Jekyll Island Ocean Suites

Metal roof is architect’s only choice for oceanfront resort’s historic design

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The latest addition to Jekyll Island Club Resorts is the Jekyll Island Ocean Suites, a boutique oceanfront hotel in Georgia with only 41 rooms—all suites, of course. The venue is associated with the nearby historic and famed Jekyll Island Club which was founded in 1886 and catered to the nation’s wealthiest families, most notably the Morgans, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts.

Located literally a stone’s throw from the sea, the high-end venue offers ocean-facing balconies for all guests. With its oceanfront site, the use of aluminum for the roof was the only choice to stand up to the harsh saltwater environment. Approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of Petersen’s Snap-Clad panels were installed. The .040 aluminum panels were finished in Silver color and fabricated at the Petersen plant in Acworth, Ga.

Several others projects on Jekyll Island also sport Petersen’s PAC-CLAD roofs. Petersen’s Georgia sales rep Vic Truster said, “Everywhere you look is Petersen.” Most notably, the Jekyll Island Convention Center is topped with 70,000 sq. ft. of aluminum Tite-Loc Plus panels.

Design for Jekyll Island Ocean Suites was provided by Cotner Associates Inc. in Fernandina Beach, Fla. “We were tasked with creating a design commensurate with the aesthetics of the historic club yet incorporating a modernistic context. The design was a blending of the old and new,” said principal John Cotner.

Metal was a given from the get-go, Cotner added. “Metal has good wind resistance which we were obviously very cognizant of. Plus, it offers good energy performance and aesthetics—all three points led to metal. And it had to be aluminum, given the location right on the beach. If you don’t do aluminum in that environment, it won’t be there in 20 years,” he said.

Although he hadn’t been involved in previous Petersen projects on the island, Cotner was aware of the brand. “It’s a recognized name in the industry,” Cotner said. “Most importantly, we were looking for a panel that wasn’t highly ribbed. A lot of manufacturers today are doing a very accentuated rib and I didn’t care for that aesthetic. We were looking for a true flat panel. We wanted the more historic look of the standing seam.”

Interestingly, Jekyll Island is owned by the State of Georgia and actually is a state park. All construction must meet standards provided under the auspices of the Jekyll Island Authority. “When it comes to design aesthetics and environmental issues in particular, the Authority really weighs in,” Cotner noted.

Installation of the PAC-CLAD panels was done by Commercial Sheet Metal Systems in Jacksonville. “We do a lot with Cotner Associates and Petersen, too,” said project manager Steve Halminski. “It’s pretty much all coastal work using the Snap-Clad profile with stainless steel clips and engineered spacing. The .040 Snap-Clad meets the wind uplift criteria. We also used .040 for the ridge caps, valley metal and other trim. The heavier metal breaks smooth and provides nice, clean lines.”

The installers had to contend with the effects of two hurricanes during the process. “Hurricane Matthew occurred during the initial membrane process and then Hurricane Irma came through while we were actually putting the roof on,” said Halminski. “Those were two pretty stout hurricanes but the roof handled them really well. The weather was certainly the biggest challenge on the job although the design had lots of hips and valleys and three cupolas that our craftsmen dealt with.”

The general contractor was W.H. Gross Construction Co. in Kingsland, Ga. The Petersen distributor on the project was RSG/Beacon in Jacksonville.

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