This article appeared in Western Roofing Magazine January/February 2020.

aerial angle of large hilltop mansion from the backyard view featuring mca clay roof tile dome awning, turret, and two piece roof tile in Bradbury, california.

Turret Technology
Unique Clay Turret Tile Roof for Luxury Home in Bradbury, California
By Marcus Dodson, publisher

When architects want to add elegance to a home, one of their favorite ways to accomplish this is to incorporate turrets into the roof design. Unfortunately for roofing contractors, a turret roof can easily lead to frustration, both in terms of cost and installation. Contractors can find themselves wasting product because they are trying to cut turret tiles to fit the cone-shaped roof while at the jobsite. MCA® Clay Roof Tile knew there was a better way to roof turret designs. In the early 1990’s, Yoshi Suzuki, president and CEO of MCA, developed a system to eliminate the guesswork when it came to installing tiles on a turret roof. 

This system involves MCA engineers calculating how many of each size of its Turret Tile® is needed after evaluating the project’s roof plans. This includes taking into account the overall diameter and pitch, as well as whether or not the turret is a complete fan structure or if part of the turret merges with the rest of the roof. MCA uses a unique computer design program to accurately calculate the precise number of each tile needed, as well as the size and shape. The tiles are then numbered and packaged with corresponding numbers on the roof plan. Once at the jobsite, it’s simply a matter of putting the tile pattern back together by matching the numbers. This revolutionary system reduces the cost of a turret roof because it eliminates unnecessary product and labor waste. 

For one homeowner in Bradbury, California, turrets were the perfect way to add distinction to his incredible home. The stunning residence sits in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and has a gorgeous view of the surrounding cityscape and the Pacific Ocean on the horizon. The home features floor-to-ceiling windows, open-air balconies, intricate façade stonework, an infinity-edge swimming pool and hot tub, solarium, two-way driveway, and subterranean garage. Palm trees pepper the terraced landscape behind the home, while the front of the dwelling has unobstructed views as far as the eye can see. The home’s roof is over 5,000 sq.ft., and consists of a unique blend of MCA clay tiles in the colors Carmel, brick red, tobacco crown flash, natural red, and burnt sienna. 

Local architect Steve Phillips knew also that incorporating turrets would bring incredible sophistication to the luxury home, but it needed to be done carefully and correctly. That’s why the design team and homeowner turned to MCA for the Turret Tile design. Selecting MCA for this project was a wonderful choice, for the company has consistently been at the forefront of applying new technology to clay tile roofing. 

California Construction and Roofing Inc., Riverside, California, was tasked with installing the elaborate roof system, which also included solar panels. A rubberized asphalt underlayment was installed beneath the tiles to ensure a waterproof barrier. The expansive roof required 50 squares of MCA’s Two-Piece Classic Tapered Mission™ clay roof tiles and 12 squares of MCA’s Dome Awning Tile and Turret Tile.

From the beginning, the design team anticipated using flat dome tiles from MCA. Once the job began, however, it became apparent that several steep areas of the roof’s domes would require special attention. In order to accommodate the varying curvature of a few of the home’s domes, MCA designed a specialized product, the Dome Awning Tile. Instead of being conical, the Dome Awning Tile incorporates the Two-Piece Mission Tile along the curvature of the dome to ensure the roof can withstand weather and other environmental elements. 

“Several of the awnings had different arc radiuses, so we designed a product that would hit the sweet spot for all of them without making the project too complex,” said Dustin Chin, district sales manager, MCA Clay Roof Tile. “Our Dome Awning Tile is custom made to fit project-specific curvatures, but the design approach will remain the same for future projects.” Chin and the MCA team provided step-by-step technical assistance to the homeowner, contractor, and architect involved in this project.

“This project was completed on schedule and budget due to the custom-made Dome Awning and Turret Tiles,” said Mike Jared, director, California Construction and Roofing Inc. “This would not have been possible without MCA Clay Roof Tile separating and numbering each piece made to fit.” 

MCA Clay Roof Tile has sold countless Turret Tile roof systems over the past 25 years, and the company has undoubtedly revolutionized the industry. Architects don’t have to compromise design elements anymore because of limiting roof tile options. MCA’s Turret Tile allows designers to dream of fan-shaped roofs and gives contractors a way to easily install them.