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  New Fulton Bank Building Revitalizes Old Penn Square

When Fulton Bank kicked off its Penn Square 2000 initiative to expand its headquarters, local architect David Lynch & Associates was up to the challenge. The firm's recently completed Fulton Financial Corporation facility, which takes up a quarter of a city block in the heart of Lancaster's Penn Square, is the flagship project in an urban renewal initiative that is intended to renew confidence in the downtown area.

David A. D'Amore, project manager, David Lynch & Associates, explains, "Fulton Bank had wanted to expand for some time. Rather than moving to the suburbs, they made plans to expand right here in Lancaster, creating a new facility that would be responsive to the city's recent urban design study, and hopefully, act as a catalyst for further downtown development."

According to D'Amore, many of the city's structures are brick, and a number of them have copper roofs. In addition, the Lancaster County Courthouse clock tower is domed in copper. D'Amore explains, "Fulton Bank is very traditional, and they wanted to focus on construction materials that are strong and representative of the history of Lancaster."

David Lynch & Associates presented the bank with a challenging architectural design that featured a curved copper roof. Says D'Amore, "The building is six stories above grade, so there is considerable wind lift. We started out thinking we would use a steel roofing system painted a copper color, but when we heard about the Garland R-Mer Span® curved structural standing seam system, we realized we could have a continuously curved copper panel."

The Garland Company, a Cleveland-based manufacturer of high performance roofing systems, worked closely with D'Amore for over a year, refining the design details. Garland territory manager, Al Orlacchio, recalls, "The building design has some unusual architectural features that required a fair amount of detailing. Engineers, George Jones and Frank Resso, our curving specialists, provided many alternative profiles until we found the best solution for every copper detail."

Garland R-Mer Span curved structural standing seam system permitted David Lynch & Associates to design Fulton Bank with a continuously curved copper panel.According to Orlacchio, the curved copper portion of the roof is about 80-feet high. "We used 70-foot long R-Mer Span panels at the two ends of the building so that we could cover the curve in one piece with no panel overlaps. By incorporating a single, copper panel design, we greatly reduced the possibility of leaks. For the areas between the windows on the sides of the building, we went with R-Mer Loc®, which features a snap-lock seam for fast, easy installation."

Garland's Orlacchio credits York, Penn. based contractor, Heidler Roofing Company with "excellent and superb detailing," explaining, "the drawings were pretty complex, but Heidler has an excellent sheet metal team. They did a tremendous job." D'Amore, who has used Heidler on other metal roofing projects, agrees, commenting, "The workmanship on this job has been exemplary."

According to Ron Wenger, project manager for Heidler, "We specialize in technically involved application processes and more customized products. That's what we do best." He comments, "Now that this curved copper roof and other challenging architectural features have been implemented on the Square, our hope is that other owners and companies in the area will look on this as an incentive to develop more challenging projects that are aesthetically pleasing."

Orlacchio too, enjoyed the challenge of this project's complexities. He reports, "Garland provides a high-performance product and all the services to support architect and contractor from conception of the design through installation. The most rewarding part of this project for us has been the pleasure of working with a team that was confident enough to advocate and implement a more exotic, exciting design."

According to D'Amore, Garland provided frequent on-site inspections throughout the installation process, and an extended warranty to ensure lasting performance of their roofing system. Wenger comments, "Al and his technical team aided our efforts. They were on the job site as often as necessary to help our installation staff and provide information on the complex details this job required."

D'Amore, Orlacchio, and Wenger agree that managing the logistics on this project was their single greatest challenge. The job site is surrounded on all four sides by highly trafficked city streets and alleys. Says D'Amore, "We worked closely with the City of Lancaster to coordinate temporary street closings as necessary."

Garland engineers, George Jones and Frank Resso, curving specialists, provided many alternative profiles until the best solution for every copper detail was found.D'Amore concludes, "We could not have had more cooperation with this project. Fulton Bank really put their trust in us, from design through construction. Their forward-looking management style has made it possible for us to do something truly unique. The local community, from neighboring businesses to the city government to the people of Lancaster, has been very helpful and supportive. My hope is that, ten years from now, when all the excitement has died down, all the people affected by and involved with this project will still be saying, "I enjoy this building, I'm glad I was a part of this."


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