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Fresnel Lens Building

VM Building Solutions USA

Raleigh, NC – When the historic Fire Island Lighthouse’s new Fresnel Lens Building opened to the public in July 2011, visitors saw a new standing-seam zinc roof donated by Umicore Building Products USA Inc. (UBP) and metal roof manufacturer ATAS International.

The Fire Island Lighthouse on Fire Island National Seashore in New York was built in 1858 and fitted with a first-order (or large) Fresnel lens. Fresnel lenses were intricately shaped, 16-foot-tall masses of brass and glass prisms designed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel. They rotated on a clockwork assembly, emitting a white flash at one-minute intervals. On Fire Island, the original lens served as a beacon to mariners from 1858 to 1933.

Anticipating electrical lighting, the U.S. administration of lighthouses removed the large lens in 1933 and stored it in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. When the Fire Island Preservation Society decided to build a new educational facility and bring the 1858 lens home, UBP offered to donate its VMZINC® coil for the new roof.

ATAS International, headquartered in Allentown, PA, donated its services to manufacture the roof, and Kenneth J. Herman, Inc. of Amityville, NY, donated design services and managed construction.

Engineer Kevin Albert of Kenneth J. Herman, Inc., praised UBP and ATAS for their generosity to the Fire Island Preservation Society “at a time when the economy is still hurting.”

Erik Berg, former North American applications manager for UBP, explained the challenge the zinc roof entailed: “Fire Island is a uniquely shaped, marine environment application,” he said. “To achieve the longevity desired and to maintain the integrity of the beautiful gray aspect [of the zinc], proper detailing and installation was critical.”

ATAS president Dick Bus said he was “very impressed with the number of volunteers involved with the project” when he first visited the site. Volunteers, material donors such as UBP and ATAS, and money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded the project.

For more information on the Fire Island Lighthouse and Preservation Society, visit www.fireislandlighthouse.com.

About ATAS International

Founded in 1963, ATAS International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of metal roofing, wall and ceiling panels, produces systems for commercial and residential buildings. The ATAS product line offers more than 20 profiles available in aluminum, steel, zinc and copper. These profiles include: standing and batten seams; corrugated; curved; tapered; shingles; tiles; shakes; and narrow or wide ribbed panels with hidden or exposed fasteners. Rainware, crown moulding and perimeter edge trim are also available with the same finish to match or accent a roofing or wall system.

ATAS offers energy efficient building envelope technology, such as cool roofing products that are ENERGY STAR® qualified and InSpire, the transpired solar collector, which utilizes precision perforated metal panels to preheat ventilation air via solar energy. ATA-Solar, a building integrated photovoltaic product complements ATAS’ sustainable product offerings. Profiles are coated with a Kynar 500® PVDF or Hylar 5000® PVDF finish in 30 standard colors. ATAS has four manufacturing facilities in the United States: two facilities, including the headquarters, in Allentown, Pa.; one in Maryville, Tenn.; and one in Mesa, Ariz. All ATAS locations are certified to ISO 9001:2008 with design. For more information, go to www.atas.com.


VMZINC_logoVMZINC® is the international brand name of rolled zinc products manufactured and sold VM Building Solutions USA. For additional information, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

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