Creating Visual Impact with Copper and Silver Roofing Membranes

Whether you’re re-roofing a historic building that needs to maintain its aesthetics or you’re working on a new roof construction that has to make a statement, there are many instances in which a building owner would want his or her roof to generate a specific architectural appeal. The most difficult part of this is balancing durability and beauty with cost. Roof systems today have evolved to solve this conundrum. Now, copper and silver synthetic PVC membranes are being used to achieve the desired appearance of a metal standing-seam roof at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing performance.

Alternatives to Metal Roof Systems

Michigan State University replaced the existing slate roof system with SOPREMA SENTINEL Copper Art to provide the desired appearance and required long-term performance.

Michigan State University replaced the existing slate roof system with SOPREMA SENTINEL Copper Art to provide the desired appearance and required long-term performance.


Copper and silver synthetic membranes are great cost-effective alternatives to metal roofs. As flexible synthetic systems, these roof membranes are economical and easy to install by conforming to complex geometries.

Certain synthetic PVC roof membranes on the market today are offered in a variety of colors, some of which can mimic the look of metal roofing. While these roof membranes offer the proven long-term performance of flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC), they provide the metal appearance via the addition of pigments that can chalk or fade as the pigmented membrane ages, therefore losing the desired aesthetic feature.

Conversely, SOPREMA SENTINEL Copper and Silver Art PVC membranes incorporate copper or aluminum metallic powder into the PVC formulation, producing an enhanced metallic look. Unlike pigmented membranes, SENTINEL Copper Art provides the same weathering capabilities as traditional standing seam copper—the SENTINEL Copper Art will patina as a traditional copper roof would. Silver Art is unique because the color will not fade due to the addition of metallic powder, and its surface layer is factory embedded with an acrylic shield treatment to resist dirt pickup and chalking. Copper Art and Silver Art membranes provide the long-lasting aesthetic appearance and waterproofing abilities of a metal roof.

Applications for Copper and Silver Membranes

Copper and silver roof membranes are often used on buildings where aesthetics are important. Historic buildings, churches, schools, government buildings and army bases are a few examples of where this type of roof membrane has been installed. These buildings may require a particular appearance or designers may simply wish to update the appearance or provide some panache. Mansards or other areas of visible existing light-gauge metal roof systems may be present on these buildings and flexible copper and silver roof membranes may be used as an alternative aesthetic solution.

SENTINEL Silver Art met Glenside Public Library’s leak-free and architectural needs, plus the roofing contractor liked that the SENTINEL membrane was easy to install and looked great upon completion.

SENTINEL Silver Art met Glenside Public Library’s leak-free and architectural needs, plus the roofing contractor liked that the SENTINEL membrane was easy to install and looked great upon completion.

For example, since 2007, the slate roof of the Snyder-Phillips residence hall at Michigan State University had been leaking. The university needed to replace the existing slate roofing system with a new system that would meet the aesthetic requirements of the historic building. SOPREMA SENTINEL Copper Art was installed as a cap sheet to provide the desired appearance and the required long-term performance.

In addition, the Glenside Public Library had an existing standing-seam roof that was tied-in to a low-slope ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) roof. The tie-in between the two materials was problematic and continuously leaked. The library wanted to preserve the standing-seam appearance, but the noise created by wind and rain on the metal roof was a concern.

SOPREMA SENTINEL Silver Art was selected because it could provide the desired look while eliminating the tie-in issues between the steep- and low-slope roofing materials. SENTINEL Silver Art met the library’s leak-free and architectural needs, plus the roofing contractor liked that the SENTINEL membrane was easy to install and looked great upon completion. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, SENTINEL Silver Art also offered the benefit of significant noise reduction when compared to the former metal roof system.

Roofing Technology Advancements

As roofing technology advances, the options for creating a desired aesthetic have evolved. SENTINEL PVC Copper and Silver Art are high-performance roof membranes that provide the appearance of metal with the flexible, long-term performance of PVC, without the weight, expense or complexity of a traditional metal roof.

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.

Roofing System Utilizes High Tensile Strength Copper

Roser Copper Tile

Roser Copper Tile

Roser utilizes a high tensile strength copper to make Copper Tile an ideal option for coastal applications or designs that require a quality roof. The copper surface will age to develop the beautiful patina finish or can be treated to accelerate the finish effect.

The roofing system includes:

  • Clear acrylic over-glaze protective coating
  • Roofing granule coating
  • Adhesive basecoat
  • Protective surface coating
  • Aluminum/zinc coating
  • Commercial-grade steel core
  • Protective surface coating

The Stone Coated Steel Roofing System, manufactured by Roser, offers the advantage of high-strength steel with a look a variety of traditional and innovative architectural styles. When compared to asphalt shingles and concrete roofing products, which can weigh 350 to 1,000 pounds per square, the Roser Stone Coated Roofing System, at only 150 pounds per square, effectively reduces the overhead weight on the house structure. This provides for a much safer building during an earthquake, fire or a hurricane. While the standard shingle and shake roofs naturally deteriorate over time, the Roser Roofing System will continue to maintain its beautiful appearance and requires the least amount of maintenance in the roofing industry. An eco-friendly Roser roof will increase the resale value of your home not only with its elegance, but also with its proven durability.

About Roser Roofing System:

  • Installs direct to deck or over battens.
  • Stone surface resists fading and provides for a quiet roof.
  • Fastener design features a confirmed and a locking profile.
  • Low-maintenance roof system with water-shedding performance.
  • Storm driven engineering design is proven throughout the world.
  • Includes the stringent Miami-Dade Approval.

Forty Years of Roof Leaks Solved with Standing-seam Copper

Because the show must go on, what served as a canopy-style roof at the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston, needed repairs in short order. Byrne Metals, Humble, Texas, installed more than 18,000 square feet of copper 238T standing-seam panels during the five-month off season by calling in the rollformer from McElroy Metal that runs panels right onto the roof deck.

Improvements included replacements of the east and west wings, a new soffit for the main sloped roof and the new 20-ounce copper standing-seam roof.

Improvements included replacements of the east and west wings, a new soffit for the main sloped roof and the new 20-ounce copper standing-seam roof.

“Everyone else who had tried to fix the problems focused on trying not to change the appearance,” says Karl Schaack, P.E., president of Price Consulting, Houston. “We realized providing a leak-free solution required some change in the appearance. We got a little pushback at first, but when we explained our design, they were just happy to know it wasn’t going to leak anymore.”

“It was a very challenging job,” says Neil Byrne, president of Byrne Metals. “This is an iconic structure in Houston, originally built in 1968. At the time, it won several awards for its design.”

Unfortunately, right from the start, the design didn’t hold up against the Texas rains. For more than 40 years, anyone who was hired to fix the problem, failed.

Schaack chose 238T symmetrical panels from McElroy Metal for the project. “It’s rigid and it meets high-wind requirements,” he says. “The 238T is symmetrical so if a panel gets damaged, you only have to replace one panel.”

BEFORE: The multi-million dollar renovation in Hermann Park served to correct canopy deficiencies that caused leaks above the stage and audience.

BEFORE: The multi-million dollar renovation in Hermann Park served to correct canopy deficiencies that caused leaks above the stage and audience.

The multi-million dollar renovation in Hermann Park served to correct canopy deficiencies that caused leaks above the stage as well as the audience, putting a real damper on the theater’s cultural and educational event offerings.

Byrne Metals went to work as soon as the 2013 season concluded in early November. Improvements included replacements of the east and west wings, a new soffit for the main sloped roof and the new 20-ounce copper standing-seam roof. The profile was McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing-seam panel. “Using copper helped the new roof blend in with the original framework,” Schaack says. “Especially as it ages, it will look great, like it’s been there all along.”

Changes in design to the updated roof, as well as a watertight standing seam installation, will help prevent future leaks.

Using copper helped the new roof blend in with the original framework. The profile was McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing-seam panel.

Using copper helped the new roof blend in with the original framework. The profile was McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing-seam panel.

The roof area between the existing Corten superstructure was framed with purlins, a metal deck was installed on top of the purlins, then a 1 1/2-inch nail base was installed over the deck along with ice and water shield. A giant reverse-slope diverter was built at the intersection, where the sloping roof connected to the stage wall. Valleys were lowered below the roof plane and there was a slight change in pitch that was overcome by rounding the insulation/plywood over the pitch change.

McElroy Metal’s job-site production equipment simplified the process of installation and made the job site safer. The rollformer was hoisted to the eaves on a scissor lift where panels were conveniently run onto the roof. Not only did this method eliminate the need for an expensive crane to get panels on the roof, it was safer as some of the panels were up to 110-feet long. Because of the unique shape of the roof, panels were cut to fit on the roof.

“We specialize in the unique and difficult,” Byrne says. “This is the kind of job we like. We generally have about 20 to 30 projects under contract at any one time, but this one required a lot of personal attention from our upper management, myself included. We had as many as 30 crew members onsite, working 10-hour days and some weekends, when necessary.”

A rollformer was hoisted to the eaves on a scissor lift where panels were conveniently run onto the roof.

A rollformer was hoisted to the eaves on a scissor lift where panels were conveniently run onto the roof.

As with all Byrne Metals jobs, safety was a major consideration during the evaluation and installation. “There are three things we consider important to staying in business,” Byrne says. “Safety, quality and productivity. We have a fulltime safety person on staff making sure we’re working safely on all jobs. This job required us to take into consideration some other factors like guys working long days, getting fatigued and the speed at which we had to work to complete the job on time. We enjoy a good challenge and Miller Outdoor Theater falls into that category.”

PHOTOS: McElroy Metal

Copper-clad Stainless Steel Replaces a Tornado-damaged Roof at the St. Louis Airport

Hundreds of people milled about the terminals at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport on the evening of April 22, 2011. Three airplanes with passengers on board sat on the tarmac. It was business as usual at one of the largest municipal airports in the country. But meteorological conditions were anything but usual. A powerful supercell over St. Louis spawned an EF4 tornado (view the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which rates the strength of tornados by the damage caused, on page 2) packing 150-mph winds. The twister barreled directly into the airport 11 miles northwest of downtown, blowing out half the floor-to-ceiling windows in the main terminal and inflicting approximately $30 million in damages. In addition, the tornado seriously damaged part of the copper roof over Terminal 1.

CopperPlus was installed in stages over the domes at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Like solid copper, copper-clad stainless steel acquires a patina over time.

CopperPlus was installed in stages over the domes at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Like solid copper, copper-clad stainless steel acquires a patina over time.

The 55-year-old roof was iconic and beautiful. Its four copper domes had been the crowning glory of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, welcoming up to 13 million international passengers each year. But the roof had been showing its age for some time, leaking often and requiring frequent maintenance. Following the tornado strike, airport officials made the difficult decision to permanently retire the roof. “The tornado damaged less than 10 percent of the total roof, but that section needed to be totally replaced,” explains Jerry Beckmann, deputy airport director of Planning & Development. “That damage, plus the fact that the roof was almost 60-years old, influenced our decision.”

Airport officials were challenged to install more than 100,000 square feet of material over four domed vaults as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to the public. Beckmann, who is an engineer, wanted a roof that was watertight and capable of withstanding high winds while airport administrators wanted to maintain the roof’s mid-century architectural integrity. All parties wanted the project completed as economically as possible with results that were aesthetically pleasing, historically appropriate and, most important, built for harsh weather events.

COPPER AND STEEL

They found the solution in copper-clad stainless steel, a material that has been used in roofing applications for roughly 50 years. The selected ASTM B506-09 architectural metal features two outer layers of 100 percent copper strip roll bonded at very high pressures to a core of Type 430 stainless steel, the same metallurgical bonding process used to make U.S. quarters and dimes. The material delivered the natural beauty and patination properties of solid copper with the strength and durability of stainless steel—exactly the attributes desired by officials at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

“Copper-clad stainless steel is a great-looking material that can be fabricated for any roofing style. You can’t tell the difference between it and straight-up copper,” says Shane Williams, vice president of Civil Construction for Kozeny-Wagner Inc., the Arnold, Mo.-based general contractor awarded the public bid by the city of St. Louis. “It’s stronger, has a better shelf life and costs less than pure copper. This allowed us to bid competitively for the job and even return a credit to the city of St. Louis.”

Workers install CopperPlus batten-seam panels over a dome at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Stepby- step, the installation of CopperPlus is virtually identical to that of copper.

Workers install CopperPlus batten-seam panels over a dome at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Step-by-step, the installation of CopperPlus is virtually identical to that of copper.

The owners of Missouri Builders Service Inc., the Jefferson, Mo.-based roofing subcontractor, were attracted to the material’s lighter weight and easy solderability. “We were going to have to maneuver a lot of material on the job site and perform a very large amount of soldering to cover four domes,” notes John Kinkade, Missouri Builders Service’s vice president. “We liked that copper-clad stainless steel had a lower thermal conductivity for easier soldering. That was important to us, given the scope of the project.”

The $6.7 million project to replace the airport roof was announced at a press conference in March 2014 by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “The new skin will shine of raw copper like it did in the mid ’50s when the terminal was built,” Slay stated in a press release issued by the airport. “The roof will slowly transform in color again in time as this airport serves new generations in this region.”

WEATHERING NATURE’S WORST

Copper-clad stainless steel has become more popular in tornado and hurricane-prone regions of the U.S. in recent years, thanks to the strengthening of building codes for wind-lift and hail-resistance standards. Copper-clad stainless steel conforms to Miami-Dade BCCO requirements and exceeds UL2218 Class 4 hail-test requirements; wind-uplift tests have shown its strength to be equivalent to steel at the same gauge. It offers a strength advantage compared to solid copper, providing higher tensile strength and yield strength at a thinner gauge than monolithic copper.

Numerous churches, college buildings, museums, private residences and other buildings nationwide now feature copper-clad stainless steel in their custom roofs, dormers, cupolas, flashings and downspouts. Notable installations include the following:

  • Several 67-foot panels of copper-clad stainless steel were rolled onsite, then lifted and put in place by a crane to replace the ice-damaged roof at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Traverse City, Mich.
  • In 2012, more than 30,000 square feet of copper-clad stainless steel were installed in the fascia and coping of the Trinka Davis Veterans Village, Carrollton, Ga., the nation’s first privately funded U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ VA facility.
  • In 2014, the material was selected for a 2,100-square-foot perforated sunscreen installation in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, one of the most significant urban development projects in the U.S.

PHOTOS: MISSOURI BUILDERS SERVICE INC. AND LAMBERT-ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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Copper Development Association Creates Platform to Provide News and Application Information

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has created a new platform, thinkcopper.org, 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. “ThinkCopper.org 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.

Book Showcases 100 Years of Wagner Roofing’s Craftsmanship

Commemorating 100 years since Wagner Roofing was founded in Otto Wagner’s basement, Chuck and Sheila Wagner have written Preserving Washington History: 100 Years of Wagner Artistry.

Commemorating 100 years since Wagner Roofing was founded in Otto Wagner’s basement, Chuck and Sheila Wagner have written Preserving Washington History: 100 Years of Wagner Artistry.

For a century, many of the metropolitan Washington, D.C., region’s most distinguished roofs have had one thing in common—the handiwork of Hyattsville, Md.-based Wagner Roofing. Commemorating 100 years since Wagner Roofing was founded in Otto Wagner’s basement, Chuck and Sheila Wagner have written Preserving Washington History: 100 Years of Wagner Artistry. Published by Hamilton Books and with a foreword by Knight Kiplinger, the book is available from Amazon.com, Rowman.com and select retailers.

Surveying Wagner Roofing’s project portfolio, Preserving Washington History: 100 Years of Wagner Artistry traces the firm’s evolution into capital region experts in historic preservation and installers of slate, architectural metal and copper roofing, as well as façade restorers. The book celebrates the firm’s heritage through photographs of iconic area buildings, often from rarely seen vantages.

Oak Hill Cemetery Renwick Chapel, circa 1850, is the only known example of James Renwick Jr.’s Gothic Revival ecclesiastical design in Washington, D.C. Wagner Roofing replaced the purple Vermont slate roof and the copper built-in gutter and downspouts.

Oak Hill Cemetery Renwick Chapel, circa 1850, is the only known example of James Renwick Jr.’s Gothic Revival ecclesiastical design in Washington, D.C. Wagner Roofing replaced the purple Vermont slate roof and the copper built-in gutter and downspouts.

Wagner Roofing’s touch has graced more than 500 sites, including the Washington National Cathedral, Smithsonian Castle, U.S. Naval Academy’s Mahan Hall, 6th & I Historic Synagogue, President Lincoln’s Cottage and the Old Post Office Pavilion. Throughout Wagner Roofing’s work is a commitment to quality, customer service and artisanship, an ethos shared by the three
generations of Wagners in the trade.

A copper cornice restoration was performed on the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in 2013-14.

A copper cornice restoration was performed on the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in 2013-14.

“I owe much to the family members who came before me,” writes Chuck Wagner in the book’s dedication. “They dedicated themselves to providing for their families and those who worked for them during difficult and trying times. It has been a challenge walking in the footsteps of such men, but they left a legacy of excellence in workmanship and service which continues today.”

PHOTOS: Wagner Roofing

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.”