Roof Insulation - Case Studies | Atlas Roofing

Roof Insulation Case Studies

Choose a case study below to view the complete study, details about the job, contact information, and products used.

A Soaring Structure

Case Studies - A Soaring Structure

Back in January of 1990, the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents recommended that a new site near Washington’s Dulles Airport be developed to construct a new showplace for their growing collection of aviation and space artifacts. The current facility, the well-known National Air & Space Museum in Washington, displays only about 10 percent of the growing collection.

The new complex sits on a 177-acre site and includes a futuristic 760,057 square-foot building as well as hangars and an observation tower. It is scheduled to open to the public in December.

Named in honor of its major donor, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, the daunting edifice will house such treasured artifacts as the Space Shuttle Enterprise and the “Enola Gay,” the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima.

Udvar-Hazy donated $60 million to the Smithsonian, making him the largest donor in their 153-year history. While it’s an incredible gift, $60 million would not come close to funding the new building. The actual cost is expected to be over $300 million. Additional funds have come from private individuals, foundations, and corporations.

The Smithsonian commissioned the design of the Udvar-Hazy Center to the architecture firm Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK) of Washington. HOK designed the original National Air & Space Museum back in the 1970s.

Case Studies - A Soaring Structure

According to Walter Urbanek, Project Manager for HOK, “the inspiration for the new Aviation Hangar was the old zeppelin hangars of the 1930’s, which had big open spaces. The types of aviation artifacts the Smithsonian will exhibit here were meant to be seen against the sky.” He added that because the hangar’s roof is shaped in a smooth semicircle arch, there are no corners to disturb the view. The roof is up-lit so that the ceiling glows.

The center’s new Space Hangar has a lighting scheme that is completely reversed from that of the Aviation Hangar. According to Urbanek, “the roof is painted dark, and light is shined on the satellites and the Space Shuttle, just as the sun would highlight them in space.” The Space Hangar is named after James S. McDonnell, founder of the company that built America's first manned spacecraft.

The James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Center will contain over 53,000 square feet of floor space. An 80-foot ceiling will allow the hanging of artifacts for viewing from a mezzanine level. Among the artifacts in the Space Hangar will be the shuttle Enterprise, a Mercury spacecraft and the Gemini VII flown by Frank Borman and James Lovell in 1965.

The overall architecture of the center made the roof systems a very important feature. According to Jeff Smith, Project Manager for Pioneer Roofing, the roofing contractor for this project, “this hangar is one of the largest in the world. It is a very unusual application, since the structure goes from ground to 120 feet and back to the ground in an arch shape.” Smith added that because of the arch, the roof area is much bigger than the building’s footprint.

Case Studies - A Soaring Structure

Smith explained that some parts of the building received a fully tapered insulation system, using precut material. Commenting on the use of ACFoam-II by Atlas Roofing Corporation, Smith explained that “by using Polyiso in lieu of what was specified on the project, the Smithsonian was able to obtain the same R-Values, and also receive tremendous value-engineering benefits.”

Mid-Atlantic Foam, of Fredricksburg, VA was the supplier of the tapered and flat insulation package for the project. According to Sales Manager Jeff Pepper, “the project, which took approximately two years, used 100 truckloads of roofing insulation material.”

The areas in front of the hangars housing the restaurants and tower received Atlas ACFoam tapered products, while the hangars themselves utilized ACFoam-II flat insulation. Pepper indicated that Pioneer “developed a rigging harness system in order to install the insulation panels on the massive hangars. Mid-Atlantic Foam has supplied roofing insulation products for projects as well known as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the rebuilding of the Pentagon.

For decades to come, visitors to the new Udvar-Hazy Center will marvel at the artifacts and exhibits detailing the world’s space and aviation triumphs. The structure that houses this invaluable collection was built with functionality and beauty in mind. It was also built with responsibility and deference to the environment. Atlas Roofing is proud to have its HCFC-free “Green” Polyiso Insulation products included on such a historical and prestigious project.

Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 357-1300

Architectural Firm:
13 FirstField Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Tel. (240) 631-2250

General Contractor:
420 6th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80631
Tel. (303) 893-1212

Roofing Contractor:
7211Telegraph Square Dr.
Lorton, VA 22079
Tel. (703) 370-7776

55 Joseph Mills Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Tel. (540) 373-1800

Atlas Sales Rep:
Mark Barnoski
14613 Mustang Path
Glennwood, MD 21738
Tel. (410) 442-5758

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