Discover Copper Online

Spring 2001

Copper Crowns Transportation Hub

3,000-pound copper dome Hoisting the 3,000 Pound, octagonal-shaped, Copper dome onto the copper roof of the new Rensselaer Railroad Station. Note the size of the dome in relation to the workmen preparing to attach it.

Across the nation, leading architects are specifying copper roofing for projects where the strength, durability and low-maintenance qualities of copper are greatly valued. This is especially true for structures associated with the transportation industry. These architects know that as copper ages it develops an appealing protective patina, adding an attractive exterior to any structure as well as protecting the copper against additional corrosion. In contrast, other roofing materials may wear away, rust or mildew, requiring repair or even replacement. Copper roofing also withstands heavy hail storms and extreme wind conditions. One of the most striking examples of new copper roofing is the busy Rensselaer Railroad Station, the

recently renovated Amtrak terminal serving Albany, the capital of New York State. Using nearly 60,000 pounds of copper, the building not only has a copper roof, but a 22-foot-high copper dome as well (see photo). In addition, it is enhanced with a copper wall-cladding system.

Architect Frank Gilmore of SRG Architects, Schenectady, specified copper in keeping with the architectural ambience of the region, where there are many copper-roofed buildings. They include those on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, and governmental structures in Albany, such as the State Education Building.

The 30,000 square feet of copper roofing and walls, as well as the impressive dome, were installed by WeatherGuard Roofing, also of Schenectady. To protect visitors to the station in winter, snow guards and rails were required on the roof. All told, the project was completed at a cost of $750,000. Revere Copper & Brass supplied 28,600 pounds of 20-inch-wide, 16-ounce copper rolls for the roof, which Ultra Seam, Schenectady, then fabricated into roofing with double-locked, 1-inch-high seams 17 inches apart. An additional 25,600 pounds of the same copper was made by WeatherGuard into valleys, ridges, flashings and copings to complete the roof.

Dome is Jewel of Copper Roof

20-inch-wide copper roof panelsInstallation of copper roof made of 20-inch-wide, 16-ounce copper rolls on the Rensselaer Station

The 3,000-pound, self-supporting, octagonal-shaped dome was fabricated by Hugo Kramm & Sons, Menands, New York. It consists of 188, 3-foot x 8-foot sheets of 20-ounce copper supplied by Revere. Kramm also fabricated the 12 leader heads for the roof out of the same material.

More copper roofing is planned for the station. It will cover a "passarelle," an enclosed, climatized passenger bridge between the as-yet-unbuilt garage and the station itself. The passenger bridge and the four towers of the garage stairs will all have copper roofs.

The Rensselaer station is just one of many eye-catching examples of transportation-related buildings with durable copper roofing. Other notable examples, among many throughout the country, include the toll-booths on the Ohio Turnpike, the Westchester County Airport, New York, the stations on the Bay Area Rail Transportation system serving the San Francisco metropolitan area, and the prestigious Grand Central Terminal in New York City (whose massive renovation was noted in Copper Topics #86).

Kramm: 518/463-4325
Revere: 800/448-1776
SRG Architects: 518/374-9412
Ultra Seam: 518/372-6675
WeatherGuard Roofing: 518/356-5000

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