When the building team set out to plan a new police facility in Gilroy, CA, the original design called for a concrete tile mansard to match the existing roofs in the neighboring Gilroy civic center. Upon finding that the project was over budget, one of the cost-cutting measures adopted by the architect was to replace the concrete tile with a Met-Tile metal “tile panel” facsimile system from McElroy Metal Inc.
According to Frank Cuomo, senior project architect at WLC Architects (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), “Met-Tile gave us the look we wanted but at a much lower cost, and its reduced weight also lightened the structure so that we could value-engineer the building’s steel frame to accommodate lighter loads. We were able to save around $150,000 in structural and roof system costs without compromising aesthetics.”
Though it closely resembles tile, the Met-Tile system actually consists of long-length, 26-gauge zinc-aluminum coated steel panels that weigh about 125 lb. per square or 1.25 lb. per square foot – much lighter than traditional roofing tiles. Due to its light weight, it may be used for new construction or re-roofing on all types of projects, including those that can’t bear the weight of tile.
Most of the Met-Tile panels were used to create a decorative mansard that shields the rooftop mechanical equipment from view. The mansard panels were fastened to a corrugated metal deck above steel framing. Met-Tile also functions as a roof over two gable areas above the main entries on the east and west sides of the building. The gable roof panels were installed over a plywood deck and waterproofing membrane.
The project used a total of 15,000 sq. ft. of Met-Tile panels in a Mission Clay color. The coating, an SMP paint finish, meets ENERGY STAR® requirements for solar reflectivity. Panels ranged from 4 ft. (for the mansard) up to 31-ft. custom lengths for the roofing sections.
General contractor for the project was S.J. Amoroso Construction Co., Inc., Redwood Shores, CA. Metal roofing installer was Facility Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA; and the Met-Tile dealer was Blackwood Associates, Inc., Fairfield, CA. The 120,000 sq. ft. facility was completed in January 2007 at a total cost of $33 million.
Gilroy Police Station photographs by Fred Daly