A brief history of metal roofing: Part two
Today’s standing seam metal roofing is a modern marvel of energy efficiency, sustainability and good looks. But it has its origins in roofs designed long before your local metal roof contractor started selling to homeowners.
The history of metal roofing can be traced as far back as 970 B.C. and spans all the way through one of the earliest metal roofing companies on the island of St. Croix in the 1890s, where corrugated metal provided cheap and effective resistance against tropical winds. However, as a story on the history of metal roofing from RCI, Inc., an international organization of building envelope consultants, noted, the millennia in between were filled with fantastic examples of metal roofs
A timeline of metal roofing
One of the earliest buildings the RCI story pointed to is the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem, which was finished in 691 after the Turks conquered the city. Originally, the dome is believed to have had a gold roof, although now it is known to be constructed from gold-leafed aluminum.
The Roskilde Cathedral, located in Eastern Denmark, is one of the oldest cathedrals of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. According to the news source, its origins date back to 1170, when it was fitted with a lead roof to shelter parishioners during service.
Another cathedral, this time in Cologne, Germany, was built during the 13th century. This soaring Roman Catholic church still towers over much of the city. And it also sports a lead roof, which serves as the backdrop for grand, gothic spires and statues of saints.
According to RCI, another great European site is home to an early metal roof. Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, Denmark, was built in the 1500s and has a copper roof that today is stately green.
A more modern accomplishment in metal roofing can be seen on the well-known chapel at Duke University in Durham, N.C. The news source reported that the chapel’s roof was installed in the late 1930s and is made of lead-coated copper, which explains why it looks as vibrant today as it did back then.
Today’s metal roofs
Decades or millennia later, metal roofing is still enjoying its renaissance. Advancements in manufacturing and design are continually putting this roofing material ahead of competitors. Whether you’re looking for beautiful and long-lasting colors or want to seriously shrink your carbon footprint, metal roofing is there to help.
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