DaVinci Polymer Roof Helps Renovated School Meet Building Code Requirements

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Historic structures can be found in abundance throughout South Carolina, one of America’s 13 original colonies. In Charleston, where Fort Sumter played a major role in the start of the Civil War, it’s commonplace to preserve those older buildings for ongoing use through the years.


The Rivers Education Center is one of those structures targeted for restoration and reuse. Originally the site of the Royal Bag and Yarn Manufacturing Company beginning in 1900, the masonry school building was constructed as a junior high school in 1938. A decade later, the structure was converted to a high school in 1949, and later to a middle school. After closing in 2005, the school lay dormant for years with the Charleston Charter School for Math & Science located in mobile classroom units on the site.

Now, thanks to the extensive redesign and renovation efforts of Davis & Floyd architects, the building should be open and ready for classes by 2012. The Rivers Education Center will be home to the Charleston Charter School for Math & Science and new Lowcountry Tech.

“Careful assessments of the building concluded that it would not withstand the structural forces resulting from seismic events detailed in the most current building codes,” says Paul Ferrari, architect with Davis & Floyd, Inc. “We did a thorough evaluation and we’re now performing the retrofit work necessary to bring the building up to codes that assure the safety and security of the students and faculty from potential hurricanes and seismic events.”
The Davis & Floyd team has designed structural changes to the building on both the interior and exterior during the past year. Along with updating the windows, sprinkler system, brick exterior and making the building ADA compliant, the project includes replacement of the heavy slate roof.

“The old slate roof did not meet current seismic and wind code requirements,” says Ferrari. “Charleston is susceptible to earthquakes and hurricanes, so we need a roof on the Rivers Education Center that meets the newest building code requirements. Our search for a similar looking tile roof led us to the Bellaforté polymer roof from DaVinci Roofscapes.”

The patented snap-fit, self-locating Bellaforté roofing tiles installed on Rivers Education Center include an integrated rain gutter, leading edge tab and rain dam. Backed by a 50-year limited warranty, the 12-inch slate Bellaforté roofing tiles have achieved some of the strictest testing ratings in the country, including the Miami Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA) and Florida Building Code (FBC) qualifications.

Bellaforté roofing tiles use twenty percent less material than traditional synthetic and natural slate shingles, saving resources and reducing the tile weight. A square of Bellaforté roofing tile weighs just 185 pounds, helping reduce both installation time and landfill load due to reduced construction waste.

“The DaVinci roof is a great looking alternative to real slate and was accepted by the City of Charleston Commercial Corridor Design Review Board,” says Ferrari. “There are 465 squares of Slate Gray Bellaforté tiles installed on this building. It looks perfect with the new copper gutters and downspouts we’ve added.

“We have a long history in the South of preserving our structures. Being able to incorporate the newest building materials with all their man-made advantages is a true asset on a project like this. We’re able to beautifully replicate the old tile roof while providing the students and faculty members with a roof overhead that will help protect them from unexpected acts of nature.”

DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing since 1999. The polymer roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, the tile width variety and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. DaVinci proudly makes its products in America and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit our website.

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