Discover Copper Online

Summer 1993

McDonald's Chooses Environmentally Friendly Copper

McDonald's in Kent, Washington, showing the roof made of solid copper shingles.

"Environmentally friendly" was the criterion for the new McDonald's in Kent, Washington. For the roof, the franchiser in concert with the owner of the fran- chise, Fred Schultz, chose copper shingles because "... copper is the most recycled material in all history and we could obtain copper material with over 90% recycled content."

The choice of the specific copper roof was made by Jerry Kesselring, McDonald's in-house construction project manager at its regional headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. "I had seen a Zappone Solid Copper Shingle about six months earlier," he said, "and I remembered it for its unique appearance in contrast to the rather industrial look of some sheet-metal systems." "It's beautiful," added Schultz, who appreciates the rich patina that copper develops over time. McDonald's is considering copper shingles for other franchises.

Zappone Manufacturing, Spokane, stamps its shingles out of 12-ounce cold-rolled copper sheets. They are applied to solid plywood decking. The leak-proof combination is highly durable, as proven by its ability to survive wind gusts of over 90 mph that struck Kent shortly after the roof was completed. The roofing system had been previously subjected to a 110-mph wind test without lifting or leaking.

There's another advantage to this roofing system, according to J. Joseph Zappone, III, founder of the manufacturing firm. "Our approach eliminates the need for the heavier copper used in sheet roofing systems, so we can keep our costs down, holding copper roofs within most budgets."

Copper shingles are also easy to install, according to Gerald Couch, the contractor who provided the three-person roofing crew. "Unlike some other metal roofing materials I've worked with, Zappone shingles, once installed, can be walked on without sustaining damage," Couch said. "This alone saves a lot of time. In addition, the design and accessories almost eliminated any cutting. And the lightness of the shingles makes cutting a cinch, if you have to do it. What's more, the solid copper shingles are the real stuff and the quality shows."

Zappone commented further on the environmental advantages of recyclable copper: "Composition shingles take up to 300 years to decompose in landfills, according to a study performed by the University of Arizona. They may also contain substances that should not be incinerated. To make shake roofs requires cutting down full-grown cedar trees, about three on average per roof."

The one-ton copper coils stamped into shingles by Zappone Manufacturing are supplied by Hussey Copper, Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, Revere Copper Products, Rome, New York, and Outokumpu American Brass, Buffalo, New York. The shingles are fabricated in two sizes: 15 x 9 inches or 7 1/2 x 9 inches. Both sizes in about equal number were used on the McDonald's roof.

Hussey Copper: 412/266-8430
Outokumpu American Brass: 716/879-6700
Revere Copper Products: 315/338-2022
Zappone Mfg.: 800/285-2677

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