New Construction: CHUM Auditorium, Montreal, Quebec

CHUM Auditorium

Photo Credit: Adrien Williams

Copper has had a long tradition in the historic architecture of Montreal – la ville au cent clochers, or the City of 100 Steeples, due to its many cathedrals, basilicas, and public buildings.

For the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), copper, a noble material, was reinterpreted as a contemporary form to signal key elements within the curtain wall. The project’s central architectural element is a 365-seat auditorium named the "amphithéâtre Pierre-Péladeau," situated at the heart of the urban plaza in copper clad. The building envelope tells a story of layering and un-definition. It articulates itself at night when moments of translucency and perforation light up components of the interior.

This last phase of the CHUM hospital complex project follows those of the Research Center (2013) and the hospital (2017). Upon completion, the CHUM will be the largest university hospital complex in Quebec and one of the largest in Canada. The selection of systems, components and materials was made according to the building's sustainability objectives and those related to obtaining LEED® Silver accreditation. Particular attention was paid to the general architectural covering of the roofs and more particularly that of the Pierre-Péladeau amphitheater building, in particular by the use of decorative copper panels, reminiscent of the roofs of several emblematic institutional buildings in Montreal.


  • NEUF architect(e)s, Montreal, Quebec


  • CannonDesign, Chicago, Illinois

Revision of the design, execution and construction supervision

  • Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes, Montreal, Quebec

Revision of the design, execution and construction supervision

  • Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux architectes, Montreal, Quebec

Restoration: DC Court of Appeals Roof Replacement, Washington, DC


Photo Credit: Joe Schneider

The D.C. Court of Appeals is the fourth oldest building in Washington, D.C. Its new copper roof provides a historically accurate solution to replicate original design intent while correcting problems caused by a poorly executed repair effort.

The 35,000 square foot roof replacement was completed in two phases. This solution includes both flat and batten seam roofing as well as related flashing. Challenging aspects included a new copper enclosure for the rooftop electrical cabinet and incorporation of new access stair ladder.

Copper provides a beautiful, long lasting roofing solution to this majestic building.

Sheet Metal Contractor

  • James Myers Co, Beltsville, Maryland


  • Building Conservation Associates, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


  • District of Columbia Courts System, Washington, DC

New Construction: St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church and Day Chapel, West Jordan, Utah

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bittermann

Named for the patron saint of laborers, this parish church serves as a place of worship for a Catholic community in West Jordan, Utah. The design process for this intimately scaled chapel for daily worship began with a research phase recognizing the rich history of the community this church serves. Located in the immediate vicinity is the Kennecott Copper Mine. Working-class immigrants seeking employment settled the area and built a small church originally on this site. Linking the historical with the spiritual, Saint Joseph, a carpenter often depicted with tools in his hands is the Day Chapel’s namesake.

In effort to celebrate this rich cultural lineage, common materials confronted in daily life, such as concrete, wood, copper, and glass were incorporated. These materials were then detailed to express the skill of the craftsman, manipulated to become extraordinary. Custom bent, flat lock copper panels, for example, were used on the exterior of the Day Chapel, and copper also clads the skylight over the altar, thereby incorporating tangible references to the parish’s mining and construction history.

In keeping with the design goal of sustainability, the Day Chapel, which is more frequently used than the main sanctuary, is thermally isolated thereby reducing the daily heating and cooling loads. The modest, humble nature of the copper configured within new volumes and surfaces seek to both reassure and inspire.

The design incorporates these familiar materials manipulated to become extraordinary. As they are transformed by the “worker,” they are crafted into surfaces expressing the skill of the tradesperson rather than the qualities of the raw material. The modest, humble nature of these ordinary materials configured within new architectural forms and surfaces seek to both reassure and inspire. Copper is reserved for the most sacred aspects of the church and clads the skylight over the altar and the exterior of the day chapel.


  • Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Salt Lake City, Utah

Sheet Metal Contractor

  • Noorda Building Envelope Contractor, Ogden, Utah

General Contractor

  • R&O Construction, Salt Lake City, Utah

Restoration: Adler Planetarium Dome, Chicago, Illinois


Photo Credit: Troop Contracting

The Adler Planetarium, located on Northerly Island on Lake Michigan in the Chicago Museum District, was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and is a national historical landmark.

After 70 years, the Planetarium’s dome reached the end of its service life. Moisture intrusion was apparent near weak points in the design such as the base of the dome, internal gutters and drains. To maintain the historical accuracy of the structure, the design team restored the dome using copper, one of the most durable, long-lasting roofing materials.

The renovated copper clad dome is composed of an internal gutter and base copper,16 rows of shop-fabricated copper panels, topped by a dome cap. Each of the lower dome panel locks are covered with a decorative horizontal rib giving the dome an aesthetic visual lightness.


  • Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois


  • Hutchinson Design Group, Barrington, Illinois


  • Wight & Company, Chicago, Illinois

Construction Manager/Owner’s Representative

  • Troop Contracting, Willowbrook, Illinois

Sheet Metal Contractor

  • Progressive Dynamics, Elk Grove Village, Illinois


  • Gilco Scaffold, Des Plaines, Illinois


  • M & E Construction, Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Restoration: 3-D Copper Dome for Athens FUMC, Athens, Alabama

3-D Copper Dome

Photo Credit: Jenn Delle of Ornametals

Downtown Athens is known as the Historic Preservation District and deep in the heart of this district, you will find Athens First United Methodist Church (FUMC). Sitting on top of the church, in all its glory, is a copper dome. The church was built in 1925.

After almost a century, FUMC's dome reached the end of its service life. Production on the new dome design began in October 2020, with installation starting in November of the same year. The original dome, built nearly 100 years ago, was fabricated using diamond-shaped copper panels that were completely flat. For the renovation, copper was used as the historically accurate material. A new plan however was suggested which called for a change in shape and would reveal a new modernized facade, taking shape as three-dimensional panels. Two hundred eighty-eight rauten tiles were fabricated from 0.7mm thick copper to cover the dome. Its dimensions are a 213 square foot area, a 22.9-foot diameter, and a height of 10.49 feet. The tiles spatial effect was created by working standing edges into the adjacent sides of the diamonds. These ridges are several millimeters high at the bottom tip of each diamond and reduced to zero on the opposite side. This technique raises the central axis and creates a harmoniously constructed 3-D effect. Different edge lengths and shapes were used when characterizing the copper tiles: wide-produced square profiles, pointed diamonds, and other special formats. Half-squared panels were used for the first row at the sphere's base. The width and length of the copper panels change with each subsequent row.

Narrow, more acute-angled copper diamonds were fabricated for the last nine rows forming the connection to the circular platform that holds the cupola. These individual diamond shapes ensure an even and continuous line pattern between the profiles. The shape of the hemispherical cupola is based on a 1:1 drawing and the mother console portion of the original tower to replicate the toolings needed for reproduction. The crown stands approximately 9 feet high and has a diameter of 6.89 inches and a thickness of .078 inches. The punching tools and drop mechanism were manufactured in-house for the radius profiles. These cornice profiles were welded together for 16 circular copper rings made to accessorize eight semi-conical columns. The columns are soldered to the base and lacquered in white for historical accuracy.

Finally, the team completed the printed hemisphere with a broad copper base and eight decorative brackets with floral motifs. The sphere was created as a detailed replica of a dismantled ornament and was fabricated in two halves. Maneuvering both halves was quite challenging because the number of assembled components, sizes, and overall weight of the cupola kept changing. Therefore, the tower's lower half was manufactured horizontally and erected to meet its other half. Once upright, the decorative and half brackets were assembled onto the tower's lower portion, and the surrounding cornice was soldered to the connection profile.

Due to its mass, two substructures were fabricated to carry the weight load. The first armature has the lower half of the tower, the columns, and the cornice. The second structure stabilizes the upper half of the cupola with the hemisphere and the cross. The coppersmiths also constructed an eyelet at the top so a crane could lift the copper crown onto the church after it arrived on site. What makes this masterpiece even more remarkable is the time capsule pocket at the base. Inside this isolated area holds some of First United Methodist Churches little treasures and documents from the installation.

Sheet Metal Contractor

  • CopperWorks Corps, Decatur, Alabama

Ornamental Manufacturer for the Cupola

  • Ornamentals, Cullman, Alabama

New Construction: Lubber Run Community Center, Arlington, Virginia


Photo Credit: Alan Karchmer

The new Lubber Run Community Center replaces an existing 1950s era facility and includes new outdoor recreation spaces and amenities, as well as underground parking, on a 4.5-acre site. The center is located in Lubber Run Park, a precious natural resource in Arlington County. Connection to nature and preservation of open space were essential to designing the new building, and as a result, parking and some programs are located underground to allow for increased outdoor amenities at ground level. The building envelope that acts as the threshold between indoors and outdoors is significant in both its high performance and economic efficiency.

The copper system that wraps the north facade was chosen for its ease of maintenance, due to its patina over time and its improvement with age. The copper system consists of a vertical standing seam copper (20-ounce panels with 16-ounce flashing) with a rain screen attached to thermal break Z furring with over 4.5-inch of insulation over a fluid applied air barrier. In areas where the copper cladding went over windows, a perforated copper panel (20-ounce, 1/16-inch on 3/32-inch stagger) was provided that completed the copper volume at the exterior, but preserved visibility and exterior views from the interior.

Horizontal girts were installed to support the panels and before insulation or the copper attached, an air infiltration test was performed to confirm the performance of the system and identify any small gaps. The air-tight quality of the copper facade directly contributes to Lubber Run's performance as a net-zero energy facility, and provides a dynamic material display upon its approach.


  • VMDO Architects, Charlottesville, Virginia

Sheet Metal /Roofing Contractor

  • Chu Contracting Inc., Chantilly, Virginia

General Contractor

  • MCN Build, Washington, District of Columbia

Restoration: Lupton Hall Roof Replacement, Farmingdale, New York

Lupton Hall Roof Replacement,

Photo Credit: Marko Bistakis

Copper provided a historically accurate solution for the Lupton Hall roof replacement.

This project required over 8,100 square feet of copper roofing including both batten and flat seam styles and related flashing. Challenging aspects included extensive copper built in gutters with related downspouts, louver, fascia, soffits, and a brass snow guard system.

The new copper roof is the preferred, long lasting, durable solution for the building owner. 

Metal Roofing Manufacturer

  • B&B Sheet Metal, Inc., Long Island City, New York


  • Hoffman Architects, New York, New York


  • San Sebastian Enterprise, Ltd., New York, New York


  • Allcon Contracting Corp., New York, New York

Restoration: Summit on the Park Aquatic Center, Canton, Michigan

Summit on the Park Aquatic Center

Photo Credit: CASS Sheet Metal

The Summit Aquatic Center reroof project was necessary to solve a great number of problems with a previous effort. Correcting these issues required full redesign of perimeter substrate framing and replacement of damaged plywood decking.

Problems included lack of vapor barrier, missing insulation, improper control of negative pressure, overly long panels, and poorly designed and executed panel transverse seams.

The new roof solution includes 25,000 square feet of 16 ounce copper standing seam installed over high temperature underlayment, plywood, insulation, and air and vapor barrier on top of the existing steel deck.

The Aquatic Center now has a beautiful new, long lasting roof system capable of providing the 100 years possible with copper. 

Sheet Metal Contractor

  • CASS Sheet Metal, Detroit, Michigan

Roof Consultant, Specification Writer

  • Roofing Technology Associates, Livonia, Michigan

New Construction: Havergal College Upper School, Toronto, Ontario

Havergal College Upper School

Photo Credit: Tom Arban

Havergal College is an independent day and boarding school for girls from junior kindergarten to grade twelve, established in Toronto in 1894. The upper school expansion completed in 2021 provides Havergal students an arts and technology-focused space to inspire learning, curiosity, and creativity, and to enhance a shared sense of community within a remarkable natural setting. The new 22,000 square foot addition has transformed an under-utilized service area, creating a new landscaped courtyard alongside three stories of studios, adaptable teaching and gathering space. The new copper elements at Havergal upper school tells a story of the building's craft, attention to detail, resilience, sustainability, and its transforming character over time.

Copper has a unique ability to be formed into countless shapes and forms. At Havergal, this contemporary expression is both taut and crisp. Large rhythmic copper clad walls are made from 16-ounce copper pans with 2-inch single-lock standing seam, adding depth and scale. A sprung edge was introduced into the pan profiles to mitigate oil-canning and facilitate expansion and contraction of the copper throughout the day. Flashing transitions meet a variety of conditions from sill and soffit datums, curtainwall integration to special building movement joints and parapets. 16-ounce copper clad parapets feature a strong projecting shadow reveal and thin top edge, brake-formed with s-lock joints along the length. All parapets have a woven mesh underlayment between copper and roofing to promote a drainage layer out to roof below and separate roofing membrane from copper.

One of the innovations developed was how to maintain and return the parapet shadow reveal between different back-sloping parapet widths. A simple approach used a 1-inch standing seam at the different parapets to enable an infill condition that could be hooked and have the reveal appear seamless around the building. Another challenge was how a 150 millimeter structural joint between existing and new building could be incorporated at a back-sloping parapet. The result was a sloped, built-up copper pan curb.

The use of copper cladding was also incorporated into the vertical expansion joint detail at the opposite existing building junction. A conventional expansion joint was used and in front is a sliding copper sheet joint that integrates with the copper wall cladding.

This beautiful building will not remain static as it will continue to transform, evolve, and settle with its surroundings gracefully for many years.


  • Diamond Schmitt, Toronto, Ontario

Copper Wall Panel Manufacturer

  • Ontario Panelization, London, Ontario

Copper Installer

  • Lake Effect Company Limited, Sundridge, Ontario

General Contractor

  • Buttcon Limited, Concord, Ontario

Structural Engineer

  • Blackwell, Toronto, Ontario

Third Party Copper Review

  • CR Systems, Barrie, Ontario

Restoration: Utah Governor’s Mansion, Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah Governor’s Mansion

Photo Credit: Ary Lezcano for CMR

The Utah Governor’s Mansion was experiencing issues with its roof despite it being well within the usual long lifespan. The project team was directed to provide a beautiful new copper roof that would suit the building and climate and last for decades to come.

The solution showcases 90 squares of custom rectangular and diamond copper tiles. Skilled artisans and sheet metal specialists delivered an exquisite roof, complete with hand-fabricated tapered diamond turrets, that will continue to impress and protect well into the future. The entire project was completed in record time—90 squares in 100 days.


  • CMR Construction & Roofing, Haltom City, Texas

Restoration: Mississippi County Courthouse Dome Replacement, Osceola, Arkansas

Mississippi County Courthouse Dome Replacement

Photo Credit: Renaissance Historic Exteriors

Originally constructed in 1912, the iconic copper dome over the Mississippi County Courthouse in Osceola, Arkansas was beyond its useful life and required replacement.

After meticulous measurement and documentation, every effort was made to match the original ornamental detailing of the original dome. Upon study of how the copper had performed after over 100 years of use, improvements were made to lock seams and heavier weight copper was utilized where needed. With the dome repaired, and other improvements made to the building, this courthouse can now serve future generations for at least another one hundred years.

The scope of the Osceola project was to remove and replace all deteriorated copper elements of the copper dome including spheres, scrolls, cupola, and other various stamped elements. Approximately 14,000 pounds of 20-ounce copper was used on this project. As a registered National Historic Place, it was imperative that Renaissance work closely with the owner and architect to ensure all replacement elements adhered to historic requirements, architect drawings and current codes.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Committee also required approval of design elements of the restoration work. All copper elements were custom fabricated, using historic fabrication techniques to duplicate original dimensions based on original samples. Most of the copper required the crimped pattern. Samples of the fabricated parts were then reviewed and approved prior to production and subsequent installation.

Sheet Metal Contractor

  • Renaissance Historic Exteriors, Belvidere, Illinois


  • Revival Architecture, Inc., Scott, Arkansas