Roof Insulation - Case Studies | Atlas Roofing

Roof Insulation Case Studies

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Contractor’s Prayers Answered On New Atlanta Church

Case Studies - Atlanta Church

Project Size: 68,000 Square Feet

When the congregation of Atlanta’s Church of the Apostles soon looks upwards for Heavenly inspiration and to give thanks for the completion of their impressive new sanctuary, very few will be giving any thought whatsoever to the unique roofing system that meets their glance.  However, one member may give it a moment of reflection.  Ed Van Winkle III, owner of Van Winkle & Company, the General Contractor selected to construct this Anglican church, will most likely be grateful for the completion of a major project with only minor obstacles to have overcome during its 23 month construction phase.  Fortunately, the roof was not one of them.  As a matter of fact, this church features one of the most beautiful, yet practical slate roofing systems, guaranteed to be one of the church’s architectural trademarks to literally millions of passing motorists on their daily commute. But the real success story and true beauty of this slate roof is more than just skin deep.

The roofing structure is a cathedral-type ceiling composed of a 22 gauge metal decking, with a heavy-weight slate surface.  The design needed a roof insulation product that could be easily installed and attached to the metal deck, provide a suitable substrate for the finished material, and one that would be affordable and yet provide an excellent R-value efficiency rating.  The architect, Bill Chegwidden of CDH Partners, Inc., specified Atlas® ACFoam Nail Base, which is polyiso rigid insulation board with a nailable base utilizing the revolutionary ACUltra® technology.  Dave Ochap, Southeast Region Manager for Atlas Roofing Corporation, explains.  “Our ACFoam Nail Base is the perfect choice for commercial cathedral ceiling applications, and an ideal insulation choice for any type of roofing applications where traditional cellular or batt insulation cannot be utilized.  Polyiso insulation has the highest R-value per inch, which means you can use a thinner profile product and save money on all of the wood blocking around the perimeter of the building.  There’s less boards to handle, giving the roofers lighter and easier installation.  We are the leader in polyiso insulation, and when architects specify that type of material, 99% of the time our name comes up in the specs.”

Case Studies - Atlanta Church

Atlas Roofing Company was the first company to research, develop and introduce a new generation of environmentally-friendly CFC and HCFC free polyiso insulation products, known as ACUltra technology.  But Atlas has a long history of environmental stewardship. In 1992, Atlas was the very first manufacturer to convert from CFCs to less-harmful HCFCs.  Working well ahead of EPA requirements to end the use of HCFCs by the year 2003, Atlas scientists developed a proprietary and patented hydrocarbon blowing technology for foam  insulation.  The result is known as ACUltra technology, and in 1998 Atlas introduced this technology into all polyiso foam and sheathing products, including Tapered ACFoam® and ACFoam® composite products, Nail Base (used in the Church of the Apostles) and Vented-R® insulation for roof decks, as well as other Atlas products, such as their exclusive Gemini pre-cut roofing crickets, all of which are ideal for green architecture and sustainable building, qualifying it for the ENERGY STAR program.  So significant was this breakthrough that Atlas was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s coveted 1998 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award.  With impressive credentials such as this, is it any wonder why architects such as CDH Partners, Inc., as well as others all across North America, specify Atlas products in their plans for commercial applications from libraries and schools, to individual log homes, to even God’s house?

Dave Ochap of Atlas continues, “If the roof on this church would have been a shingle or metal roof, as it was once thought to have been, it would’ve been specified as our Vented-R product, which is made from the same materials and hydrocarbon blown foam, using a new formulated chemistry, but it also is manufactured with either 1/2”, 3/4”, or 1” venting strips, which promotes air circulation and roof deck cooling required by many quality shingle manufactures.  These vent strips allow heat to dissipate and keep the shingles from baking, thereby extending the life of the roof surface.  But once the decision was finalized to go to slate, and we got involved, we knew right away that they needed a nail base product instead of Vented-R.  So, we made a quick change and within a couple of days we had several truckloads of nail base product ready to be shipped to their site.  We were glad to make the switch so quickly.  We knew it was a high-profile project”

“Nail base is a special order,” says Mitch Watson of CRS in Kennesaw, Georgia, the Atlas product distributor for the project.  “Nobody will make that and nobody will stock it. Atlas’ turn-around time on this project was very impressive.”

Case Studies - Atlanta Church

Earl Jackson, owner of Cobb Roofing, the roofing contractor selected for this project, agrees regarding turn-around time and the ease of installation. “This is the first time I’ve used the Atlas nail base product, and it did an excellent job.  The size of this roof is approximately 260 square.  We had the metal deck in place, and since it had a 3” rib, we decided early on that in this particular case, we would work from the top of the roof down”.  Top down?  Isn’t that unusual?  “Extremely”, replied Earl, “but the Atlas ACFoam Nail Base 4’ x 8’ sheets were so easy to handle and install, we discovered that with our installers wearing ropes, we could stand on the ribs and work our way down.  We used the fasteners by Atlas and screwed the nail base down using 23 fasteners per panel.  It was lightweight and I would say that an average of only 5 guys installed approximately 15 to 20 square per day.  It went on very quick.  It provided an excellent substrate for our slate roof.”  Mitch Watson of CRS continues, “There are other companies that manufacture different types of polyiso nail base.  I carry one that doesn’t have a nailable surface…they make the insulation that’s wavy, but you have to apply your own plywood…that’s just more labor”.  Since Atlas ACFoam Nail Base is manufactured with an OSB (oriented strand board) surface, the labor and material savings were even more significant.

Earl Jackson explains “On top of the Atlas insulation boards, we put a Grace ice and water shield, that’s the peel and stick.  It just sticks right to the deck, and then we put the slate on, and the slate we install with 1 1/4” copper nails.”  The end result is that this finished roof is expected to last a minimum of 75 to 100 years.  “The Atlas product worked great.  I would highly recommend it.  The whole job went well, and that’s quite a job, too.  The entire roof only took about six weeks to complete.  If we ever get an opportunity to use nail base panels again, this is the stuff I’d go with.  Everything just went real well with it”.

Case Studies - Atlanta Church

“There are many elements other than the roofing structure that are impressive about this particular project” states contractor and church member Mr. Van Winkle.  “One of the most unique things about this sanctuary is the concrete and steel frame structure.  All the exterior walls are concrete, all the way up the full height and that serves as a back up for the masonry, the brick and the cast stone, as well as for the structure itself.  So the combination of exterior concrete walls and structural steel hybrid-type frame is very unique and the fact that it has so much cast stone makes this building very unusual also.”

But, as with many church building programs, the development and completion is a step-by-step process.  “The entire design process took a while”, explained Mr. Van Winkle, jokefully reflecting on a long slumber taken by a literary figure in history who shares his surname, “they had selected an architect a couple of years back and started a master plan.  They have done a parking deck and an addition to the building, which they call the SBS center, which is the worship area for the kids and youth groups.  We did not do those projects, another contractor did that.  Fortunately, we were the successful bidder for the sanctuary.  We had a real interest in wanting to do the work, being my church home and all.”

When completed, the new sanctuary will hold a little under 3,000 worshippers. “But” Mr. Van Winkle continues, “because it’s up on a hill, it appears a lot bigger than that if you are driving by on I-75 or 41.  There are many churches in Atlanta that seat a lot more people than that.” The Church of the Apostles’ new worship center is on target for completion and first services are scheduled to be held on or by Christmas 2000.

So, you may ask, just where is the congregation worshipping during the construction of their new sanctuary?  Ed Van Winkle III lets us in on a little secret.  “We are currently worshipping in the old Allstate Insurance Building.  And with the way this construction is progressing from the slate roof on down, I guess you could say we’ve always been in ‘good hands’. Amen to that.

3585 Northside Pkwy
Atlanta, GA

Architectural Firm:
Chegwidden, Dorsey & Holmes
Bill Chegwidden
Marietta, GA
(770) 423-0016

General Contractor:
Ed Van Winkle III
Atlanta, GA
(404) 351-9500

Roofing Contractor:
Earl Jackson
Atlanta, GA
(770) 420-5551

Mitch Watson
Kennesaw, GA
(770) 977-2825

Sales Rep:
Tim Lagod
Atlanta, GA
(770) 977-9297

Atlas Roofing:
Dave Ochap
Southeast Region Manager
(800) 955-1476
(678) 428-6303 Cell

Products Featured:
ACUltra® Technology
ACFoam® Nail Base

Related Products:
ACFoam® Nail Base


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