Lightweight and Fire-resistant Polymer Roofing Tops Tennessee Multipurpose Center

Opened in late 2013, the multipurpose LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge in Tennessee includes 232,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space in a sprawling lodge-type setting. Topping off the impressive structure is 965 squares of Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes in the Verde blend of light and dark green tiles to complement the facility’s Smoky Mountain setting.

Topping off the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge is 965 squares of Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes in the Verde blend of light and dark green tiles, which complement the facility’s Smoky Mountain setting.

Topping off the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge is 965 squares of Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes in the Verde blend of light and dark green tiles, which complement the facility’s Smoky Mountain setting.

“The size of this complex plus the building code limitations made it impossible for us to specify weighty, expensive real slate for the roof,” says Michael Smelcer, principal with SRA Architects Inc. “After researching our options, we selected the DaVinci Valoré Slate product because of aesthetics, weight and Class A fire classification. The owners of the center were very open to using this particular polymer slate roofing because it gave them the mountain lodge look they desired.”

Single-width Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles resemble the classic traditional slate tile found on upscale projects throughout the world. Available in 12-inch tile widths, the 1/2-inch-thick Valoré Slate tiles are twice the thickness of most other synthetic slates. The roofing tiles come in a full spectrum of authentic slate colors and are made of pure virgin resins to guarantee a sustainable product. The 100 percent recyclable tiles resist impact, fire, hail, insects and algae.

Built over a two-year time frame by the team at Merit Construction Inc., Knoxville, Tenn., the LeConte Center has a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 14 multipurpose rooms of varying sizes, along with pre-function and kitchen space, loading docks and spacious lobbies. Outdoor patios overlook the Little Pigeon River with views of Mount LeConte from many angles.

“Because of the close proximity to Little Pigeon River, our site design had to be low-impact,” Smelcer adds. “This included underground detention, rain gardens, vegetated swales and permeable pavers. We’ve provided similar architectural work for other large facilities, so our firm was confident in our ability to meet the design needs of this exciting project.”

The roof on the LeConte Center was installed by Detail Slate and Tile, Greenville, S.C. “We install several DaVinci roofs each year on residential and commercial projects,” says Joe Whitmore, vice president of operations for Detail Slate and Tile. “This was the largest project we’ve had the opportunity to install polymer roofing material and it went very smoothly. The result is a roof that blends in with its natural setting, is very durable, requires virtually no maintenance and will last for decades to come.”

Polymer Roofing Stands Up to Wichita, Kan., Weather

The morning of April 2, 2015, started out clear and sunny for residents at the Harbor Isle community in Wichita, Kan. By evening, a powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision——except polymer roofs installed by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita.

Polymer roofs installed by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita, received very little if any damage during the microburst.

Polymer roofs installed in the Harbor Isle subdivision by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita, received very little if any damage during the microburst.

“The majority of concrete tiles sustained very serious damage with many others demolished,” says Mike Heiland, president of Heiland Roofing and Exteriors. “Of the three composite roofs we installed in this community, one home had zero damage, another home had one missing ridge cap, and the third home needed approximately 10 feet of ridge replaced. That’s absolutely nothing compared to the devastation that all the other homes in that neighborhood experienced.”

According to homeowner Paul Dugan, roofing debris littered the entire Harbor Isle community after the storm. “Concrete roof tiles were thrown through neighbor’s windows, into vehicles parked along the streets and in driveways,” Dugan says. “A couple of the homes that had been recently reroofed by Heiland Roofing with polymer shake roofing tiles had every single tile in place and no visible damage to the property. I was very impressed and called Heiland Roofing the next morning.”

HOA Selects Polymer Roofing

A distant relative to a tornado, the National Weather Service, Washington, D.C., defines a microburst as sinking air (or a downdraft) in a thunderstorm that is less than 2 1/2 miles in scale. A microburst can develop as a result of cooling beneath a thunderstorm cloud base or because of mid-level dry air entrainment.

Wet, dry and hybrid microburst distinctions exist. With each of these, significant straight-line wind damage can occur, resulting in snapped power poles and tree and roof damage. There can also be a loss of power and potential hail. In Wichita on April 2, all these factors occurred when strong straight-line winds hit the area before a bow echo thunderstorm. With an appearance like a comma—a round head on one end and a tail on the other—a bow echo thunderstorm moves rapidly. Generally, the atmosphere is unstable during these moisture-laden storms and wind shear is present, making bow echo thunderstorms very dangerous.

a powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision

A powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision.

Kansas residents are no strangers to severe weather. Located in Tornado Alley, most homeowners, like Dugan, understand their state is subject to unusually strong weather during the course of the year. That’s why many people, like the residents of Harbor Isle, seek out durable building products to help protect their homes and families.

“When constructed about 18 years ago, our community had wood shake and concrete tiles used for roofing,” says Dee Manning, president of the Harbor Isle I homeowner association, which consists of 59 homes. “As the years went on, the wood shakes were wearing out and, at the same time, they became harder to get insured. We wanted an alternative that was realistic looking but lightweight enough to be installed over the existing roof trusses of the homes in our community. We did our research and found a polymer roof tile that was a realistic alternative to natural cedar shakes. Our community started offering polymer products three years ago as an option for homeowners looking for replacement roofing.”

Polymer Roofs Gain Foothold

After the microburst, the homeowners’ association received notice that 15 to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged.

“Nothing will protect a home from Mother Nature if a tornado is sitting right on top of you,” Heiland says. “But if you’re on the outskirts and just getting pounding hail or strong winds, at least a manmade polymer roof will give your home a fighting chance.”

For almost a dozen years Heiland and his team have recommended and installed imitation slate and synthetic shake roofing products. “The look and durability of these imitation slate and synthetic shake shingles is simply incredible,” Heiland notes. “For our geographic area—and any part of the country that can get severe weather—the impact resistance of these products is a tremendous asset. In the many years I’ve been installing polymer roofing, we’ve never had one of their roofs totaled by hail.”

Fifteen to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged during the storm.

Fifteen to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged during the storm.

Made of 100 percent recyclable virgin resins, the polymer tiles installed on the Harbor Isle homes are engineered to resist fire, impact, insects and algae. The products are Class A-rated for fire retardance, have achieved a Class 4 impact rating and passed the TAS-100 certification test for wind-driven rain. The durable products have also passed the maximum of 110 mph in the ASTM D 3161 Standard for straight-line winds and achieved very high design pressures in TAS-125, a test to demonstrate wind uplifts and acceptability to be installed in High Velocity Hurricane Zones.

“After the microburst in April, there are at least 10 homes ready to commit to the polymer tiles to replace their destroyed concrete tile roofs,” Manning says.

Dugan was one of the homeowners ready for change. “I now have a [polymer] roof that looks exactly the same as the concrete tile roof but has the highest impact resistance in the industry,” he says. “The impressive interlocking system allows for installation with securing the tile in all four corners so we’re not going to worry about tiles peeling back and blowing away in future storms.”

Roof Materials

Bellaforté Slate from DaVinci Roofscapes

PHOTOS: DaVinci Roofscapes

New Polymer Roof Options Receive CRRC Approval

Four new DaVinci EcoBlend options are approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure.

Four new DaVinci EcoBlend options are approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure.

DaVinci Roofscapes, a leader in polymer roof colors, launches four new DaVinci EcoBlend options approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure. The new color blends all meet Title 24 requirements for California.

Newly introduced color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include:
– Tahoe-EcoBlend: Light Tahoe, Medium Light Tahoe and Medium Tahoe blend
– Mountain-EcoBlend: Light Mountain, Medium Mountain and Dark Mountain blend
– Brownstone-EcoBlend: Light Brown, Dark Stone and Dark Tan blend
– Slate Gray-EcoBlend: Slate Gray

EcoBlend color blends previously accessible from DaVinci Roofscapes that meet the stringent requirements to receive ENERGY STAR designations and still available from the company include:
– Weathered Gray-EcoBlend: Light Weathered Gray, Medium Weathered Gray and Dark Weathered Gray blend
– Castle Gray-EcoBlend: Light Gray, Medium Gray and Dark Gray

Four new color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include Tahoe, Mountain, Brownstone, and Slate Gray.

Four new color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include Tahoe, Mountain, Brownstone, and Slate Gray.

Created in 1998, the Cool Roof Rating Council develops accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance (radiative properties) of roofing products. The company shares this information with architects, specifiers, builders and all other interested parties.

The experienced team members at DaVinci Roofscapes develop and manufacture polymer roof systems with an authentic look and superior performance. DaVinci leads the industry in selection of colors, tile thickness and tile width variety. The company’s products have a limited lifetime warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. All DaVinci roofing products are proudly made in America where the company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Roofing Contractors, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Projects: Hospitality & Entertainment

The Lobby, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail, Colo.

The Lobby, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail, Colo.

The Lobby, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail, Colo.

Team

Design Architect: Zehren & Associates, Avon, Colo.
Engineer: Monroe & Newell Engineers Inc., Denver
Owner: Vail Valley Foundation, Vail

Roof Materials

The Vail Valley Foundation envisioned an iconic entrance for the amphitheater that not only would accommodate guests, protect against the elements and provide facilities, but also would recognize and celebrate the Ford family and mirror the amphitheater’s atmosphere.

Under the Vail Valley Foundation, Zehren’s team of architects chose approximately 5,500 square feet of PTFE fiberglass membrane canopies to make the vision for The Lobby a reality. PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a Teflon-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is durable and weather resistant. The PTFE fiber coating is chemically inert, capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and immune to UV radiation.

Designer, fabricator and installer of PTFE fiberglass membrane: Birdair

Building Report

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is a remarkable outdoor venue nestled along a hillside with a stunning view of the Rocky Mountains. The Lobby, which is adjacent to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and Ford Park, serves not only as an impressive entrance to the amphitheater, but also as a shelter from inclement weather, a social gathering point prior to entering the amphitheater, and a place for ticket and bag check. The Lobby allows for a smooth transition into the venue.

Within the Lobby resides a mini-stage that can accommodate pre-show performances, along with a new stand for concessions and restrooms. Around the perimeter of the space rests informal boulder seating, and alpine landscapes border the surrounding walls. Overall, the aesthetics of the space mirror the pristine landscape and enjoyable outdoor atmosphere.

The Lobby also holds a Ford family tribute: a series of symbolic sculptures and interpretive elements intended to pay homage to President and Mrs. Ford and their family. This tribute is a new landmark in Vail celebrating the family’s commitment to their adopted hometown and the positive changes that they made to the community.

PHOTO: BIRDAIR

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DaVinci Roofscapes Celebrates 15 Years in Business

DaVinci Roofscapes is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

“We’ve grown a good deal since our beginnings 15 years ago and we realized that our leased facility would not support our future growth,” says Ray Rosewall, president and CEO of DaVinci Roofscapes. “We recently relocated to a much larger owned facility in Lenexa, Kansas. Our new facility has enabled us to add much-needed capacity and will assure that we can meet the ongoing increases in demand for our impact- and fire-resistant roofing products.”

Started in 1999, DaVinci Roofscapes manufactures award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing products that are installed on residential and commercial projects. The company offers a wide spectrum of 49 colors in shake and slate roofing tiles along with a variety of unique roofing color blends. Each roofing tile resists insects, fungus, algae, mold, cracking, fading and curling.

“We’re extremely proud that all of our products are made in the United States and that we support our economy by providing jobs for hard working folks around the country,” says Rosewall. “We’re part of the multiplier effect because our ‘Made in America’ commitment also means we purchase from suppliers located only in the United States. So, with every roofing tile we sell we’re helping our economy to expand in many, many ways.”

Rosewall relates that the company feels especially patriotic this year because of the company’s anniversary and the use of DaVinci products on several noteworthy American projects.

“Our roofs can be found on thousands of American homes from coast-to-coast along with structures at the University of Notre Dame, at DuSable Museum and on historic St. Patrick’s Church,” says Rosewall. “DaVinci roofs are on the Dayton Veteran’s Administration Chapel, several college campuses, in theme parks and even on the William Penn home. The successful reach of our products into the daily lives of Americans makes all of us at DaVinci extremely proud.”

The experienced team members at DaVinci Roofscapes develop and manufacture industry-leading polymer slate and shake roofing systems with an authentic look and superior performance. DaVinci leads the industry in the greatest selection of colors, tile thickness and tile width variety. The company’s reliable products have a 50-year limited warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. All DaVinci high-performing roofing products are proudly made in America where the company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Roofing Contractors, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.

DaVinci Roofscapes Launches ‘Shake It Up’ Exterior Color Contest

DaVinci Roofscapes, a polymer roofing manufacturer, launched the 2014 “Shake it Up” Exterior Color Contest on March 21, 2014, in conjunction with International Colour Day. Open to all homeowners nationwide the contest includes a $5,000 cash grand prize to help the winner add color to the exterior of his or her home.

To enter the contest, homeowners should visit the DaVinci Facebook page. After “Liking” the page, a person can enter by submitting a digital photo of their home’s exterior along with up to a 250-word description stating how they wish to “shake up” the exterior of their home with color and colorful products.

National color expert Kate Smith will again help judge the contest to determine five finalists. She will then work with a professional artist to create renderings and product wish lists of how the five finalists can transform their home’s exteriors by adding color and colorful products manufactured by the contest sponsor and partners. The original photo submission and the artist’s renderings for the five finalists will be posted on the contest site for two weeks of online public voting from May 19, 2014, to June 1, 2014. The finalist with the most online votes will receive the $5,000 grand prize.

“This is the second year we’re doing this fun contest to showcase how easy it is to add ‘top down’ color to the home’s exterior,” says Smith, president and chief color maven of Sensational Color. “The timing is perfect to launch the contest on International Colour Day. Just as we did in 2013, we¹re going to help people turn ordinary home exteriors into extraordinary, color-coordinated showstoppers!”

The contest sponsor, DaVinci Roofscapes, offers polymer slate and shake roofing tiles in 49 standard colors with the option to custom create any color a homeowner desires. Contest partners Therma-Tru doors and Fypon urethane and PVC trim products also offer product options that allow homeowners to enhance their home’s exterior in colorful ways.

The “Shake it Up” Exterior Color Contest is open for online entries until April 13, 2014. After the selection of the five finalists, public online voting will take place from May 19, 2014 to June 1, 2014. The grand prize winner will be announced on June 10, 2014. Find more information, along with the entry form, complete rules and regulations regarding the contest.

More than 170 entries were received during the inaugural year of the 2013 “Shake it Up” Exterior Color Contest. Homeowners Dennis and Pat Hodkinson of Paris, Tenn., won the $5,000 grand prize for their “Facelift” submission. “The prize money allowed us to turn several home improvement dreams of ours into reality,” says Dennis Hodkinson. “We still have colorful house dreams and plan to add more color and enhancements to our home in the future!”

Homeowners looking for color exterior ideas and inspiration can download the free ebooks written by Smith, “FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior” and “5 Steps for Finding the Perfect Color Hues for Your Home” on DaVinci’s website.