Providing state-of-the-art roofing systems comes second nature to Architectural Building Components, a Houston-based premier manufacturer of advanced metal roofing solutions. However, when the task involves retrofitting a prison roof while the nearly 1,500 convicted criminals are just below, the project becomes much less commonplace.
When the existing 110,000 square foot, 18-gauge galvanized standing seam roof failed due to rust and perforation of the metal, officials from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice turned to roof consultant Amtech Building Sciences and Architectural Building Components to provide a long-lasting, watertight solution for the 27-year-old facility in Rosharon, Texas.
Besides the obvious restrictions of working in a prison, there were several unique challenges on this project. For starters, the existing roof was spanning bar joists ten feet on center, making the process of attaching the new roof to the old structure even more difficult. To help come up with an economical solution that would meet the 120 mph design pressures, Terry Wolfe of Force Engineering & Testing was brought into the project. His solution was to attach the existing 18-gauge roof to the structural bar joists and use the top of the panel ribs as an attachment point for 16-gauge hat sections. The new roof system would then be attached to the hat sections at a standard 5 feet on center.
“We knew our superior 238T roofing system was an ideal option for this job because of its unsurpassed wind-uplift resistance, unlimited thermal movement and outstanding static-water performance,” said Charlie Smith, President of Architectural Building Components. “The client was drawn to this product because of its unmatched wind uplift performance on an open frame, as well as the 238T’s symmetrical design that allows for individual panel reparability & replaceability.”
Architectural Building Components and the Dallas, TX-based installer, Supreme Systems Inc., began work on the Terrell Prison in September and finished in late December. “The speed of our installation at the prison was positively impacted by the 238T’s symmetrical design,” said Todd Gilmore, Sheet Metal Division Manager of Supreme Systems. “The 238T’s unique ability to infill or skip an area on the roof to be installed at a later date was a big time saver.”
Architectural Building Components manufactured the project's 181-foot roof panels from 24-gauge Galvalume Plus-coated steel on site using its unique Archzilla® jobsite production truck, which produces panels of unlimited length onto the roof for installation.
The 110,000-square-foot project was especially challenging due to the stringent security requirements inherent while working on an active prison roof. For example, all individuals representing both Architectural Building Components and Supreme Systems had to pass extensive background checks prior to beginning work. Installers were also required to wear specific clothing to differentiate themselves from the inmates; and all vehicles and materials entering and leaving the jobsite had to be meticulously inspected to ensure that illegal items were not being smuggled into or out of the facility.
About Amtech Building Sciences Inc.
An independent roof and building envelope assessment and design firm founded in 1982, Amtech Building Sciences Inc. is dedicated to providing clients with independent and professional guidance on their roofing and waterproofing projects. The firm’s experienced staff includes registered architects, roof consultants and roof observers with more than 250 years of combined experience. To learn more, visit www.amtechbuildingsciences.com.
About Force Engineering & Testing Inc.
Force Engineering & Testing specializes in the testing and design of light-gauge, cold-formed steel assemblies. With more than 27 years of strong and successful engineering/management experience, both in the U.S. and overseas, the company’s Terry Wolfe is abreast of current developments in the metal building, roofing, curtain-wall and light gauge steel industry. For more information, visit www.forceengineeringtesting.com.
About Supreme Roofing Systems Inc.
For over 24 years, Supreme Roofing Systems has been committed to: Customer Satisfaction, Responsiveness, and most of all Quality. With a financial base of over $20 million dollars in annual sales Supreme is able to maintain a staff of experts in every aspect of the roofing industry. For its work on the C.T. Terrell project, the firm received the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association’s Commercial Golden Hammer award. For more on the company, visit www.supremeroofing.com.