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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Wrench-Free Nibbler Delivers Burr-Free Cuts of Sheet Metal

The wrench-free nibbler features a rotating head for operation.

The wrench-free nibbler features a rotating head for operation.

Kett Tool Company has introduced the KL-2020 14-Gauge Nibbler, wrench-free nibbler featuring a rotating head for operation. The KL-2020 boasts a die design that allows for maneuverability in cutting sheet metal.
 
Metal fabricators, auto manufacturers and construction crews will appreciate the KL-2020 nibbler that can be locked into four different positions (in 90-degree increments). A rotation of the hand changes the angle of the die while the free-floating punch design extends time between replacements.
 
The KL-2020 cuts 14-gauge cold rolled (C.R.) mild steel and most grades of stainless to 16-gauge. At just 10.5 inches and four pounds, this four-amp, 2500 RPM straight handle electric nibbler is easy to handle and store at any job site. It delivers a clean burr-free cut of flat and corrugated sheet metal up to 65 inches per minute.
 
The KL-2020 Nibbler is available through authorized dealers. For more information or to locate a dealer, users can visit Kett Tool or call (513)271-0333.

N.B. Handy Becomes Stocking Provider of Roofinox Line of Stainless Metal Roofing Materials

Dave Rowe, vice president of Roofinox America of Eatontown, N.J., has announced that N.B. Handy, the Lynchburg, Va., based supplier of metals, metal fabricating machinery, and sheet metal for the roofing and HVAC trades, has become a stocking provider of the Roofinox line of stainless steel and tin-plated (Terne) stainless metal roofing materials.

Dave Rowe notes: “We are pleased to welcome the N.B. Handy Co. to our distribution network. This arrangement gives N.B. Handy a proven stainless steel roofing product it can confidently offer to customers, knowing it will be embraced for its durability, corrosion resistance and visual appeal.” It also provides N.B. Handy with a product “for its architectural network that is quite malleable and easy to rollform—something specifically absent from the marketplace since Follansbee closed its doors and cut off the supply of TCS II to the American market,” says Rowe. He adds that, “architects will be particularly happy with its availability for restoration and historic projects.”

With the new arrangement, N.B. Handy will offer its customers the capability to produce structural roofing profiles with premier stainless steel and tin plated (Terne) stainless steel roofing materials. Tony Bonavito, vice president of Procurement and Supplier Management at N.B. Handy notes, “We are excited about this development because providing the Roofinox stainless materials allows us to offer a full line of products and finishes to our customers.”

CIDAN Machinery Joins the Metal Construction Association

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) welcomes CIDAN Machinery to its membership roster. The company has joined the association’s ranks of about 75 member companies with specialties in the metal construction industry.

CIDAN Machinery has manufactured machines since 1907 and is a well-established company within the sheet metal industry. The company manufactures and markets the brands CIDAN and Göteneds at its factory in Götene, Sweden.

“CIDAN Machinery is excited to participate in networking and stay current with the metal construction industry,” says Larry Chandonnet, CIDAN’s president.

MCA member companies benefit from participation in association activities that focus on research, codes and standards, market development, and technical programs. The association works to increase the use of metal materials in construction by educating the building and design communities about the benefits of metal.

MCA members represent a broad scope of companies including metal roof, wall panel, shingles and coatings manufacturers, coil coaters and metal producers, distributors, equipment and accessories manufacturers, energy insulation system manufacturers, and MCM fabricators. Membership information kits for each industry segment are available on MCA’s website.

RCMA Began Speakers Bureau with Presentation for CRSMCA District Meeting

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

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

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

N.B. Handy Showcases Sheet Metal Machinery During ‘Spring Fling 2014’

The N.B. Handy Company held its “Spring Fling 2014” Machinery Show on April 28-30 in Lynchburg, Va. Top roofing vendors brought their machines and worked with Paul Seufer, general manager at N.B. Handy, to showcase profitability through productivity.

The “Spring Fling” is the largest architectural sheet metal show under one roof in the Mid Atlantic Region. Attendees saw live demonstrations of the full suite of machinery products, including Quadro pan former, Lockformer CNC plasma cutter, Norlok metal fastening machine, Flagler Offset Snaplock machine and an ironworker to manufacture gutter brackets and punch holes.

Participating vendors were excited to travel from all over the country to meet with N.B. Handy customers and engage and share in the concepts and technologies being highlighted. The crowd saw lots of machines, asked questions and observed demonstrations with their own spec parts. Several customers took advantage of show specials to help them get the best machines into their shops now, at the beginning of the construction season.

Seufer took the opportunity of having the show serve a dual purpose; he held a roofing hands-on training session for the N.B. Handy roofing staff members and the employees at their subsidiary company, Morris Ginsberg. To qualify for participation, each person had to pass a pre-test to prove they were prepared to build a roof. The group worked as a cohesive crew to build a mock-up of a roof, incorporating ANSI and SPRI National Standards. This invaluable exercise showed the team what their contractors do on a daily basis.

“The Spring Fling was a place for everyone to bring their curiosity about the roofing industry and see for themselves, through a working exhibition, the incredible array of machines available today that keep us productive and profitable,” Seufer says.

N.B. Handy, headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., has 14 strategically located, full-service sales and distribution facilities in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

During the Spring Fling, a hands-on training session took place for the N.B. Handy roofing staff and the employees of N.B. Handy's subsidiary company Morris Ginsberg

During the Spring Fling, a hands-on training session took place for the N.B. Handy roofing staff and the employees of N.B. Handy’s subsidiary company Morris Ginsberg.