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Amphitheater’s curved-roof conundrum solved with help from Petersen

Like much of the Atlanta metropolitan area, Barrow County, Ga., has experienced quite a growth spurt during the past decade, with its population up an estimated 20% in 2020 over its 2010 census figures. County amenities are on the rise as well, including the recent addition of a new outdoor performance space, the Barrow County Innovation Amphitheater. Metal roofing plays a big role in the new venue’s design – especially in a clamshell layout over the stage that provided an opportunity for installers to showcase their skills.

The amphitheater shares a campus in the county seat of Winder, Ga., with Lanier Technical College and a local technical high school, the Sims Academy of Innovation & Technology, from which it gets its name. It’s pretty simple in layout, with a ticket and concessions building acting as a gateway to the open-air seating that includes both lawned seating tiers going down a hillside and orchestra-level options. The covered stage area is the obvious focus, with the metal panels creating a gentle curve just above the performing space.

Two varieties of 24-gauge steel panels from Petersen’s PAC-CLAD lineup were required to meet the project’s varied demands, outlined in the plans developed by architects with Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Lyndsay Pope Brayfield Clifford. “I believe the design team wanted the architectural appearance of a 16-in.-wide Snap-Clad panel on the entrance building,” says John Salo, president of the Suwanee, Ga., installation firm, Saco Systems. “But they also knew they needed a mechanically seamed Tite-Loc Plus panel on the stage roof, due to the radius.” All metal material was supplied by CRS: Commercial Roofing Specialties in Doraville, GA.

That curved radius over the stage proved to be a bit of a puzzle for the installers, because the steel structure and structural roof deck were designed as flat components, providing no support for the envisioned clamshell profile. It was thought that plan would have to be scrapped in favor of a more traditional, hipped roof. That’s when Petersen’s local rep stepped in to provide some assistance.

“Dave Landis of Petersen made a site visit as we were preparing to install the first panel on the stage roof and formulated an installation method that allowed Saco to install the roof in the original design,” Salo says. The solution involved using two different types of clips, including 3/8-in. clips that lift the panel off the deck. “Everything worked according to his plan, and the clamshell design turned out perfectly.”

Salo says one other challenge his team faced involved the guttering, and whether or not it would hold up to the job of channeling rainwater off the roof without being overwhelmed. “The design of the stage structure allowed for only two downspouts, and we knew that no matter how large we made the downspouts, they would be inadequate to handle that kind of volume,” he explains. This time, the company turned to its own expertise, custom-fabricating two extra-large collector heads, one for each of the two columns available for downspout placement. “We hoped that these collectors would slow down the water flow into the downspouts just long enough to keep from overwhelming the gutters; they achieved their purpose.”

This project is an example of numerous collaborations between SACO Systems and Petersen, Salo says, noting the strong support his company has received from Petersen over the years. “The relationship literally spans decades. Saco considers itself very lucky to be partners with the Petersen office here in Atlanta. From the sales staff to the production floor and the field/technical services, the entire regional office is staffed with top-notch professionals.”

Petersen, a Carlisle company, manufactures PAC-CLAD architectural metal cladding products in multiple gauges of steel and aluminum. PAC-CLAD products include standing seam roof panels, hidden- and exposed-fastener wall panels, flush- and reveal-joint panels, vented or solid soffit panels, perforated metal, coil and flat sheet, composite panels, column covers, plus fascia and coping. All are available in Kynar 70% PVDF finish in 46 standard colors that include a 30-year finish warranty. Most colors meet LEED requirements, and are rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council. Custom colors and weathertightness warranties are offered. BIM and CAD documents are available for most products. Founded in 1965, Petersen’s facilities are located in Illinois, Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Arizona and Minnesota. For information on the complete line of Petersen metal products call 800-PAC-CLAD, visit or write to [email protected].

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