Carefully Select Roofing Materials to Maintain the Character of Historic Buildings

Selecting a historically appropriate roofing material is often restrictive as a simple matter of economy. Not everyone can afford a new slate roof. But individually landmarked structures and those in local historic districts are often monitored by historic district commissions (HDCs) that typically require property owners to replace in-kind or with an otherwise historically appropriate material.

Although the preference is replacement in-kind, an intelligent argument for an alternative can often be made. The HDC can consider other materials that were available at the time of construction, as well as what buildings of similar style in the community have on their roofs. A Queen Anne may have started with a polychromatic Vermont slate roof, but the commission can consider that nearby Queen Annes have monochromatic Monson slate or even cedar shingles. A Greek Revival may have a silver-coated tin roof, but few would argue with a homeowner willing to replace it with standing-seam copper. Let’s look at several American building styles and the materials used to roof them.

Colonial Styles, 1620 to 1780

From the New England Salt Box to the Dutch-vernacular homes of upstate New York, the earliest structures in the American colonies were roofed with wood shingles.

From the New England Salt Box to the Dutch-vernacular homes of upstate New York, the earliest structures in the American colonies were roofed with wood shingles.


From the New England Salt Box to the Dutch-vernacular homes of upstate New York, the earliest structures in the American colonies were roofed with wood shingles. It is a myth they were covered with hand-split shakes because these sometimes do not hold up well. Wood shingles were easily made by planing down the shakes to a uniform thickness for ease of installation.

In the Northeast, Eastern white cedar was the typical material used while cypress was often used in the South. Western red cedar was not used much in the eastern U.S. until after the 1850s and should not be considered appropriate on a circa-1820, Federal-style structure in Connecticut. Eastern white cedar, however, rarely lasts longer than 10 years in a roofing application. Instead, preservation architects now specify Alaskan yellow cedar. Predominantly distributed from British Columbia, this dense wood is favored because of its longevity and because it develops a silvery patina, like Eastern white cedar, within one year.

Federal and Neoclassical Styles, 1780 to 1820

Many of these buildings have low-slope roofs and are often obstructed by a balustrade that runs across the top of the eaves. In congested, urban environments, the roof may not even be visible from the street. This raises the obvious question: What needs to be done when an element of the exterior is not within the street view? Most HDCs use that standard question to limit their purview over a proposed alteration. If your roof falls into this category, then you should pick the most enduring and sustainable material you can afford.

These structures were not often originally covered in slate, though many are today. Original roofs were wooden shingles—less than ideal on a roof with a shallow pitch. In limited instances, standing-seam or flat-lock-seamed roofs are seen on these building styles. To find out what’s appropriate, check out roofs on structures of the same style in your neighborhood and neighboring communities.

The mansard roof is the character-defining feature of the Second Empire style. A mansard is essentially a hipped gambrel. The lower roof, between the eaves and upper cornice, is most often covered in slate.

The mansard roof is the character-defining feature of the Second Empire style. A mansard is essentially a hipped gambrel. The lower roof, between the eaves and upper cornice, is most often covered in slate.

Greek Revival, 1820-50

This style also features a low-slope roof, typically 4:12. Although the original roof material may have been wooden shingles, many of these roofs in the Northeast were replaced by a more sustainable material long ago. Flat-lock tin or terne-coated steel were typical from the late 1800s on. Because many of these structures also have box gutters at the eaves, keep in mind that relining these systems is costly and will need to tie in to the new roof material. (See “Traditional Gutter Systems in North America”, March/April issue, page 56, or bit.ly/1Mw7Qek.) It is not uncommon for an affordable membrane, like EPDM or TPO, to be used on the majority of the roof while a costlier appropriate material, like copper, covers the visible, projecting “porch” roof.

PHOTOS: Ward Hamilton

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A Magnificent New England Home Receives a Roof that Will Stand up to Harsh Winters

New England winters can be brutal, and the winter months of 2014-15 were ones for the record books. Roofs throughout New England suffered extensive damage from the crushing weight of snow and ice accumulation, including the nearly 7,000-square-foot Waterford, Conn., waterfront estate owned by John Antonino.

For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather.

For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather.


Gerald Stefanelii, a local Waterford contractor and custom homebuilder experienced with Cape Cod architecture, built the Antonino home 15 years ago. The family wanted its residence to be nestled in a prime waterfront location and selected a build site on the bank of the 5-mile-long Niantic River in Waterford, about 10 miles west of the historic seaport and iconic village of Old Mystic. Although the average snowfall in this area is 24 inches, the blizzard of 2015 brought more than 30 inches in a single storm, and prolonged periods of record-cold temperatures kept the accumulation from thawing. As a result of this weather, the intricately fashioned architectural-shingle roof on the Antonino home became delaminated, and ice damming led to serious damage inside of the home, as well.

When Mr. Antonino—whom I have done business with in the past—contacted my company, Advanced Improvements LLC, Mystic, Conn., for an initial consultation, it was agreed that a new roof had to be able to withstand more winters like the one experienced the previous year. Following a thorough assessment of the damage and an in-depth calculation for a bill of materials by my sales and design team, we discussed our recommendations with Antonino.

For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather. This was to be Antonino’s first reroofing experience and, though he suggested a product line to us, we strongly recommended another line of products that we knew were more fitting for the specific needs of his home, including seaside and winter weather, as well as other environmental factors. He agreed, and the project was underway.

A Focus on Every Shingle

We brought in Don Carlson, a territory representative for the line of products we suggested. No matter which manufacturer a contractor uses, it is critical to have a solid rapport and ongoing interactive relationship with hands-on, factory-trained field personnel. Carlson has been a valued and knowledgeable resource to my company over the years. Whether my clients need to quickly see a sample or my team has installation or warranty questions, he has been there each and every time.

We estimated installation of the new roof system would call for a crew of 11 team members under my direct supervision. Because of my long-standing relationship with Antonino and his companies, I wanted to be hands-on with this important job. The bill of materials called for 95 squares of asphalt shingles and 10 rolls of underlayment. A dual-layer, laminated fiberglass shingle was chosen because of its high amount of weathering asphalt. The laminated fiberglass construction also keeps the shingles virtually impervious to deterioration and leakage. Add in a warranty and designer look that includes a multi-dimensional color (Weathered Wood was chosen) and you have a roof worthy of such a grand residence.

We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls.

We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls.


After obtaining the proper permit with the local municipality, our work began. Permits are a given, but my team and I have also found it very important to earn and maintain all the major manufacturer certifications possible. It is important that our clients see that Advanced Improvement’s craftsmen are fully factory trained, and we proudly display credentials and certifications from various manufacturers in our offices.

Roof Protection

We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls. We applied a synthetic polymer-based scrim-reinforced underlayment, designed for use on roof decks, as a water-resistant layer beneath the asphalt roofing shingles. Next, F5 aluminum drip-edge was installed followed by the shingles. Finally, the ridge vents and caps went on to provide proper ventilation.

As with any job we do, the welfare of the people around the site and my personnel is paramount. The crew, keeping with OSHA requirements, used proper fall-protection equipment. Also, because of the home’s layout and complex roof angles, tarps were laid on top of plywood from the edge of the roof, extending 12 feet to prevent debris from falling around the property.

Antonino turned to my company because he had faith he would get the fairest price for the finest work with the job being completed on time and on budget. When I asked for his feedback, he provided comments that would make any contractor proud: “Advanced Improvements not only did a fantastic reroofing job, they were extremely respectful of my property,” Antonino said. “The cleanup was as thorough as the roofing job itself. Also, they actually finished ahead of schedule.” The job was completed in less than one week.

As you’re reading this article, New England’s autumn palette is giving way to blankets of white. That snow and ice will lay on the new roof at the Antonino residence. It’s highly unlikely that it will do anything but rest there until melted away. The new roof will protect the family from the elements 24/7, 365 for many, many years to come.

Project Profiles: Historic Renovation

Maine State House Dome Restoration, Augusta, Maine

Team

COPPERSMITH: The Heritage Co., Waterboro, Maine
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Consigli Construction Co. Inc., Portland, Maine
ARCHITECT: LEO A DALY, Minneapolis
ENGINEER: Becker Structural Engineers, Portland

To remain proportional with the larger building, a new, higher copper-covered dome was built to replace the original cupola.

To remain proportional with the larger building, a new, higher copper-covered dome was built to replace the original cupola.

Roof Materials

Working 200 feet in the air on elaborate staging, carpenters, coppersmiths, engineers and other construction workers replaced more than 7,000 square feet of copper on the dome. The existing unique, curved copper components were carefully removed and saved to serve as models for the new components.

A full sheet-metal shop, consisting of an 8-foot brake, 52-inch jump shear and benches, was set up onsite at the 63-foot elevation mark, along with five cases of 20-ounce copper (about 12,880 pounds). Each copper component was carefully measured, cut and bent onsite, and then installed.

The compound curving components were made in The Heritage Co.’s “home” shop, using a shrinker/stretcher machine and an English wheel. Then, the copper was handformed over custom-made wood forms. Care was taken to exactly match the size and configuration of the existing components, as well as the seam layouts that were prevalent in the original copper work

Approximately 15 to 18 percent of the copper was waste because of the curved nature of many of the components. The waste was made into copper clip stock for the roof installation or recycled.

COPPER MANUFACTURER: Revere Copper Products Inc.
COPPER SUPPLIER: Beacon Sales Co.

Roof Report

The Maine State House was originally designed by renowned architect Charles Bulfinch in 1832. The dome was added in 1910 as part of a major remodeling and expansion project that ultimately created the building’s current appearance based on designs by G. Henri Desmond.

The original façade was preserved during remodeling, though the length of the building was doubled to 300 feet by extending the north and south wings. To remain proportional with the larger building, a new, higher copper-covered dome was built to replace the original cupola. The new dome rises to a height of 185 feet and is topped by a gold-clad copper statue, called “Lady Wisdom”, designed by W. Clark Noble.

Over time, weather damage and holes caused by hail strikes on the top of the dome caused leaks in the building. The seams between the copper sheets also caused problems for the underlying steel and concrete structure of the dome. The work included the installation of expansion joints, repairs to prevent water infiltration and restoration of the cupola (located between the top of the dome and Lady Wisdom), using a highly durable paint system. Lighting upgrades, copper repairs and the restoration of the gilded Lady Wisdom statue located atop the dome were also part of the project.

The dome’s structural system and framing were analyzed by Becker Structural Engineering one year in advance of dome construction, so Consigli Construction could create a 3-D model for staging to eliminate interior shoring.

Overall, this project restored one of Maine’s most significant historic landmark buildings, returning its signature copper dome and gilded Lady Wisdom sculpture to their original intended conditions.

PHOTO: Consigli Construction Co. Inc.

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Project Profiles: Education Facilities

Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, N.C.

TEAM

ZINC INSTALLER: Baker Roofing, Raleigh, N.C.
ARCHITECT: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte, N.C.

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic.

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic.

ROOF MATERIALS

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic. As North Carolina’s first new medical school in 35 years, Campbell University regards this building as an investment in the state’s future needs for health-care professionals and a modern educational space. Campbell wanted a building with permanence to show its commitment to health sciences in the long term, and zinc provides it with a durable metal that can survive decades of internal and external activities.

ZINC MANUFACTURER: VMZ Interlocking panel in 1-millimeter QUARTZ-ZINC and VMZ Standing Seam panel 1-millimeter in QUARTZ-ZINC from VMZINC

ROOF REPORT

The Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, which was completed in June 2013, consists of approximately 96,500 square feet on four floors. The building is designed to create a modern learning environment with simulation laboratories, traditional laboratories, an osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, student group-study rooms, student interaction areas, a resource library and small café. It hosts the School of Osteopathic Medicine and is designed to provide hands-on education for medical students.

PHOTO: VMZINC

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A Metal Roof Crowns a Residential New-construction Project

When Charles Callaghan purchased the two vacant lots next to his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., he thought they would form the perfect location for his family’s dream home. A team comprised of architects, contractors and manufacturers worked together to bring his ideas to life in the form of a new 7,500-square-foot residence. The building’s crowning feature is a metal roof system that was designed to complement the aesthetics of the home and stand up to the harsh oceanfront environment for decades to come.

The roof of the Callaghan residence in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., features 12,000 square feet of Petersen Aluminum’s Snap-Clad in Slate Gray.

The roof of the Callaghan
residence in Ponte Vedra
Beach, Fla., features 12,000 square feet of Petersen Aluminum’s Snap-Clad in Slate Gray.

“With the larger lot, we thought we could do something unique to the neighborhood,” Callaghan says. “When we first met with the architect, there were a few keys we wanted to stress. First, we didn’t want a boxy-looking house. We also wanted shingle-style siding and a metal roof. We like the look of the metal roof, we like the durability, and we thought it would be a good way of complementing the shingles on the house.”

At every phase of the project, the team of construction professionals ensured the project was executed with precision, down to the last detail of the metal roof.

THE DESIGN

The house was designed by Jaycox Architects & Associates, Jacksonville, Fla. According to William R. Jaycox, principal, the plan made the backyard pool the home’s focal point. “They wanted to do a casual, shingle-style beach house that wasn’t like everyone else’s house,” Jaycox notes. “We designed the house so it was mostly single-story and spread it out around the pool, which made for an interesting roof design. It’s all in small modules.”

The L-shaped home features a master-bedroom suite on one side while the other side contains the living room, dining room, kitchen, family room and guest bedroom. “This one also has a four-car garage under the main roof, and, because the house wraps continuously around the pool, you get a fun little foyer in the front with a little cupola up above, you get the dormers for the bedrooms in the attic, and the master suite is a little pod unto itself,” Jaycox adds. “The back has a pool pavilion separate from the house. When you put all of those elements together, you get a very interesting structure, and the metal roof was perfect because it accentuates the lines.”

The roof system specified included 12,000 square feet of aluminum panels in the cool-color Slate Gray. “This house is only a few blocks from the ocean, and in those cases we typically use aluminum,” Jaycox says. “We’ve had great success with that system. It’s absolutely bombproof from a corrosion standpoint with stainless fasteners, heavy-gauge aluminum and the Kynar finish.”

Thorne Metal Systems installed a high-temperature, self-adhered underlayment beneath the metal roof, as specified.

Thorne Metal Systems installed a high-temperature, self-adhered underlayment beneath the metal roof, as specified.

When applied by a certified installer, the system can qualify for a 20-year Oceanfront Finish Warranty from the manufacturer. In addition, the roof meets all Florida’s tough building-code requirements. The system, consisting of 0.040-gauge aluminum, 16-inch-wide panels with fastening clips spaced at 24-inches on-center, carries a Miami-Dade NOA with a -110 PSF uplift. (The UL 90 uplift is -52.5 PSF.)

THE INSTALLATION

The roofing contractor on the project was Thorne Metal Systems of Middleburg, Fla. Owner Bill Thorne has been installing metal roofs since 1989. He formed his own company 13 years ago, and it has become the go-to metal roof installer for Jaycox Architects
& Associates and the general contractor on the project, C.F. Knight Inc., Jacksonville.

Thorne has a lot of experience installing this particular aluminum roof system. “The system is a very easy system to install,” he says. “It’s very user- friendly. The panels have male and female joints that snap together and are held in place with stainless-steel clips.”

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

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Project Profiles: Retail/Mixed-use

Outlet Collection at Niagara Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Team

DEVELOPER: Ivanhoé Cambridge, Montreal

The largest open-air outlet mall in Canada features approximately 23,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies.

The largest open-air outlet mall in Canada features approximately 23,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies. PHOTO: Birdair

Roof Materials

The largest open-air outlet mall in Canada features approximately 23,000 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane walkway canopies. The membrane canopies exhibit a flying-mast cone design that provides relief from the elements and creates a signature look for the shopping center.

PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is durable and weather-resistant. PTFE fiberglass membranes can be installed in climates ranging from the frigid arctic to the scorching desert heat with a project life in some cases exceeding 30 years.

PTFE fiberglass coating is chemically inert, and the low-surface free energy of the material results in an electrical-grade fabric membrane that is readily rinsed by rain-water. It is also immune to UV radiation. This combination makes PTFE-coated fabric membrane ideal for projects requiring weather endurance and fire resistance.

PTFE fiberglass is ENERGY STAR- and Cool Roof Rating Council-certified. During scientific tests of its solar properties, it was discovered that PTFE fiberglass membranes reflect as much as 73 percent of the sun’s energy while holding just 7 percent on its exterior surface. Certain grades of PTFE fiberglass can absorb 14 percent of the sun’s energy while allowing 13 percent of natural daylight and 7 percent of reradiated energy (solar heat) to transmit through.

PTFE FIBERGLASS MEMBRANE DESIGNER, FABRICATOR, INSTALLER: Birdair

Roof Report

Located beside the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, less than 20 kilometers from the U.S. border, the 520,000-square-foot shopping center features 102 retailers, including Canada’s first Pandora outlet, White House Black Market outlet and Bass Pro Shops Outpost. Other sought-after brands at the center include a Kate Spade Outlet, NIKE Factory Store, Calvin Klein Outlet and Michael Kors Outlet.

The Niagara Outlet Collection was developed to attract shoppers and visitors who might have otherwise crossed the U.S. border to shop in the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, the Walden Galleria or the Boulevard Mall. David Baffa, Ivanhoé Cambridge senior vice president of retail development, said the developer wants the new outlet collection to be part of the Niagara experience.

Outlet Collection at Niagara is committed to corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability and has a number of design features throughout the property to raise awareness of its green initiatives. Its canopies make the open-air concept possible, reducing energy consumption because the common areas do not need to be heated or cooled. Some of the public buildings, like guest services and the eatery, have been designed so that they can be opened to the outdoors in favorable weather, thus saving energy and connecting people to the outdoors.

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Project Profiles: Health Care

Union Printers Home, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Team

ROOFING CONTRACTOR: Interstate Roofing, Colorado Springs

Roof Materials

Interstate Roofing recommended Valoré Slate in the Villa color blend of medium and dark grays for the reroofing project. Valoré synthetic slate roofing tiles are made using proprietary VariBlend technology to form varying shades from tile to tile, creating an infinite number of color shades. Each single-width synthetic slate roofing tile is crafted using virgin polymer resins to guarantee a sustainable product. Valoré Slate tiles come in 12-inch tile widths with a 1/2-inch tile thickness, making it a lightweight yet realistic slate roofing tile option. (The Valoré Slate product line no longer is available.)
VALORÉ SLATE MANUFACTURER: DaVinci Roofscapes

Interstate Roofing recommended Valoré Slate in the Villa color blend of medium and dark grays for the reroofing project.

Interstate Roofing recommended Valoré Slate in the Villa color blend of medium and dark grays for the reroofing project.

Roof Report

Fondly known in Colorado Springs as the Castle on the Hill, the Union Printers Home has a long history of caring for people. Built in 1892 by members of the International Typographical Union to offer specialized health care to their union members, the facility today serves the general public with a multitude of services, including assisted living, nursing care, rehabilitation and hospice.

In 2012, extreme hail damage made it essential to replace the roof on the structure, which is a State of Colorado Historical Site. Interstate Roofing removed more than 50-year-old asbestos tiles on the roof and recommended polymer roofing tiles that complement the existing architectural style. “Considering the age, condition and historical value of the structure, we needed a roofing product that could work with the building while ensuring longevity to the structure,” says Scott Riopelle, owner of Interstate Roofing in Colorado Springs.

Although Riopelle was confident in the selection of the roofing product, there were many challenges for this project. The 50-man crew first had to complete the safe removal of the existing asbestos-laden tiles.

“We had to erect scaffolding 5-stories high to access the roof,” Riopelle says. “Due to the 12:12 roof pitch and the multiple turrets on the structure, building containment areas and debris removal were extremely dangerous. During the entire process, we performed continuous air-quality testing to ensure the safety of the home’s residents, staff and our crew.”

The team worked through the winter months and experienced continuous rain, wind and snow. Riopelle explains: “This means we had abatement processes, plywood redecking, dry-in and loading crews, heavy-equipment contractors, installers and supply companies all working in extreme-weather conditions. For this project, logistics and coordination went minute-to-minute.”

The temporary removal of the large historic clock on the front of the Union Printers Home created the next challenge. Because of its age, there was concern for the clock’s condition. Staff at the home asked that the hands of the clock not be moved; they were permanently set at 8 o’clock to represent the union’s efforts in the past to encourage an eight-hour workday.

Reroofing the turrets on the project was easier because of the Turret Package from DaVinci Roofscapes. Interstate Roofing provided DaVinci with four dimensions (the distance from the peak to the turret to the edge of the drip cap, the turret pitch, the turret cap length and the coursing exposure). From that information, Turret Packages were created, including the starter tiles, numbered field bundles custom-engineered for each course and a turret map diagram to guide the team through installation.

The three-month project had a gratifying outcome for Riopelle and his team. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime project,” Riopelle says. “Although we’ve completed projects much larger and more complex, this one was special because of the history associated with the Printers Union Home and the importance of the facility to the community.”

Interstate Roofing embraced the challenge of tying the old historic structure in with the new technology of the polymer slate products. “The results are amazing. This historic structure has a new life thanks to this roof,” Riopelle observes. “And since the roofing tiles are impact- and fire-resistant, there’s greater peace-of-mind for the staff and residents at the Union Printers Home.”

PHOTO: DaVinci Roofscapes

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Green Roof Provides Learning Opportunities at the University of Iowa’s Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building

Established just 59 days after Iowa became a state in 1847, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, boasts a number of firsts. In 1855, it became the first U.S. public university to admit men and women; at that time, its enrollment consisted of 124 students—41 of which were women. In 1873, it was the first school to grant a law degree to a woman. In 1895, it became the first university to place an African American on a varsity sports team.

As such, the university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. PHOTO: Roof Top Sedums LLC

The university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. PHOTO: Roof Top Sedums LLC


In more recent years, the university has strived to lead via its environmental efforts. As a Green Power Partner of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the university pledges to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation through the use of renewables. In 2010, it established its first sustainability plan—2020 Vision UIowa Sustainability Targets, which contains the following goals:

  • Become a Net-negative Energy Consumer
  • Green Our Energy Portfolio
  • Decrease Our Production of Waste
  • Reduce the Carbon Impact of Transportation
  • Increase Student Opportunities to Learn and Practice Principles of Sustainability
  • Support and Grow Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability-focused and Related Areas
  • Develop Partnerships and Advance Collaborative Initiatives, both Academic and Operational

Among the University of Iowa’s strategies to achieve its sustainability goals is ensuring all new construction and major renovations on campus achieve a minimum LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington.

The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes.

The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes. PHOTO: Scott Nagel


As such, the university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes, including glow-emitting sealants, paints, carpet and other materials; water-efficient landscaping; and recycled content and regional materials. It also achieves an-other university first: three green roofs, one of which provides students the opportunity to grow medicinal plants.

Opting for Trays

Des Moines, Iowa-based landscape architecture firm Confluence has been completing projects at the University of Iowa for many years through its Iowa offices—Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Confluence was hired by the project’s architect of record, Rohrbach Associates PC Architects, Iowa City, to complete landscaping around and on top of the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building in the form of three green roofs that total approximately 6,440 square feet. Despite the building’s consider-able roof area, the design team opted to install the green roofs on lower roof areas upon which building occupants would be looking. The rest of the roof cover is a reflective membrane system.

Confluence provided the layout for a modular green roof on the three distinctive roof areas. Patrick Alvord, PLA, RA, LEED AP, a principal in Confluence’s Cedar Rapids office, notes the chosen tray system was off-the-rack, which is what made it appealing to him and his colleagues. “We spent a lot of time talking to the manufacturer and they were just great to work with,” Alvord says. “We had a number of case studies of work they had done in the Chicagoland area that had proven very successful, so we had a very high level of comfort right out of the gate.”

Alvord opted to use the 6-inch-deep tray model because it would provide some flexibility in the plant materials that could be specified. “We were able to specify different plant materials in the plan of the roof to coordinate with shade, densities and location,” he says. “In areas where the roof would be highly visible from floors above, we did some patterning with the plants. In areas where we had the opportunity to go deep, we planted deeper-rooting plants that will grow taller and provide a denser plant palette.”

The plants are a mix of native and adaptive Iowa plants, as well as recommendations from the green-roof supplier. “It’s a mix of perennials, grasses and forbs, ranging from sedums to liatris to a number of different things,” Alvord notes.

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Projects: Office

DPR Construction, Phoenix

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Team

Roofing contractor: Arithane Foam, Corona, Calif.
Architect/engineer: SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix
Daylighting systems distributor: Norcon Industries, Guadalupe, Ariz.

Roof Materials

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building, formerly an abandoned retail boutique at the corner of 44th Street and Van Buren in Phoenix.

“The use of the Daylighting Systems was an integral part of our sustainability and lighting energy savings plans for the renovated space,” says Dave Elrod, regional manager of DPR Construction, Phoenix. “The products are a cost-efficient solution to provide lighting since they nearly eliminate the need for artificial daytime lighting.”

In addition, the roof is composed of foam with an R-25 insulation value (approximately 4-inches thick) over plywood sheathing.

Daylighting systems manufacturer: Solatube International Inc.
Foam roofing manufacturer: Quik-Shield from SWD Urethane

Roof Report

DPR Construction is a national technical builder specializing in highly complex and sustainable projects. In less than 10 months, the design-build team researched, designed, permit-ted, and built a highly efficient and modern workplace with numerous innovative sustainability features.

In addition to natural daylighting, the office features an 87-foot zinc-clad solar chimney, which releases hot air from the building while drawing cooler air in; shower towers that act as evaporative coolers to regulate building temperatures; 87 operable windows designed to open and close automatically (based on indoor/outdoor temperatures); and two “vampire” shut-off switches to keep electrical devices (radios, cell-phone chargers, microwaves) from using plug energy when no one is in the office.

Access to the building was limited during construction. Spray foam roofing, which took about seven days to complete, had to be done in small quadrants because of the tight schedule as work was progressing in the other sections. The roofing workers were challenged by the barrel-shaped roof, which created footing difficulties, and the many penetrations that had to be flashed, including all PV support legs, Solatubes, skylights and HVAC penetrations. Work was completed in the middle of winter, so additional protections and efficiencies were required.

The circa-1972 building has been officially certified as a Net-Zero Energy Building by the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute through its Living Building Challenge program. It also has received LEED-NC Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C.

PHOTOS: Ted Van Der Linden, DPR Construction

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A Standing-seam Roof Protects a Bank and Its Offices for the Long Term

Located on a high-traffic, signature intersection in Taylorville, Ill., Palmer Bank sought a timeless design that would visually represent its strength and stability to the community of just more than 11,000 people.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

“We clearly wanted to take advantage of the great location with a strong, timeless design,” says Andy Young, The Redmond Co.’s director of project development and construction manager on the project. “We presented two options to the bank regarding the roof … It was pretty unanimous that everyone liked the standing-seam profile look. We also liked the life-cycle cost of the roof since the bank plans to be the owner of this building for the long term.”

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill. The crew, which consisted of six tied-off workers, installed fascia, gutters, downspouts and soffit. Flashing components were custom-fabricated in E.L. Pruitt’s shop.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency. The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency.

According to Dallas Stephenson, E. L. Pruitt’s project manager, the roofing job took about six weeks to complete. He explains: “The most difficult part was doing all the seam layout because the product requires a progressive install, which means you can’t really start in the middle of the roof and work both directions. You have to start in a corner and work out of a corner and then work into a corner and then work back out of the corner.”

The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

Stephenson notes symmetrically lining up seams on the bank’s dormers and then across the roof was challenging. “Once we got all that figured out—took all the measurements on the job site and confirmed them—it went fairly smoothly,” he says.

“We knew the many hips and valleys would be somewhat of an installation challenge, but the installer did a terrific job,” Young notes.

Stephenson is quick to return the compliment: “Scott Brooks, site superintendent, and Andy Young from The Redmond Co. did an excellent job of picking a good team to build Palmer Bank. Everything just worked out great!”

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

Team

Roofing installer: E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.
Designer: The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis.

Roof Materials

Approximately 9,000 square feet of 24-gauge, 16-inch Snap-Clad panels and 2,200 square feet of PAC-850 Soffit Panels were utilized to meet the design objectives. The Snap-Clad panels were finished in Charcoal and the 0.032 PAC-850 Panels were finished in Slate Gray.
Panels’ manufacturer: Petersen Aluminum Corp.
Roof deck protection manufacturer: Deck-Armor from GAF
Underlayment manufacturer: Grace Ice and Water Shield