Colors & Blends
New Fashion for Commercial Buildings: Clay Tile
by Marc Dodson, editor

While the majority of commercial structures still maintain an austere utilitarian quality, increasingly, the emerging trend is to look more inviting, to make the customer feel more at home and comfortable. Indeed, most facelifts performed today on older structures in the West involve intricate mansards and warm colors. Designers of many newer buildings are opting for casement windows, detailed landscaping and steep-sloped roofs or mansards, many involving clay tile in a variety of custom colors.

The 15,000 square foot First Hawaiian Bank in Honolulu, Hawaii, involved such a clay tile roof. Mary Chung of Kajioka Yamachi Architects, Honolulu, explained her decision to choose a blend of colors from MCA Clay tile, We liked the look of the tile and the way it fit in with the rest of the building, the colors compliment the rest of the structure. We selected a custom blend of four colors. We would normally do a mockup of a roof like this to make sure the blends are correct, but we didn’t have time, so it went right on the roof. It turned out great. We’re very pleased with the mix and the way it was installed.

Beachside Roofing, Honolulu, was the roofing contractor on the project. Scot Jimenez of Beachside states, The Hawaiian Bank building job on King Street in Honolulu was roughly 200 squares of tile roof. This construction project was on the fast-track and we had to turn it over in a short period of time. Despite the fast pace, we didn’t experience any problems or delivery delays. Everything went smoothly.

Access to the structure was limited to the back of the building for all roof loading and unloading. The steep roof pitch varied from 4:12 to 8:12 and the deck consisted of 5/8″ gypsum board mechanically fastened to a metal deck. The underlayment was Protecto Wraps Rainproof 30 lb. felt and the two-piece Aloha Blend MCA clay roof tiles were secured using Newport Fasteners Tyle-Tye Strap System with wind clips. The low-slope ten square equipment well was roofed with a Carlisle SynTec single ply 060 gray black membrane fully adhered over a concrete deck.

Jimenez continues, We’ve installed a lot of tile, much of it MCA. We also did the First Hawaii Bank building in Kapolei with a two-piece, three color MCA tile and the Kapolei Entertainment Center (Manele Bay Blend) across the street from the bank with MCA tile. It’s good quality and we’ve never had any problems, and the color delivered always matched the color selected. MCA is a real strong tile and we usually get minimal breakage.

RSI in Honolulu was the distributor on the job. Jeff Markel of RSI says, This was one of our better ones. It was a really bold design and the tile roof colors are spectacular. Logistically, everything went very smooth, and quite frankly, it wasn’t too much of a challenge. This is no small feat considering the tile was being manufactured on the mainland and shipped almost 3,000 miles, but MCA coordinated it well and we received everything when promised. It was a well executed project, from design to completion I wish they all went that well. In addition to the two bank buildings and the Kapolei Entertainment Center, another recent example of MCA’s custom blended tile projects include the North Shore Kauai Public Library (Weathered Green Blend).

Yoshi Suzuki of MCA states, Custom colors and Designer’s Selection is a new trend toward a stronger interest for commercial buildings in the new millennium. It’s a way for a designer to make a signature project and a wow presentation. MCA has done many other custom color blend projects throughout the United States, including the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (Western Roofing, January/February 99). MCA is a leader of custom colors and blends in the clay roof tile industry and strives to assist designer’s efforts to create timeless beauty through its choices in color in blend selection.