Ski Resort Complex

Shingles Contribute to Colorful, Durable Roof System at Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort in Truckee, California

by Mike Loughery, CertainTeed Corporation

From Western Roofing May/Jun ’07

The consistent heavy snowfall of mountainous regions, such as the Pacific Northwest, can really take its toll on roofs over a relatively short period of time. Having a structure with a roof strong enough to support hundreds of pounds of snow from year to year and remain both functional and visually appealing is vital. This is especially true with the hotels and condominium developments in northern California’s ski country, where affluent customers demand the utmost in comfortable lodging to go with the adrenalin-boosting pleasures of good skiing and snowboarding.

When Beaver Creek, Colorado-based resort property developer East/West Partners planned the construction of the new Village at Northstar™ condominium development on the grounds of the renowned Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort in Truckee, California, they knew that a good, strong roof would be a key component. The company hired Colorado-based architectural firm OZ Architecture to design the development’s buildings, and general contractor G.E. Johnson Construction Company, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, to construct them. With their Colorado locations, both companies have plenty experience with building solid ski resorts. G.E. Johnson Construction subcontracted the roofing portion of the project to D&D Roofing and Sheet Metal, Sparks, Nevada.

Durable Design

Working with D&D Roofing and Sheet Metal, OZ Architecture principal Andy White designed a five-layer steep-slope roof system that would have no trouble standing up to heavy snows. Beginning with a steel roof deck, the roof system features one layer of 5/8” gypsum, one layer of Insulfoam EPS roof insulation, one layer of 5/8” plywood, one layer of ice-and-water shield, all capped by CertainTeed® Landmark™ premium shingles. To prevent the danger of potential large snow droppings from the roof, White called for 25 to 40 snow retention brackets to be installed for every 100 square feet of roof. White’s design also called for a heated ice melt system to be installed along the perimeter edge of the roof to prevent the formation of ice dams and large icicles.

White gave the roofing contractor ample opportunity to provide input in the roof design, says Ron Page, project superintendent for D&D Roofing. “The roof system is very well thought out,” he says. “The architects allowed us to have a lot of input in order to produce a system that will operate efficiently and not fail under extreme conditions. We worked for about a year on it with them.”

The CertainTeed Landmark shingles were chosen for their durability, backed by a 50-year warranty, as well as their wide selection of colors. White didn’t want each building to have the same color of roof, but at the same time, he didn’t want the roofs to be blatantly individualistic. Being able to color-coordinate the roofs while using the same shingle product was a big advantage, White says.

“There’s a variety of shingle manufacturers we’ve worked with in the past, but in this case, CertainTeed has the exact colors we were after,” he says. “The ability to have tasteful variations in the roof colors was very important to us. Typically, you want to have color variations from one building to the next, but you don’t want a night-and-day difference. The CertainTeed Landmark shingles provide nice, subtle variations between roof colors.” The mix of Landmark Premium shingle colors featured graphite, hearthstone, platinum and terra cotta.


One Phase at a Time

Phase I and II of the Village at Northstar construction began in May 2004. Phase I and II consisted of three buildings, Iron Horse North and South, which collectively feature 72 condominium units with commercial space on their ground floors, and the Great Bear Lodge, which features 28 units, shops, restaurants, and a skating rink. The three buildings of Phases I and II were ready for roof installation by December 2004, calling for 1,100 squares of roofing. After dealing with bad weather and various other snags in the project, roofing completed on Phases I and II, and the D&D Roofing crew was ready for Phase III.

Phase III consisted of three buildings, ranging from three to five stories in height. The buildings feature 137 condominium units, a recreation center with outdoor spas and a fitness center and retail space on ground.

The roofing of Phase III, calling for 1,000 squares, began in early September 2006. Working on roofs with pitches ranging from 3:12 to 12:12, the D&D Roofing & Sheet Metal crew mechanically fastened the 5/8” gypsum sheets to the steel roof deck. Next, the crew applied the layer of foam insulation and mechanically fastened the 5/8” plywood to the top of it. The ice-and-water shield was then nailed down, followed by the Landmark Premium shingles and snow retention brackets. The crew then finished with the installation of flashings and the perimeter ice melt system.

Phase III ran a lot smoother than the previous two phases, and the crew was finished by 2007. Working hurriedly on a roof project in cold temperatures through the height of the Northstar-at-Tahoe’s tourist season wasn’t easy, though, Page says.

“The biggest challenge was getting the roofs installed before the snows hit,” he says. “Not only did we have to be done before bad weather set in, but we also had to keep out of the way of everyone staying at the resort. One of the buildings has a gondola going right through it, so there would always be a lot of people passing through.”

Spectacular roof

All that hard work paid off, though. Page is pleased with his crew’s finished product and how it fits into the overall visual appeal of the Village at Northstar. “The roofs look spectacular,” he says. “Since we used a variety of coordinated colors on the roofs, they have a nice look to them. The Village is a beautiful complex and very unique. When you set foot on it, it’s like you’re in another world. It’s very self-sufficient, like a little town.”

Phases I and II are now open for occupation, while Phase III plans to open this spring. The customer was also satisfied. East/West Partners owner representative Bob Gaus thought the project, on the whole, turned out well. “We’re happy to see how everything turned out with The Village at Northstar,” he says. “I think the roof looks great.”

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