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New Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Complex Uses ColorGard® to Ensure Safety

Project at a Glance

"We were very familiar with our friends at S-5! and wanted to partner with a quality local company. S-5! was able to anodize its ColorGard and clamps in a dark bronze finish to complement the weathering steel look of the metal roof, meeting the aesthetic requirements of the architect.”

― John L. Fleming, Jr., President, Weathercraft Company of Colorado Springs

The Situation & Results

Standing at 14,115 feet above sea level, Pikes Peak is home to majestic views, a National Historic Landmark, more than a half a million visitors per year, and for the past three years, the highest construction site in North America. The $60 million, 38,000-square-feet visitor center, Pikes Peak Summit Complex, opened in June 2021 and is a popular tourist attraction to visitors near and far. The roofing contractor wanted a penetration-free, fully-engineered, aesthetically pleasing snow retention solution for the center’s new standing seam metal roof that would both match the roof and last the life of the roof. 

Installing a roof in such extreme weather conditions was extremely challenging―the wind, the snow, freezing temperatures, limited construction hours and ensuring equipment could operate in such conditions made every day a challenge. ColorGard® was custom-designed and engineered for this project to mitigate potential rooftop avalanches, which could pose a serious threat to staff, tourists and property below. 

What Worked?

To minimize working at altitude, the team premanufactured the entire building shell at a lower altitude in prefabrication shops. Once designed,
the size of each transport load had to be carefully calculated, as materials needed to be delivered up the steep and winding, limited weight-bearing capacity road. It would take hours to haul heavy loads just a few miles. Having used S-5! ColorGard snow retention on a lower roof at the Pikes Peak Gateway entrance, park administrators were experienced with the product and appreciated the safety it provided. 

The weather on Pikes Peak can be cold, icy, windy and generally unforgiving. By October, temperatures can plummet to zero, with wind chills diving even lower. Construction was limited to just six months of the year from May through October. Construction crews worked short shifts to help avoid potential health effects from working at altitude. Workers were required to pass extensive physical examinations to ensure they could handle the reduced oxygen levels, nearly half of that in Colorado Springs―impacting the overall construction schedule.

Long-Term Outlook

Pikes Peak was able to achieve the quality look it wanted with a snow retention system that maintains the roof integrity, mitigates potential rooftop avalanches and complements the look of the roof, with a clean appearance and perfect color and finish-matching, all designed to last the life of the roof and warranted to do so.

S-5! Products Used

Powder-coated and air-dried paint finishes fade faster than the roof, producing an unsightly mismatch in just a few years. ColorGard’s finish match lasts the life of the roof - guaranteed because it is the same material as the roof! Our metal roof snow guards can be easily installed any time of the year. Retrofit ColorGard to an existing roof or incorporate it in the new roof design.

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