Fondly known in Colorado Springs, Colo., as the Castle on the Hill, the Union Printers Home has a long history of caring for people. Built in 1892 by members of the International Typographical Union to offer specialized health care to their union members, the facility today serves the general public with a multitude of services including assisted living, nursing care, rehabilitation and hospice.  

In 2012, extreme hail damage made it essential to replace the roof on the structure, which is a State of Colorado Historical Site. The team at Interstate Roofing was called on to remove 50-plus-year-old asbestos tiles on the roof and to make a recommendation for a new roofing product that would complement the existing architectural style. 

“Valoré Slate polymer roofing tiles was the ideal solution for this project,” said Scott Riopelle, owner of Interstate Roofing in Colorado Springs “Considering the age, condition and historical value of the structure, we needed a roofing product that could work with the building while also ensuring longevity to the structure.”

He continued, “Our team has completed numerous residential projects in the past with DaVinci Roofscapes products, and every client has been extremely pleased. That confidence in the product led us to recommend Valoré Slate in the Villa color blend of medium and dark grays for Union Printers Home.” 

Jobsite Challenges

While Riopelle was confident in the selection of the DaVinci roofing product, there were many challenges for this project. The first one his company’s 50-man crew encountered was the safe removal of the existing asbestos-laden tiles. 

“We had to erect scaffolding five stories high to access the roof,” Riopelle said. “Due to the 12/12 roof pitch and the multiple turrets on the structure, building containment areas and debris removal was extremely dangerous. During the entire process, we performed continuous air quality testing to ensure the safety of the home’s residents, staff and our crew.”

“That was only the start of our challenges,” he continued. “We made the decision to work through the winter months, so we experienced continuous rain, wind and snow. This means we had abatement processes, plywood redecking, dry-in and loading crews, heavy equipment contractors, installers and supply companies all working in extreme weather conditions. For this project, logistics and coordination went minute-to-minute.” 

Another logistical challenge was the temporary removal of the large, historic clock on the front of the Union Printers Home. Due to its age, there was concern for the clock’s condition. The staff at the home also asked that the hands of the clock not be moved, as they were permanently set at eight o’clock to represent the union’s efforts in the past to get the work day moved to an eight-hour day. 

Re-roofing the turrets on the project became an easy-to-handle challenge thanks to the Turret Package from DaVinci Roofscapes. The team at Interstate Roofing provided DaVinci with four dimensions (the distance from the peak to the turret to the edge of the drip cap, the turret pitch, the turret cap length and the coursing exposure). From that information, Turret Packages were created including the starter tiles, numbered field bundles custom-engineered for each course, and a turret map diagram to guide the team through installation. 

The three-month project had a gratifying outcome for Riopelle and his team. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime project,” he said. “Although we’ve completed projects much larger and more complex, this one was special because of the history associated with the Printers Union Home and the importance of the facility to the community.”

“We embraced the challenge of tying the old historic structure in with the new technologies offered by the DaVinci polymer slate products,” he continued. “The results are amazing. This historic structure has a new life to it thanks to this roof. And, since the roofing tiles are impact- and fire-resistant, there’s greater peace of mind for the staff and residents at the Printers Union Home.” 

Valoré synthetic slate roofing tiles are made using DaVinci’s proprietary VariBlendtechnology to form varying shades from tile to tile creating an infinite number of color shades. Each single-width synthetic slate roofing tile is carefully crafted using only virgin polymer resins to guarantee a sustainable product. The tiles come in 12-inch tile widths with a half-inch tile thickness, making it a lightweight yet realistic slate roofing tile option. 

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