Cleveland Athletic Club

The View: The Cleveland Athletic Club Building

Warren Roofing Gets the Win over a Tough Rooftop Opponent

The Cleveland Athletic Club building has towered about the Euclid Corridor since it moved to its Euclid Avenue location in 1911. The building has been host to some incredible sporting feats, including the time that Tarzan (well, the actor who played Tarzan on TV, Johnny Weissmuller) broke the world’s record for the 150-meter backstroke in 1922 and the city’s first indoor track meet in 1923. At one point, the building and the organization was home to swimming teams, bowling tournaments, billiards, card rooms, and more. The Cleveland Athletic Club organization closed down in 2007, but the building itself has undergone some renovation that has led to it being repurposed as a downtown living space and luxury apartments called The Athlon (Information courtesy of Case Western Reserve University).

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The Job

Warren Roofing was brought in to remove and replace the existing roof, install architectural sheet metal to encapsulate roofing and construct a community roof paver overlay.

The Challenge

A Rooftop That Was “Out of Bounds”

The biggest issue facing the Warren Roofing team on this project was the lack of space. The Euclid Corridor is full of tight spaces and lots of traffic, so it’s not designed to accommodate cranes and other construction equipment. Adding to the degree of difficulty were the multiple levels and elevations for the rooftops. There was no easy way to remove debris from the rooftop and getting materials up there would prove to be difficult as well. The team would also be using zinc-coated copper at the parapet coping of the community deck, and this metal can prove extremely challenging to work with. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Never. Warren Roofing was ready to step up and overcome the challenge.

The Team

John ArsenaProject Manager: John Arsena

The Crew: Warren used a six-person crew to work on the project

The Status: Project was started in the winter of 2017 and work continued on and off until completion in the fall of 2019

The Process

Every tear-off process has its own unique challenges, but when you don’t have anywhere to go with the debris you are removing, it increases the degree of difficulty significantly. To remove debris, it had to be wheeled with wheelbarrows to different elevations and there was no central dump point. Getting materials to the roof was equally challenging. The team had to use a hoist that sat about 150 feet above Euclid Avenue to get equipment to the rooftop. As a result, the job ended up taking about six months. To put this in perspective, an average 16,000 sq. ft. roof project, like the one on top of the Cleveland Athletic Club, would regularly take Warren Roofing about one month to complete.

Once the difficult task of removing the old roof was accomplished, the Warren team replaced it with a new EPDM roof. EPDM is a liquid-applied commercial roofing material that is durable and perfect for low slope rooftops. 

Once the roofing material was applied, the team began work on the intricate sheet metal portion of the project. As mentioned earlier, the sheet metal material, as well as all of the equipment needed to complete the project, had to be hoisted to the rooftop. Zinc-coated copper was used at the parapet coping of the community deck and the 15th-floor water table ledge. Zinc-coated copper can be temperamental, so the team had to be extremely careful to get things right. The copper was fashioned into flat lock panels and then assembled into 2’ and 3’ sections and sweat soldered. That 15th-floor water table proved to be a unique installation as it was installed from that mast climber 150 feet in the air over Downtown Cleveland. The team finished with the installation of concrete patio pavers on adjustable pedestals on the roof.

The Results

The owners of the building couldn’t be happier with the results. The project was complex, and the fact that this project was able to be completed at all was amazing, given the space constraints. The best part? Because of the durability of that EPDM roofing and its ability to weather the storm of Cleveland’s unique climate, the roof is now guaranteed for the next 30 years!

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