Renovating the roof of the general administration building at Water Reed Military Medical Center in Washington, DC was as much a labor of love as it was a complex reroofing job for the craftsmen at National Roofing Company in Baltimore Maryland.
“Aside from the Pentagon, this is the most recognizable building in all the military,” observes Bob Peters, National Roofing’s project manager on the 1919 historic medical building. “This is the place where those guys are being treated for having given it all to make the world a better place,” he emphasized. In fact, Peters notes that part of the logistics in renovating and restoring parts of the roof was making sure that wounded veterans and active military personnel had access to the building and areas around it during the work. “In addition to doing the reroofing, we made sure that visitors to the building had priority access at all times.”
The major part of the project was the replacement of an older standing seam roof with 30,000 square feet of Englert Series 2500 snap lock panel. National tore off the existing roof, resecured a plywood deck to concrete and added a high temperature underlayment before installing the Colonial Red material. Because the building is a National Historic Landmark, the flashing around its cupola, two large chimneys and its dormers had to be custom made to replicate that of the original building. Battens had to be custom fabricated to historically match the old ones as well.
National also restorated the existing copper cupola, replacing old solder with new and adding new standing seam panels to a barrel roof on the back of the building. “It was a complex and time consuming job, but it was also a privilege to be involved in something for America’s war heroes,” said Peters.