The cost of replacing a roof can be one of the most significant maintenance expenses in the life of a building. USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building rating program (version 4) assumes a building service life of 60 years. With most types of roofing, building owners can expect to replace the roof once or twice in that amount of time, incurring significant expense to do so.
Many buildings are The Metal Construction Association (MCA) is proud to announce a new study that verifies that coated steel roofs can last as long as the buildings they cover. The research study concluded that the expected service life of an unpainted 55% Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roof constructed today in a wide range of environments using best practices can be expected to be in excess of 60 years.
Learn more about the study here, and access the full study and executive report in MCA’s Technical Resources library.
Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC, told attendees at the recent MCA Annual Meeting in Clearwater Beach, FL, that although nonresidential construction has been slow to recover from a steep downturn in 2013, several emerging signs point to increased activity throughout 2014.
As a guest speaker at the January meeting, Baker noted several leading economic indicators that point to an improving economy, including that housing starts have accelerated in recent months and that house prices, which continue to recover, have gained back more than 40% of their losses. He also said that net household growth has been dominated by renters in recent years, pushing down the rate of ownership.
“The housing recovery is well underway, but production levels are still below long-term potential,” Baker said, adding that a rate of 1.6–1.8 million housing starts per year is still years away.
Despite the positive market fundamentals, there have been modest gains in spending on nonresidential buildings, Baker said. He noted that the nonresidential construction sector faces several challenges and opportunities, including that recovery to date remains modest, with little improvement over past year; commercial property values are recovering “nicely”; and real estate market fundamentals, such as vacancies and rents, remain positive for most commercial market segments.
Meanwhile, architecture billings point to emerging upturn in nonresidential building activity. “Even with slowdown toward the end of last year architecture billings are in the midst of an upturn, with the strongest growth since the recession began,” Baker said.
Baker added that construction spending should see solid single-digit growth in 2014, with recovery continuing into 2015.
Plans for the MCA Summer Meeting, set for June 23–25 at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL, are underway. Online hotel reservations and a preliminary program schedule are now available. For more information, visit the Events page on the MCA website.
EPDs provide life-cycle assessment information and details about the product’s environmental impact (i.e., raw-material extraction, transportation, packaging, and disposal). As such, EPDs assist purchasers and users in making informed comparisons among products.
“With the recent approval of LEED v4 rating system, we expect to see more members of the design community looking for EPDs as part of an overall emphasis on transparency,” notes MCA Technical Director Scott Kriner. “The EPD for IMPs is based on the life-cycle assessment of this product category. It is a major step forward for the metal construction industry in reporting the environmental impact of IMPs.”
IMPs are composed of rigid foam that is sandwiched between two sheets of coated metal. Their steel or aluminum panel facings create a vapor, air, and moisture barrier that provide long-term thermal stability. According to MCA-member manufacturers, IMPs
offer long-term durability
come in a multitude of colors and finishes
offer cost-competitive construction advantages and long-term high performance to help lower operating costs for building owners in any construction market.
Editor’s Note: As we gear up for METALCON International, Oct 1-3 in Atlanta, we’re highlighting some of our favorite Atlanta metal construction projects. We hope to see you next week in Atlanta!
Sports arenas, event centers and skyscrapers generate the most buzz around their construction. Other buildings, such as schools, may not enjoy the limelight, but they’re no less important. In fact, one could argue the design, planning and function of a school building affects the future of more people than any other building type.
As you tour Atlanta during the upcoming METALCON, Oct 1-3, you can’t miss metal’s contributions to the city’s famous buildings. But get off the beaten path a bit, and take note of some of the less known, yet highly influential ones.
Atlanta-based Portman Family Middle School is a prime example of design done well, and metal products contribute to the middle school’s educational and green attributes. A LEED Gold-certified building, construction of the middle school was made possible by a generous $10 million donation by Jan and John Portman.
Designed by architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch, the 75,000 sq.-ft. building was completed in 2009. Some of the “green” features of the design include:
• a garden roof used as an interactive learning space with native plants fed by a rainwater-fed runnel carrying water through the garden to a cistern below
• low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, and dual flush toilets
• daylight sensors, solar hot water, and a high-performance exterior envelope
ALPOLIC aluminum composite panels are central to the high-performance exterior envelope. The metal panels were chosen for their versatility, durability, modern appearance and energy efficiency.
As an energy-efficient green building, the middle school not only saves tens of thousands of dollars annually, it also educates hundreds of children about the importance of sustainable living.
Metal’s use as a green construction material will no doubt be a hot topic at METALCON this year. For a prime example of metal’s green attributes in action, check out Portman Family Middle School, too.
Located across the park plaza from the convention center, the Georgia Dome stands mighty as the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world. The 290-ft.-high roof is composed of 130 Teflon-coated fiberglass panels covering 8.6 acres. The roof’s supporting cable totals 11.1 miles, and the Dome is as tall as a 27-story building, according to the Georgia Dome website.
Opened in 1992, the Georgia Dome took center stage at the 1996 Olympic games as the setting for gymnastics and basketball events. Home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Georgia State Panthers football teams, the Georgia Dome also recently hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament in April this year.
METALCON will be take place Oct. 1-3. For a look at the Georgia Dome in action, book your METALCON travel to Atlanta a few days early. The Falcons play the New England Patriots September 29th in this awe-inspiring stadium. The Dome also offers individual and group tours if you don’t have time for a game.
Although the credit of Georgia Tech’s 63-21 win over Western Carolina last weekend belongs to the team and coaches of the Atlanta-based institute, maybe, just maybe, metal roofing played a role in the win? Okay it’s a stretch, but consider this: Georgia Tech players began practicing in the school’s new indoor practice facility in August, and that facility has a metal roof that is designed to arc like a perfectly thrown pass and provide maximum space inside. If the roof “played a role in a winning football formula,” says Bill Croucher, director of engineering at Lancaster-PA-based Fabral, then “Fabral is happy to be part of it.”
It sounds like a win-win to us.
Croucher says that metal is a top choice for curved roofs on stadiums and practice facilities because it provides a choice of color, profiles, and paint and substrates; has a high-recycled content; and is 100% recyclable when the useful life of the roof is over. Moreover, Fabral’s structural standing-seam metal roof offers superior wind-uplift resistance and is Class A fire rated.
Joseph A. Knight, AIA, Knight Architects, Inc., Atlanta, points out that the metal roof panels stretch the full width of the 80,000-square-foot building, without any end-seams. The 24-gauge Galvalume panels are 245-feet long and 16-inches wide. “The metal shines and contrasts nicely with the adjacent brick buildings, as well as the brick at the base of the practice facility itself,” Knight says. “There is really no other material we could have used that would have presented such an aesthetically and economically strong solution.”
Wondering about a possible defect in the Metal Composite Material (MCM) panels you’re installing, such as a deflection or bow, a surface imperfection, or a problem with the finish or color? While these instances may be rare, a new white paper by the Metal Construction Association (MCA), available at no charge, can help you determine whether a MCM panel or system is not meeting current code and industry standards.
It’s vital that installers, architects and designers know acceptance criteria for painted metal surfaces. However, “questions concerning visual appearance often arise during the architectural walk-through on a project,” says Andy Williams, MCA’s director of codes and standards. “This white paper highlights many real-life situations so that architects and designers can understand what to expect. More knowledge at the beginning of a project prevents problems from developing later in the process.”
Best known as the home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, Mile High Stadium has been home to the likes of Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow. The metal stadium also was the venue for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as well as concerts from bands including U2 and the Eagles.
Formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, Sports Authority signed a 25-year agreement for the naming rights in 2011. That should be a safe investment because the metal wall panels on that stadium will be looking great and performing well for many years to come.
As the spring brings severe weather across the country (we’re busy bailing out here in Chicagoland after more than 4 inches of rain the past few days), building performance is top of mind for many building owners. Our friends at the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) recently reminded us about the performance of metal roofs in hailstorms. According to MRA, metal roofs perform so well in hailstorms that some insurance companies even provide a reduced rate for buildings with metal roofs.
That said, there are still some misconceptions about how metal roofs perform in hailstorms, so we thought we would take this opportunity to debunk a couple of those myths.
Myth #1: Metal roofs are more prone to damage from hail than other roofing systems.
FALSE. According to a recent article in Metal Roofing Magazine, which cites two hail studies performed by The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc. (RICOWI), “Metal roofing stands up to the forces of nature as well as or better than any type of roofing material.”
Myth #2: Metal roofs are louder than other types of roofing in a hail storm.
With the help of zinc wall panels, you’d never guess that this retail building, located in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago, was formerly a Borders bookstore. The black and patina-blue VMZinc flat lock panels are not only versatile and extremely durable, but they add visual interest, even an edginess, to the building design, say Jim Tuschall of Tuschall Engineering Company Inc., Burr Ridge, IL, and architect Wil Bruchmann of Antunovich Associates, Chicago.
The project serves as an anchor to a revitalized retail street corridor near the University of Chicago campus. Slated to open in June, the building houses a women’s clothing store and yoga studio in the front portion colored blue, and a high-end restaurant and music venue in the black- colored back.
“I was drawn to the patinaed zinc because its color changes slightly with the time of day, weather, and seasons. Every time you look at the building, it has a whole different color that can range from gray to aqua blue to anywhere in between,” says Bruchmann. “The panels are uniform height but random lengths. Adding detail to the wall also created a dynamic transition between the two colors, which mimic the differing uses within the building.”
Bruchmann also notes the long life of zinc. “It ages well over time and is very resilient,” he says. “There’s no question in mind that this was the best product for this particular project. There’s no other material out there that could create this sort of look and feel.”