Petersen Aluminum Introduces a Marketing Tool for Construction Professionals

Petersen Aluminum's marketing tool is called Publicize Your Project.

Petersen Aluminum’s marketing tool is called Publicize Your Project.

For construction professionals who have wondered how to get their projects pictured in manufacturer advertisements, on manufacturer web sites, social media pages or published in industry magazines, Petersen Aluminum has built the tool to make it happen. The new marketing tool is called Publicize Your Project, and it’s simple, fast and free. The tool can be accessed on the Publicize Your Project Web page.

Construction professionals who have worked on a project completed in the past two years that includes Petersen Aluminum products are encouraged to submit their project for publicity. All that’s required to submit a project is basic details such as location, building type, products used, completion date plus contact information and at least one photo of the project. Project types can include commercial, educational, medical, office, public/government, retail, mixed-use or residential structures.

Photos of the structures can be amateur in style and taken with a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera. Professional photography also will be accepted. To upload photos and submit a project for consideration, visit http://www.pac-clad.com/publicizeyourproject. The Publicize Your Project page also can be accessed via the Petersen Aluminum home page by clicking on Gallery then Publicize Your Project.

Petersen Aluminum Celebrates 50 Years of Serving the Construction Industry

Petersen Aluminum Corp. is celebrating its 50th anniversary by honoring the first five decades of company history as it prepares for a bright future. Maurice “Maury” Petersen founded the company on Feb. 15, 1965 as an aluminum distributor in Chicago, then worked with his son Mike as the company grew to become one of the construction industry’s architectural metals manufacturers.

“Fifty years in business is a noteworthy milestone, and we’re thrilled to not only still be in business, but to be thriving,” says Mike Petersen, CEO. “Our ability to identify, plan for and adapt to a myriad of market opportunities has been a big reason for our success. I am proud to have taken the reins from my father and help build on the foundation he laid 50 years ago. This is an exciting time for Petersen Aluminum, and I think we’re in good position to tackle the next 50 years.”

The main key to the company’s success is the hard work of dedicated employees in every position at Petersen Aluminum. Petersen notes the importance of the company’s vast supply of institutional knowledge, with a management team that averages 34 years of employment and includes many who worked with Maury, who passed away in 1996.

Dedication and longevity can be found at the company’s five locations, too, where it is common to meet people who have worked for the company for 15, 20 and 30 years or more. Providing employees with a corporate culture that fosters professional development, personal accountability and an enjoyable environment is important at Petersen Aluminum. “We take pride in giving our personnel a chance to develop their skills in an entrepreneurial environment. I am proud of how many people have chosen to devote their careers to PAC,” he adds.

Customers, partners and industry friends wanting to acknowledge Petersen Aluminum’s 50th anniversary are encouraged to leave a message on Petersen Aluminum’s Facebook page.

Management’s Perspective

Members of Petersen Aluminum’s executive management team average more than 30 years working at the company, and all are deeply invested in its success. President John Palesny has the longest tenure at 45 years, and cites several reasons for the company’s endurance.

“The financial strength of the company is a prime reason for our longevity,” says Palesny. “Maury Petersen, the founder of our company, had a mantra that he repeated often: pay down your debt. Maury grew up during the Depression and it had a life-long impact on his thinking about financial responsibility. While he was a risk taker when it came to business opportunities, he also believed in paying down debt whenever the opportunity arose. That attitude has been a part of PAC’s culture throughout the years.

“PAC has always given its people wide latitude in pursuing their objectives. We believe in local initiative and give managers free rein as to how they meet their goals,” Palesny continues. “We have excellent internal communications that are focused on how we can better serve our customers. Our people are confident in their abilities while keeping their egos well in check. Among my colleagues at Petersen Aluminum there is a closeness that few other organizations can match. Most of us have been here for a number of years and wouldn’t dream of working anywhere else. I think that says a lot about the management philosophy of Maury and Mike Petersen.”

Jon Snyder, vice president, also believes in the value of good people and their contribution to the success of Petersen Aluminum. “Maury believed that every employee is a salesperson for the company, and to keep your employees and customers happy. Maury always preached, ‘have fun, work hard and no politics,’” Snyder remembers. “Our company was built on a strong, professional sales-minded approach. We have found our niches along the way and worked hard to succeed within them, but have always been willing to change when necessary.”

Snyder adds that while Petersen Aluminum can be conservative and strives to operate without debt, the company isn’t afraid to take necessary risks, and when those efforts are financially rewarded, “We pour the rewards back into our business and our people.”

Vice President Mike Palesny recalls the company’s respect for and attention to the customer. “We may not be the lowest price in the marketplace, but we are always competitive in terms of customer service levels. And we pay attention to what the market wants. For example, at our early stages in the architectural marketplace, our focus was on anodized finishes. We recognized in the late ’70s that Kynar was the future and successfully made that tack. In the late ’80s and early ’90s we recognized the call for factory-formed roofing panels and dove in. Now we’re seeing the company focus on the entire building envelope, and of particular interest the exterior walls. I think our wall panel business will be a source of real growth for the company in the next 10 years,” Palesny says.

Mike Palesny hopes to see the business continue to grow and diversify both geographically and possibly through additional product lines. “We are a conservatively managed company and I think our future is bright. We’ve adapted to market shifts by paying attention to our balance sheet, paying off our debts and listening to our customers, which we will continue to do,” he notes.

Tom Bell, vice president, adds, “Of all the things that make Petersen Aluminum such a great company, none is more important than the talent and dedication of our employees day after day, for after all this is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage any company can process in this marketplace.”

Adapting, Investing in Quality

Adaptation is a critical skill for any business to possess, as Petersen Aluminum has demonstrated for 50 years. As technology changes the way construction professionals communicate and process information to meet critical project timelines, Petersen Aluminum continues to adapt to meet the needs of those professionals. For example, the company’s website provides e-tools that include everything required to shop for, specify, bid, purchase and install its metal products, as well as apps for tablets and smartphones that accomplish the same goals on whichever operating platform a professional might need.

Petersen Aluminum also is committed to quality products and service, and can prove it. In 2006, along with its corporate partners Valspar and Precoat Metals, a formal quality control program was initiated. The QC program that was developed has greatly enhanced the quality and consistency of the product Petersen Aluminum brings to market. “As a result of this ongoing program, the product that goes out the door is as good or better than anything available in the commercial market, and field issues with our product have become practically nonexistent,” Mike Petersen says.

Petersen Aluminum keeps its focus on the future, including how to address external market forces that are sure to include sustainable construction, material supplies and prices, competition for materials, construction workforce shifts, regulation, consolidation and others. “We’ve been successfully navigating market shifts and challenges through our history and we will continue to do so,” Petersen says.

Company History

In February 1965, Maurice Petersen began operation of Petersen Aluminum as an aluminum distributor in Chicago. The concept was to distribute aluminum mill products for aluminum producers not having a distributor organization or outlets for their products. Two manufacturers of truck cabs and printing plates promised support in the new venture.

Business began in a pie-shaped office rented for $75 a month. The lists of partners and customers grew as did revenue. Early on, the company moved frequently as business grew. By 1967, the company owned a truck, a 60-inch cut-to-length line, a shear and a saw. An unofficial company motto evolved: work hard, have fun, no politics.

In July 1972, Petersen Aluminum relocated to Schiller Park, Ill., and acquired an aluminum anodizing line, a decision that launched the company into the architectural metals arena. The company continues to maintain an anodizing line today. During that period, the company developed its PAC-CLAD product line beginning with prefinished Kynar 500 aluminum and later adding prefinished PAC-CLAD steel. During the next two and a half decades, Petersen Aluminum grew its revenue and product line while expanding geographically, until 1994 when the company constructed and moved into its headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Ill., where it remains today. The architectural metals manufacturer also operates facilities in four branch locations including Acworth, Ga.; Tyler, Texas; Annapolis Junction, Md.; and Fridley, Minn.

Petersen Aluminum strives to provide high-quality products within reliable, dependable lead times. Its strong national sales base allows it to maintain large inventories and provide cost economies to its customers. The product line now includes architectural and structural roofing, metal wall panels, soffit, composite panels, edge metals, aluminum and steel coil, and flat sheet in painted, anodized and mill finish.

Long-recognized as an industry manufacturer of metal standing seam roofing products, Petersen also offers exposed fastener panels, flush panels, composite wall panels and column covers. All provide the well-known Petersen quality and are available in PAC-CLAD Kynar 500 finish in 38 standard colors on steel and 37 aluminum. Most colors meet LEED, ENERGY STAR and Cool Roof Rating Council certification requirements.

Comprehensive Metal Product Resource App Available for Smartphones, Launches with Giveaway

The comprehensive metal product resource app from Petersen Aluminum Corp.

The comprehensive metal product resource app from Petersen Aluminum Corp.

The comprehensive metal product resource app from Petersen Aluminum Corp. is now available for smartphones. This newest version of the app complements the existing tablet version to provide anytime access to metal product information wherever and whenever building professionals need it. Petersen Aluminum also is giving away a new smartphone to one randomly chosen person who downloads the new smartphone app, to show appreciation for its customers.

The PAC app is loaded with the entire library of PAC metal architectural products and technical information architects and roofing contractors need, such as literature, spec sheets, CAD drawings, testing documents and BIM files. The high-definition app offers clear and simple visual navigation for quick reference, and all documents can be viewed, printed or emailed. App updates will be automatic. The app is ideal for field use because it does not require an internet connection after installation.

Users who download the PAC app on their smartphones will have the option of providing basic contact information and answering a survey question for a chance at being the one person chosen to receive a new smartphone. The deadline to enter the giveaway is Nov. 15, 2014.

The smartphone app is available for free download by searching for PAC-CLAD on iPhones through the iTunes store and on Android-based smartphones through the Play Store. The tablet app has been available for both Apple and Android devices since late 2013.

Long-recognized as an industry leader in metal standing seam roofing products, Petersen also offers exposed fastener panels, flush panels, composite wall panels and column covers. All provide the well-known Petersen quality and are available in PAC-CLAD® Kynar 500® finish in 38 standard colors on steel and aluminum. Most colors meet LEED, Energy Star and cool roof certification requirements.

Projects: Education

University of Virginia, Rotunda, Charlottesville

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819.

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819.

TEAM

ROOFING CONTRACTOR: W.A. Lynch Roofing, Charlottesville
ARCHITECT: John G. Waite Associates, Albany, N.Y.
JOINT-VENTURE BUILDER: Christman-Gilbane, Reston, Va., ChristmanCo.com and GilbaneCo.com
LEAD-ABATEMENT CONTRACTOR: Special Renovations Inc., Chesterfield, Va.

ROOF MATERIALS

The domed roof required about 6 tons of 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper. W.A. Lynch Roofing sheared 4,000 individual tiles to approximate dimensions in its sheet-metal shop, and a makeshift sheet-metal shop was set up on top of the scaffolding to complete the final measurements and exact cuts.

COPPER SUPPLIER: N.B. Handy Co., Lynchburg, Va.
COPPER MANUFACTURER: Hussey Copper, Leetsdale, Pa.

ROOF REPORT

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. Jefferson modeled his design—presented to the university board in 1821—after the Pantheon in Rome. Although he died in 1826 while the Rotunda was still under construction, the stunning building housed the university’s library as Jefferson envisioned.

The rotunda renovation is a two-phase project, and roofing work was part of Phase 1. The roofing team believed seven months was adequate to complete the job; the university, however, requested it be complete by April 2013 so scaffolding would be removed in time for the commencement ceremony. That gave the team a four-month timeline.

The domed roof required about 6 tons of 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper.

The domed roof required about 6 tons of 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper.

Tom McGraw, executive vice president of W.A. Lynch Roofing, explains: “This was just short of impossible even if it wasn’t winter. But as a graduate of UVA, I recognized the basis of the request and agreed to it. So we doubled the manpower and went to a 10-hour day, seven-day a week schedule. We divided the roof into four equal quadrants, each separated by an expansion joint and put a crew in each area working simultaneously with the other three. We also added support personnel in our sheet-metal shop, as well as runners to keep the flow of material to the job site on schedule for the sheet-metal mechanics. In the final analysis, we made the schedule and completed our work within the owner’s request.”

The roofing project was essential because of rust on the previous terne-coated metal roof. It was determined the rust was caused by inadequate roof ventilation that created condensation on the underside of the metal roofing. Ventilation was lacking because of a Guastavino tile dome that was installed in 1895. The condensation was addressed by installing a concealed venting system at the intersections of the treads and risers at the seven steps in the roof, as well as at the top of the dome below the oculus. “Heated air has low density so it will logically rise creating natural convection,” McGraw notes. “This convection creates air movement below the roof and minimizes dead air spaces and the potential for condensation. The key to this is ensuring that you size the ‘intake’ venting similar to the ‘exhaust’ venting so that air will flow in an unrestricted fashion.”

Reroofing a dome can be a challenge, and determining how to keep the interior and its priceless valuables dry required some ingenuity. McGraw invented a tarp that he compares to a hooped skirt to keep the space watertight. The roofing crew cut trapezoidal sections of EPDM membrane and installed them from the bottom to the top of the dome. This skirt-like tarp was configured out of eight pieces at the bottom, six at the midpoint and four at the top. The maximum cut sizes for each level were determined using a computer drawing. Creating the EPDM covering in sections made the tarp easy to handle and remove. “If we seamed it all together or made it in less pieces, the guys wouldn’t have been able to lift it,” McGraw adds.

The tear-off process involved removing the painted metal panels according to lead-abatement standards; the panels were cleaned offsite to maintain the integrity and safety of the job site. A new wood deck was installed on furring over the tiles. This was covered with 30-pound roofing felt and red rosin building paper followed by the new copper roof.

Each piece of copper was tinned and folded before being installed. This process was necessary because of the lack of symmetry on the building. McGraw recalls: “Because this building is almost 200-years old, you have to recognize that not everything is as true and square as one might hope. There are seven steps that circle the base of the dome, and each tread and riser changed in height and width all the way around the building.”

This is the fourth roof for the Rotunda. The first was a tin-plate roof designed by Thomas Jefferson; the second was copper that was a replacement roof after a fire in 1895; the third roof was painted terne-coated steel from 1976; and the current roof is 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper that will be painted white. The decision to select copper was based on cost, durability and historic appearance.

Phase 2 of the project began in May, and the Rotunda will be closed for repairs until 2016. At a price of $42.5 million, utility, fire protection and mechanical upgrades will be made, as well as a Dome Room ceiling replacement and construction of a new underground service vault. The roof also will be painted white, and leaking gutters will be repaired during this phase.

PHOTOS: DAN GROGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Petersen Aluminum Hires Director of Communications

Petersen Aluminum has named Rob Heselbarth as director of communications. Heselbarth will be responsible for overall marketing communications including public and media relations, promotional material, social media, website content, and print and online advertising.

Heselbarth has significant experience in the construction industry in both the residential and commercial markets. He most recently was editorial director at Cygnus Business Media where he oversaw Qualified Remodeler and Residential Design + Build magazines and their online properties covering home design, construction and remodeling. Prior to this, he was with the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society’s RSES Journal and Reed Business Information’s Contractor magazine covering the commercial, industrial and residential plumbing and mechanical industries.

Petersen Aluminum CEO Mike Petersen said, “Our marketing program has reached the point where we need an individual whose sole responsibility is to manage and direct our communication efforts, and we’re glad to have Rob join our team.”

Petersen Aluminum’s longtime media relations facilitator Larry McLane will continue to work with the company writing case studies and communicating with industry editors.

Best Roofing Projects of the Carolinas

We celebrate the best roofs installed in North and South Carolina with our final issue of Carolinas Roofing. From metal to shingles to single ply and coatings, these roof coverings protect newly built and reroofed schools, homes, manufacturing facilities, city-service buildings and more.

Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse and the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse and the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse and the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Team

Roofing contractor: Baker Roofing Co., Charlotte, www.bakerroofing.com
Designers: Jenkins-Peer Architects, Charlotte, www.jenkinspeer.com, and DLR Group, www.dlrgroup.com
Construction manager: Rogers PCL Russell, a joint venture of Rodgers Builders Inc., Charlotte, www.rodgersbuilders.com; PCL Constructors Inc., Charlotte, www.pcl.com; and H.J. Russell & Co., Atlanta, www.hjrussell.com
Metal roofing manufacturer: McElroy Metal, Bossier City, La., www.mcelroymetal.com

Roof Materials

New metal roofing matches the campus scheme on many other buildings. It also offers overall longevity, durability and low-maintenance features.

The field house and press box are covered with 11,000 square feet of Maxima 216, 24-gauge Kynar in Slate Gray and 4,000 square feet of 24-gauge flat stock metal roofing and low-slope roofing trim.

Roof Report

2013-14 is the first year for Charlotte 49ers football. This new 15,000-seat stadium was built for the new team and is designed to be expanded to 40,000 seats. The main building, the Judy W. Rose Football Center-Fieldhouse, located in the south end zone, has been named after the university’s longtime athletic director.

The stadium includes several other buildings, including the McColl-Richardson Field Press Box, named in honor of Hugh McColl, former Bank of America CEO, and Jerry Richardson, owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

Photo courtesy of McElroy Metal, Bossier City, La.

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Project Profiles: Government

Richland County Landfill Columbia, S.C.

Petersen Aluminum roofing

Team

Roofing contractor: Aqua Seal Manufacturing and Roofing Inc., West Columbia, S.C.
Metal roof, soffit and wall manufacturer: Petersen Aluminum Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Roof Materials

The following materials were used on the roof:

  • 6,903 square feet of 24-gauge Tite-Loc in the Cityscape color
  • 1,216 square feet of 24-gauge HWP 16-inch Panel in the Cityscape color
  • 1,673 square feet of 0.032 PAC-850 Full Vent in the Cityscape color

Roof Report

Petersen Aluminum roofing
This new construction project began in early October 2012 and was completed in April 2013. Petersen Aluminum provided a complete metal system: roof, soffit and wall.

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

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