Golden Opportunities

NRCA members receive Gold Circle Awards for exceptional roofing projects

  • Bourbon County CourthousePhoto courtesy of Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Louisville, Ky.
  • St. ColettaPhoto courtesy of James R. Walls Contracting Co. Inc., Clinton, Md.
  • Dubai International AirportPhoto courtesy of Chadwick Technology Group Pty. Ltd., Killarney Heights, Australia

Every year, NRCA honors members who have made outstanding contributions to the roofing industry through its Gold Circle Awards program. Members are nominated by their peers for meeting standards of achievement in four categories: outstanding workmanship, innovative solutions, service to the community and service to the industry.

The 13th annual Gold Circle Awards were presented to members during NRCA's 121st Annual Convention in Las Vegas. This year, 20 nominations were received for projects completed between June 1, 2005, and Sept. 31, 2007. There were no winners in the categories of outstanding workmanship—low slope, innovative solutions—reroofing or service to the industry. Following are profiles of the winning projects.

Gold Circle Award category: Outstanding workmanship—steep slope
Recipient: Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Louisville, Ky.
Project: Bourbon County Courthouse, Paris, Ky.
Roof system type: Copper

Bourbon County Courthouse was built in Paris, Ky., beginning in 1901. Construction of the courthouse, which is Bourbon County's fourth courthouse, was completed in 1905 at a total cost of $170,000. Bourbon County Courthouse is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

When it came time to restore the courthouse's ailing roof system, Fitzsimons Office of Architecture, Lexington, Ky., was assigned to head the restoration. Preston Construction Group, Nicholasville, Ky., the project's general contractor, contracted Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Louisville, Ky., to restore the courthouse's exterior walls and ceiling, dome roof and cupola.

Piece by piece

Renovations at Bourbon County Courthouse began during the first week of October 2006. Before Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal could begin work, scaffolding had to be erected.

"A structural engineer was consulted to confirm the security of the building's roof structure and its ability to withstand more than 50,000 pounds of scaffolding," says Tim Steinrock, owner of Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal. "Scaffolding was erected from the courthouse's main roof spanning upward 80 feet to the top of the cupola.

"The scaffolding system was incredible; there were 57,000 pounds of scaffolding," Steinrock continues. "It was almost like working in a living room at times—we had nice platforms to work from. All workers were tied-off, as well."

After the scaffolding was erected, Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal removed the galvanized and copper skin of the walls, ceiling and roof. Each piece of roofing and decorative detail was removed, lowered to the main roof and subsequently lowered to the ground.

"Each existing piece was driven back to our sheet metal shop, which is located about 90 miles west of Paris in Louisville," Steinrock says. "Wooden forms were built, and each new piece was fabricated, assembled, disassembled and transported back to the job site to be reassembled and installed."

All decorative and structural pieces were replicated and reinstalled using 20-ounce copper or lead-coated copper.

The existing upper cupola roof sheeting and water tables were constructed of wood and wired to steel structural members.

"Upon dismantling, the copper was removed, and it became evident it was the copper that was holding the roof together," Steinrock says. "The wood structure had disintegrated because the wires had rusted away.

"The wood had to be replaced without drilling into the steel structure," Steinrock continues. "Subsequently, a 'blocking and scabbing' technique was used."

The last elements installed on the roof system were two two-piece urns.

"Each urn weighed 220 pounds," Steinrock says. "Installation was complicated by the fact that we were unable to install the urns until after the scaffolding was removed in March 2007."

Patience required

The Bourbon County Courthouse project required patience and perseverance from Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal.

"Because of the intricacy of the details and complexity of the work, for a majority of the project we could only use two workers on-site to dismantle the existing pieces," Steinrock says. "One worker would drive the material back and forth between Paris and Louisville, and another worker and I would replicate the pieces overnight.

"The process can be likened to dismantling a decaying artifact, transporting it and assembling a replica," Steinrock says. "Almost 5,000 individual hand-cut pieces—some as small as 1/4-inch square—had to be replicated. The workmanship required creativity, tenacity and patience."

And Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal demonstrated its tenacity and patience by working steadily to finish the job on time.

"We worked five to six days a week and only missed one workday because of inclement weather," Steinrock says. "We had various conditions of rain, wind, sleet and snow. One day, the temperature was as low as 4 F, and the wind chill was -28 F."

Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal completed work on the courthouse four days after its original deadline.

"If we had been timid, it would have been a different story," Steinrock says.

A job well-done

Finishing work on the Bourbon County Courthouse was a relief for Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal.

"Every aspect of this project was a challenge," Steinrock says.

However, the company is pleased with its meticulous work and finished product.

"Building something that will last 150 years is quite rewarding,"Steinrock says.

For its exemplary work on the Bourbon County Courthouse, Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal also received NRCA's Gold Circle Platinum Award, which was a special award created to reward the company for excelling in all facets and surpassing all other 2008 Gold Circle Award entries.

Gold Circle Award category: Innovative solutions—new construction
Recipient: James R. Walls Contracting Co. Inc., Clinton, Md.
Project: St. Coletta, Washington, D.C.
Roof system type: Built-up, metal and tile

St. Coletta, Washington, D.C., a school for mentally and physically challenged students, is run by St. Coletta of Greater Washington, Washington.

When designing the school, the general contractor, The Whiting Turner Contracting Co., Chantilly, Va., had to keep in mind the students' needs. The school's rooms are painted different colors to help students find their classrooms, and this theme is carried through to the outside of the building. Various colors and shapes are used, giving the building a unique overall appearance.

Because of the building's unique exterior design, the roof system also was expected to be one-of-a-kind. James R. Walls (JRW) Contracting, Clinton, Md., won the subcontract to install the building's roof system, and work began June 13, 2005.

A unique installation

Installing the roof system on St. Coletta proved to be a challenge.

"There are many varied roof areas, including low-slope built-up, self-adhering polymer-modified bitumen, metal and tile roofs," says James R. Walls, JRW Contracting's owner.

JRW Contracting installed 39 built-up roof systems on the building. A total of 320 squares were installed. Additionally, JRW Contracting installed self-adhering polymer-modified bitumen systems on 15 roof areas. Ninety squares were installed.

"There were numerous soaring areas—an M-shaped section, barrel-shaped section, A-frame and cylindrical section—that required extensive tile roofing and exterior systems," Walls says. "We installed plywood, Grace Ice & Water Shield® and 30-pound felt on these areas. Then, a different color of flat-book tile was installed on each roof system.

"The cylindrical section was especially challenging because this area is vertical and curved," Walls continues. "The tiles were flat and did not curve. To overcome this difficulty, on-site installers had to leave the tiles intact but place them precisely to prevent leakage and preserve aesthetic appeal."

One hundred and eighty squares of tile were installed. All tile courses were aligned with architectural elements, such as window cornices and vertical features.

JRW Contracting also installed 18 metal roof systems of different sizes and slopes on the building. Plywood, Grace Ice & Water Shield® and 30-pound felt were installed on these areas.

"One of the metal roofs required 52-foot-long panels to be radius-fabricated on-site, hoisted and installed with access only through other roof areas," Walls says. "Other metal roofs were saw-toothed and fabricated off-site. These were installed on sloped areas."

A total of 350 squares of metal roof system was fabricated and installed. There were two colors of spouts, five colors of scuppers and several colors of coping.

In addition, JRW Contracting fabricated and installed radius window flashings for one radius wall with square windows and one radius window in a flat wall.


Significant challenges were faced during this project.

"Many of the installation areas were small and difficult to access with limited opportunity to tie off," Walls says. "One roof area was only 3 feet by 52 feet, another 5 feet by 6 feet, and yet another 6 feet by 8 feet. Adjacent vertical walls further limited maneuverability."

To face this challenge, JRW Contracting fabricated special safety brackets for fall protection.

Another issue with the job was the limited storage and work space. The job had to be loaded daily as areas became open because both the surrounding area and job site were heavily congested, and major thoroughfares line two sides.

"On-site, there were numerous new buildings being constructed," Walls says. "Panels and other roofing materials couldn't be loaded by crane because of this congestion, and we had to employ a telescopic forklift on a case-by-case basis, coordinating with the other trades."

Limited space also was an issue when it came to the on-site fabrication of the 52-foot-long metal panels.

"The only space large enough for the fabrication of the panels was the street, which presented logistical and safety concerns," Walls says.

A complete success

The project was completed Aug. 15, 2006, ahead of schedule. It proved to be a great experience for all involved.

"JRW Contracting undertook one of the most challenging jobs in its 31-year history, using its range of roofing and sheet metal expertise to fabricate and install more than 940 squares of four roof system types," says John Fitzgerald, The Whiting Turner Contracting Co.'s project manager. "Its efforts have realized multiple dreams—that of an architect to deliver a complex suiting both the neighborhood and concept of the school, as well as the needs of the students, to provide a visually stimulating, functional and safe environment."

Gold Circle Award category: Innovative solutions—new construction
Recipient: Chadwick Technology Group Pty. Ltd., Killarney Heights, Australia
Project: Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Chadwick Technology Group Pty. Ltd., Killarney Heights, Australia, also received a Gold Circle Award in the category of innovative solutions—new construction for installing a composite roof system on Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Chadwick Technology originally was nominated for a 2007 Gold Circle Award for this project. However, work still was being completed on the project, and it could not be considered for a Gold Circle Award. Professional Roofing profiled the project in 2007. To read more about this exceptional project, see "A technically unique project," August 2007 issue, page 50.

Gold Circle Award category: Service to the community
Recipient: Keystone Roofing Inc., Oceanside, Calif.
Project: Lagazo Residence, San Diego
Roof system type: Wood shingle

In September 2007, Mark Katona, owner of Keystone Roofing Inc., Oceanside, Calif., saw a news clip on San Diego's Turko Files of KUSI-TV News about a home that had been abandoned by a roofing contractor the previous February.

"The contractor had haphazardly installed a roof on the home and then just disappeared!" Katona says. "Another contractor had since come in to perform roof repairs, and he also had abandoned the project."

Katona immediately jumped into action after watching the news story.

"The story aired Sept. 13, 2007, and on Sept. 14, 2007, we met the distraught homeowner, Edith Lagazo," Katona says. "Her story was so heartbreaking that our position was simple: not on our watch, and not in our industry."

Reversing the damage

Keystone Roofing began work on Lagazo's home immediately.

The home's original roof system was composed of 4,200 square feet of wood shingles, which had been removed by the original contractor. The contractor had then improperly installed new 5/8-inch-thick oriented strand board, securing the board with only about six nails per sheet. One layer of 15-pound felt paper also had been installed incorrectly, which had since deteriorated and allowed water to enter the home.

"We removed all existing felt paper and tarps, as well as all bad plywood," Katona says. "We then installed new plywood and nailed it properly—it had been nailed ridiculously before."

Keystone Roofing then installed two layers of No. 30 felt and GAF Materials Corp. Timberline 30-year dimensional roof shingles and an appropriate sheet-metal package. Keystone Roofing gave Lagazo a 10-year warranty on the roof system.

"When we were doing the work, all the neighbors were bringing over coffee and doughnuts—it became a community affair," Katona says. "These people were so happy someone was finally helping this woman. My crew felt like heroes."

Pressed for time

But work on Lagazo's home proved to be a challenge because of the time constraints.

"We doubled up on teams because it was so important to hurry up and finish," Katona says. "We had about nine workers on the job."

And Keystone Roofing's other projects had to be halted or pushed back to allow time to install Lagazo's new roof system.

"We had a lot of work lined up at the time," Katona says. "We moved all our big projects back and pulled some of our crew members off other projects—we didn't expect this to come into our schedule. But under no circumstances were we going to make Lagazo wait any longer."

Although Keystone Roofing was anxious to install a sufficient roof system on the home, the company did not skimp on safety.

"We used Miller Fall Protection fall-protection systems—all workers were tied-off," Katona says. "Each worker had a harness and rope grabs."

Pay it forward

Keystone Roofing completed work on the house on Sept. 20, 2007. Two days after work was completed, San Diego was hit by a major rainstorm.

"We hadn't had a storm like that in 20 years," Katona says. "Not a drop of water got in the house!"

And the project proved to be rewarding for Keystone Roofing.

"It gave us a feeling of exuberance and stewardship to have given Lagazo a roof system and warranty at no cost," Katona says. "We simply asked that she pass on a random act of kindness to a stranger when the opportunity presents itself.

"This is our industry, and we believe we are raising the bar for the industry," Katona continues. "It's rewarding to know that we're making a difference—you can't buy that feeling."

Excellent work

The 2008 Gold Circle Award entries demonstrated outstanding dedication, innovation and charity in the roofing industry. NRCA looks forward to nominations for the 2009 Gold Circle Awards, which will be presented during NRCA's 122nd Annual Convention in Las Vegas Feb. 1-5, 2009.

For more information about NRCA's Gold Circle Awards or to submit a nomination for 2009, go to or contact Chrystine Hanus, NRCA's executive assistant, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7522 or

Ashley St. John is Professional Roofing's associate editor.

Gold Circle Safety Awards

NRCA's Gold Circle Safety Awards recognized the following companies for projects where creating a safe environment was especially challenging:

  • Chadwick Technology Group Pty. Ltd., Killarney Heights, Australia, for Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Interstate Roofing & Waterproofing Inc., Onalaska, Wis., for Porter Boathouse at the University of Wisconsin—Madison


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