Book-smart choice: Stainless steel

The Middletown Library, in Middletown, N.J., was definitely “over-booked” before its much-needed renovation and expansion project that culminated in a 13,000-square foot addition. Follansbee’s TCS II roof tops the library, which features a new circular section, and a cone-shaped roof. The library, built in 1971, was designed to hold 120,000 volumes, but for the past few years has been housing approximately 160,000, resulting in cramped surroundings and a dire need for additional space.
The $8.3 million expansion and renovation not only increased the size of Middletown Library and added a larger meeting room, a computer room, and an expanded children’s section, but it also improved the library’s aging mechanical systems and access for people with disabilities. Follansbee’s TCS II roof was selected to cover 20,000-square-feet of the expanded and renovated library on the basis of its appearance and durability.
The project provided some special challenges for installer Scott Raffo of Raffo Construction in Staten Island, N.Y. First of all, Raffo was working with Follansbee’s TCS II for the first time. “Follansbee fabricated the material and Metal-Fab fabricated the panels, including the tapered stuff,” Raffo says. “The tapered panels were a little bit of a challenge because the framing wasn’t so great. Met-Fab did a fantastic job.”
The tapered panels made up the cone and half-cone worked into the design. Raffo says the trick with standing seam panels and cones is keeping the seams straight, so they all point to the apex of the cone. The cone panels — all 92 of them — were approximately 21 inches wide at the eave and about an inch wide at the top. “The accuracy of the fabrication is important,” Raffo says. “If every panel is off 1/16-inch, pretty soon you’re six inches off and in real trouble.”
Raffo says because of the framing issues, to keep the seams running straight to the top, some of the panels had to be re-fabricated so they were wider in some areas and narrower in others. The cone was capped with a step soffit with 23 panels, so every fourth seam had to line up with a seam in the top cone.
Contractors who work with exotic — and more expensive — metals go the extra mile to make sure every detail is installed properly. Raffo says working with TCS II roofing isn’t much different than working with steel. “The TCS is lightweight because it’s 28 gauge and that makes it sharp, you have to wear gloves. It’s a strong metal, so it’s a little harder to get fasteners through. It should last forever as far as I’m concerned. And the TCS finish will give it a nice lead color look once it weathers.”
TCS II does not require painting and weathers naturally to an attractive warm gray patina. It is an architectural stainless steel coated with Follansbee’s patented ZT (zinc/tin) alloy. As a result of Follansbee’s metallurgic research, TCS II is designed to weather naturally while withstanding severe corrosive conditions including industrial, coastal, and salt-water environments. The manufacturer offers nine preformed profiles for metal roofing, including six standing seam profiles. The versatile TCS II can be tailored into a variety of design forms, from the traditional standing seam roof to a vertical wall, barrel applications, shingles, and customized sections in flat or spherical shapes. TCS II is solderable and virtually maintenance-free.
The newly renovated and expanded Middletown Library is now more functional and beautiful. The library is a vital part of the community, and with its newly renovated and expanded building, can give even more to the citizens of Middletown. The library has increased its special programs, and now offers computer training for adults, and more events for children. Its spacious new addition also allows its 160,000-book collection to be expanded in coming years.
“Middletown really wanted to improve the quality and appearance of its library for the sake of the whole community,” says Edward Thomas, Follansbee vice president and general manager. “TCS II not only enriches the library’s aesthetic appeal, but is also virtually maintenance-free, which allows for easier upkeep of the new building. This was an ideal roof for this project because TCS II is very versatile and can be tailored to meet many design requirements including the conical areas of the library’s roof.”

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