North American Copper in Architecture Awards Contest Accepts Contest Submissions

For centuries, copper has been used on buildings not only for its beauty, but its durability, versatility and longevity. Now in its 10th year, the North American Copper in Architecture (NACIA) awards program is accepting submissions for innovative and unique copper or copper alloy building projects in the U.S. and Canada. Architects and sheet metal contractors can submit their projects for the 2017 awards campaign through the end of January.   

The Copper Development Association (CDA), in collaboration with the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA) , is proud to recognize projects in the categories of Restoration/Renovation, New Construction and Ornamental Applications. Over the years, award-winning copper projects have come in the form of new and restored government buildings, educational facilities, museums, libraries, firehouses, single-family homes and places of worship.

With 2017 marking the program’s 10th anniversary, the copper industry is seeking the public’s help in selecting the top 10 projects from the last decade. Participate by voting for your favorite copper projects.

To celebrate the milestone, the top 10 copper projects, along with the 2017 award winners, will also be announced in April at the NACIA awards ceremony in Orlando.

For more information about the NACIA awards program, visit the Call for Entries Page. The submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2017.

Submissions for NACIA Awards Are Being Accepted Through January

Submissions for the 2016 North American Copper in Architecture (NACIA) awards program are being accepted through the end of January. The Copper Development Association (CDA), in collaboration with the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA), is looking for the most innovative projects across the U.S. and Canada that are designed with copper and copper alloys. Project categories include Restoration, New Construction and Ornamental Applications.

For more information about the NACIA awards program, or to submit a project visit the Call for Entries page. The submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2016.

Over the years, award-winning copper projects have come in the form of new and restored museums, educational facilities, libraries, firehouses, high-end residential single-family homes and places of worship.

Those recognized in the 2015 awards program included:

  • The New School University Center – a 16-story university building located on 5th Avenue in New York City cladded with 7,500 metal panels, each custom finished to age in a distinguished way and to grow darker brown over time.
  • A Private Residence – an 8,200-square-foot private residence with a copper roof built on a bluff in Lookout Mountain, with its sweeping view of the Chattanooga, Tenn., river valley.
  • The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas – When the City of Irving lost its bid to build a new, modern stadium for the Dallas Cowboys, the Irving Convention Center was introduced as a re-imagined 100,000-square-feet entertainment palace covered in 150 tons of milled, perforated copper panels.

The Copper Development Association Names Head of Health, Environment and Sustainable Development Program

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has chosen Carrie Claytor to lead its Health, Environment and Sustainable Development (HESD) program. Centered on providing valuable scientific data and regulatory guidance to the industry, CDA’s HESD program delivers information on copper in areas including toxicology, environmental protection, human health and sustainable development.

Claytor brings 14 years of experience as a toxicologist, researcher and author to CDA. She most recently worked at GEI Consultants Inc. and at Parametrix Inc. During her research as an eco-toxicologist, Claytor co-wrote several papers relating to copper and the Biotic Ligand Model. She is also extensively involved with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), where she served as co-chair of the North American Program Committee from 2014-15 and as associate editor and editor-in-chief of the SETAC Globe.

“Claytor has worked on numerous copper projects throughout her career,” says Thomas Passek, president of the Copper Development Association. “Her unique knowledge and experience within the HESD community, as well as her ability to influence policy, make her an ideal fit for the position.”

Claytor holds a master’s degree in zoology from the Center for Environmental Toxicology and Statistics at Miami University, and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Ohio University. She joined CDA as staff liaison to the HESD program as of Monday, Sept. 28.

Copper Development Association Creates Platform to Provide News and Application Information

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has created a new platform,, that provides a forum for industry professionals to discuss copper news and applications with experts and thought leaders. The organization invites professionals in a diverse array of fields—from healthcare and technology to building construction and sustainability—to join the conversation.

“Copper impacts a wide array of industries and is utilized in numerous sectors, and our goal is to bring all of these voices together in one digital platform,” says Kyle Sexton, CDA communications coordinator. “ offers a modern, visual venue for the world’s oldest metal, and encourages collaborative, innovative discussion within the industry.”

This new blog covers multiple topics, including architecture, sustainability, plumbing, technology and building construction. It also provides timely updates on news and trends related to copper, such as the use of antimicrobial copper in healthcare settings and the metal’s growing role in sustainable-energy technologies. CDA invites individuals with industry insight or a unique viewpoint on copper to contribute to the blog and engage with other readers.

“We aim to enrich industry conversation by providing multiple perspectives on our blog, and by encouraging readers to engage with blog authors,” says Sexton. “This distinctive platform offers anyone the chance to connect with top industry leaders and discuss copper applications with the experts.”

Readers can also stay up-to-date on the conversation by following @ThinkCopper on Twitter. Those interested in contributing to the blog may contact Kyle Sexton or visit the ThinkCopper website for more information.

Copper Development Association Names President

Thomas S. Passek has been named president of the Copper Development Association (CDA) effective February 1, 2015. He succeeds Andrew Kireta Sr., who retired this January after 36 years with the organization.

Passek brings nearly three decades of metals industry and association management experience to CDA. He was most recently the managing director of the ASM International (formerly the American Society of Metals), an organization that serves metallurgists, materials professionals and managers worldwide.

Passek also served as the executive director of The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), where he worked with standards-setting bodies including ASME, ASTM and ISO TAG groups. He is a member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives as well as the American Society of Association Executives.

“Thom’s significant experience makes him a strong choice to lead CDA,” says Stephen Higgins, CDA chairman. “I am confident that through his demonstrated ability to successfully lead a large professional association, Passek will continue to advance the strength and influence of CDA.”

The Copper Development Association is a key trade association of the North American copper industry, with the objective of influencing the use of copper and copper alloys through precompetitive research, market development/promotion, and education, as well as technical and end-user support. CDA is committed to promoting the proper use of copper materials in sustainable, efficient applications for business, industry and the home.

Copper Development Association President and CEO Retires

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has announced the retirement of President and CEO Andrew Kireta Sr. after 36 years with the organization. Kireta will step down on January 2, 2015, leaving a legacy of strong industry relationships and innovative programs that have been created under his leadership.

Kireta began his career as a pipefitting apprentice for a large mechanical contracting firm in Harrisburg, Pa, and quickly rose to field superintendent.

Since joining CDA in 1979 as Northeast regional manager of piping applications, Kireta has been instrumental in furthering the association’s goals of market development, education and engineering services. In his early years at CDA, Kireta dedicated himself to connecting CDA and its members to the marketplace and successfully built his staff from two to nine people.

After being promoted to vice president of CDA in 1998, Kireta spearheaded the Builder Satisfaction Program, which significantly demonstrated the consumer benefits of copper plumbing to the home building industry. He also introduced a 50-year limited warranty on residential copper plumbing products.

Kireta went on to promote and expand copper plumbing and mechanical system markets by directing the North American Plumbing Tube Initiative for the U.S. and Canada, and helped to develop the successful UA Instructor Training Program. In 2000, Kireta took over for Robert Payne as President and CEO of CDA. In this role, he continued to identify new applications for copper, such as antimicrobial, and new domestic markets for copper and copper alloys.

“On behalf of the Copper Development Association, I wish to thank Andrew Kireta Sr. for his many years of service to the copper industry,” said Stephen Higgins, CDA chairman, at the association’s annual Winter Meeting. “Whether as a pipefitter, a teacher or a CEO, Kireta’s dedication and leadership have strengthened the industry. We will continue to see his mark on CDA for years to come.”

‘Copper in Architecture’ Webinar Scheduled for Dec. 19

The Copper Development Association (CDA) is hosting a “Copper in Architecture” webinar for design professionals on Dec. 19. Attendees have the opportunity to gain continuing education credit through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) while learning how copper, brass and bronze are used in building and construction.

The webinar, conducted in conjunction with Green CE/RBA, examines copper design basics, architectural uses, finishes and service-life. Larry Peters, CDA Project Manager & Architectural Applications Specialist, will lead the hour-long discussion.

“Copper and copper alloys are popular materials for architectural applications,” said Peters. “The webinar teaches architects how to use copper in different ways, employing proven techniques to enhance their own designs.”

The course also covers copper sources, energy efficiency, architectural design practices, common mistakes and sustainability. Recent copper projects provide examples of how copper/copper alloys are used for roofing, wall cladding and ornamental systems. A questions and answer session concludes the program.

“We want the building and construction community to know that CDA serves as a resource for architects, contractors and engineers seeking technical information and assistance on the use of copper and copper alloys,” said Peters. “This webinar provides a timely and more cost-effective way to reach design professionals who may otherwise not be able to attend a seminar in-person.”

The webinar is scheduled from 12 to 1 p.m. on December 19. Attendees qualify for one Continuing Education Unit and one Health, Safety and Wellness learning unit. Register for the Webinar.

Copper Development Association Offers AIA-accredited Introductory Course on Copper

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has received accreditation from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for its introductory course on copper and its unique properties. The course, which covers mining, processing, material properties and typical uses of copper, will earn students one Learning Unit Credit from the AIA.

The course was launched as part of a new informational tool, the Copper Learning Center, that has been developed by the CDA. This virtual classroom provides students and industry professionals easy access to extensive information on copper and its many applications.

CDA has gathered information from industry experts in order to provide the most accurate information on copper usage in industry and manufacturing. The courses will be organized into concise, engaging and affordable modules that can be accessed on-demand. Future courses will be developed specifically for experienced professionals, and will focus on copper applications in building and construction, as well as sustainable energy.

“We feel that the Copper Learning Center will be a great resource for students and industry professionals alike, because it will provide an extensive, mobile-friendly and self-paced learning network,” said CDA Vice President Robert Weed.

“This learning center will continue to grow, and will provide a platform for other educational opportunities, including online webinars and access to a community of experts that can help users develop as professionals,” said Weed. “We are also working toward offering more Continuing Education credits for these courses, and will be constantly evolving the site to add even more resources for our users.”

If your organization would like to enroll multiple employees in the classes, please contact the CDA and they will work with you to establish an organizational discount. You may reach out to Kyle Sexton, Program Coordinator for CDA, at

For more information about the Copper Learning Center, watch this informational video, or click here to register for the course.

North American Copper in Architecture Award Winners Are Announced

A filling station replica designed by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, a 250-year-old windmill relocated from the Netherlands and the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral are among this year’s top building projects receiving a North American Copper in Architecture Award (NACIA).

A mix of 14 new and recently restored buildings in the U.S. that utilize architectural copper and copper alloys in their design are being recognized by the copper industry. The 2014 NACIA award recipients include a government statehouse, museum, two transit hubs, a historic theatre building, and many more.

“Based on the projects being awarded this year, we can see that copper continues to play an integral role in architectural and building design,” said Andy Kireta, Jr., vice president for the Copper Development Association (CDA). “Each year, the selection process becomes more difficult by the size and scope of the projects. Copper is being used in a variety of different applications for both new construction and restoration work, helping architects and developers add to a building’s longevity while preserving its past.”

The St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in the heart of New York City and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, is visited by more than 5 million people each year. In 2013, the 136-year-old Neo-Gothic style Roman Catholic cathedral underwent a massive restoration project, which included upgrading the cast bronze double-leaf doors and several copper architectural structures inside the cathedral.

Copper was also used to restore and preserve the 125-foot tall DeZwaan Windmill, which was built in the Netherlands in 1761 and later reassembled in Holland, Michigan in 1964. Nearly 5,000 pounds of copper, all individually cut and hemmed from 20-ounce sheet copper, was used to shingle the windmill’s mill cap and flash the tower. It is the oldest and only authentic-working Dutch windmill in North America.

Following Frank Lloyd Wright’s sketches from the 1920s, copper was used extensively to bring to life the architect’s vision for a filling station. Copper was used for the standing seam roof, as well as for the twin totems, columns, cantilevered canopies and hanging gravity gas pumps. The filling station is on display at the Pierce-Arrow Buffalo Transportation Museum in upstate New York.

The NACIA awards program was established in 2008 and promotes projects that display innovation and excellence in architectural copper applications. The awards showcase a wide range of design, detail and craftsmanship. Sponsored by industry representatives at the Copper Development Association (CDA) and the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA), projects are selected across three different categories: New Construction, Renovation/Restoration and Ornamental Applications. This year’s recipients include:

New Construction:
Coastal Cohousing Community — Coastal Maine
Application: Roofing, exterior ornamental
Architect: Richard Renner | Architects
General Contractor: Wright-Ryan Homes
Sheet Metal Contractor: The Heritage Company, LLC
Landscape Architect/Planner: Terrence J. DeWan Associates

Garage — Vashon, Wash.
Application: Wall Cladding
Architect: Graypants
General Contractor: Schuchart/Dow
Structural Engineer: Swenson Say Faget

Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Civil East | Green Line — St. Paul, Minn.
Application: Roofing, Exterior Ornamental
Sheet Metal Contractor: MG McGrath Inc.
Architect: AECOM
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson

John W. Olver Transit Center — Greenfield, Mass.
Application: Wall Cladding
Architect: Charles Rose Architects Inc.
General Contractor: Fontaine Bros. Inc.
Sheet Metal Contractor: Steeltech
Copper Panel Engineer and Fabricator: Zahner
MEP/FP: Arup

Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum — Natchitoches, La.
Application: Wall Cladding
Architect: Trahan Architects
Copper Panel Manufacturer: A2MG Architectural Metal & Glass Inc.
Copper Panel Installer: F.L. Crane & Sons Inc.

North Dakota Heritage Center — Bismarck, N.D.
Application: Exterior Ornamental, Interior Ornamental
Sheet Metal Contractor: MG McGrath Inc.
Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
General Contractor: Comstock Construction

6 Harrison St. — New York
Application: Roofing and Exterior Restoration
Sheet Metal Manufacturer: B&B Sheet Metal Inc.
Installer: Skyline Restoration Inc.

Building 52 Clock Tower — Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Application: Exterior Ornamental, Roof and Dome Restoration
Consulting Architect: Treanor Architects P.A.
Architect: GLMV Architecture
Owner: United States Army Garrison, Fort Leavenworth
Sheet Metal Contractor: Renaissance Roofing Inc.
Specialty Fabrication – Crimped Copper: Heather & Little Ltd.
General Contractor: Hydro-Tech Inc.
Structural Engineer: Dudley Williams & Associates P.A.

DeZwaan Windmill Restoration — Holland, Mich.
Application: Mill Cap Restoration
Historic Restoration Contractor: Grand River Builders
General Contractor: Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals
Supervising Consultant: Verbij Windmill Design & Construction

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Restoration — New York
Application: Door restoration, Exterior and Interior Ornamental
Architectural and Bronze Conservators: G & L POPIAN Inc.
Architect: Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Arch.
General Contractor: Structure Tone Inc.
Owner: Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Tibbits Opera House Facade Restoration — Coldwater, Mich.
Application: Wall Cladding, Exterior Ornamental
Historic Restoration Contractor: Grand River Builders
Architect: Tom Roberts, AIA
General Contractor: Owen Ames Kimball
Owner: Tibbits Opera Foundation & Arts Council Inc.

Kansas Statehouse Copper Dome & Roof Replacement — Topeka, Kan.
Application: Dome and Roof Restoration
Architect: Treanor Architects P.A.
Owner: State of Kansas
General Contractor: J.E. Dunn Construction Co.
Sheet Metal Contractor- Dome: Baker Roofing Co.
Sheet Metal Contractor- Roof: MG McGrath Inc.
Specialty Fabrication – Dome: Ornametals LLC

Frank Lloyd Wright Filling Station — Buffalo, N.Y.
Application: Roofing, Exterior and Interior Ornamental
Sheet Metal Contractor: Grove Roofing Services
Architect: Lauer-Manguso & Associates Architects
General Contractor: R&P Oak Hill Development
Owner: Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum

Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, Bronze Entry Doors — Hubertus, Wis.
Application: Doors, Exterior Ornamental
Architect: Duncan G. Stroik Architect LLC
Architectural/Ornamental Metal Fabricator: Louis Hoffmann Co.
Sculptor: Cody Swanson Sculpture

The building projects were judged by a panel of architectural and copper industry experts. Entries were evaluated based upon overall building design, integration of copper, craft of copper installation and excellence in innovation or historic restoration. To view each project, including photos and profiles, visit the CDA website.

Planning for Thermal Movement: An Essential Element of Copper Roofing Design

For centuries, copper has been used as a roofing material because of its ease of installation, adaptability to simple and unique designs, resistance to the elements and superior longevity. Copper’s warmth and beauty complements any style of building, from Gothic cathedrals to the most modern museums and private residences. Its naturally weathering surface, whether in a rich bronze tone or an elegant green patina, is a clear indication that the building owner will only accept the very best.

This detail indicates a method for terminating a copper roof at the eave. The fascia trim is bent to extend onto the roof deck to become an integral flashing apron nailed to the roof. The copper pan is secured to the apron lip to achieve vertical restraint. Horizontal movement of the copper roof sheet is accommodated by the loose-lock fold of the pan over the fascia lip. Click to view a larger version. IMAGE: <em>COPPER IN ARCHITECTURE–DESIGN HANDBOOK</em>

This detail indicates a method for terminating a copper roof at the eave. The fascia trim is bent to extend onto the roof deck to become an integral flashing apron nailed to the roof. The copper pan is secured to the apron lip to achieve vertical restraint. Horizontal movement of the copper roof sheet is accommodated by the loose-lock fold of the pan over the fascia lip. Click to view a larger version.

Unfortunately, long-term performance of even the best construction materials can be compromised if the system is not designed or installed properly. For architectural sheet-metal installations, movement that occurs with changes in temperature must be considered during the design process. All metals expand when heated and contract when cooled. While this process is well understood, far too many contractors ignore thermal movement during system design or installation. Ultimately, this can lead to failure of the roofing and flashing system, causing extreme damage to the building. The Copper in Architecture–Design Handbook, which is published by the Copper Development Association (CDA) and available online as a free download, provides examples of how to accommodate for thermal movement of copper systems.

Calculating for the potential thermal movement of sheet metal is easy. Simply multiply a metal’s coefficient of thermal expansion by the metal’s expected temperature change by the length of the piece. Remember: It’s not the air temperature we’re considering; it’s the temperature of the metal. Anyone who’s touched a metal roof or the top of their car in the summer knows it gets significantly hotter than the air!

An example based on a 10-footlong piece of copper:

  • 10 feet (typical flashing piece length) x 0.0000098 per degree F (copper’s coefficient of thermal expansion) x 200 degrees F (possible metal temperature change from coldest winter night to hottest summer day) x 12 inches per foot = 0.24 inch. In this case, the calculated movement is a little less than 1/4 inch.

Remember, the coefficient of thermal expansion depends on the type of metal you are using. Aluminum expands and contracts more than copper, and most steels move less. Series 300 alloy stainless steels are very similar to copper in movement, or expansion/ contraction rate. Naturally, temperature change is dependent on building location and exposure to the elements. Many professionals feel comfortable calculating the design movement with a temperature change in the 175 to 200 degree F range, but it’s the project architect or engineer’s responsibility to determine if this is adequate.

Modern rollforming equipment allows contractors and manufacturers to make very long panels, so potential total movement is even more significant.

Let’s investigate one type of common flashing design—in this case, at the eave, which is relatively simple but can easily be installed incorrectly:

  • Based on the previous formula, with roof panels that are 20-feet long and installed at a temperature between the hottest day and coldest night: 20 feet x 0.0000098 per degree F x 200 degrees F x 12 inches per foot = 0.47 inch.

Having one of the largest copper roofs in the country, the historic Kingswood High School, Cranford, Mich., recently underwent a massive $14 million roof-restoration project. The copper-clad roof is comprised of batten seams on the upper slopes, interior gutter with internal rainwater conductors, and standing- and flat-seam panels on the eaves. An embossed copper fascia and copper soffit panels complete the system. PHOTO: QUINN EVANS ARCHITECTS

Having one of the largest copper roofs in the country, the historic Kingswood High School, Cranford, Mich., recently underwent a massive $14 million roof-restoration project. The copper-clad roof is comprised of batten seams on the upper slopes, interior gutter with internal rainwater conductors, and standing- and flat-seam panels on the eaves. An embossed
copper fascia and copper soffit panels complete the system.

Because we’re installing mid-way in the temperature range and 0.47 inch is so close to 1/2 inch, dimension “A” can be 1/4 inch (one half the total potential movement). Naturally, the hem of the roof panel’s “loose lock” must coordinate with the length of the eave flashing to ensure the two are still engaged when the roof panels are fully expanded. While most contractors form eave flashings properly, some ignore the thermal movement gap “A” during installation, forcing panels to move fully onto the flashing. This eliminates the gap. When temperatures drop, the panels can’t contract, adding stress to the roofing system.

Through the years, countless thermal cycles and resulting stresses caused by expansion and contraction can take their toll. In the long run, something will fail. In some cases, work hardening of the metal can occur, causing it to crack or tear. In other cases, fasteners, such as those used to attach cleats, work back and forth, ultimately pulling them out of the substrate.

It’s easy, however, to avoid these problems. To ensure maximum performance of the roofing system, just follow the recommended design principles; understand how the different pieces of the system interact; and don’t cut corners. With a time-proven quality material like copper, proper workmanship and attention to detail can create a beautiful roof that could last the life of the building.

Learn More
For more information about architectural copper and roofing systems, visit the Copper Development Association’s website.