Opened in late 2013, the multipurpose LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge in Tennessee includes 232,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space in a sprawling lodge-type setting. Topping off the impressive structure is 965 squares of Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes in the Verde blend of light and dark green tiles to complement the facility’s Smoky Mountain setting.“The size of this complex plus the building code limitations made it impossible for us to specify weighty, expensive real slate for the roof,” says Michael Smelcer, principal with SRA Architects Inc. “After researching our options, we selected the DaVinci Valoré Slate product because of aesthetics, weight and Class A fire classification. The owners of the center were very open to using this particular polymer slate roofing because it gave them the mountain lodge look they desired.”
Single-width Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles resemble the classic traditional slate tile found on upscale projects throughout the world. Available in 12-inch tile widths, the 1/2-inch-thick Valoré Slate tiles are twice the thickness of most other synthetic slates. The roofing tiles come in a full spectrum of authentic slate colors and are made of pure virgin resins to guarantee a sustainable product. The 100 percent recyclable tiles resist impact, fire, hail, insects and algae.
Built over a two-year time frame by the team at Merit Construction Inc., Knoxville, Tenn., the LeConte Center has a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 14 multipurpose rooms of varying sizes, along with pre-function and kitchen space, loading docks and spacious lobbies. Outdoor patios overlook the Little Pigeon River with views of Mount LeConte from many angles.
“Because of the close proximity to Little Pigeon River, our site design had to be low-impact,” Smelcer adds. “This included underground detention, rain gardens, vegetated swales and permeable pavers. We’ve provided similar architectural work for other large facilities, so our firm was confident in our ability to meet the design needs of this exciting project.”
The roof on the LeConte Center was installed by Detail Slate and Tile, Greenville, S.C. “We install several DaVinci roofs each year on residential and commercial projects,” says Joe Whitmore, vice president of operations for Detail Slate and Tile. “This was the largest project we’ve had the opportunity to install polymer roofing material and it went very smoothly. The result is a roof that blends in with its natural setting, is very durable, requires virtually no maintenance and will last for decades to come.”