A.C.E. and Butler Manufacturing: A Reroof Spotlight on Local Businesses

A.C.E. Building Service has a long-standing reputation in a variety of building areas, from foundations to roofs. And when it comes to roofing, the company’s proud of its 30+-year-affiliation with Butler Manufacturing.

Butler Manufacturing offers the steel reroofing products that are an A.C.E. Building Service specialty. These roofs – including Butler’s MR-24 Metal Re-Roof System, which can be installed directly over an existing roof – are ultra-durable, adding decades to a roof’s life. The proof’s in the seeing: the first Butler roof installed by A.C.E. Building Service in the early 1970s is still in place, serving its purpose, and “you’d be hard-pressed to see a difference between that Butler roof and one we put on last year, it looks that good,” said Chris Herzog, LEED AP, project development, A.C.E. Building Service.

A.C.E. Building Service is proud to be a part of the national network of builders that represent Butler Manufacturing roof projects, and the exclusive distributor of the product line in three counties on the Lakeshore. That’s proven to be a boon to the company’s reroofing clients, including Lakeside Foods’ Distribution Center in Manitowoc, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Newtonburg, and City Centre LLC in Manitowoc.

Lakeside Foods’ Distribution Center faced a serious issue for the premier U.S. private brand supplier of quality frozen vegetable sand canned vegetables to the retail, food service and industrial sectors: Several roof leaks located above the canned line operation in its 30th Street distribution center.

“That’s particularly a problem for us in the food industry because we can’t have water dripping on cans,” said Chad Bennin, maintenance supervisor at the Lakeside Foods Distribution Center. He and his staff “pinch hit” by patching the leaks as best they could until they got corporate approval to proceed with A.C.E.’s proposal for a Butler reroof project.

Getting the bid came about only during a discussion Herzog had with Lakeside on a separate topic; prior to that conversation, Lakeside didn’t realize what retrofit options A.C.E. Building Service offered.

“Chris did a great job providing the full details, bringing not just brochures but roof samples to show us how things would work, and that was a huge selling point,” said Bennin.

Timeframes and project parameters were established, and Bennin said it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. “Everything was preplanned, and once the materials arrived, the project moved very smoothly,” he said. That was important since the facility runs two shifts, nine- to 10-hours each, six to seven days a week.

“The beauty of it was that we were able to reroof the area while operations below went on, uninterrupted,” said Herzog. “We were able to reroof right over the existing metal roof so nothing was ever exposed to the elements – an important factor for a food manufacturer.”

Reroofing the 26,784 square-foot area of the facility’s roof took just 10 business days, and Bennin kept tabs on progress by sending photos of the project as it progressed to send to management.

“We have planned, five-year plans for keeping our roofs up to date, and we’re so pleased with the project that we’d definitely do it again,” he said.

A place that really hopes not to need another reroofing project is a historical one – the gymnasium of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newtonburg. The church is the oldest Lutheran church in the county, harkening back to 1851. The parish’s gym had a roof that wasn’t as old as its parish, but plenty worn out: it was a membrane with balustrade roof and it “leaked like a sieve,” said Herzog. “This isn’t surprising as these roofs tend to have a lot of leaks where edges and seams are, and the parish just got sick of it, especially with the expensive wood floor in the gymnasium. They wanted to fix the roof, once and for all.”

Not surprisingly, as the gymnasium floor is an investment in and of itself, and regularly used by the students for volleyball practices and games, basketball practices and games pom pon practice, physical education classes and and intramurals, as well as parish events including potluck meals, funeral dinners and other special church events.

A.C.E. Building Service was awarded the project, and proceeded with the installation of the standing seam MR-24 Butler reroof over the course of a few weeks late last summer. The project entailed roofing about 6,240 square feet of roof, which Herzog says comes as a relief to the church council who will not have to touch for a good 40 to 45 years.

“A.C.E. was able to complete the project within the timeframe they gave us, and the interference with church activities was kept to a minimum,” said Jason Jost, church council member. “We also appreciated their responsiveness throughout the project, and that they took the time to explain things to us, both during the process and after the project was complete.”

City Centre, LLC, Manitowoc WI | A.C.E. Building Service Portfolio
City Centre, LLC, Manitowoc WI

Yet another of A.C.E. Building Service’s reroof projects last summer also has a historical twist – it involved reroofing one of the old buildings that are part of City Centre, LLC, the large, private industrial park located in the old shipyards that were once a part of Manitowoc Cranes. The reroofing of this particular building wasn’t City Centre’s first foray into working with A.C.E. – they had worked with constructing a new facility to be leased for boat storage first. Peter Allie was so impressed with the pre-engineered Butler building that he tapped A.C.E. when the time came to reroof an adjacent building built in the 1940s.

“One of the things they really found attractive about the Butler building was the roof on it, so when one of the existing buildings adjacent to it came up for reroofing, Peter asked if we could put an MR-24 roof on that,” said Herzog. “My answer: I’m sure we can.”

A bit of sleuthing later, and Herzog discovered that the building was, in fact, a very old Butler building, constructed in 1947. The building was still serviceable, with the exception of the 20,000 square-foot roof. Not only had the roof lost the battle with a severe hail storm, but its age and lack of insulation warranted removal of the existing roof instead of roofing over it with the new MR-24 roof. A.C.E. added the insulation and the new MR-24 roof and it “wound up giving the building a new lease on life,” said Herzog.

“After seeing that MR-24 roof [on the other building], we were sold,” said Allie. “It made all the sense in the world to use it on this building, and we couldn’t be more pleased with it.”

The 14,000 square-foot building is currently used for City Centre storage, but is a leasable property for the right warehousing client in the future.

Herzog said the market offers A.C.E. Building thousands of opportunities to introduce the benefits of Butler’s MR-24 roof and other Butler projects to an even-wider audience. “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of buildings in Northeast Wisconsin that are in need of a retrofit option,” he said. “And while there are different competitive options on the market, none are as long-lasting as what we offer in Butler. Teamed with our installation experience and knowledge, it’s an easy decision for businesses.”