An Oceanfront Elementary School Poses Tough Problems, but a Coated Aluminum Standing-seam Roof Passes the Test

Elementary school students sometimes find themselves staring out the window, but few have a view to rival that of the students at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School in Sullivan’s Island, S.C. The school is located on oceanfront property, and when it was time for the original building to be rebuilt, the site posed numerous challenges.

The standing-seam roof is made up of 0.040-inch coated aluminum panels that are 18-inches wide.

The standing-seam roof is made up of 0.040-inch coated aluminum panels that are 18-inches wide.

The original school had been built in the 1950s. It had been designed for 350 students and built on grade. The new school would have to be elevated to conform to modern building codes and service 500 students. The structure would not only have to withstand high winds, severe weather and a salt-air environment, but it also would have to fit into its surroundings. Many residents feared the larger building would look out of place in the cozy beach community. It was architect Jerry English’s job to figure out a way to make it work.

English is a principal at Cummings & McCrady Architects, Charleston, S.C., the architect of record on the project. He worked with a talented team of construction professionals, including Ricky Simmons, general manager of Keating Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc. in Charleston, to refine his vision and bring it to life. English and Simmons shared their insight on the project, and they both point to the building’s metal roof as a key element in the project’s success.

CHALLENGING DESIGN

Cummings & McCrady Architects handles a broad range of commercial, institutional, religious and historic work—new construction and renovation. The firm had done a lot of work with the Charleston County School District over the years, including a small library addition for the original Sullivan’s Island Elementary School after Hurricane Hugo passed through in 1989, and it was awarded the new construction project.

The building’s foundation system had to meet strict regulations regarding resistance to storm surge. The building is elevated on concrete piers, which were topped with a 6-inch reinforced concrete slab. Metal framing was constructed above the slab. “With our building, we had to raise the underside of the structure almost 7 feet above the grade,” English recalls. “What we did is we built it a little bit higher than that so the underside could be left open and used for playground.”

For English, coming up with a design that would reflect the character of the local community was the biggest challenge. To achieve that goal, he broke up the building into four sections and spread them across the site with the tallest sections in the center. “We have four linked segments that transition down on each end to the height of the adjacent residences,” he says.

The roof was also designed to blend in with the neighboring homes, many of which feature metal roofs. “The idea of pitched roofs with overhangs became a strong unifying element,” English explains.

English checked with several major metal roofing manufacturers to determine which products could withstand the harsh oceanfront environment and wind-uplift requirements. “Virtually every one of them would only warranty aluminum roofing,” he says. “The wind requirement and the resistance to the salt air were what drove us to a coated aluminum roof.”

The majority of the panels were factory-made, but the manufacturer supplied the rollforming machine and the operator to handle the onsite rollforming of the largest panels.

The majority of the panels were factory-made, but Petersen Aluminum supplied the rollforming machine and the operator to handle the onsite rollforming of the largest panels.

The standing-seam roof is made up of 0.040-inch coated aluminum panels that are 18-inches wide. Metal trusses give the roof system its shape. English tapped the resources of roof consultant ADC in Charleston and the metal roofing manufacturer to iron out all the details. English wanted to avoid any cross seams in the metal roofing, so he worked with Dave Landis, the manufacturer’s architectural/technical sales manager, to arrange for the longest panels to be formed onsite.

The roof also includes two decks that serve as outdoor teaching areas. These sections were covered with a two-ply modified bitumen roof system and protected with a multi-colored elevated concrete paver system.

Another standout feature is the school’s entry tower, which is topped by a freestanding hip roof featuring curved panels. This roof was constructed with panels that were 12-inches wide. “We found other examples on the island where the base of the roof flares a little bit as a traditional element, and with the closer seamed panels they were able to get those curves,” English says. “It’s a refinement that’s a little different than the rest of the roof, but it’s the proper scale and the fine detailing pulls it together and sets if off from the main roof forms that are behind it.”

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

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Tin-plated Products Are Designed for Rollforming

Roofinox provides a range of tin-plated (Terne) products that provide a substitute for lead-coated copper, zinc/tin-zinc-coated copper, Terne-coated materials, galvalume and lead.

Roofinox provides a range of tin-plated (Terne) products that provide a substitute for lead-coated copper, zinc/tin-zinc-coated copper, Terne-coated materials, galvalume and lead.

Roofinox provides a range of tin-plated (Terne) products that provide a substitute for lead-coated copper, zinc/tin-zinc-coated copper, Terne-coated materials, galvalume and lead. Available in coil or sheet, the tin-plated (Terne) product ensures long-term sustainability and corrosion- resistance for wall cladding, flashing, rainware, interior design and all forms of roofing applications. The tin-plated stainless-steel product has been developed and manufactured for rollforming and fabricating. It consists of a layer of 100 percent tin covering a base of 439 or 316L stainless steel. This formulation works for drainage solutions and accessory pieces. The products can be soldered, are 100 percent recyclable and are malleable.

Brock Associates Partners with Roofinox to Sell Roofing and Rollforming Products

“When Follansbee closed its doors, removing its TCS II from availability a few years ago, it left a serious hole in the market for architectural stainless steel,” says Allan Brock, president of Brock Associates of Pittsburgh, Pa. “Architects still need TCS-II and many are still specifying it for their designs. So we decided to satisfy this market by bringing Roofinox into our product line.”

Brock Associates is now sourcing material for its commercial roofing and siding/ACM applications from Roofinox America, the U.S. arm of Roofinox International, Europe’s supplier of quality stainless steel specifically designed for roofing and rollforming.

Allan Brock says: “Over recent years, we have seen the market for metal in roofing, siding and paintable flashing, increasing, especially in the high-end applications, in our market area of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New Jersey and Virginia. When we saw an opportunity to re-introduce stainless into the market with Roofinox, we went for it, and we have not been disappointed.”

“We are extremely pleased about Brock’s decision to go with Roofinox,” notes Dave Rowe, vice president of Sales, Roofinox America. “Roofinox Tin Plated stainless offers a great replacement for the old TSC II, along with a rich architectural appearance.

He continues: “The good news, is it is 20 percent more malleable than any other stainless products on the market making it easier than ever to roll-form. The strength and malleability of our product coupled with our unique surface textures provides our clients with a desirable product.”

Roofinox America has been providing Roofinox Classic, Roofinox Plus .0157 and Roofinox tin-plated (Terne-coated) material to American fabricators, roofing contractors and metal roofing distributors for more than two years.

Sheffield Metals Launches New Website

The Sheffield Metals website now suits PC and mobile users with a reactive interface design.

The Sheffield Metals website now suits PC and mobile users with a reactive interface design.

The Sheffield Metals website now suits PC and mobile users with a reactive interface design. The new website contains valuable information and documentation for architects, contractors, builders and homeowners. It also features a more comprehensive product line, including Coils and Sheets (COOLR Metal Roofing), Engineered Standing Seam Metal Roof and Wall Systems, Specialty Coil and Sheet Products (Zinc, Copper, Weathered Series, WeatherXL SMP and Vintage), Valspar Products, Rollforming Machines, Sheet Metal Fabrication Equipment, Accessories and Components, and more.

Features:

  • Reactive interface design allows easy navigation for PC and mobile users.
  • Revamped Engineering section features access to all of the available engineering for Sheffield Metals Standing Seam Metal Roofing and Wall panel profiles without a login.
  • Paint warranty request form allows the user to easily submit warranty requests direct from the site or via PDF.
  • Roof Color Visualizer features Sheffield Metals’ 50-plus colors and finishes.
  • Brochure downloads throughout the site.
  • Enhanced Resources page with videos, color cards, profile cut sheets, calculators and more.
  • Social media connectivity with Sheffield Metals and the Mazzella Co. family on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • Careers page link featuring all the available positions at Sheffield Metals and the Mazzella Co.

Forty Years of Roof Leaks Solved with Standing-seam Copper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHOTOS: McElroy Metal

Roofinox Expands Sales and Distribution of Products in the U.S.

Roofinox International, a European-based, 30-year-old manufacturer of metal roofing materials, has announced plans to expand sales and distribution of three key products in the U.S. through its subsidiary, Roofinox America Inc.

Products include Roofinox Classic, a brush-rolled material designed for roofing and wall cladding, Roofinox Plus .0157, a ribbed surface material for smoother roofing results and economy and Roofinox Terne-Coated with a tin-plated surface that develops a matt grey patina finish over time.

The announcement comes in response to an increasing demand for Roofinox products since 2012 when the only domestic manufacturer of terne-coated steel products went out of business.

“From then on we supplied to various projects all over the U.S. with increasing quantities every year,” notes Pascal Metzler, who with his brother, Marc, own the company. “In 2014 we decided to move to the U.S. by opening an office and warehouse from where we could service the increasing demand,” he notes. Meanwhile, sales in Europe were also continuing to grow with marketing and distribution to Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden. The company also regularly supplied its unique products to various commercial projects in strong markets like Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore. Last year, the company started selling the Roofinox product range in Turkey as well. And while Roofinox is currently examining business relations in several more countries, Metzler emphasizes the main efforts are now to grow market share in the U.S.

He notes the technology for his products date back to 1995 with the development of inoxidable (stainless) steel as a roofing material. The idea behind the product was to create a stainless steel specifically designed for roofing and roll-forming. “We found two major features that made it ideal for the application—mechanical properties and surface design with an architecturally distinctive matt finish for rollformed roofing panels. The product features within these two areas differentiated Roofinox from any other product in the roofing market, he contends and the success of Roofinox Classic and Roofinox tin-plated led to the development of several more products available today.

Architectural demand for Roofinox as a natural metal is very high, notes Metzler. “Aging is no problem for Roofinox because the surface is all natural and typically does not change over time.” In addition, he notes that Roofinox products achieve superior results for LEED-related construction and the sustainability of building products. “More and more building owners are looking into long-lasting and environmentally friendly products,” he notes. And there’s the issue of durability.

“Increasing weather extremes require more durable solutions for roofing and Roofinox stainless steel is the best solution for these environments because it was originally developed for Switzerland and Austria in a region known for challenging weather conditions.”

The current goal is to develop nationwide relationships with metal fabricators and installers who need a reliable source for quality architectural grade stainless steel and tin-plated materials the company offers.

Roofinox materials also offer growth potential to contractors who can now differentiate through specializing into more sophisticated work. “Some of the largest institutional building owners, such as the armed forces, school and education authorities, hospitals and churches, are specifying stainless steel for these reasons—it simply is a very high-quality roofing material,” Metzler notes.

One of the brothers’ first steps toward expansion has been the recruitment of David Rowe, a 28-year veteran of the metal roofing and wall panel industry, who has been named vice president-sales of Roofinox America Inc. Rowe joined Roofinox from Englert Inc., an American manufacturer of metal and aluminum roofing and wall panel coil, where he was director of product management responsible for the planning, development and introduction of all new products.

App Allows Access to Photos, Videos and Detailed Technical Information

Samco Machinery developed a free smartphone application allowing access to company pictures, videos as well as detailed technical information.

Samco Machinery developed a free smartphone application allowing access to company pictures, videos as well as detailed technical information.

Customers are searching for information in new ways and Samco Machinery is doing even more to put that information right at their fingertips.

Earlier this year, Samco Machinery developed a free smartphone application allowing access to company pictures, videos as well as detailed technical information. That application is now available to Android users. Once the Samco App is downloaded, it can be accessed at any time, without the need for online access.

The Samco Machinery App, available for free in the Apple Store and now in the Google Play Store, contains five sections to provide any data the potential customer may need.

  • About Samco Machinery: contains company information, a product gallery and the corporate video.
  • Markets: contains spec sheets and machine videos relating to the various industries served by Samco.
  • RFQ: allows customers to submit a request for information.
  • Support: features a link to the company website as well as the names, titles and email addresses of support staff.
  • News: hosts the latest company news, media coverage, as well as providing up to date trade show information.

Mazzella Acquires New Tech Machinery to Enhance International Manufacturing Capabilities

Mazzella Companies has acquired New Tech Machinery (NTM) of Denver. New Tech Machinery is a manufacturer of portable rollforming equipment. To date, NTM has sold machines in more than 40 countries.

NTM manufactures quality portable rollforming equipment for the metal construction industry.

This acquisition adds to Mazzella’s diverse company portfolio. “It will enhance Mazzella Companies’ international manufacturing capabilities and further solidify our position in the architectural metal roof and wall industries.”

New Tech Machinery is based in Denver and has a manufacturing facility in Hermosillo, Mexico. New Tech employs approximately 80 people between both locations and has been in business since 1991.

Roofinox America Names Vice President of Sales

David H. Rowe, a 28-year veteran of the metal roofing and wall panel industry, has been named vice president of sales for Roofinox America Inc., a supplier of quality Roofinox stainless steel coil, featuring mechanical properties and an architecturally distinctive matt finish for rollformed roofing panels.

Rowe joins Roofinox from Englert Inc., an American manufacturer of metal and aluminum roofing and wall panel coil, where he was director of product management responsible for the planning, development and introduction of all new products.

At Roofinox America, Rowe will be responsible for the direction and management of all sales and business development operations, including distribution and fabricator and installer relations for the Roofinox stainless steel product line; Roofinox Classic, a brush-rolled material designed for roofing and wall cladding; Roofinox Plus 0.0157, a ribbed surface material for smoother roofing results and economy; and Roofinox Terne-Coated with a tin-plated surface that develops a matt grey patina finish over time.

Rowe’s roots run deep in this market. He joined Englert in ’92 as a member of its sales force and since then held a variety of management positions in regional and national sales, project management and product development. During his career, he was responsible for the development and launch of more than 30 roofing and wall panel products and programs and several strategic partner alliances for related materials.

Among his responsibilities at Roofinox will be the development of alliances with distributors and metal wholesalers, leading manufacturers for roofing and wall-cladding panels and sheet metal workshops—all looking for Roofinox stainless steel’s combination of high longevity with a dull surface without artificial coating. This natural metal was developed in Europe especially for roofing and wall cladding.

Rowe also brings to Roofinox a proven track record for creating, developing and completing architectural detailing and material specifications for high-end commercial, institutional, and residential projects, and will be responsible for counseling, assisting and training customers, including designers, specifiers and roofing contractors.

He is well-known in the roofing fabrication and contracting industry and early on in his career was associated with Bass Associates, a Massachusetts-based contracting company, installing metal roofing and wall panels.

Buying New vs. Used Equipment: What’s Best for You?

Successful businesses are run by people who are prudent with how money is spent or reinvested into the business. The bigger the expenditure, the more research may be required to make the best decision.

The purchase of rollforming equipment is certainly a major investment in your business. Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.

Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.

Rollformers are often your operation’s most integral piece of equipment, so you want to make sure you’re purchasing a rollformer that will meet all your demands or can be updated to meet those requirements.


Is a new piece of equipment the best investment, or is there an opportunity to purchase a quality used rollformer at a significant savings? Being an OEM, obviously, I’m in favor of a customer buying new equipment—it eliminates a lot of worries and potential headaches. Purchasing a rollformer is more complex than purchasing a standalone production unit. Rollforming machines are one component in a system that has many moving parts; they require a great deal of synchronization to produce accurate components at relatively high speeds. The use of an OEM rollforming system manufacturer is highly recommended, if for no other reason than your own protection.

Having said that, there are obvious situations where the purchase of a good piece of used equipment makes sense. Purchasing used equipment is a viable market because the brand name machines are built to last. There exists a certain psychology out there, it’s the first inclination to look for a deal, for something used.

One good place to purchase used equipment is from someone who needs to downsize their business or perhaps to raise cash. A machine from a company in a different geographic market could make a great buy, price-wise, and you could purchase a machine that is ready to go, ready to start producing. One advantage with purchasing equipment in this fashion is the buyer can usually see the machine in action before writing a check. Plus, your production start is only dependent on how long it takes to transport and set up the equipment. Waiting for custom-made equipment from an OEM may take up to six months. You’re making money only when your machine is up and running.

A word of caution with purchasing used equipment from an individual … make sure there are no liens or encumbrances.

Another viable option for purchasing used equipment is at an auction. A general rule is that you should not pay more than 60 percent of the price of a new machine. That also applies when purchasing equipment from a dealer, which can be even trickier. Buyer beware is the general rule when buying from a dealer because you’re buying “as is” and “where is.” You don’t get to see the machine in operation, so you can’t know what problems you may have to deal with.

Purchasing used equipment from an individual or a dealer also means you have no OEM warranty and OEM technical support and training. We’ve had customers who required a second round of training … you don’t know what you don’t know until you turn on the machine.

With the purchase of used equipment, you’re also missing out on the newest technology, a part of the life cycle of the machine, as well as any depreciation allowance. Technology is changing all the time. The newest technology enables your machine to run a higher speeds, produce the most accurate products and allow for the greatest amount of flexibility with the geometry of products with the same tooling.

An often overlooked consideration when purchasing used equipment is the quality of your in-house maintenance staff. Maintaining these machines is vital to keeping them running. I’ve seen customers who have the staff to make it work and I’ve seen companies whose idea of maintenance is running the machine until it breaks. That’s zero-maintenance and it ends up being expensive.

The purchase price of used equipment is usually only part of the investment. Most likely, you still will require an OEM to rebuild the equipment, add tooling and, in most cases, new electronics. These can be challenging items to budget, requiring more of your time in the form of research. OEMs are certainly capable of rebuilding basic machines and augmenting the entire system with new pieces of updated equipment, electronics and technologies.

We refurbish equipment, both ours and rollformers manufactured by others. Most of it ranges from 10 to 30 years old. People come to us with machines they want us to get running at 80 feet per minute. That’s an unknown with used equipment. It doesn’t matter how big the motor is, if the gears will only allow a machine to run 40 feet per minute, that’s all you’re going to get out of it.

Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.

Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.


Experts can even be fooled by the condition of used equipment until they see it running. Without seeing rollformers in operation, you don’t know the condition of the bearings and if all tooling is straight.

Finally, beware of any equipment that was stored outside. If someone comes to us with equipment that’s been stored outside and wants to know what’s worth, we tell them whatever they can get for scrap. If it sat outside for any amount of time, that’s what it’s worth. Damaging rust is not always visible to the naked eye, so it will require an in-depth inspection of the gear boxes. It’s probably not worth the potential problems.

At the end of the day, it’s a cost-benefit situation. If your volume of production justifies new, buy new. The life cycle of a new machine is highly predictable when you’re in control of the maintenance.

If anticipated volume will be low, a used line may make more sense. However, please take into consideration if the brand is still in business. If not, spare parts can become a huge issue … not to mention the obvious lack of support.

PHOTOS: Samco Machinery