Custom Coping Adds Pizzazz to Norwood School Renovation
The Norwood School is an exclusive independent school in Bethesda, MD founded in 1952. The school, which serves students from kindergarten to 8th grade, has enjoyed a loyal base of financial support through the years, allowing them to renovate and add several buildings on their 20-acre campus. Their latest building project began in spring 2003—renovating and adding to the Murray arts building.
On the addition, Grimm and Parker Architects showed a “special coping detail.” The architect’s specifications indicated using pre-manufactured coping, and the general contractor, Coakley Williams Construction, contacted OMG EdgeSystems to help with this unique design.
Rob Bushnell of Unified Technologies, the independent sales representative, worked closely with Chris Conner, the project supervisor, to turn the architect’s drawings into a workable reality. Conner, a carpenter by trade, had the expertise and innovative ideas to create the coping detail. Working with OMG EdgeSystems employees, they engineered this project to meet design requirements and physical realities.
“We determined that the first step was to construct a wood blocking to support our coping, so we used plywood to construct this portion, almost like a skeleton,” explained Bushnell. “Then we covered the wood with the coping, just like a metal skin. This was a complex installation that occurred in several pieces, but needed to appear as one unit.”
Bushnell explained there were two aspects to this construction. The first was an upper portion that protruded from the building using an 8 inch articulated face. A lower portion included a vertical piece on the face of the building. These two pieces were bonded using a recessed joint with fasteners and sealant. The entire detail included seven, four-foot sections, and each included radius and curves—no simple task!
Due to the complexity of the project, OMG representatives traveled to the site and took field measurements. They also created templates to guide the factory technicians. Photographs taken of the project and the wood skeleton helped the technicians visualize and create the metal skin. Bushnell visited the site many times to assure a smooth installation.
RhinoBond, designed for use with thermoplastic roofing systems, uses advanced induction welding technology to bond the membrane directly to specially coated plates that are used to secure the insulation to the deck, all without penetrating the roofing membrane. The result is a roofing system with improved wind performance that requires 25 to 50 percent fewer fasteners and plates and up to 30% fewer membrane seams to weld on the roof.
“I always tell architects and contractors that OMG can make anything, and I think this project proved it. I had great help with pricing and technical details from the inside sales team, and the craftsmen who created this did a great job,” said Bushnell. “I was also fortunate to have a good partnership with Coakley Williams, the general contractor. This project was sort of like a jig saw puzzle, with lots of pieces, and it was hard to install, but the finished product looks great.”
“I was very impressed with the quality that they provided,” commented Chris Conner, Coakley Williams (GC) project supervisor. “We had one small glitch, but they corrected the issue quickly, and the finished product was really good. Everything fit according to the plan.”
According to Conner, everyone, from the owner to the general contractor to the architect, is pleased with the final results. “The coping system feels like a good product, one that should last a lifetime.”