Composite Slate Roof Offers Curb Appeal

 A composite slate roof was chosen to help the facility fit in with the surrounding area.

A composite slate roof was chosen to help the facility fit in with the surrounding area.

Jack Lucks has an “architectural eye.” His dedication to creating attention-grabbing projects has served him well during the past 43 years as he makes design and product decisions related to a variety of projects with different architectural styles.

In recent years Lucks and his group, Continental Real Estate Companies, have focused on the creation of senior/assisted living facilities. A recently opened facility in Granville, Ohio, has been well received, and Lucks, a founding partner with the group, credits the distinctive look of the building’s composite slate roof as a key to its curb appeal.

Roof Materials

The design goals included integrating the building with the surrounding area. “Granville is an older town, founded in the early 1800s,” Lucks notes. “There are lots of slate roofs in town that complement the Greek Revival style of this area. Having a composite slate roof on our facility that so perfectly replicates real slate was a smart decision.”

A composite slate roof from DaVinci Roofscapes was chosen for the project. “The black Bellaforté Slate roof has the aesthetic look we wanted without the weight of real slate,” says Lucks.

Lucks points out that the Middleton project is a single-story building with a roof that’s highly visible from the street. “When you look at this building, half of what you see is the roof,” he says. “That made the roofing decision especially important for us.”

According to Lucks he has been “enormously pleased” with the authentic look of the composite slate roof. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the DaVinci roof has helped us gain tenants,” he says. “People look at the structure, see the brick and ‘slate’ exterior. It makes them take that crucial step to walk in our door.”

With 94 rooms, Middleton offers six levels of support for residents at the 92,000-square-foot structure. The facility provides restaurant-style dining, daily activities, an on-site theatre and nature paths, as well as laundry and housekeeping services, 24-hour licensed nurses and a beauty salon. “America’s population is aging,” says Lucks. “Our facilities help Americans age gracefully in beautiful settings that cater to their changing needs.”

Team

Roof System Manufacturer: DaVinci Roofscapes

Photo: DaVinci Roofscapes

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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