Restoration project calls for a stronger KEE solution offering more color options
“We were terribly impressed—we wanted the product.”
–Jody Usry, president, Edifice Consulting, Inc.
Location: Macon, Georgia
Product: FiberTite Adhered Roofing System
Lead: Edifice Consulting, Inc.
Contractors: Skyline Construction Services & Bonitz of Georgia, Inc.
Testing: Pi-Tech, Inc. & Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants, Inc
Thanks to: Clay Murphey, SPLOST director
Since 1925, Macon City Auditorium has been a gathering place for the Macon, Georgia, community to enjoy concerts, plays, banquets, and countless events. Capped by a colossal 15,000-square-foot copper dome that ranks among the world’s largest, this iconic arts and entertainment center is highly visible throughout the downtown district.
As the auditorium nears its 100-year anniversary, Bibb County commissioners have committed to a series of renovations aiming to restore the city’s “grand old lady” to her original elegance, starting with a new roof to cap the historic hall.
Edifice Consulting, Inc. led the project that involved restoration of the copper dome, as well as replacing the structure’s low slope roof system and updating its trench drain. The dome roof is divided into an upper and lower section by an expansion joint and a slight elevation change; inspections revealed that water was becoming trapped between a concrete deck and a modified bitumen roof on the low slope section just below the dome.
Jody Usry, president of Edifice Consulting, needed a tough solution that could meet the project’s unusual demands. Usry already knew FiberTite as a leader in KEE roofing systems and, following an evaluation of competing products, selected FiberTite for its proven formula, fabric, and design.
FiberTite roofing membranes include the industry's highest KEE content so they maintain excellent flexibility and offer stronger resistance to chemicals.
The FiberTite solution offered all the advantages Usry was looking for including:
- Lasting performance and less weight
Tapered cellular concrete was used to convert the trench drain to a series of conventional internal drains. To offset the added weight of the tapered insulation package, the roof system had to be lightweight while offering excellent puncture resistance. The FiberTite membrane delivered on both counts and a zero net weight gain was achieved. Considering the facility’s age and unconventional construction, this was the safest approach and helped the project go smoothly.
- A fully adhered system
Usry knew the FiberTite adhered roofing system could be glued to the surface beneath it and would meet the project’s FM 1-90 wind uplift rating requirement. The ability to bond the FiberTite fleece back membrane directly to the cellular concrete was important considering the concrete was relatively shallow in many places, making mechanical attachment impractical.
- More colors to match
Preserving the look of the venerable city landmark was vital. Though the job was smaller than most, Edifice found a larger palette of colors from FiberTite including Thermal Tan that recalls the pea gravel originally used on the field of the roof, as well as Patina Green that approximates the patina copper on the building’s parapet walls. As adjacent construction reshapes the Macon skyline, the auditorium will be more visible than ever—and sure to look its finest.
“We were terribly impressed—we wanted the product,” says Usry. “This project was difficult at times and the FiberTite system helped us thread the needle. We never go into a project by specifying a manufacturer, we always determine the client’s best interest and FiberTite was the clear answer. This was a once-in-a-lifetime job and that can be scary, but everything turned out extremely well.”
Edifice also engineered a removable counterflashing to facilitate future low slope roof replacement with minimal effort, and without disturbing the dome. As renovations continue as the auditorium’s centennial anniversary approaches, the new roof will help ensure a dry and comfortable space for workers and visitors alike.
“We were able to set them up for the next 100 years,”
says Usry. “I’m most proud of the strength of our contracting
community and how together, we can take on projects as
unique as the Macon City Auditorium. And with suppliers like
FiberTite that checked all the boxes for us, no project is too