Preserving History at Indiana State University

The State of Indiana approved a $16 million renovation project

The State of Indiana approved a $16 million renovation project that restored Normal Hall to its former glory. This photo shows the exterior after the renovation was completed. Photo: Indiana State University

Completed in 1909, Normal Hall is the second oldest surviving building on the Indiana State University campus in Terre Haute, Ind. Since then, Normal Hall has undergone multiple renovations, including an addition added in 1957. But by 2010, the grand neo-classical building was largely unoccupied and falling into disrepair. The hall maintained its perch at the center of campus, but years of service to its tens of thousands of students had taken their toll.

“We try to preserve the history of ISU here on campus,” says Seth Porter of ISU facility management. “But between roof leaks and other issues, it was becoming an eyesore.” So, the State of Indiana approved a $16 million renovation project and partnered with architectural firm arcDESIGN to bring the building back to life.

“This renovation will return Normal Hall to its rightful place in the center of campus life,” says ISU President Dan Bradley. “The project will provide a valuable new resource to students while preserving and re-energizing a significant historic structure in the heart of campus.”

Aside from the stately Indiana limestone, the building had to be redone from the foundation to the roof. And the history that makes Normal Hall special also made for unique challenges in the design and renovation process.

They Don’t Build Them Like They Used To

“People will say, ‘They don’t build them like they used to,’” says Greg Miller, project manager from arcDESIGN. And in many cases, “It’s a good thing they don’t!”

Normal Hall has undergone multiple renovations

Normal Hall has undergone multiple renovations since it was completed in 1909, but by 2010, the neo-classical building was largely unoccupied and in need of major structural repairs. Photo: Indiana State University Archive

Normal Hall was originally designed for and used as the university’s central library. At that time in history, after the Civil War and before the 1920s, libraries were built in a certain way. Due to open flames of gas lighting and unreliable supply of electricity, indoor lighting at the time could have been dangerous to a library’s collection. So, libraries were designed to maximize natural light, with plenty of windows, skylights, and even glass floors. Instead of structural walls, Normal Hall’s six levels of bookshelves—or “stacks”—were designed to be structurally self-supporting, independent of the rest of the building.

Miller led the design team through the challenging process of removing the six-level stacks and replacing them with four new floors for offices and building systems. A portion of the stacks system was salvaged and reconstructed, providing the same view patrons would have had more than 100 years ago.

The Biggest Challenge

During construction, crews discovered unstable structural conditions on the north side of the building adjacent to the original six-story stacks system. The entire exterior wall had to be removed and replaced, all while supporting the existing attic and roof nearly 60-feet above the ground floor.

To do this, crews constructed a mammoth 60-foot-high temporary structural system in and through the six-story iron stacks system still in place to support the original attic and roof deck. The north wall was completely removed and reconstructed. Structural steel columns supporting roof trusses were replaced while ends of deteriorated roof trusses were reconstructed in place.

“It was a monumental feat,” Miller says. “It was a great example of teamwork by Indiana State University, design consultants and the contractor.”

The Roof System

For the roof replacement portion of the project, arcDESIGN collaborated with The Garland Company Inc., a leader of high-performance roof and building envelope solutions. Garland worked with local roofing contractor Associated Roofing Professionals (ARP) to install a new modified bitumen roof system with a high albedo coating.

All existing roofing was removed to structure and Garland’s StressPly EUV fiberglass-polyester reinforced, SBS and SIS modified bitumen membrane was installed to provide long-term waterproofing protection.

Associated Roofing Professionals installed a new modified bitumen roof system

Associated Roofing Professionals installed a new modified bitumen roof system manufactured by The Garland Company. After the modified bitumen membrane was installed, the roof was then coated with Garland’s Pyramic white, nontoxic, reflective acrylic coating. Photo: The Garland Company Inc.

The roof was then coated with Garland’s Pyramic white, nontoxic, acrylic coating, which helps preserve asphaltic or modified bitumen surfaces and significantly reduces under-roof temperatures to create a more energy-efficient environment.

“ISU has a strong commitment to the environment, and we were able to help them achieve their performance goals while also contributing to LEED credits with our environmentally-conscious products,” explains Rick Ryherd, area manager for Garland.

The largest—and brightest—rehabilitation involved the stained-glass dome atop Normal Hall. The original dome had deteriorated so extensively that, by the middle of the 20th century, the remaining glass panels were completely removed and the dome was completely hidden. A suspended plaster ceiling sealed off the once grand rotunda. “Imagine just a skeleton, an empty dome with only the ribs visible,” said Miller.

The dome restoration began with historic photos, documents and forensic analysis. The glass art featured distinguished educators and philosophers. Some of the original stained-glass panels were recovered from the building, whiles others had to be recreated. Conrad Schmitt Studios, in Wisconsin, restored the stained glass to its former glory. With the stained glass restored, rehab on the rotunda continued. Inside Normal Hall, the rotunda mural was restored and more than 140 light bulb sockets were re-wired to light the dome. Above the dome, a new 40-foot octagonal skylight was installed, along with supplemental lighting. Below the rotunda, 20 original columns that stretch through the open hall were restored with scagliola and paint finishes.

The crew worked to save original hardware and finishes that hadn’t already been lost to time. They were able to restore and replicate plaster moldings and cornices, save original wood doors and casings, and restore the grand marble and bronze staircase. “The general contractor did a great job preserving the historic detail with the extra time they put into restoring this building,” notes Porter.

The Future of Normal Hall

With all the time and effort put into preserving the history, the team did not forget to focus on the future of Normal Hall. The team, starting with arcDESIGN, incorporated the old and the new seamlessly.

The north exterior wall had to be removed

The north exterior wall had to be removed and replaced, so crews constructed a 60-foot-high temporary structure to support the existing attic and roof. Photo: Greg Miller, arcDESIGN.

For starters, Miller said the design was intended to respect but not imitate the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rather, he said, “the design clearly communicates original versus new construction to patrons.” Miller consulted experts from the team, from historians to a representative from the roofing manufacturer to gather the full scope of the project.

Today, the original stately limestone structure is accentuated by the addition, comprised predominantly of glass and Indiana limestone. The addition houses functional requirements such as stairs, elevators, restrooms and mechanical services, maximizing use of the historic interior spaces.

The renovation was planned and constructed to achieve LEED Certification by the USGBC. Renovation included new HVAC systems utilizing the university’s existing central steam heating plant that runs on natural gas. LED lighting throughout is an energy efficient replacement for the building, originally built with combination gas and electric light fixtures.

100 Years in the Making

Re-dedicated in October 2015, Normal Hall is back in action at the center of campus as home to the university’s Center for Student Success and numerous tutors, counselors and mentors. Below the rotunda, more than 100 years after the building opened its doors, students gather in the university Reading Room and Gallery modeled after the original hall when it opened to students in 1909.

TEAM

Architect: arcDESIGN, Indianapolis, Arcdesign.us
General Contractor: Weddle Brothers Construction, Evansville, Ind., Weddlebros.com
Roofing Contractor: Associated Roofing Professionals, Terre Haute, Ind.
Roof System Manufacturer: The Garland Company Inc., Garlandco.com

IRE Seeks Volunteers for Community Service Day

The 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) is seeking volunteers for Community Service Day, a home renovation and revitalization project being held Feb. 28 in Las Vegas. IRE will partner with Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada and NRCA’s Disaster Relief Committee to host the event.

Sponsored by Canton, Mass.-based Sika Sarnafil Inc., Community Service Day will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will involve renovating homes of families that include elderly individuals, disabled individuals or individuals who are financially unable to support the renovation.

Skilled volunteers are needed from various construction disciplines to help with the renovations, which include roofing, painting and flooring. All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and will be asked to sign a waiver of liability form.

Attendees and exhibitors will be able to register for this event and/or make a monetary donation when they register to attend IRE. There is a $25 fee that includes transportation, beverages and snacks.

The 2017 IRE will be held March 1-3 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For more information or to register, visit here or call (972)536-6415 or (800)684-5761.

Project Profiles: Historic Preservation

CATHEDRAL OF ST. PAUL, BIRMINGHAM, ALA.

Team

ROOFING CONTRACTOR: Midland Engineering Co., South
Bend, Ind.
ARCHITECT: ArchitectureWorks LLP, Birmingham
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Hoar Construction LLC, Birmingham,
MASONRY CONTRACTOR: Ziolkowski Construction Inc., South Bend

The cathedral’s intricate slate tile patterns incorporated three slate colors and square and deep bevel cut tiles.

The cathedral’s intricate slate tile patterns incorporated three slate colors and square and deep bevel cut tiles.

Roof Materials

The Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham required the cathedral’s new roof system be a historically accurate reproduction of the original in materials, design and craftsmanship. The cathedral’s intricate slate tile patterns incorporated three slate colors and square and deep bevel cut tiles. Six large slate crosses and multiple accent patterns, barely visible on the faded original roof, required exacting measurements prior to tear-off and a high level of precision to recreate and maintain over such a large field and on octagonal steeples.

Because of metal thinning brought on by their advanced age, every copper architectural and functional feature in the existing roof system had to be carefully removed and shipped to Midland Engineering’s South Bend facility to be historically replicated in its metal shop. This included seven ornate crosses (up to 17-feet tall), finials, turret caps and more. There were more than four dozen components, for which no original prints existed, as well as over 500 feet each of custom copper cornices and radius gutters with matching straps. More than 20,000 square feet of 16- and 20-ounce copper was utilized for fabrication of architectural elements and flashing.

Midland Engineering was asked to make improvements to the original roof system to improve attic ventilation while maintaining the Gothic Revival period look. To accomplish this, the crew integrated bronze screen (invisible from the ground) into the original copper cornice and eave design to provide improved cold air intake while new louvered copper dormers replaced the original painted roof ventilator.

An updated lightning protection system was incorporated into the new roof design, hidden within many of the new copper crosses and other architectural elements. The system was fabricated in Midland Engineering’s shop to maintain the Gothic Revival look.

The metal shop also clad 10 previously painted windows and mullions in copper, effectively eliminating frequent and costly maintenance. These windows, reachable only by crane at considerable expense, formerly required painting and other maintenance every five to seven years.

About 6,500 square feet of lead-coated copper, which patinas to a limestone color, was utilized to cap all limestone exposed to weather, reducing ongoing maintenance of limestone joints.

Extensive termite damage to structural framing required repair prior to installation of the new roofing system. Upon removal of the original slate roof and completion of the structural repairs, the new roof was dried-in and installation of the new slate roof began. The historically accurate replacements of the original copper architectural features were installed according to schedule.

SLATE SUPPLIER: North Country Slate
COPPER SUPPLIER: Hussey Copper

Roof Report

The Cathedral of St. Paul is the centerpiece of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham. Completed in 1893 at a cost of $90,000, the cathedral is widely considered to be a handsome example of the American Neo-Gothic variant of the Gothic Revival style. The cathedral measures 96-feet wide by 140-feet long and encompasses more than 60,000 square feet. It features twin octagonal steeples, rising 183-feet high.

Work schedules on this project were a challenge. The contract required parishioner and clergy access to the church must be maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the eight-month duration of the project. Further, because of the noise inherent in roof construction, work schedules had to be planned around regular church services and events and rescheduled several times a month for funerals and other unscheduled events.

“We could not have been more pleased with the work accomplished by the team from Midland Engineering,” says Very Rev. Kevin M. Bazzel, V.G., J.C.L., rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul. “It is a marvel to us to be able to see the church in its original glory, and all of this thanks to Midland!”

The National Roofing Contractors Association, Rosemont, Ill., awarded Midland Engineering the prestigious Gold Circle Award in 2016. Midland was recognized in the Outstanding Workmanship—Steep-slope Category.

Photo: Rob Culpepper

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Firm Leaders Reinvest and Expand Businesses as Profitability Increases

U.S. architecture firms have experienced a near complete recovery from the Great Recession, which has allowed firm leaders to reinvest profits back into their businesses. These findings, along with an in depth look at topics such as firm billings, staffing, and international work, are covered in the “The Business of Architecture: 2016 Firm Survey Report”.  The report offers metrics that provide insights into how architecture firms are operating and is available for purchase here.

“More than at any point in recent memory, there has been rise in the amount of renovation projects that architects have led compared to new construction activity over the past decade plus,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “A lot this has to do with green building incentives towards renovations, improved construction methods and products that increase the longevity of buildings, and a slower growing population that reduces the need for new construction.”

Key highlights:

  • Net billings at architecture firms were $28.5 billion at the peak of the market in 2008 and had nearly recovered to $28.4 billion by 2015.
  • Percentage of firms reporting a financial loss declined sharply in recent years from more than 20 percent in 2011 to fewer than 10 percent by 2015.
  • Growing profitability has allowed firms to increase their marketing activities and expand into new geographical areas and building types to diversify their design portfolios.
  • Renovations made up a large portion of design work with 45 percent of building design billings coming from work on existing facilities, including 30 percent from additions to buildings, and the remaining from historic preservation projects.
  • Billings in the residential sector topped $7 billion, more than 30 percent over 2013 levels.
  • Modest gains in diversity of profession with women now comprising 31 percent of architecture staff (up from 28 percent in 2013) and minorities making up 21 percent of staff (up from 20 percent in 2013).
  • Use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software has become standard at larger firms with 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees report using it for billable work (compared to 72 percent of mid-sized firms and 28 percent of small firms).
  • Newer technologies including 3D printing and 4D/5D modeling are reported being used at only 11 percent and 8 percent of firms respectively.
  • Energy modeling currently has a low adoption rate with 13 percent of firms using it for billable work, although this share jumps to 59 percent for large firms.

“From a practice standpoint, digital modeling is firmly entrenched in the early phase of design work and expanding into subsequent phases, with the potential for more involvement for architects through the construction and facility management processes,” said AIA senior director of research, Michele Russo. “In the coming years we expect firms will be adding technological dimensions to their design work through more utilization of cloud computing, 3D printing and the use of virtual reality software. This should help further efficiencies, minimize waste and project delivery delays, and lead to increased bottom line outcomes for their clients.”

Schönox Third Annual Contest Opens for Worst Subfloor Project Entries

The third annual Schönox Worst Subfloor Contest opens with the starting-gun phrase, “Worst Case Scenario, You Win!” The Contest asks participants to submit entries featuring their most challenging subfloor project and how they renovated tough subfloor conditions using Schönox products. The worst subfloor challenges paired with the best renovation performance win. Entries are reviewed and scored by three independent judges and the winners receive a variety of prizes and recognition for their hard work and professional approach to subfloor preparation.

“The response to the subfloor project contest has been strong in its first two years and we are already seeing entries for this year,” commented Thomas Trissl, principal, HPS Schönox. “It’s a great opportunity to take a look at the conditions in the field and recognize the work being done by flooring professionals all across North America.” Contest entries are judged based on the severity of the original subfloor’s condition, the skill and attention to detail taken in executing the project, and the quality of the finished subfloor. Those entering the contest are asked to photograph the subfloor conditions before and after the subfloor renovation project and submit the photos, along with some project information, at hpsubfloors.com/worstsubfloor where all of the Contest details can be found.

“The Contest puts Schönox products to the test in the worst subfloor circumstances,” explained Doug Young, executive vice president, HPS Schönox. “Everything that we learn in the field is taken back and incorporated into our research and development efforts to ensure that our products meet emerging subfloor challenges.” The Contest runs through December 9th with winners to be announced at TISE (Surfaces) in 2017. The winning flooring companies and installers who worked on the winning projects receive prizes. “Let the worst subfloor win,” remarked Young. “Good luck to everyone.”

CertainTeed Teams up with the Host of Income Property

Scott McGillivray, the host of Income Property—the real estate, renovation and rental finance solution television show—is teaming up with CertainTeed Corp., a brand of high-performance building products. In addition to McGillivray and his construction team having access to CertainTeed’s wide range of interior and exterior building materials on upcoming episodes of Income Property, the partnership also includes event appearances, collaborative website and social media content and more.

“CertainTeed’s long-standing commitment to manufacturing a wide breadth of high-performance, sustainable building materials fully aligns with my philosophy of smart home renovation and passion for helping homeowners get the most value out of their biggest investment,” Scott says.

With the 11th season of Income Property premiering in 2016, the internationally renowned real estate investor, contractor, author and educator, will continue his quest to assist homeowners by building income rental suites to help them afford their mortgages. In each episode, Scott evaluates, plans, and executes renovations by presenting homeowners with two plan options, enhanced by CGI and three-dimensional animation. The final scenes reveal a beautifully staged income suite and the increased home equity data.

“Scott McGillivray is the definition of a Canadian success story; an astute real estate investor, skilled contractor and accomplished entrepreneur who shares our passion for sustainable innovation and the importance of taking a holistic, structural approach when remodeling a space,” says Mara Villanueva-Heras, vice president of corporate marketing for CertainTeed Corp. “We are fortunate to partner with such a respected and trusted resource to help us create greater awareness of the high-performance and stylish solutions CertainTeed offers North American homeowners.”

Scott will have his pick of CertainTeed’s extensive selection of ceiling, gypsum and mold prevention products, as well as roofing, housewrap, siding, trim, railing and fence products to remodel each show’s unique home projects. A sampling of his choices include:

  • AirRenew IAQ Drywall – Specially designed to offer a healthier living environment by improving indoor air quality and offering peace of mind for generations, AirRenew uses proprietary technology to absorb formaldehyde and convert it into safe inert compounds. Once captured in the board, the chemicals cannot be released back into the air.
  • Forticel Mold Prevention Coating – A spray applied mold inhibitor for use on interior wall studs and wood framing.
  • Membrain Smart Vapor Retarder – A revolutionary product that not only blocks moisture from entering, but also adapts permeability to allow excess moisture to escape from wall cavities, helping to reduce the potential for mold growth and other moisture-related problems.
  • Performa Fine Fissured Ceiling Panels – A mineral fiber panel with a 100 percent non-directional fissured pattern that comes in a variety of edge details and panel sizes, offering best-in-class value and performance. The VOC-compliant product is high-humidity and sag resistant.
  • Landmark PRO Asphalt Roofing Shingles – Engineered to outperform ordinary roofing in every category, Landmark PRO is available in a palette of Max Def colors that feature a rich mixture of surface granules for a brighter, more dramatic appearance. Heavier than traditional laminate shingles, and backed with a transferable lifetime limited warranty, Landmark PRO will keep a home comfortable and protected for years. The shingles are a key component of the CertainTeed Integrity Roof System, comprised of underlayments, shingles, accessory products and ventilation all working together to provide optimum performance.
  • Cedar Impressions Polymer Shake and Shingle Siding – All the rugged charm of cedar without the high cost and maintenance, Cedar Impressions enhances a home’s look with the elegant, yet subtle appearance of finely crafted cedar shingles in half-round, staggered, or straight edge styles. More than 30 color options are available in three authentic TrueTexture finishes.
  • Restoration Millwork Cellular PVC Trim – Available in TrueTexture woodgrain and smooth finishes and featuring UV resistance, Restoration Millwork cuts and mills with traditional woodworking tools and fastens with nails or screws.
  • Vinyl Carpentry – The most complete siding accessory line in the industry, Vinyl Carpentry includes window and door trim, corner systems, accents, wall and soffit transitions and functional trim such as j-channels and starter strips. Choosing the proper accessories can guarantee optimum performance, design flexibility and aesthetic enhancement to create eye-catching curb appeal.
  • CertaWrap Weather Resistant Barrier – A housewrap that provides an added layer of protection against air and moisture damage, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs by preventing air infiltration and leakage through gaps, cracks or holes.
  • EverNew Kingston Vinyl Railing System – Available in White, Almond or Clay, it offers classic wood styling in a durable, low-maintenance classic broad-loaf design for top and bottom rails with a choice of square or traditional balusters in two heights and two lengths.
  • Bufftech Vinyl Fence – Manufactured from premium quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for exceptional impact strength and UV resistance, Bufftech will not rot, warp, split or splinter. Its easy-care privacy or picket design comes in a variety of heights and leads the industry in colors, styles and textures including smooth, woodgrain and stucco finishes; and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

GAF Featured on DIY Network Television Show Rev Run’s Renovation

GAF has announced its participation in two episodes of the popular DIY Network television show, Rev Run’s Renovation. The Jan. 10 episode featured the installation of GAF Camelot Lifetime Designer Shingles on Rev Run’s family home, while the Jan. 24 episode showed them being installed on the pool house.

Rev Run’s Renovation follows Joseph Ward Simmons, aka Rev Run from the successful music group, Run DMC, as he and his entire family work together to completely renovate their 9,000-square-foot New Jersey home. The show averaged more than 2.2 million viewers in its premier season last year and kicked off a new season Saturday, Jan. 3.

GAF’s inclusion within the show displays its continued support of GAF factory-certified contractors with the Master Elite Contractor logo featured throughout the episode, verbal mentions of the importance of using a Master Elite Contractor and the company’s Emmy-nominated commercials highlighting Master Elite Contractors airing during the episode.