Stunning Hamad International Airport, Doha is Largest Stainless Steel Roof 



First of its Kind Roofing Material Developed by Contrarian Micro Textures is a Permanent Radiant Barrier

When the decision to build The New Doha International Airport was made, Qatar officials set out to create a world-class facility that would leave a favorable impression on travelers that passed through the airport. They set new global standards in operational efficiency, passenger convenience and service and its gulf-side location offers spectacular, sweeping views. They have clearly surpassed those goals.

Since 2004, HOK Architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects and interior designers have collaborated in an effort to create the world’s best state of the art passenger terminal. The first phase includes multi-concourse Terminal One, an Emiri Terminal for state visitors which includes its own aircraft apron, vehicle rental and car facilities, an enormous maintenance hangar capable of serving 13 aircraft simultaneously, a cargo terminal which will handle 1.4 million tons annually and on site catering facilities which will produce 90,000 meals daily (the prepared food will be loaded onto the aircraft before takeoff).

Installation of the world’s largest stainless steel roof of 3.8 million square feet began in 2007, Contrarian Micro Textures’, Allison Park, PA signature product InvariMatte® was specified for its esthetic value and glare resistance. InvariMatte® is a low gloss, uniformly textured stainless steel with no coatings to deteriorate designed for use in architectural applications.

Contrarian began working with the airport’s architects at the earliest stages of design to identify the type of material needed for the project. They had to supply a material solution that would withstand the environment in the Middle East. Its Gulf location presented challenges that had to be overcome. Type 316L stainless steel suitable for most marine locations would not withstand the environment which includes severe dust storms as well as intense salty air.

Contrarian’s team believed that titanium was the answer, but discovered that there was little available at the time of production. Rising to the challenge Contrarian teamed up with ATI Flat Rolled, Brackenridge, PA to identify a stainless steel that would perform in that challenging environment. The solution was ATI 2003 lean duplex alloy, a new stainless steel alloy at the time that offered better corrosion resistance and strength compared to Type 316L. “Duplex alloys are typically used in severe corrosion applications like off-shore drilling rigs, but they’re generally tough to form, making it challenging to produce a standing seam roof. However, lean duplex alloys have better forming characteristics and retain the advantages of the duplex grain structure, which helps with strength and corrosion resistance, but has enough elongation to make a standing seam roof,” said Jim Halliday, of Contrarian. “ATI’s development of the alloy was the key to our success,” he continued.

The next objective was to develop a process to produce a low-glare finish on the alloy. InvariMatte® was specified but it had never been produced in a duplex alloy, although it had been used on austenitic Type 304 and Type 316 stainless. The methodology was established for the finish to be applied to the ATI 2003 lean duplex alloy. This cutting edge development has resulted in the first duplex roof with a rolled texture that also happens to be among the largest airport roofs in the world.

After sorting out material issues, production and installation of a standing seam roof system had to be proven before the total solution could be approved. Bemo USA developed manufacturing methods to work with this new material, even conducting wind uplift and waterproof testing prior to presenting this novel solution to authorities. “We could not have done it without Bemo’s expertise,” said Halliday.

During the project, many things were learned and one in particular stands out. Halliday was on the roof in Doha when the temperature was 118°F and leaned over to touch the roof and was startled that the roof was not hot, but rather comfortable to the touch. He had been apprehensive when he realized he was wearing rubber soled shoes fearing they might melt in the intense heat and stick to the roof. Discussing his findings with Fred Deuschle, Exec. VP of Operations, the pair decided to find out why the stainless was not hot. They hired an independent Ph.D., Michael McGuire, an expert metallurgist who began to study the phenomenon.

Combat Global Warming & Save Energy with Stainless Steel

The research determined that stainless steel plays a significant part in global cooling and conservation. The Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of stainless steel is near perfect and does not deteriorate over time the way that white painted metals or membrane surfaces do, nor does it emit harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Painted surfaces lose about 5% of their solar reflectance each year resulting in significant degradation over time. In addition, stainless steel roofs and wall systems conserve energy and contribute an insulation value to an exterior cladding system.

Accumulated dirt on the surface of a building envelope will interfere with solar reflection. This is true of any material, including stainless steel. Since InvariMatte® is designed to shed dirt with its proprietary hydrophobic micro surface texture, its solar reflection efficiency is undisturbed over time. Contrarian tested three InvariMatte® roofs in different parts of the United Sates after 10 years in service that had not been cleaned and were unable to measure any degradation in solar reflectance compared to brand-new control samples.

Beyond cooling the planet, stainless steel roofs and wall systems act as radiant barriers that conserve energy. Since stainless steel contributes to the building’s insulation system in this important way, the advantages apply to warm climates as well as cold. However, the biggest economic benefits as well as the greatest contribution to cooling the planet will be realized in hot climates.

In the past, stainless steel has been an underappreciated building material. However, more building owners and the construction professionals who serve them are recognizing the tremendous value this material represents. Beyond its impressive energy performance as a building material, stainless steel has low embodied energy compared to other construction materials including glass and painted aluminum. Provided the right alloy is used for a given environment, its durability is unquestioned, allowing stainless steel buildings to last indefinitely with low maintenance and operating costs over a service life that can last as long as the building stands. Add to that the 80% recycled content in the United States and 60% worldwide, stainless steel is a truly sustainable choice.

During daylight hours the Sun bombards the Earth with solar radiation, averaging 395 Watts and peaking at 1000 Watts per meter squared. Most of this radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and is re-emitted primarily in the form of infrared energy which is essentially heat. Greenhouse gases absorb infrared energy and cause global warming.

If we are able to generate less heat through conservation, improvement in the global warming phenomenon would be achieved. Stainless steel provides a double benefit. Beyond its contribution to energy conservation, it reflects 92% of solar energy back into space without adding to the greenhouse heating effect (global warming).
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Stunning San Diego International Airport Clads Column Covers with Contrarian Micro Textures’ Stainless Steel 



In 2009, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority broke ground on The Green Build terminal expansion, the largest project in the history of San Diego International Airport. A product of the Airport Authority’s Airport Master Plan, which identified ways to help meet current and future demand for air travel at San Diego International Airport, The Green Build added 10 new gates, a dual-level roadway to separate arriving and departing passengers, a new USO facility, and a 9,200-square-foot concessions core, among other things.

From the onset, the project was designed with efficiency and detail in mind, aiming to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Selected to bring the vision of The Green Build to life was HTNB, in conjunction with Turner Construction, PCL Construction and Flatiron.

Tom Rossbach, HNTB Director of Aviation, explained the process, “We were very fortunate to participate in the planning and development of the original master plan and then chosen for design as well. We worked in collaboration with the owner and contractor as decisions evolved and were made.”

As construction on the project progressed, the opportunity to go beyond expectations and achieve LEED® Platinum for The Green Build terminal expansion was within reach. In April 2014, San Diego International Airport officially announced being the first LEED® Platinum commercial airport terminal in the world, complementing LEED® Gold certification for the dual-level roadway and USO building portion of the project.

At the heart of The Green Build terminal expansion is Sunset Cove, the shopping and dining concessions core with sweeping views of the airfield and neighboring community. Featuring floor to ceiling windows to maximize natural lighting, Sunset Cove is the centerpiece of the terminal project, and supporting it are 140 columns clad in Contrarian Micro Textures’ stainless steel. This reflective and uniformly textured stainless steel provides an excellent finish consistency resulting in panel-to-panel matching suitable for high traffic areas. Engineered and fabricated by C.R. Laurence, the stainless steel was incorporated into the company’s Premier Dry Seal Column Cover System.

A template was created for installation for each of the 70 different column styles. David Cattle, Turner Construction Project Executive had this to share, “The lighting for the concession area (Sunset Cove) was embedded and recessed for a clean look and the fabrication and installation had to be coordinated exactly with the intricate shop drawings. Contrarian stainless steel was chosen because of its finger print resistance, its smear and discoloration resistance and its high quality. Its reflectivity is a side benefit.”

“Our design intention was that Sunset Cove be an elegant, high quality, yet durable space. Through our true collaboration process we chose, Contrarian stainless steel because of its beauty, quality, constructability and it even met the cost component. The client was involved every step of the way and we came to the decision together. The reflectivity gives sparkle to our space and we are pleased with the outcome,” Rossbach added.

<p“One of our objectives was to raise the bar in passenger experience, by offering an elegant, high-quality space with a durable, timeless appearance that represents San Diego,” explained Bob Bolton, San Diego Airport Authority Director of Design & Construction. “The quality of the work of all involved, including the design team, contractors, sub contractors, fabricators, the airport and the USGBC together produced these top quality results. The very custom intricate forms from the architect’s details were substantial and Turner Construction and C.R. Laurence together produced these perfectly matching column covers,” he added.
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Brattonsville Historic Brick House Renovation 



InvariMatte® Stainless Steel Chosen to Recreate Thomas Jefferson Inspired Roof

The historic renovation of South Carolina’s Brattonsville Brick House, located in York County in McConnells, now underway began with the roof in December 2013. Phase one of the restoration, which includes updates to carpentry and mortar as well, is now complete. The roof is an example of a Thomas Jefferson Tinplate Roof.

The building is believed to have been built in 1843 for Dr. John Simpson Bratton, Sr. and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Brattonsville Historic District created in 1971. The restoration team has worked to be true to the original design and materials and through investigation of historical records and technology; including microscopic paint analysis the origins have been determined and are being recreated and replicated with modern materials. Restoring the Brattonsville Brick House to its former glory from the 1850’s to the 1870’s was the goal as it played a key role in the community and in our nation’s history at that time. The building has served as a store, a post office, a home and as an academy.

The guidelines for a historic restoration were established by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Parks Service, commonly referred to as the Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and are designed to Preserve, Rehabilitate, Restore or Reconstruct a historic building.

The Bratton Brick House is not like buildings found commonly in this area of South Carolina at the time it was built, but rather resembles buildings built at the time in Virginia. During the early investigation of the building, it was thought that a standing seam roof had been used originally, but the nailing patterns were not consistent with that type of roof.

D. Shawn Beckwith, Preservation Coordinator/Restoration Specialist of Historic Brattonsville, explained that the Pavilions of the Academical Village designed by Thomas Jefferson constructed at the University of Virginia before 1826 had tinplate roofs that did not require soldering but rather consisted of thin wrought iron sheets dipped in tin, the edge of each plate was fitted into the fold of the plate, folded over and nailed to the wood roof sheathing. Thomas Jefferson used this roof system on his homes, Monticello and Poplar Forest as well.

Martin Meek, FAIA who drew the as-built drawings for the project steered Beckwith to a book “Metals in America’s Historic Buildings,” published by the National Parks Service. In this book it states:

"Tin roofs, as they were commonly called, were noncombustible, lightweight, and durable. When kept well painted, tinplate roofs often lasted 50-100 years or longer" ... "for the first third of the 19th Century, tinned iron roofs were constructed from plates measuring a standard 10 inches by approximately 14 inches. In the 1830’s plates 20 inches by 14 inches became available." (The nailing pattern measured 20 X14 inches for the brick house.) "Standing seam tinplate roofs did not come into common use until the Civil War era. Tinplates were soldered together with flat seams to form long strips, which were joined to other strips by standing seams."

Investigation of an original tinplate showed that it had a coating of tinner’s red a form of paint. The standard replacement for a tinplate roof is terne or terne coated stainless steel. The major producer of this product was not fabricating that product during construction and an alternative needed to be found.

"The Museum did not want to install a copper roof, an acceptable substitute even with painting, because it would add conjecture to being as authentic as possible for the Historic Brattonsville mission statement," explained Beckwith.

The contract was awarded to Centennial Preservation Group, LLC who subcontracted the roofing installation to The Century Slate Company. Mike Tenoever of Century Slate through the submittal process proposed using InvariMatte stainless steel from Contrarian Metal Resources as a substitute for the inability to procure TCSII specified in the contract documents.

InvariMatte® stainless steel was also selected for the counter and drip flashings for the wooden section of the building because from a stewardship viewpoint it was the best solution to have all the metal the same. InvariMatte® stainless steel is compatible with the pressure treated Life Pine™ wood shakes.

The Brick House roof is unique; the original brick section is metal, then around 1850 an addition made of wood was added which had a pine shake roof. Installing the new roofing system required removing the five v crimp metal down to the existing roof deck, installing new plywood decking over existing decking, then ice and water under-shield, and then pressure treated wood shakes by Life Pine™ or individually custom made metal shingles made of InvariMatte®. This allows the roof to be reversible, a requirement for the preservation standards and a new solid roof system that complies with modern building codes. The metal was primed then painted tinner’s red using Rapidri® paints to recreate the original tinner’s red found during the investigation of the building’s origins.

Century Slate CEO, Mike Tenoever explained that without an actual roof to use as a template it was necessary to determine how to balance modern construction methods and materials with historical methods and materials. "The owner is pleased with the results and by using InvariMatte® Type 316 Stainless Steel as the fabrication of the shingle we have selected a material that will last longer than any other material out on the market," he added.
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InvariMatte® is the Color of its Environment 

Paint is paint. It does a good job of protecting metals that deteriorate and comes in a variety of colors, but when a building is clad in painted metal you only get the color you choose. However, if you opt for Contrarian Micro Textures’ InvariMatte® stainless steel instead, you end up with a material that has a sophisticated appearance that absorbs the colors of its surroundings, adding interest and allowing the building to blend in to its environment. InvariMatte® looks blue under a blue sky and takes on a warm glow at sunset. It absorbs the tones of adjacent materials, as well as those of nearby buildings and landscapes.



InvariMatte®’s intricate texture refracts light, eliminating glare to the extent that it is safe to use in airports and other glare sensitive environments. It has a lower gloss than many paint finishes, yet absorbs colors from its surroundings better than paint ever can.

Stainless steel is an extraordinarily efficient reflector of solar radiation, making it an ideal material for building construction, particularly roofing. While initial solar reflectance of white painted metal surfaces can achieve the same degree of reflectance of stainless steel, painted surfaces lose about 5% of their solar reflectance properties each year. Since stainless steel does not oxidize, it retains its solar reflectance efficiency over time. Stainless steel provides a much greater offset to global warming in the long run compared to painted metals or membrane products that degrade over time and in addition, it requires little or no maintenance, reaping savings for the building owner.

The sustainably efficient solar reflection of InvariMatte® also contributes to insulation value when used in exterior cladding. Stainless steel’s thermal conductivity is so poor that pots and pans must include aluminum, copper or carbon steel in order to transfer enough heat for cooking. Buildings work the same way. Those clad in stainless steel are better in terms of heating as well as cooling efficiency and savings add up combining both costs.

The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, CA which opened a few years ago used Contrarian Micro Textures’ InvariMatte® stainless steel for the envelope and it was stated that the panels form a handsome reflective façade that changes with the weather from the azure of the ocean to the gunmetal of grey skies.

InvariMatte® is a product that respects its environment in different ways. Its superior solar reflectance saves energy and cools the planet. Its low glare surface does not produce blinding beams of light that can be a visual safety hazard or generate heat damage on nearby surfaces. In addition to these important benefits, it still absorbs environmental color in an extraordinary way.
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1000 CT Avenue Earns LEED® Certified Platinum 



USGBC Project of the Year, Capital Region

1000 Connecticut Avenue is a handsome stainless steel and stone 12 story building located on a prominent corner in the heart of Washington DC’s financial and legal district; this high profile building is just four blocks from the White House.

There are two distinct elevations: Connecticut Avenue sports an interesting saw-toothed design made of stainless steel and glass; K Street shows three distinct projecting sections with skylights which relate to smaller adjacent buildings in the neighborhood and is made primarily of granite and glass as a foil to 1700 K Street, built earlier in 2005. The back of the building features ribbon windows and pre-cast panels.

Pei Cobb Freed, New York was the Design Architect with WGD, Washington, DC working in collaboration and serving as Associate Architect. The building was named USGBC National Capital Region Chapter Project of the Year, LEED® Core and Shell and has earned LEED® Platinum certification. Some LEED® points were attained because of the recycled content of the stainless steel.

The architect, Roy Barris of Pei Cobb Freed, summarized the project this way, "The building's two principal façades respond individually to their settings while at the same time complementing each other in a variety of ways, convening to turn the corner in a distinctive and unexpected fashion. The materials for the Connecticut Avenue street front create a skin that is folded into reflective pleats of glass and stainless steel. The K Street frontage is composed primarily of granite and glass as the foil to the stainless steel and glass façade on 1700 K Street opposite." Similarly, stainless steel columns and window frames have either a brushed, textured or polished finishes designed to respond to changes in sunlight during the course of the day.

This prominent financial and government location features notable views on K Street, 17th Street and of course Connecticut Avenue. The K Street façade facing Farragut Square is primarily glass allowing views of the green space as well as natural light, including inversely beveled stainless steel liners on the pedestrian level with a combination of shadow relief and reflectivity to differentiate this retail space from the office levels above.

Turning the corner to Connecticut Avenue the building stands out with its handsome pleats of stainless steel, which looking up shows a geometric triangle pattern that reaches for the sky with an uncommon distinctive vertical perspective. The K Street frontage is composed primarily of granite and glass as a foil to the stainless steel and glass façade of 1700 K Street built in 2005. The three bays were designed to relate to the scale of the smaller adjacent buildings.

“The Connecticut Avenue façade was shop fabricated which created a superior level of detail and finish that otherwise would not have been attainable, explained Eric Schlegel, Architect at WDG. “The decision to use stainless steel came about because it is the most superior product for finish and durability. It exudes a character of quality,” he added.

Almost all of the exterior panels are Starlight 2J stainless steel from Contrarian Micro Textures, by Rigidized® Metals Corporation. Starlight 2J is a reflective, uniformly textured finish with excellent finish consistency, a necessity as the engineering requirements were within a millimeter. “The curtain wall went up well,” explained Claudio di Laurenzio of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, “We pre-assembled the frames in a shop and then put them up somewhat like Lego’s and were able to accomplish about twenty frames a day. The erection of the curtain-wall went smoothly and we were able to close in on the building rather quickly. The top floors were more difficult because we used a vela crane and a monorail system with an aluminum eye-beam motor that traveled with a pulley. They had to be re-positioned as we progressed,” he added.


There is an entrance canopy made of glass with a ceramic frit pattern. In addition, the lobby has low iron laminated glass with flat satin polished on the vertical edges. The interior panels in the lobby were provided by Contrarian Micro Textures as well; here Starlight 5J was selected. It is an embossed 16 gauge stainless steel.

The building’s roof system is covered with vegetation which reduces the heat island effect. Other sustainability features include natural day lighting, increased ventilation, low water flow rate plumbing and construction waste management. Parking is underground and there is an onsite fitness center. In addition to the 12 stories above ground, there are four stories underground.

SK&A served as structural engineer, Vika as Civil Engineer and Girard Engineering served as mechanical engineer. Clark Construction Group served as general contractor.
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