School Board’s Kite-Shaped Building Reflects Location’s History

The roof design for the Homewood Board of Education Central

The roof design for the Homewood Board of Education Central Office was inspired by the site, which is known as Kite Hill. Photos: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

The new home for the Homewood Board of Education Central Office in Alabama is a 14,500-square-foot modern structure that marks the first phase of a long-term development plan on a 24-acre site in Homewood, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham.

The contemporary structure was designed by Williams Blackstock Architects in Birmingham. “The roof design was inspired by the site, which is known as Kite Hill,” says architect Kyle Kirkwood. “It’s a spot where kids and parents come to fly kites. The roof, which slopes in two different directions and is kite-like in its appearance, is representative of the popular site.”

The building was conceived as a “garden pavilion” integrated within the site, intended to mediate between public and private property, and man-made and natural materials. The structure is nestled into a line of pine trees with a cantilevered roof extending just beyond the pines.

The design incorporates approximately 24,000 square feet of Petersen’s PAC-CLAD material in four different profiles. The main roof includes 16,000 square feet of Petersen’s Snap-Clad panels up to 60 feet long. The design also incorporates an interior application of the Flush panels by integrating them into the lobby area. In addition, 7,000 square feet of Flush panels were used in soffit applications. The panels were manufactured at Petersen’s Acworth, Ga., plant.

The roof design was complex, Kirkwood notes. “Since the roof slopes in two directions, we had an interesting valley situation where we had to coordinate the orientation of the seams,” Kirkwood said.

Challenging Installation

The roof also features two rectangular low-slope sections that were covered with a TPO system manufactured by Firestone Building Products. The roof systems were installed by Quality Architectural Metal & Roofing in Birmingham, which specializes in commercial roofing, primarily architectural metal and single-ply projects.

The building is nestled into a line of pine tree

The building is nestled into a line of pine trees near the edge of the site, adjacent to a residential area. The cantilevered roof was designed to help the structure blend in with the location and mediate between public and private property. Photos: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

Eddie Still, Quality Architectural Metal & Roofing’s vice president, helped prepare the budget for Brasfield and Gorrie, the construction manager on the project, so Still was prepared to go when his bid was accepted. “It was a job that consisted of a large portion of metal and a smaller portion of TPO,” he says. “Since we do both things, we were a good fit.”

The installation was made event tougher by the logistics of the site, according to Still. “The design of the metal roof was unusual, to say the least,” he says. “It had a valley that cut through it, and the panels were sloped in two directions. That’s not normally the case.”

The biggest obstacle was posed by the building’s location on a hill near the edge of the property line, immediately adjacent to a residential neighborhood. “The Snap-Clad panels were approximately 60 feet long, which isn’t a problem if you have the equipment to handle them,” Still notes. “It does pose a problem logistically when it comes to getting them into a tight area, and we definitely had that.”

Panels were trailered in and hoisted to the roof by a crane. “Once the panels were up there, the installation was fairly easy,” Still says. “The roof didn’t have a lot of changes in elevation or different plateaus built into it. The only quirky thing was that valley, and once you had that squared away, you were good to go.”

Coordinating penetrations with members of plumbing and HVAC trades is critical, according to Still. “On the metal roofs, we always stress that you’re trying to present an aesthetic picture for the building, so you want to minimize the penetrations so it looks cleaner,” he says. “You have to coordinate on site so if you have a plumbing exhaust stack, it comes up in the center of the pan and not on the seam.”

The metal roof incorporates approximately 24,000

The metal roof incorporates approximately 24,000 square feet of Petersen’s PAC-CLAD material in four different profiles. In addition, 7,000 square feet of Flush panels were used in soffit applications. Photos: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

A small section of metal roof near the entryway was made up of mechanically seamed panels. “The reason we used Tite-Loc panels on that portion of the roof was because of the low slope,” Still says. “We used the same width panel, so it looks identical, but the seams are different. They are designed to work on systems with slopes as low as ½:12.”

Quality Architectural Metal & Roofing also installed the Firestone self-adhered TPO roof system on two low-slope sections of the roof, totaling approximately 3,000 square feet.

Still looks back on the completed project with pride. “Our niche would be a building like this one, which has TPO or some other membrane roofing and metal,” he says. “We’ve been in business 33 years. We have a well-deserved reputation for the type of work we do. In the bid market things are price driven, so more often than not, price is the determining factor. But in larger projects and work that’s negotiated, the G.C. is going to opt to choose people to solicit pricing from who have a history of doing successful projects with them.”

TEAM

Architect: Williams Blackstock Architects, Birmingham, Ala., Wba-architects.com
Construction Manager: Brasfield and Gorrie, Birmingham, Brasfieldgorrie.com
General Contractor: WAR Construction Inc., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Warconstruction.com
Roofing Contractor: Quality Architectural Metal & Roofing Inc., Birmingham, Qualityarch.com
Metal Roof System Manufacturer: Petersen Aluminum Corp., Pac-Clad.com
Low-Slope Roof Manufacturer: Firestone Building Products, FirestoneBPCO.com

New Construction Project Tests Contractor’s Mettle

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

Independence High School in Frisco, Texas, was conceived as an impressive new construction project on a tight schedule. The standing seam metal roof of the building was a key component in the architectural planning, as it was designed to provide aesthetic appeal for the massive structure while minimizing the view of mechanical equipment for passers-by on the ground.

The roof also was comprised of several low-slope sections, which were covered with a modified bitumen system. Both the metal and modified systems contributed to the building’s energy efficiency, helping the project achieve LEED Silver status.

The roof systems were installed by the Duncanville, Texas, branch of Progressive Roofing Services. Randy Dickhaut, the company’s general manager, indicated the project was completed in approximately one year—an ambitious schedule for a job of this size. “It was a challenging new construction job,” he says. “There were a lot of logistics involved, but in general, the job went very well.

A Tale of Two Roofs

The first goal of the project was drying in the metal decking. A two-ply, hot–mopped modified bitumen system manufactured by Johns Manville was installed on 24 decks totaling approximately 195,000 square feet of low-slope roof area. The system was applied over two layers of 2 1/2-inch polyiso insulation and 1/2-inch JM Securock cover board. The system was topped with an Energy-Star rated cap sheet, DynaGlas FR CR.

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

In the nine sections where the 88,000 square feet of metal roofing was installed, two layers of 2 1/2-inch polyiso insulation were attached, along with plywood decking and self-adhering TAMKO TW Tile and Metal underlayment. The standing seam metal roof system was manufactured by McElroy Metal, and the company provided the manpower and equipment to roll form the panels on the job site. Roof panels were the company’s 22-gauge Maxima 216 panels in Weathered Galvalume. These panels were complemented by 24-gauge Flush panels on walls and soffits.

The roll former was mounted on a scissor-lift truck. The eaves of the building were approximately 36 feet off of the ground, so a sacrificial panel was used to create a bridging effect to help guide panels to the roof. “Basically, the roll former went right along with us,” Dickhaut recalls. “We would pull 30 or 40 squares of panels, then drop the machine and move to the next spot. We were able to roll the panels right off the machine and lay them in almost the exact spot they would be installed.”

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

The length of some of the panels posed a challenge, and as many as 12 crew members were needed to guide them into place for installation. In the steep-slope sections, crew members had to be tied off 100 percent of the time, so retractable lanyards were used to help keep safety lines out of the way.

The roof was mechanically seamed using a self-propelled industrial roof seamer manufactured by D.I. Roof Seamers. “We call it walking the dog,” notes Dickhaut. “One man can operate the equipment, and he just walks it every inch of every seam.”

The metal roof was designed to hide the mechanical equipment for the building, and Progressive Roofing completed work on two deep mechanical wells before the HVAC equipment was installed. “In the wells, we used McElroy’s Flush panels for the vertical surfaces and transitioned to the metal roofing,” notes Dickhaut. “In the bottom of the mechanical wells, we installed the Johns Manville modified roof and flashed the curbs.”

Rising to the Challenge

Dickhaut points to a few challenges on the job, including the length of the panels and the weather. “Overall, the job went really well,” he says. “The architects did a great job on the design, and McElroy has really good details. It was a pretty straightforward process. There was a lot of wind and rain we had to cope with. When you have a 100-foot panel that you can’t kink or scratch, it can get kind of tricky. You just have to be very careful.”

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

Photos: Lynn Cromer Photography, Ferris, Texas

The Texas weather made the schedule unpredictable. “We were on that job over a year, so we caught all four seasons,” he says. “Weather had a huge impact. We dealt with extreme heat, humidity, snow, ice, mud, monsoon-type rains. Texas throws anything and everything at you.”

Whatever the conditions, Progressive Roofing was ready. “We show up locked and loaded,” Dickhaut says. “We attack it. We have seasoned veteran roofers that lead the pack. On that particular project, we had an architect, roofing consultants, an owner’s rep, and a general contractor. We would also bring in the McElroy and JM reps periodically for consultation. It’s really a team effort.”

TEAM

Architect: Corgan Associates Inc., Dallas
General Contractor: Lee Lewis Construction Inc., Dallas
Roofing Contractor: Progressive Roofing Services Inc., Duncanville, Texas

Seal Pipe Penetrations with Pitch Pan Kits

R.M. Lucas Co. adds the #409 PolyPan kits to its line of pitch pan products.

R.M. Lucas Co. adds the #409 PolyPan kits to its line of pitch pan products.

R.M. Lucas Co. has added the #409 PolyPan kits to its line of pitch pan products. PolyPans are lightweight, strong and UV-resistant interlocking pitch pans that are suitable for most types of low-slope roofing. The PolyPans, used in conjunction with the Lucas #9600 Sealant and #4500 Semi-Self Leveling Sealer, make sealing of pipe penetrations fast and economical. With up to a 20-year warranty, the #409 PolyPan kits are a great option when sealing pipe penetrations.

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

Pages: 1 2

RCMA Began Speakers Bureau with Presentation for CRSMCA District Meeting

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) kicked off its Speakers Bureau program with a presentation by Joseph Sorrentino, Uniflex/Sherwin Williams, for the Carolinas Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association’s (CRSMCA) district meeting. The CRSMCA district meeting took place in Concord, N.C., at the Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord. RCMA’s Reflective Roof Coatings: Cool Stories presentation helped CRSMCA to hone its meeting focus on the key benefits and environmental importance of reflective roof coatings used on low-slope roof systems.

“Presenting for CRSMCA brought back fond memories, as I began my roofing career with CRSMCA in 1977,” says Sorrentino. “This was a great opportunity to educate an audience of roofing contractors, distributors and manufacturing representatives on the benefits of reflective roof coatings.”

RCMA is an approved continuing education provider with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), RCI Inc. and the U.S. Green Building Council (GBCI). By attending RCMA’s Reflective Roof Coatings: Cool Stories course, attendees qualify to earn 1 AIA General Learning Unit hour (1 LU hour) as part of AIA’s continuing education system, 1 RCI continuing education hour (CEH), or 1 GBCI continuing education hour (1 GBCI CE hour).

Triangle Fastener Releases Market Specific Product Catalogs for the Metal and Low-slope Roofing Industries

Triangle Fastener Corp. has released its Market Specific Product Catalogs for the metal roofing/building, low-slope roofing, and the interior/drywall construction industries.

Triangle Fastener Corp. has released its Market Specific Product Catalogs for the metal roofing/building, low-slope roofing, and the interior/drywall construction industries.

Triangle Fastener Corp. has released its Market Specific Product Catalogs for the metal roofing/building, low-slope roofing, and the interior/drywall construction industries. The catalogs provide information about a variety of fasteners, sealants, flashings, tools and contractor accessories, as well as technical information and installation tips. They are available for download on the Triangle Fastener website.

NRCA Releases Market Survey on Sales Volume Trends

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has released its 2014-15 market survey providing information about overall sales volume trends in the roofing industry, roofing experiences, material usage and regional breakdowns. It is an important tool to measure the scope of the U.S. roofing industry, and the data provides a glimpse into which roof systems are trending in the low- and steep-slope roofing markets.

This year’s survey reports sales volumes for 2014 and 2015 projections averaged between $7 million and just more than $8 million, respectively, and revealed a near-steady ratio of low- to steep-slope sales of 72 percent to 28 percent.

For low-slope roofs, TPO remains the market leader with a 31 percent share of the new construction market and 26 percent of the reroofing market for 2014. Asphalt shingles continue to dominate the steep-slope roofing market with a 44 percent market share for new construction and a 58 percent share for reroofing.

Polyisocyanurate insulation continues to lead its sector of the market with 75 percent of new construction and 70 percent of reroofing work.

In addition, roof cover board installation for 2014 was reported as 24 percent in new construction, 46 percent in reroofing tear-offs and 30 percent in re-cover projects.

NRCA’s market survey enables roofing contractors to compare their material usage with contractors in other regions, and provides manufacturers and distributors with data to analyze, which can affect future business decisions.

RCMA Offers an Educational Presentation on Reflective Roof Coatings

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) has launched its Speakers Bureau program to offer an educational presentation on reflective roof coatings. RCMA’s Speakers Bureau consists of several RCMA members with expertise on the topic who have volunteered to deliver presentations throughout the country.

This presentation, titled “Reflective Roof Coatings: Cool Stories,” is approximately one hour in length, and discusses the key benefits and the environmental importance of reflective roof coatings used on low-slope roof systems. The science behind reflective roof coatings is presented in an easy-to-understand format and real-world case studies are presented to illustrate the information presented. The presentation content is intended to enable attendees to:

  • Understand the benefits that reflective roof coatings impart on low-slope roof systems.
  • Recognize why reflective roofs are environmentally important and comprehend the science behind how reflective roofs save energy.
  • Determine best practices for preparing a roof membrane and application methods for reflective roof coatings on low-slope roof systems.
  • Identify payback, energy savings, and other non-quantifiable benefits by evaluating several real-world roof-reflectivity case studies.

RCMA is an approved continuing education provider with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and RCI Inc. By attending the course, attendees qualify to earn 1 AIA General Learning Unit Hour (1 LU Hour) as part of AIA’s Continuing Education System or 1 RCI Continuing Education Hour (CEH).

Groups interested in offering this presentation at an upcoming meeting or event should contact RCMA Staff Associate Cecily Alfonsi to participate.

Thin-film PV Provides Greater than 16 Percent Cell Efficiency

MiaSolé has made available its second-generation FLEX Series Modules.

MiaSolé has made available its second-generation FLEX Series Modules.

MiaSolé has made available its second-generation FLEX Series Modules. The CIGS-based flexible thin-film PV modules provide greater than 16 percent cell efficiency for many types of roof applications. FLEX-02W module is 39 by 102 inches, rated at 360 watts and designed for low-slope commercial single-ply roof systems. FLEX-02N module is 14.6 by 102 inches, rated at 120W and designed for standing-seam metal roofs. Both modules bond to the roof surface with a simple peel-and-stick adhesive, which eliminates the need for racking and reduces labor and logistics costs. The FLEX-02 Series modules are IEC 61646, IEC 61730 and UL 1703 certified.

ABC Supply Opens Additional Branches on Opposite Sides of the Country

Building products distributor ABC Supply Co. Inc. has opened additional branches on opposite sides of the country—one in Cumberland, Md. and the other in Sacramento, Calif.

The Cumberland location serves contractors in the western Maryland and south central Pennsylvania markets where ABC Supply has not previously had a presence. The branch in Sacramento is the second in the area and provides contractors working on the south side of the city a convenient alternative to the company’s store in Roseville, north of the city. Both stores carry steep- and low-slope roofing materials, accessories and related roofing supplies, along with other exterior building products appropriate to each market.