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Construction Documents

All Campus Dining Center

The All Campus Dining Center (ACDC) at Vassar College was designed by McKim, Mead, and White and constructed in 1913 as the student center.  When it was converted into the campus’s primary dining facility in 1973, the original one-story wings on either side of the central two-story section were demolished and replaced with new, larger wings.  Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation for replacement of the building’s roofs, which was carried out in phases over the course of three years.

New mottled green and purple slate roofing was installed at the steep-slope roof of the central two-story section.  New 32 oz. copper built-in gutter liners were installed complete with raised expansion joints, copper outlet tubes and downspouts, and custom-made copper leader heads.  The wood cupola was repainted to match the original paint colors, new flat seam copper roofing was installed on top of the cupola’s square base as well as on the cupola’s swept roof, and the cupola’s copper finial was given a gold leaf finish.

On the low-slope roofs of the one-story wings, existing ballasted EPDM roofing, insulation, and the original (1970’s) gravel-surfaced built-up roofing system were removed.  A new torch-applied SBS single ply membrane was installed to keep the roofs watertight until new lightweight insulating concrete could be installed.  The new lightweight insulating concrete provided R-value, but also increased the roof’s slope toward the drains, thereby promoting drainage.  New fluid-applied membrane waterproofing systems and new copper counterflashings were installed, along with 16 new skylights on each wing.

Levine & Company, together with Hayden Building Maintenance Corp., received a 2014 Gold Circle Award (outstanding workmanship – steep-slope category) from the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) for the first phase of the project.

 Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: $1,323,000 (roofing only)

Project Size: 35,000 square feet

Trades: Roofing, Masonry, Painting

Primary Roofing Materials: Slate shingles, copper built-in gutters and flashings, lightweight insulating concrete, and fluid-applied membrane waterproofing system.

Barclay Hall

This gray granite masonry building was designed by Addison Hutton and was the first dormitory constructed on Haverford College’s campus in 1876.  Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction administration services for multiple phases of roof replacement.

New black, hex-butt slate shingles were installed on steep-slope roofs with a patterned band of red slates at the top of each slope to match the original slate roof.  Pole gutters at the eaves were replaced, sloped toward the outlet tubes, and new copper gutter liners with raised expansion joints installed.  The window sills of 28 dormers projected into the gutter.  In order to accommodate thermal movement, the interface between new copper window sill flashings and the new gutter liner was designed to permit the gutter liner to expand and contract at each sill.  In addition, architectural woodwork was repaired and painted at the building’s 44 dormers and all dormers received new slate roofing and wall cladding, as well as new copper flashings.  New snow retention systems on the steep-slope slate roofs, comprising a combination of snow guards and snow rails, were carefully laid out around the building’s numerous dormers, gables, hips, and valleys.

Up to 2-1/2” of existing roofing was removed from low-slope roofs and new insulation and a new modified bitumen roofing system installed.  Roof penetrations, including new overflow scuppers, were flashed with a fluid-applied membrane waterproofing system integrated with the modified bitumen.

Masonry rehabilitation, including rebuilding and repointing, rehabilitation of brick chimneys, and replacement of deteriorated granite coping stones was undertaken concurrently with the roof replacement project.

 Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: $1,848,000

Project Size: 11,000 square feet

Trades: Roofing, Carpentry, Masonry Restoration, Painting

Primary Roofing Materials: Slate shingles, copper gutters and flashings, modified bitumen roofing, and fluid-applied membrane flashings

Bryn Athyn Cathedral

Constructed between 1913 and 1928, Bryn Athyn Cathedral is a National Historic Landmark and an architectural gem in historic Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.  Since 2006, Levine & Company has assisted the Cathedral on an ongoing basis with maintenance and rehabilitation of its more than 30 roofs, including condition assessment reports, bi-annual roof observation and gutter cleaning, temporary repairs, and permanent repair/replacement work.  The success of this proactive approach is evidenced by the fact that leaks experienced inside the Cathedral have been reduced to near zero.

Levine & Company designed multiple phases of roof repair and replacement work for the Cathedral and monitored the construction to ensure long-term, weathertight solutions.  Retaining as much of the historic fabric as possible was important both to Levine & Company and the Cathedral and resulted in the decision to repair those roofs which were still in good condition and replace only those which had reached the end of their service lives.  Numerous repaired roofs received new stainless steel gutter liners and coping caps to resolve recurring leaks resulting from flaws in the original gutter design and later repair efforts.  In addition, roofs which were no longer serviceable were replaced with new batten seam and standing seam stainless steel and eight balcony roofs at the Bell Tower were replaced with a new fluid-applied membrane waterproofing system.

Levine & Company’s drawings and specifications for Phase 2 roof rehabilitation work won first place in the Small Project category in the 2010 RCI Document Competition.

Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: $340,984

Project Size: 7,300 square feet

Trades: Roofing, Masonry

Primary Roofing Materials: Stainless steel, copper, fluid-applied membrane waterproofing

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church is comprised of a campus of seven buildings constructed between 1911 and 1990.  Following a condition assessment report for all of the buildings, Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation services for three separate phases of roof repair and replacement projects.

The first project involved repair of the graduated slate roofs of the Chapel (c.1940), Sanctuary (c.1927), and two porte cocheres (c.1927), including replacement of deteriorated flashings.  At the Chapel, new copper box gutters were installed with an unusual profile matching the original gutters.  New snow retention systems, copper downspouts, and a large, flat seam copper gusset were also installed.

The next phase involved roof replacement at the Sanctuary’s Bell Tower and Belfry.  Existing modified bitumen and built-up roofing systems were removed and new seamless, fluid-applied membrane roofing systems installed, including new copper and lead coated copper flashings.  The deteriorated lead cladding on the Tower’s spire was carefully documented and a new lead coated copper spire was fabricated to match the ornate detailing of the original.  The existing slate roof of the Education Building (c.1931) was repaired, as well.

The final phase involved replacement of the main low-slope roof of the Ministries Center (1990), repairs to the slate roofs of the Ministries Center, and roof repairs at the Converse House (1911).  New lightweight insulating concrete was poured on top of the existing low-slope concrete deck at the Ministries Center to provide an average R-value of 20 and promote drainage, and a new fluid-applied membrane roofing system was installed.  Built-in copper gutters were replaced at the steep-slope roof of the Ministries Center and new coping caps installed at all gable end walls and parapets.  Slate roofing at the Converse House was repaired and deteriorated copper gussets, flashings, and flat seam dormer roofs were replaced.

 Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: NA

Project Size: 41,000+ square feet

Trades: Roofing, Masonry

Primary Roofing Materials: Slate shingles, copper and lead coated copper gutters and flashings, lightweight insulating concrete, and fluid-applied membrane waterproofing

St. Mark’s Church Lady Chapel

Designed by Cope and Stewardson Architects and constructed in 1902, the Lady Chapel of St. Mark’s Church is considered one of America’s most important urban Gothic Revival church designs.

Levine & Company produced construction documents and observed construction for replacement of the Lady Chapel’s roof.  The existing standing seam copper roof and flat seam copper gutter liners had been repaired numerous times in an attempt to stem leaks inside the Lady Chapel and had reached the end of their serviceable lives.  Deteriorated roof and gutter framing was replaced.  The new gutter framing members were carefully fabricated, each to a slightly different size and shape, in order to create slope toward the outlet tubes and promote drainage.  Loose brownstone coping stones were removed and reset in new mortar beds with concealed stainless steel pins to secure them in place.  New standing seam copper roofing and flat seam copper gutter liners were installed to match the existing with improved layout and detailing.  New copper embrasure flashings, wall cladding, and counterflashings were carefully formed around the crenellated parapets.  New copper outlet tubes, overflow scuppers, and downspouts were installed in their original locations. Between the gutter trough and the exterior wall, the outlet tubes travel a long, sloping route (over 4’-0” in length) through the attic and the masonry wall.  Potential failure of the new outlet tubes was of concern due to their path through the building’s interior.  New outlet tubes were fabricated from 32 oz. copper to minimize the chances of failure and new, secondary copper catch pans were suspended below the outlet tubes to mitigate the risk of damage if a failure does occur.

Roof replacement was part of a larger restoration project, which included lighting upgrades and restoration of interior finishes.  The project was selected for a 2013 Preservation Achievement Award by The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: $201,120
Project Size: 890 square feet

Trades: Roofing, Carpentry, Masonry

Primary Roofing Materials: Copper

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

St Mary’s Episcopal Church was designed by the renowned Philadelphia architectural firm Furness & Evans and constructed in 1887 with later additions constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Following an existing conditions assessment report of the Church’s roof, exterior masonry walls, clerestory windows, and architectural woodwork, Levine & Company provided detailed construction documents for roof replacement and rehabilitation.  Levine & Company also assisted in bidding the project to qualified roofing contractors and worked closely with the selected contractor during construction to ensure a high-quality, weathertight result.

Although wood shingles had been the original roofing material, the relatively short expected service life of new wood shingles led Levine & Company to recommend dimensional asphalt shingles instead.  The color, texture, and shadow lines of the asphalt shingles are sympathetic to the historic character of the Church and provide a warranty period of 50 years.  New insulated nailboard panels were installed below the shingles to increase the energy efficiency of the previously uninsulated roof.  Ongoing problems with overflowing gutters and ice damming were resolved by deepening the existing built-in gutters, installing new copper gutter liners, replacing existing downspouts, and adding several new downspouts and new expansion joints.  In addition, thirty-three bulging leaded glass clerestory windows were restored, architectural woodwork at, and above, the eaves was repaired and painted, and a new weathervane was fabricated and installed to match the broken, original weathervane.

This project was selected for a 2010 Historic Preservation Award from the Historical and Architectural Review Board and Historical Commission of Lower Merion Township.

Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: $826,609

Project Size: 7,600 square feet

Trades: Roofing, Carpentry, Painting, Stained Glass Restoration

Primary Roofing Materials: Dimensional asphalt shingles, copper, TCS II

Thompson Library

The Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library has stood at the center of Vassar College’s academic life since its construction in 1905.  The elaborately planned building was designed by Allen & Collens, a Boston architectural firm, in the English Perpendicular style.  Its massive central tower, 3 long nave-like wings, memorial entrance hall, and open stack policy help to define a Vassar education to this day.

The Library’s 6,400 square foot roof is surrounded by crenellated limestone parapets and covered with over 3 tons of copper batten seam roofing laid on a concrete roof deck.  Gigantic built-in gutters, measuring more than 9 feet in girth, lie at the eaves of each of the building’s 3 wings.

Starting in about 1980, the roof system of Thompson Library failed to receive much attention.  What maintenance it did received was often misguided.  Layer upon layer of bituminous membrane roofing was added to the gutters (nearly 4” inches of soaking wet material was removed during the course of the project).  Punctures, open seams, wear holes, and failed flashings in the batten copper seam roof went unattended or, if noticed, were simply covered with multiple layers of mastic.  Some of the changes imparted by the infrequent maintenance altered the historic appearance of the structure.  Perhaps worst of all, the gutter’s original outlet tubes, which once drained through the mouths of dragon-like creatures expertly carved into the limestone parapets, were abandoned and un-delicately installed in new cores located above the abandoned beasts.

Having suffered from ongoing leaks for many years, the time finally came to properly rehabilitate Thompson Library’s roof system.  Deficiencies in the copper batten seam roof were mapped out and, although time consuming, each puncture, open seam, hole, slit, and nail pop was effectively repaired by soldering copper patches in place.  Similarly, problems with embrasure flashings at the parapets, counterflashings, and batten end caps were effectively dealt with through repair or replacement.  But what to do with the enormous built-in gutters?  Bituminous membrane systems had been put to the test and failed.  EPDM, although a common, “go-to” solution, is not really designed for gutter troughs, does not handle changes in plane very well, and rarely lasts more than 10 years in such locations.  Flat seam copper would have been a technically feasible choice with the benefit of a 50 year service life, but at a very high cost. The College demanded a practical, long-lived approach.  It was found in a fluid-applied membrane roofing system, some of the many advantages of which include durability, easy renewability and no need for future tear-offs, ability to obtain a manufacturer’s warranty, lack of any seams, and cost effectiveness.

In addition to replacing the built-in gutter liners, all new copper and lead coated copper counterflashings, parapet embrasure flashings, gussets, and turret door threshold flashings were installed.  Deteriorated mortar joints located behind existing flashings were raked out and repointed prior to the installation of new flashings.  Restoration of the original gargoyle outlet tubes was a key goal of the project, one that greatly enhanced the historic integrity of the building.  It involved several test openings to determine elevations and the feasibility of going back to the original gutter outlet locations, removal of 2 or 3 abandoned tubes within each gargoyle, and careful removal of cementitious fill within the gargoyles’ mouths.  New outlet tubes consist of solid copper DWV pipe carefully fit with elbows top and bottom to ensure alignment with each gargoyle’s mouth.  Overflow scupper tubes, which had never been present in the gutter, were placed in the holes cored when the outlet tubes were raised in the past.  Because the batten seam roof was to remain, a carefully detailed copper apron flashing was installed to bridge the interface between the batten seam roof and top edge of the new gutter liner.

The project subsequently won a Gold Circle Award for innovative solutions from the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Project Highlights

Cost of Construction: $500,000

Project Size: 6,400 square feet

Trades: Roofing, Carpentry, Masonry Restoration

Primary Roofing Materials: Fluid-applied waterproofing membrane, copper and lead coated copper flashings

Additional Key Projects

Blodgett Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Following a survey of the building's 78-year-old graduated slate roof, Levine & Company prepared construction documents and provided construction observation for its replacement, including new flashings and box gutters, as well as associated low-slope roofs.

Carmel Presbyterian Church Bell Tower, Glenside, PA

Following an existing conditions survey, Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation for replacement of existing modified bitumen roofing with new fluid-applied waterproofing membrane systems at the Tower and Bell Deck roofs of the 1924 schist masonry Church.  An abandoned steel stanchion, which had once supported a large metal cross, was removed, thereby eliminating unnecessary penetrations through the roof and reducing the load on the Tower roof’s structure.  The project also included installation of new scuttles, new bird control netting in the large arched openings of the Bell Deck, resetting coping stones at the Tower’s parapet, and installation of new copper wall cladding and coping cap/thru-wall flashings at the Tower roof.

Davison House, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Davison House, constructed in 1902, comprises one of the primary residence halls of Vassar College.  As part of a major interior/exterior renovation project, Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation for replacement of the extensive slate roof, including new copper box gutters, flashings, and downspouts.  The project also included installation of new flat seam copper gussets, standing seam copper roofing, a new EPDM low-slope roofing system, and new lightning protection system.

Denbigh Hall, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Construction documents and construction observation services were provided for replacement of the c.1905 dormitory's slate and EPDM roofs.  Existing steep-slope roofs were covered with artificial slate shingles and no documentation existed as to the original slate roofing.  Painstaking review of historic photographs enabled Levine & Company to select a slate color, size, and exposure that would match the original slate roofing as closely as possible.  The project also included installation of new built-in copper gutters, flat seam copper roofing on seven bays, seventeen dormers, and four low-slope roof areas, and repair of existing copper leader heads and the copper cupola.

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation services for replacement of the low-slope roofing at the art galleries, gallery monitors, and loading dock roofs with a new fluid-applied waterproofing membrane system.  In addition, as part of a larger exterior rehabilitation project, the existing built-in gutter liners at the adjacent office wing were re-lined with fluid-applied membrane to mitigate leaks resulting from design flaws.

Gittis Hall, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Construction documents and construction observation were provided by Levine & Company for replacement of 2 low-slope roofing systems with new fully adhered EPDM membrane roofing, including flashings, roof drains, new overflow scuppers, and brick masonry parapet restoration.

Glen Foerd on the Delaware, Philadelphia, PA

The c. 1850 Classical Revival style mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation services for replacement of the art gallery roof, which was added to the mansion in 1902-1903.  The project included replacing existing terne metal flat seam roofing with new flat seam and standing seam copper roofing, repairing the deteriorated wood balustrade around the perimeter of the roof, and re-sloping a cricket and adding a new downspout to improve the drainage capacity of the rainwater conduction system.

Josselyn House, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Levine & Company prepared construction documents and provided construction observation for a phased, multi-year roof replacement project for this 1912 dormitory.  Existing, deteriorated slate roofing was replaced, including new box gutters, flashings, fluid-applied low-slope roofs, standing seam copper dormer roofs, flat seam lead coated copper bay roofs, slate wall cladding, downspouts, and decorative copper leader heads.

 Main House Towers, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Designed by James Renwick, Jr. and constructed in 1865, Main House is the College’s oldest building and a National Historic Landmark.  Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation for replacement of the green and purple slate roofs of the building’s two towers.  The pattern and colors of the new slate match those of the original slate roofs.  The project included installation of new copper box gutters, new flat seam copper roofing and flashings at barrel roofed dormers, new standing seam copper roofing and flat seam copper gussets at the bases of the towers, and repair of rooftop cast iron balustrades.  Winner 2009 NRCA Gold Circle Award for Outstanding Workmanship - Steep Slope.

McGraw Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Constructed between 1869 and 1872, McGraw Hall was the second building erected on Cornell’s campus.  Roof replacement involved installation of new slate shingles on the lower mansard roofs to match the colors and pattern of the existing and new dimensional asphalt shingles on the upper mansard roofs.  The project also included installation of new copper flashings, new flat seam copper roofing at 14 dormers, new copper roof windows at the north wing, and a new fluid-applied waterproofing membrane built-in gutter liner.

 Rockefeller Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation services for replacement of the deteriorated Pennsylvnia Black slate roof with new North Country Black slate, including new copper flashings, flat seam copper roofing on two shed dormers, standing seam copper roofing and slip-seam copper wall cladding on an elevator penthouse, a new lightning protection system.  In addition, a new fluid-applied waterproofing membrane system was installed in the building’s wide built-in gutters and on low-slope roof areas and two existing copper cupolas were repaired.

 Sanders Physics, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Construction documents and construction observation were provided by Levine & Company for installation of new batten seam copper roofing,  including new copper box gutters, downspouts, snow retention systems, flat seam copper roofing and slip-seam copper wall cladding at three large shed-roofed dormers, and flat seam copper roofing at two eyebrow dormers. Roof replacement was part of a larger envelope rehabilitation and interior renovation project.

St. John the Evangelist Church, Philadelphia, PA

The Church, constructed c.1830 and now listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, has undergone two projects designed by Levine & Company to rehabilitate its two towers.  The first project entailed emergency roof repairs and stabilization to temporarily shore up the towers, the parapet walls of which were leaning outward by as much as 12 degrees.  The second project involved comprehensive rebuilding and restoration of the granite and limestone masonry of the upper reaches of the towers as well as replacement of the roof systems with new flat seam copper roofing, including new copper wall cladding, flashings, coping caps, outlet tubes, overflow scuppers, and downspouts.

St. Marks Church, Philadelphia, PA

Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation for a multi-phase roof rehabilitation project for the c.1848 medieval Gothic-inspired church designed by John Nottman.  Rehabilitation consisted of slate shingle repair/replacement, re-design of copper built-in gutter liners, including re-sloping of the gutters and coring holes for new gutter outlet tubes, and masonry restoration.

Taylor Hall, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Taylor Hall is the College’s first building, built c. 1882 to the design of Addison Hutton. Levine & Company prepared construction documents and provided construction observation services for replacement of the slate and copper roofs in two phases, including flashing and gutter systems. The reroofing work was part of an overall exterior envelope renewal program.

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Premature failure of slate shingles installed only 8 years previously led to an investigation, by Levine & Company, of the slate roofs of 6 academic buildings at the Teachers College campus.  The investigation was followed by construction documents and observation for slate and flashing repairs necessary to keep the roofs watertight.

Thomas Library, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Construction documents and construction observation were provided for replacement of the National Historic Landmark’s low-slope roofs with new EPDM and new, traffic tolerant, low-odor, fluid-applied membrane waterproofing.   The project also included installation of new roof drains and overflow scuppers, thru-wall flashings, metal wall cladding, flat seam copper gussets, copper built-in gutters, and repair of existing graduated slate roofs.

 Woodside Cottage, Haverford College, Haverford, PA

Built before 1820, Woodside Cottage is the oldest building on the College’s campus.  The Pennsylvania Hard-Vein slate covering the Cottage’s late nineteenth century hipped roof “Meditation Room” had reached the end of its service life and needed to be replaced.  Levine & Company provided construction documents and construction observation for installation of new Vermont Strata Gray slate roofing, a close visual match to the original slate, which is no longer available.  Pole gutters which had been removed in the past were re-introduced, the brick masonry chimney was rebuilt, architectural woodwork was painted, and an adjoining low-slope roof was replaced with a new fluid-applied membrane system.

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