Discover Copper Online

Fall 1991

Copper Roofing Study Completed

In comparison with other types of roofing, copper is recognized to be better from the standpoint of life cycle cost and aesthetic values, according to a recent market study conducted by Irwin P. Sharpe & Associates of West Orange, New Jersey.

The study, titled "Roofing and Architectural Copper," was commissioned by CDA to provide benchmark information for its North American Initiative for Copper Architectural Applications program begun last year. NAICAA is a joint effort of the U.S. and Canadian CDAs to double their countries' use of architectural copper in this decade.

The Sharpe study involved interviews with 270 firms, chiefly specifiers, users, fabricators, and sellers of copper. Types of firms included roofing distributors, architects and specifications writers, building owners and developers.

Among other study findings: metal roofing of all types accounts for 23.4 percent of the 91 million square feet installed by contractors involved in the study. Copper roofing represented 2.6 percent of the total.

Of the copper roofing installed by the contractors, nearly 73 percent was on commercial buildings, 23 percent on residential, and about four percent on institutional structures.

Metal service centers were cited by 81 percent of the contractors as their primary source for sheet and roll copper. The next most popular source, roofing distributors, was mentioned by 11 percent of the contractors.

Color-coated metal roof panels, chiefly of steel, are the major competitor to copper, according to 59 percent of the contractors and 40 percent of the architects interviewed. Aluminum was the next most frequently identified competitor.

Paul A. Anderson, CDA vice president for building construction markets, reported on the study at "Copper '91," an international symposium of copper industry leaders held recently in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Anderson said the study provides valuable information to help NAICAA develop and focus its efforts.

Now in its second year, NAICAA is primarily concentrating on the West Coast. "But, as we have done for more than two decades, CDA provides daily assistance to architects, building owners and contractors throughout the country." says Daniel Sternthal, NAICAA's national program manager.

One new NAICAA effort is a series of six videotapes examining the myriad roofing applications made possible with copper. The tapes offer a close-up look at the fundamental forms, shapes and details that are the architect's tools.

"Early next year we'll be offering a comprehensive "Copper in Architecture" handbook," Sternthal says. "It will be the most complete architec- tural resource on copper ever compiled."

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