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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NRCA Releases 2015-16 Market Survey

NRCA has released its 2015-16 market survey, providing information about overall sales-volume trends in the roofing industry, roofing experiences, material usage and regional breakdowns. It is an important tool to measure the scope of the U.S. roofing industry, and the data provides a glimpse into which roof systems are trending in the low- and steep-slope roofing markets.

This year’s survey reports sales volumes for 2015 and 2016 projections averaged between $8 million and almost $9 million, respectively, and revealed a near-steady ratio of low- to steep-slope sales of 74 percent to 26 percent.

For low-slope roofs, TPO remains the market leader with a 40 percent share of the new construction market and 30 percent of the reroofing market for 2015. Asphalt shingles continue to dominate the steep-slope roofing market with a 47 percent market share for new construction and a 59 percent share for reroofing.

Polyisocyanurate insulation continues to lead its sector of the market with 80 percent of new construction and 73 percent of reroofing work. In addition, roof cover board installation for 2015 was reported as 22 percent in new construction, 42 percent in reroofing tear-offs and 36 percent in re-cover projects.

NRCA’s market survey enables roofing contractors to compare their material usage with contractors in other regions and provides manufacturers and distributors with data to analyze, which can affect future business decisions.

NRCA members may download a free electronic copy of the 2016 survey.

CertainTeed Roofing Product Data is Available on ARCOM Software Platforms for Roofing Professionals

CertainTeed and ARCOM are pleased to announce that CertainTeed’s roofing product data and customized specifications are now available through ARCOM’s software platforms to architects, engineers and design professionals.
 
ARCOM and CertainTeed have worked together to create customized versions of the MasterSpec sections to accurately specify CertainTeed’s roofing product portfolio. Along with these specification sections, CertainTeed’s entire roofing product catalog and data sheets are accessible to specifiers when working on their projects.
 
“We are proud to partner with ARCOM in providing customized roofing specifications for both our Flintlastic Modified Bitumen roof systems and our complete collection of asphalt roofing shingle products,” said Tom Smith, president of CertainTeed Roofing. “These editable, 3-part specifications enable the roof designer to easily produce complete and accurate specifications for both low-slope and steep-slope roofing systems.”
 
ARCOM and CertainTeed believe this relationship will benefit design professionals as they select and specify roofing products.

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Announces Additional Funding for Roofing Research

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress announces the addition of four members during 2016’s third quarter, adding $300,000 in funding for progressive roofing research that contributes to the ongoing advancement of the industry.

The Alliance’s newest members are:
Academy Roofing, Aurora, Colo., is one of Colorado’s premier roofing contractors providing commercial and residential roof system replacement and repair in addition to solar roofing, gutter installation and cleaning, new insulation and walkable deck systems. Academy Roofing joined the Alliance at the Governor level.

Bennett and Brosseau Roofing, Romeoville Ill., specializes in in low-slope, steep-slope, metal and green roof system design, construction and maintenance. As one of Chicago’s premier, full-service roofing contractors, Bennett and Brosseau Roofing has a commitment to sustainability and green building practices. Bennett and Brosseau Roofing joined the Alliance at the Governor level.

FiberTite Roofing Systems/Seaman Corp., Wooster, Ohio, manufactures an extensive line of membranes, systems and accessories. FiberTite Roofing Systems/Seaman joined the Alliance at the Regent level.

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC, Atlanta, one of North America’s leading manufacturers of gypsum products and marketers of building products. GP Gypsum joined the Alliance at the Regent Level.

Through the generosity of its members, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress commits to the following:
Education and training — Develop programs and projects addressing current and future workplace issues ensuring a qualified and trained workforce for the roofing industry.

Technology — Engage collaborative industry segments to embrace innovation and use technology.

Sustainability — Advocate environmentally sustainable design.

Philanthropy — Enrich the well-being of the roofing community through scholarships, charitable gifts and endowments.

Alliance membership is reserved for those who commit their pledged amount during a three- to five-year period. All members are entitled to participate in the task forces established to guide the Alliance’s agenda, to attend the semiannual meeting of the full Alliance, and other Alliance activities scheduled throughout the year.

Projects: Education

University of Virginia, Rotunda, Charlottesville

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819.

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819.

TEAM

ROOFING CONTRACTOR: W.A. Lynch Roofing, Charlottesville
ARCHITECT: John G. Waite Associates, Albany, N.Y.
JOINT-VENTURE BUILDER: Christman-Gilbane, Reston, Va., ChristmanCo.com and GilbaneCo.com
LEAD-ABATEMENT CONTRACTOR: Special Renovations Inc., Chesterfield, Va.

ROOF MATERIALS

The domed roof required about 6 tons of 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper. W.A. Lynch Roofing sheared 4,000 individual tiles to approximate dimensions in its sheet-metal shop, and a makeshift sheet-metal shop was set up on top of the scaffolding to complete the final measurements and exact cuts.

COPPER SUPPLIER: N.B. Handy Co., Lynchburg, Va.
COPPER MANUFACTURER: Hussey Copper, Leetsdale, Pa.

ROOF REPORT

The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. Jefferson modeled his design—presented to the university board in 1821—after the Pantheon in Rome. Although he died in 1826 while the Rotunda was still under construction, the stunning building housed the university’s library as Jefferson envisioned.

The rotunda renovation is a two-phase project, and roofing work was part of Phase 1. The roofing team believed seven months was adequate to complete the job; the university, however, requested it be complete by April 2013 so scaffolding would be removed in time for the commencement ceremony. That gave the team a four-month timeline.

The domed roof required about 6 tons of 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper.

The domed roof required about 6 tons of 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper.

Tom McGraw, executive vice president of W.A. Lynch Roofing, explains: “This was just short of impossible even if it wasn’t winter. But as a graduate of UVA, I recognized the basis of the request and agreed to it. So we doubled the manpower and went to a 10-hour day, seven-day a week schedule. We divided the roof into four equal quadrants, each separated by an expansion joint and put a crew in each area working simultaneously with the other three. We also added support personnel in our sheet-metal shop, as well as runners to keep the flow of material to the job site on schedule for the sheet-metal mechanics. In the final analysis, we made the schedule and completed our work within the owner’s request.”

The roofing project was essential because of rust on the previous terne-coated metal roof. It was determined the rust was caused by inadequate roof ventilation that created condensation on the underside of the metal roofing. Ventilation was lacking because of a Guastavino tile dome that was installed in 1895. The condensation was addressed by installing a concealed venting system at the intersections of the treads and risers at the seven steps in the roof, as well as at the top of the dome below the oculus. “Heated air has low density so it will logically rise creating natural convection,” McGraw notes. “This convection creates air movement below the roof and minimizes dead air spaces and the potential for condensation. The key to this is ensuring that you size the ‘intake’ venting similar to the ‘exhaust’ venting so that air will flow in an unrestricted fashion.”

Reroofing a dome can be a challenge, and determining how to keep the interior and its priceless valuables dry required some ingenuity. McGraw invented a tarp that he compares to a hooped skirt to keep the space watertight. The roofing crew cut trapezoidal sections of EPDM membrane and installed them from the bottom to the top of the dome. This skirt-like tarp was configured out of eight pieces at the bottom, six at the midpoint and four at the top. The maximum cut sizes for each level were determined using a computer drawing. Creating the EPDM covering in sections made the tarp easy to handle and remove. “If we seamed it all together or made it in less pieces, the guys wouldn’t have been able to lift it,” McGraw adds.

The tear-off process involved removing the painted metal panels according to lead-abatement standards; the panels were cleaned offsite to maintain the integrity and safety of the job site. A new wood deck was installed on furring over the tiles. This was covered with 30-pound roofing felt and red rosin building paper followed by the new copper roof.

Each piece of copper was tinned and folded before being installed. This process was necessary because of the lack of symmetry on the building. McGraw recalls: “Because this building is almost 200-years old, you have to recognize that not everything is as true and square as one might hope. There are seven steps that circle the base of the dome, and each tread and riser changed in height and width all the way around the building.”

This is the fourth roof for the Rotunda. The first was a tin-plate roof designed by Thomas Jefferson; the second was copper that was a replacement roof after a fire in 1895; the third roof was painted terne-coated steel from 1976; and the current roof is 20-ounce Flat-Lock copper that will be painted white. The decision to select copper was based on cost, durability and historic appearance.

Phase 2 of the project began in May, and the Rotunda will be closed for repairs until 2016. At a price of $42.5 million, utility, fire protection and mechanical upgrades will be made, as well as a Dome Room ceiling replacement and construction of a new underground service vault. The roof also will be painted white, and leaking gutters will be repaired during this phase.

PHOTOS: DAN GROGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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The Stars Align as Waukegan Roofing Celebrates 100 Years in Business

Waukegan Roofing Co. Inc., Waukegan, Ill., is celebrating 100 years in business in 2014.

Waukegan Roofing Co. Inc., Waukegan, Ill., is celebrating 100 years in business in 2014.

The universe seems to be telling Bruce Diederich he is following the right path. Diederich is president of Waukegan Roofing Co. Inc., located in Waukegan, Ill., a suburb 32-miles north of Chicago. As the roofing-contracting firm enters its 100th year in business, it’s difficult to ignore the coincidences Diederich, who has owned the company for 16 years, has uncovered while researching Waukegan Roofing’s long history.

One hundred years ago, M.C. DeThorne established Waukegan Roofing on Philippa Avenue in Waukegan. Although Waukegan Roofing no longer is located on Philippa Avenue, Diederich is grooming his son Philip to someday take over the business. Strange? It gets better: DeThorne included his company’s telephone number—1625—on advertisements discovered by a local historian. Today, Waukegan Roofing’s phone number is (847) 623-1625.

An early location of Waukegan Roofing.

An early location of Waukegan Roofing.

If that isn’t enough, it seems as though Diederich was always meant to own a roofing business. His father owned a shingles-only roofing-contracting firm for 32 years. While he was growing up, Diederich worked for the company but opted to sell roofing materials instead and went to work for Bradco Supply, now Beloit, Wis.-based ABC Supply Co. Inc. Diederich happened to sell materials to Waukegan Roofing, which at that time was owned by Ed and Dave Hiner. The Hiners’ father had bought Waukegan Roofing from the DeThorne family in 1951. When Ed Hiner mentioned in 1998 they were planning to retire, Diederich pulled $5 out of his pocket and jokingly told Ed not to sell before he could speak to his youngest brother who was interested in returning to roofing. The next day Dave Hiner invited Diederich for coffee.

“We were parked next to each other and Dave opened his trunk and said, ‘Ed and I want you to buy our company. Here are the last 10 years of financials,’” Diederich recalls. “I put them in my car and called my wife, telling her she’d never believe what just occurred. She thought they were really serious and urged me to call our attorney and accountant. Thirty days later, I owned Waukegan Roofing.”

Owner Bruce Diederich credits his 55 union employees with his company’s success.

Owner Bruce Diederich credits his 55 union employees with his company’s success.

The Hiners had followed DeThorne’s lead and focused their business on low-slope commercial and industrial roofs. Diederich realized he could offer his shingle heritage to the business. “I looked around and there were all these retail centers being built and they all had a shingle-mansard roof of some form,” he says. “I approached Waukegan Roofing’s top-five contracts and asked what they thought about me starting a shingle division. Every one of them said it would be a great idea because they could come to Waukegan Roofing for everything, not just the flat part of the roof.”

Waukegan Roofing’s shingle division has been very successful since Diederich established it in 1998. Today, the firm constructs all types of low- and steep-slope roofs, along with roof-related sheet metal. In addition, in 2007, Diederich started a commercial service and maintenance division, which kept Waukegan Roofing busy through the economic downturn and benefitted the company’s growth overall.

Waukegan Roofing constructs all types of low- and steep-slope roofs, along with roof-related sheet metal, as well as operates a commercial service and maintenance division.

Waukegan Roofing constructs all types of low- and steep-slope roofs, along with roof-related sheet metal, as well as operates a commercial service and maintenance division.

Diederich credits his 55 union employees with his company’s success. “We stick by them through thick and thin,” he says. “We just believe in the people who work for the firm and in the quality of the product we put out. Our motto is ‘Installing roofs you can rely on’, and we believe in that wholeheartedly.”

All the clues that Diederich’s chosen profession was meant to be are there, and he agrees his life has come full circle—from working in his dad’s roofing business to helming a successful roofing contracting company of his own into its 100th year. “People ask me whether I regret buying a roofing company and I say, ‘Yeah, I wish I would’ve done it 10 years earlier’,” he chuckles.

INVOLVEMENT

Bruce Diederich is immediate past president of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association. He also is an active member of the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and National Roofing Contractors Association.

Roof Bracket Allows Staging of Materials without Covering Anchor Screws

Acro Building Systems' Johnny Jack roof bracket

Acro Building Systems’ Johnny Jack roof bracket

The Johnny Jack roof bracket’s patent-pending design provides a better platform for staging materials on steep-slope roofs. Made in the U.S.A. by Acro Building Systems, the roof bracket is designed to stage materials on architectural roofing, including metal shingles, slate, tile and asphalt, while never covering the anchor screws. It features a 5 1/2-inch surface clearance, and is ideal for working around dormers. Operational dimensions are 7 by 1 foot and the bracket folds to 48 inches for storage. The bracket, which weighs 14 pounds, is powder coated safety yellow and spans 6 1/2 feet.

Residential Fall-protection Anchor Is Permanent

Qualcraft Industries' HitchClip

Qualcraft Industries’ HitchClip

Qualcraft Industries, a division of Guardian Fall Protection, has released a versatile residential fall-protection anchor: the HitchClip. Made from durable and lightweight powder-coated aluminum, the HitchClip is quick and easy to install (with six screws or six nails), and functions as a permanent anchor point. Because it may be permanently installed, the HitchClip not only adds value to any home, but also helps reduce costs for contractors by allowing them to save money on temporary or one-use anchor options.

The HitchClip, which is now fully available to purchase, comes in black, gray or brown, and its sleek design allows it to easily blend in with nearly any roof. Its patented “key-hole” connection point allows it to be used as a standard fall-protection anchor and also in combination with numerous attachment accessories, such as Qualcraft’s Bunk Jack, Roof Jack, Guardrails, Workbench, Platform Stage, Solar Panel Rack Bracket, and many more.