Gold Standards

NRCA members receive Gold Circle Awards for outstanding roofing projects

Each year since 1995, NRCA has honored outstanding contributions to the roofing industry with Gold Circle Awards, which recognize NRCA members who have met standards of achievement in four categories: outstanding workmanship, innovative solutions, service to the community and service to the industry.

At NRCA's 120th Annual Convention in Las Vegas, 2007 Gold Circle Awards were given to NRCA members for their community involvement, creative solutions and challenging projects. This year, there were no winners in the categories of service to the industry, outstanding workmanship—low slope and innovative solutions—new construction. Following are descriptions of the winning projects.

Gold Circle Award category: Outstanding workmanship—steep slope
Recipient: The Durable Slate Co., Columbus, Ohio
Project: First Congregational Church, Akron, Ohio
Roof system type: Slate

First Congregational Church, Akron, Ohio, is a historical landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. The church, with limestone walls and century-old stained glass, is appreciated by the entire community.

The church's slate roof system had been replaced with asphalt shingles in the 1970s, and much of the decorative copper on the monitor, copper ridges and valleys was removed. Although the ridges and valleys had been replaced, the installation had not been successful and resulted in leaks.

When plans were made to restore the church's roof system and match its original appearance, the project required affecting the building as little as possible.

Making a match

The Durable Slate Co., Columbus, Ohio, was chosen to restore the roof system on the First Congregational Church. The company installed more than 150 squares of Evergreen Slate's variegated purple slate, as well as an underlayment. The company also replaced all the copper valleys, ridges, box-gutter liners and finials, as well as low-slope roof systems.

One special aspect of the project was using historical photos to reconstruct the original crenellated parapet, which had been removed from the roof's monitor, a raised section of a roof that has louvers or windows on the side for ventilation or light.

"The monitor installation was unique," says Gary Howes, executive vice president of The Durable Slate Co. "At the time this project was presented to us, the monitor had been covered with modern materials and all the original detail in its design had been lost. The windows had been boarded up, and the appearance of the building had been changed because of alterations to the monitor. The restoration of this feature restored the building's character."

"This monitor restoration required a lot of copper work," says Cherie Downey, director of public relations for The Durable Slate Co. "The craftspeople, by referencing grainy black-and-white photos, had to deduce structural details that couldn't be seen and piece them together to reproduce the design."

The copper cornice, architrave and trim also were reconstructed to match the original appearance. Copper components for the monitor and ridges were handcrafted in The Durable Slate Co.'s shop and taken to the job site. All other copper work was fabricated on-site.

No easy task

Time constraints were an obstacle during the project.

"In addition to the exterior restoration, which had to be completed first, there was more restoration work to be done inside the building," Downey says. "This work had to be completed in time for the delivery and reinstallation of the pipe organ, which had been sent to Quebec for restoration. These were no ordinary time constraints because they required working on the roof system restoration during the winter months—not an easy undertaking in northeastern Ohio with lake-effect snow bearing down on Akron."

The weather issues and building size also presented challenges for the company.

"The crew had to place tarps over the roof at the end of every day and shovel snow off the roof and scaffolding almost every morning," says Matt Wolf, The Durable Slate Co.'s assistant vice president of production. "The sheer size of the building and keeping track of where everyone was and what they were doing also was challenging."

Working over the stained-glass dome beneath the monitor presented a different type of difficulty.

"Heating and cooling equipment had to be removed, along with a false floor and artificial lighting," Downey says. "A temporary floor and catwalk were constructed to protect the dome and provide access to the monitor while work was performed in that area. When the temporary floor was removed, the monitor, with its windows restored, allowed natural light to illuminate the dome once again."

A measure of quality

Restoring a historical building that is important to the community was rewarding.

"The congregation really seemed to appreciate the building and the work we put into it," Howes says. "The church was extremely involved during the process and had appropriated enough funds to do the job correctly and allow us to return the building to its original glory."

Recognition and appreciation from the industry also were rewarding.

"It always is inspiring to be recognized for your work," Wolf says. "So much of what we do goes unnoticed. This project was different in that it was visible and closely observed. To top that off with professional recognition from NRCA—from people who really understand the craft—is a spectacular feeling."

Howes says the award is a measuring stick that lets the company know it is keeping up with the industry.

"It lets us know where our standards and quality line up compared with all other projects," he says. "In the roofing industry, much attention is given to new technology and materials, so it is gratifying when the kind of traditional work we do and time-tested materials we use receive attention and recognition. We appreciate being honored by NRCA with this award."

Gold Circle Award category: Innovative solutions—reroofing
Recipient: Keystone Roofing Inc., Oceanside, Calif.
Project: Eilenberg-Tarter residence, Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.
Roof system type: Zinc-coated copper with standing-seam panels

In Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., a house is perched on a bluff above the San Elijo Lagoon, which is an ecological preserve for migratory birds. The house's unique roof has eight equilateral triangular roof segments in two wings, and each of four segments is a different roof slope with a tapered clerestory window separating the windows and window flashings from the roof.

When the homeowners needed a new roof system for their house, they chose Keystone Roofing Inc., Oceanside, Calif.

Go with the flow

The existing roof system was standing-seam painted steel material installed perpendicular to the eave line.

"The roof was about 18 years old and badly deteriorated because of the nearby harsh saltwater environment," says Mark Katona, chief financial officer for Keystone Roofing.

The company was asked to install Revere FreedomGray™ 16-ounce zinc-coated copper.

"Its unique light-gray color and marine environment durability made for a perfect marriage of aesthetics and function," Katona says.

The architect for the project, Wallace E. Cunningham, owner of Wallace E. Cunningham Inc., San Diego, chose a herringbone design pattern for the home for aesthetic purposes.

"When installing this roof system, it was challenging to provide a weather-tight roof system integrated with the tapered clerestory windows, which intersect the roof at the beveled, metal-clad rakes and roof-to-wall transitions," Katona says. "It was necessary to dismantle the existing roof and entire window system, installing a new system in its place."

Keystone Roofing and Custom-Bilt Metals produced the Revere Freedom­Gray metal panels, which were a 20-inch-wide Titan® CS-100 cap seam profile.

The geometry of the roof made the project more challenging.

"Making the panel seams watertight while essentially diverting or skewing water from its natural gravitational flow parallel down each segment of the roof was an obstacle," Katona says. "Because of the skewed herringbone pattern, the water flow would be channeled to the seam caps, especially during a heavy rain. An elaborate combination of two layers of GAF Materials Corp. Stormguard® underlayment, butyl tape, panel interlocking and expert soldering at seam transitions were used to execute this unconventional panel installation."

The companies also had to find a way to fabricate and move seamless panels, some of which were 65 feet long.

"The team roll-formed the panels on-site and rigged elaborate means of staging to maneuver such large and delicate panels, undamaged, over a seemingly impossible terrain and steep-slope building configurations," Katona says.

A thing of beauty

Katona says the new roof is a masterpiece.

"Far beyond functionality, we believe we have achieved something special that not only helps keep our environment pristine but creates a beautiful structure with a functional life," he says.

Gold Circle Award category: Service to the community
Recipient: Roof Technologies Inc., Harvey, La.
Project: Hurricane Katrina roofing repairs

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged New Orleans, countless buildings were damaged severely. With so much damage and chaos, timely and adequate repairs were hard to find.

However, Roof Technologies Inc., Harvey, La., was one of the companies who took action. The company not only addressed roof problems but helped in other ways, as well.

Roof Technologies donated to various causes in the New Orleans metro area, including $22,000 to First Emmanuel Baptist Church; $18,000 for building repairs at St. Martha Catholic Church; $13,500 to St. Mary's Dominican High School; $10,000 to Plaquemines Parish Public Schools; $7,500 to classroom improvements at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School; $5,500 to Youth Group of St. Martha's; $5,000 to the athletic department of Brother Martin High School; $2,500 for new library books at Visitation School; and 50 blue tarps to Jefferson Parish Sheriffs' deputies.

In addition, Roof Technologies was able to make watertight a significant number of damaged buildings in the New Orleans metro and Gulf Coast areas.

"Roof Technologies' dedication constantly was tried then proved as it fought incredible adversity, including lack of employee housing, gasoline, water, food and other shortage issues," says Brian Robichaux, commercial sales manager for Roofing Supply Group, New Orleans, in a letter to NRCA. "Local travel was a constant challenge because closed roads and National Guard checkpoints were common.

"For months, commercial trucks were not allowed into or out of New Orleans yet Roof Technologies was able to acquire enough materials to complete the required work," he continues.

Above and beyond

When a tornado ripped off the roof of St. Rosalie Middle School several years ago, Roof Technologies surveyed the damage and performed temporary repairs. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged St. Rosalie's school buildings, cafeteria and church, Roof Technologies once again took action, led by Bill Luebbert, president of Roof Technologies.

"Bill was on the scene to assist in the evaluation of damage and worked with the appraiser to come up with a plan of action to present to the insurance company so repairs could be made in a timely manner," says the Rev. Jonathan Parks of St. Rosalie Catholic Church, in a letter to NRCA. "Bill is a hands-on leader who is on the site of every job and takes the time to get to know building owners, as well as the activities that take place in each of the facilities.

"Understanding the need to have our cafeteria repaired so it could be used as a central organizational area, Bill personally supervised the repairs to the roof and returned several times to make sure the building was operational to our satisfaction," he continues.

Luebbert believes he simply is giving the community what it deserves.

"The community is the driving force that provides the roofing industry the opportunity to profit," he says. "I believe it is our responsibility to provide something back to the community."

Setting an example

Winning the Gold Circle Award for service to the community was satisfying.

"Recognition by your peers is most gratifying," Luebbert says. "Additionally, we hope we are setting an example for the roofing industry to strive to be a leader for community service."

And what would he say to other roofing contractors in the industry?

"Community service is a responsibility and a requirement—not an option," he says. "The reward is the great feeling that comes from being able to help others."

Gold Circle Award category: Service to the community
Recipient: Sheffield Metals International Inc., Sheffield Village, Ohio
Project: St. Mary's Nativity Elementary School, Raceland, La.
Roof system type: Standing-seam metal

Another building damaged by weather was St. Mary's Nativity Elementary School in Raceland, La. During the summer of 2005, a tornado damaged the building's roof, requiring a blue tarp to be placed over the damage until repairs could be made. At the end of that summer, Hurricane Katrina further damaged the roof at a time when the school experienced a 20 percent enrollment increase because of hurricane evacuees. And because of insurance delays, the roof still was covered with blue tarps when yet another tornado destroyed the remaining roof area.

Edward J. Laperouse Metal Works Inc., Houma, La., prepared to make the emergency roof repairs and estimate the cost of a new standing-seam metal roof system. However, after discussing the situation with Edward J. Laperouse Metal Works, Sheffield Metals International Inc., Sheffield Village, Ohio, decided to donate all the metal necessary to reroof the school—a $25,000 donation.

Much of the work was performed while the children were in school. As a temporary roof, a torch-applied modified bitumen base sheet was installed over the entire field of the roof and a self-adhering ice dam membrane overlaid the modified bitumen at all valleys. This temporary roof also acts as an underlayment for the new metal roof system. Then, 2 x 4 treated nailers were anchored to the concrete with polyisocyanurate foam insulation installed between the nailers. Ultra Seam US-200 CoolR™ standing-seam metal roof panels, which were roll-formed on-site from 24-gauge Kynar 500®-coated Galvalume coil, were installed. Additionally, 3,800 square feet of flat sheet metal was used for metal flashings.

Edward J. Laperouse Metal Works did not charge for the labor.

A time of need

"The project was unique because three business partners were able to come together and cut through the red tape to make this happen," says Mike Blake, president of Sheffield Metals International. "This is a small school in a rural community without a lot of financial resources."

And the children and teachers showed their appreciation.

"They did a wonderful presentation for us to express their appreciation when we visited Louisiana," Blake says. "The experience was something we never will forget."

Sheffield Metals International is proud to win a Gold Circle Award but even prouder to have been a part of doing good.

"Winning this award is a great honor, and we appreciate it very much," Blake says. "What really means more to us is being able to help the school during its time of need. That was our real award."

The 2007 Gold Circle Awards entries showcased creativity, hard work and charitable spirits. NRCA eagerly awaits participation in the 2008 Gold Circle Awards, which will be presented during NRCA's 121st Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Feb. 19-23, 2008. For more in­formation about NRCA's Gold Circle Awards, visit or contact Chrystine Hanus, NRCA's executive assistant, at (847) 299-9070, ext. 7522, or

Krista Reisdorf is managing editor of Professional Roofing magazine.

NRCA's Gold Circle Awards for the safety solutions category recognized members for projects where creating a safe environment was especially challenging. Following are the winners:

  • Brazos Urethane Inc., Texas City, Texas, for the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans
  • Tuscano-Maher Roofing Inc., Saltsburg, Pa., for the Altoona Locomotive Shop, Altoona, Pa.


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