Umicore Building Products USA Donates VMZINC® To Fire Island Light Station

In association with ATAS International, Inc. and Kenneth J. Herman, Inc.

August 9, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — When the historic Fire Island Lighthouse’s new Fresnel Lens Building opened to the public last month, visitors saw the new

The Fresnel Lens Building roof as seen beneath the lighthouse.

standing-seam zinc roof donated by Umicore Building Products USA Inc. (UBP) and metal roof manufacturer ATAS International.

The Fire Island Lighthouse on Fire Island National Seashore in New York was built in 1858 and fitted with a first-order (or large) Fresnel lens. Fresnel lenses were intricately shaped, 16-foot-tall masses of brass and glass prisms designed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel. They rotated on a clockwork assembly, emitting a white flash at one-minute intervals. On Fire Island, the original lens served as a beacon to mariners from 1858 to 1933.

Anticipating electrical lighting, the U.S. administration of lighthouses removed the large lens in 1933 and stored it in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. When the Fire Island Preservation Society decided to build a new educational facility and bring the 1858 lens home, UBP offered to donate its VMZINC® coil for the new roof.

ATAS International, headquartered in Allentown, PA, donated its services to

The VMZINC standing-seam metal roof at Fire Island.

manufacture the roof. Kenneth J. Herman, Inc. of Amityville, NY, donated design services and managed construction.

Engineer Kevin Albert of Kenneth J. Herman, Inc., praised UBP and ATAS for their generosity to the Fire Island Preservation Society “at a time when the economy is still hurting.”

Erik Berg, former North American applications manager for UBP, explained the challenge the zinc roof entailed: “Fire Island is a uniquely shaped, marine environment application,” he said. “To achieve the longevity desired and to maintain the integrity of the beautiful gray aspect [of the zinc], proper detailing and installation was critical.”

ATAS president Dick Bus said he was “very impressed with the number of volunteers involved with the project” when he first visited the site. Volunteers, material donors such as UBP and ATAS, and money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded the project.

For more information on the Fire Island Lighthouse and Preservation Society, visit www.fireislandlighthouse.com.

For more information of UBP and VM Zinc®, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc:

Umicore is a world-leading producer of architectural zinc. For over 160 years Umicore has been providing innovative solutions for building owners, architects, and contractors. Umicore has offices and representatives all over the world. In the United States, Umicore Building Products USA, Inc., is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

 

 

Umicore Building Products USA Hires Blueplate PR

To provide public relations services for the global company’s VMZINC® products and applications.

August 8, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Umicore Buildings Products USA, Inc., has hired Blueplate PR in Raleigh, NC, to provide public relations services for its Raleigh-based architectural products and services, specifically VMZINC, the architectural zinc manufactured by Umicore.

The VMZINC brand name represents a full range of titanium-zinc products in the form of sheets, coils and manufactured products and systems. Dan Nicely, director of market development for VMZINC and an associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), says he wants to “demystify” zinc as a building product and make a broader audience aware of its value and contribution to sustainable building design and construction.

“Zinc has been used on buildings in Europe for 200 years,” he said. “At least 80 percent of the roofs in Paris are covered in zinc, which can last 100 years or more. Yet Americans tend to think of zinc as exotic and expensive. We’re ready to make zinc a household word, and we believe Blueplate PR can help us do just that.”

Kim Weiss, principal of Blueplate PR and a former architecture journalist, first became aware of VMZINC® when Umicore Building Products USA donated the material for the roof of the new AIA North Carolina Center for Architecture & Design that is under construction in downtown Raleigh. Frank Harmon Architect PA, another Blueplate PR client, designed the building.

“The warm reddish-brown color of the zinc roof is going to be the crowing jewel of the building,” she said. “And it contributes to the building’s sustainability. Very little energy is used to produce zinc, and it is a low-maintenance, naturally occurring material that lasts longer than other metal roof choices. Any construction waste can be recycled through local scrap metal dealers and it is easily recycled at the end of its use. I agree that it is time more people — from architects and builders to homeowners – to realize what an excellent choice it is. I’m honored to be part of the mission.”

For more information on VMZINC, go to www.vmzinc-us.com.

For more information on Blueplate PR, visit www.blueplatepr.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc:

Umicore is a world-leading producer of architectural zinc. For over 160 years, Umicore has been providing innovative solutions for building owners, architects and contractors. Umicore has offices and representatives all over the world. In the United States, Umicore Building Products USA, Inc., is based in Raleigh, NC. For additional information, visit http://www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Blueplate PR:

Blueplate PR is a boutique public relations agency located in downtown Raleigh that provides traditional and non-traditional media relations, Internet presence, and professional writing services for small businesses, individuals and non-profits. Owned and operated by award-winning journalist Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR is the only PR agency in the region with keen knowledge of the architectural professional and architecture-related businesses and organizations. For more information visit www.blueplatepr.com.