December 2011
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Topped by three 80-foot-tall domes, Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church in Johnson City, N.Y., mimics traditional Ukrainian architecture. The church was built in 1977, and by 1995 its wood shake siding and roof had deteriorated so badly that the parish began looking into alternative material options. Eventually, in spring 2010, it hired BSR, Binghamton, N.Y., to reroof the church.

To maintain an appearance almost identical to the original roof and ensure a longer service life, BSR covered the existing roof deck with GAF Materials' Weather Watch® Leak Barrier and installed 90 squares of DaVinci Roofscapes' ValorĂ© polymer shake tiles in a Tuscano color blend of light, medium light, medium and dark autumn colors. Each shake course was interleafed with a layer of GAF Materials' TruSlate™ UnderBlock™ UV & Moisture Barrier.

"The towers presented a unique challenge compared to normal asphalt shingles," says Charles Griffiths, president of BSR. "The rigid shake shingles required extensive and time-consuming trimming to match the geometry of the tower sections."

The roof system installation was finished in June 2011, and the church's exterior also has been cleaned and stained.

Griffiths says the project presents a unique, realistic impression of a wood shake roof using a modern material—without the maintenance associated with a natural wood shake roof.

"The architecture for Ukrainian Orthodox churches emphasizes wood construction including shingles," he says. "The church is roughly 35 years old and had been experience staining, warping and leaks with its original wood shake roof. We were able to satisfy the church's architectural needs with a modern material. The church's priest and congregation are pleased with the outcome."

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