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Seventh Street Wharf

Architectural Building Components

August 2010 marked the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a storm that devastated the Gulf Coast Region of the United States and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction. In addition to be credited with more than 1,800 fatalities, thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed by the powerful storm. Among the battered but still standing was the Seventh Street Wharf at the Port of New Orleans.

 Damage to the building’s R-panel metal roof system was significant enough to warrant its complete replacement. But when presented with another option, the Port Authority engineers charged with overseeing the building’s repair opted instead to have a new standing seam metal roof installed right over the top. The system specified was a jobsite-formed 238T standing seam from Architectural Building Components of Houston, TX. To facilitate the installation, the project’s metal roofing contractor, J. Reynolds & Company, used Roof Hugger Z-purlins. The specially designed 16-gauge sub-structural members, which are pre-notched and pre-drilled for ease of installation, were manufactured by Roof Hugger Inc., Odessa, FL.

The decision to put a new roof system over the old offered clear benefits—eliminating the labor of the tear-off and material disposal fees, and keeping the building in service for the duration of the job. But that is not to suggest Port Authority officials were attempting to fix the problem on the cheap. The 238T system’s 18”-wide panels are available in several gauges including 24-gauge, which meets International Building Code requirements for wind uplift pressure. But being once bitten and twice shy, representatives of the Port Authority opted instead for thicker, sturdier panels manufactured from 22-gauge Galvalume Plus-coated steel. What makes Galvalume Plus different than standard Galvalume-coated steel is an acrylic topcoat with diminishes the steel’s inherent spangle, providing for a more color-uniform appearance.

“The engineers at the Port of New Orleans quickly recognized that the 238T panels were the best roof system they could find for this project,” said Charlie Smith, president of Architectural Building Components. “We were able to provide multi-span clips on the edge zones to eliminate the need for additional framing with a system that allows for individual panel replacement anywhere on the roof, and unlimited thermal movement.”

Leading the installation team on behalf of J. Reynolds & Company was Matt Skipper, the company’s President. Under his direction, the 110-foot-long metal roof panels were manufactured using Architectural Building Components’ specially-built Archzilla® truck. The truck features a platform-mounted roll former that can be raised to the roof’s eave, which allows the panels to be run right out onto the roof.

“The convenience of using Architectural Building Components’ Archzilla® roll-forming truck onsite and its ability to produce long, uninterrupted panels onto the roof were key factors in our decision to select the 238T system,” Skipper said.

The symmetrical 238T panels utilize fixed clips that can be installed in any direction, along with a separate seam cover that makes repair or replacement of panels a simple task. Additionally, by using the system’s multi-span clip, the client achieved double the wind-load capacity, from 45 to 130 pounds per square foot, over purlins space 60” on center. And, because the system uses a separate cap, the sealant has no contact with the clip, ensuring the system’s weathertightness.

The installation of the new metal roof system began with the attachment of the Roof Huggers. Laid out end to end across the surface of the old roof, the notched Huggers were able to rest in the pans of the panels they straddled while their top flange formed the mounting surface for the new roof.

About Architectural Building Components

Architectural Building Components, a division of McElroy Metal, is one of the country’s leading innovators and manufacturers of metal roofing and siding solutions. For more than 20 years, Architectural Building Components has provided low-slope and steep-slope roofing, metal re-roofing, retro-fitting and new metal roof construction designed to save money and minimize upkeep. Headquartered in Houston, Architectural Building Components has developed products such as the uniquely designed 238T & new 138T symmetrical standing seam panel systems, as well as Archzilla® - jobsite manufacturing truck- to serve the complex roofing needs in the educational, healthcare, government, liturgical, entertainment, retail and service industries. For more information about the company, visit

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