”

“Our company has installed many DaVinci composite roofs during the past 15 years,” says Miller. “We’re proud of all of them. However, this project was a true labor of love. We’ve now added our mark to a beloved historical home in our community. Our entire team takes great satisfaction in knowing we were able to help bring a longer life to this Frank Lloyd Wright home.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Allrite Home & Remodeling, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, https://allriteremodeling.com

MATERIALS

Composite Shingles: Single-Width Shake, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com