The full replacement of the over 100-year-old slate and copper roof at the US Naval Academy’s Sampson Hall was a project that would take nearly 16 months to complete and require the artistry of Wagner’s top metal craftsmen. Given the secure nature of the Naval base, Wagner employees were required to obtain and renew strict security credentials and background checks to access the Naval facilities, an extra layer in an already complex logistical landscape.
Standing Seam Copper
The largest section of metal roofing (8,114 sf.) was the upper main standing seam copper roof, which was removed down to the decking. Carlisle‘s WIP 300HT underlayment membrane was then primed and adhered to the existing concrete deck, along with a slip sheet to allow for movement over time, before receiving new 21″ wide copper panels with a 1″ high doubled locked standing seam that would run fully from ridge-to-eave. Each panel was fabricated in-house by Wagner’s sheet metal craftsmen before being crated and self-delivered by Wagner’s team to the Naval base on a 18’-long flatbed.
One of the most complex components of the project, however, was fabricating an exact replica of the ornamental copper fascia and built-in copper gutter system around the perimeter of the building. Each component included ornamental elements that needed to be custom replicated en-mass. To begin this portion of work, Wagner’s team performed a detailed “existing condition survey,” noting the precise location of all original ornamental elements before removal, which included 14 inside and outside ornate corner pieces, 137 “half wheel” pieces (which were each hand fabricated out of 16 individual pieces of 20oz. copper and soldered together), and nearly 200 custom stamped copper “hub caps.” Samples of each of these ornamental pieces were carefully removed from the original structure and brought back to Wagner’s fabrication facility to study and replicate in new 20oz copper.
The built-in gutter system received the same WIP 300HT self-adhered underlayment and slip sheet before installing the field-soldered copper gutter panels. Each section was deliberately produced in the longest practical lengths possible in order to minimize the number of seams, while still preserving the integrity of the copper as it expands and contracts over time. Newly defined expansion joints were also added throughout for added durability and longevity of the system.
All in the Details
Yet another complex demand for artistry came with the 34 custom copper-clad dormers that were sprinkled through the slate mansard. Each dormer received a new standing seam roof, copper wall cladding, mitered copper moldings, and copper window wells. The detail that went into the outside miter of each copper molding on all 34 dormers was particularly impressive. The decorative window fascia profiles were created in-house and then hand-mitered and soldered in the field, a feat that would need to be replicated 68 times across a 100-year-old structure.
Additionally, the complete slate mansard was fully replaced with North Country Black Slate, attached via pressure treated wood nailers bolted to the existing concrete deck with epoxy-set stainless steel all-thread to ensure sound anchoring. New 20oz. copper hip covers and flashings throughout adorned the new slate roof as well.
Recognition for Craftsmanship
In the December 2020 issue of Metal Construction News magazine, Wagner’s completion of the roof replacement at Sampson Hall was awarded the 2020 Metal Construction News Building and Roofing Award for the Metal Roofing Retrofit category. Judges acclaimed the high-level craftsmanship needed to replicate the building’s intricate slate and copper roof.
Sampson Hall was the final replacement of the complex, which includes the two adjacent buildings that were all individually awarded to, and installed by, Wager Roofing over the past decade (Samson Hall – 2020, Maury Hall – 2016, Mahan Hall – 2013).