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

Elton specified a white TPO membrane that is 0.060-inch thick. It offers a three-year aged reflectance of 0.55 and a minimum thermal emittance of 0.75 for low-slope nonresidential buildings. “The building is LEED certifiable but it’s not certified because the client didn’t want to spend the money to complete the certification,” Elton states.

The team experimented and found the corrugated metal could flex in the long direction at a rate of about 2:12.

The team experimented and found the corrugated metal could flex in the long direction at a rate of about 2:12.

Bullens says his crew created a 1/8-inch tapered slope on the wood deck that had been constructed completely level. Center drains had been cut into the roof, so the roofing crew installed crickets between the drains. “That was all screwed down with plates and screws and then we installed the TPO on top of that,” Bullens says. The roof is insulated to R-45.

A perimeter flag system was installed to keep the crew safe, and a safety monitor was designated. Bullens adds for work outside the flags, team members were harnessed and tied off.

Bullens and Elton state the detail work to tie the roof into the building was tricky. “There are some extremely extended parapets on this building,” Elton says. “They’re handled in different ways. Some of the parapets come to a point and are very deep; some are approximately 30 inches beyond the building. They had to be integrated into the roofing. The installers were very skilled and had to be detailed to achieve the smooth contemporary appearance while providing connections and stability to prevent oil-canning distortions.”

Lastly, the roof has been prepared for future photovoltaics. Conduits have been run from the electrical in the basement to the roof for future connections, and appropriate structural preparations were done to accommodate the projected weight of the solar panels. Elton says the developer is seeking funding for a solar installation currently.


Elton finds all of his projects rewarding, not only because he can go around town and identify buildings he designed, but also because his work helps create communities. “I’m very fortunate to have figured out a way to make a living doing something I think is beneficial to the community,” he says. “And it makes you feel good for the people in the community who are getting work out of it. For the AB&W Building, we worked with a general contracting company owned by a Chinese immigrant who literally stowed away on a boat and a black man who was the center of the UMass basketball team. They have all minority crews, which is representative of Dorchester. And it’s a pretty nice piece of architecture, so I feel pretty good about it.”


Architect: Elton + Hampton Architects, Roxbury, Mass.
Roofing Contractor: Lancaster Enterprises, Dedham, Mass., (617) 719-4287
General Contractor: Crosswinds Enterprises, Roxbury
Owner/Developer: Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp., Dorchester, Mass.


TPO membrane: Firestone Building Products

  • 0.060-inch-thick UltraPly in white
  • Corrugated metal wall and roof panels: Metal Sales

  • 2.5-inch corrugated, 26-gauge in an MS Colorfast45 finish of Patriot Red
  • Pages: 1 2 3

    About Christina A. Koch

    Christina A. Koch is editor in chief of Roofing.

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