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Hörmann Courtyard Cover Update

One of the three goals of the m1ssion campaign is to cover the Hörmann Courtyard to increase our useable space, add to the flexibility of our campus, and enable us to support additional ministries. A task force led by Jim Niermann is working to develop plans that will be brought to the Congregational Council for approval. Other members of the task force are someone and someone else.

Performance Criteria

The task force began by developing a set of performance criteria to be used in evaluating possible room types. The criteria are:

  1. Provide shelter from sun and rain.
  2. Maintain opening to let rain in.
  3. Maintain views of the sky, steeple, and trees.
  4. Avoid casting shadow on solar panels.
  5. Maintain good ventilation.
  6. Prevent greenhouse effect.
  7. Light color or reflective surface to avoid heat absorption.
  8. Durable, long-lasting materials.
  9. Easily maintained and cleaned.
  10. Drain into the existing rain gutter system, not into the courtyard.
  11. Require no major building modifications.
  12. Require no new support posts or, if required by the preferred design, limit new support to a single, off-set post in the courtyard.
  13. Have a long-term warranty.
  14. Cost at or under budget ($30–35,000)
  15. Be reusable if/when additional stories are added to the building.
  16. Meet requirements for wind and seismic load.
  17. Meet fire code requirements.

Comparison of Roof Types

Three roof types were judged most capable of most of the performance criteria:

  • Aluminum and poly carbonate (Kunkelworks)
  • Cable-tensioned fabric (Skyshades)—Support for arched fabric roof example
  • Aluminum frame and fabric (Tropical Js)—Potentially offers the most customizable roof design.

Three roof types were not preferred because the did not meet key criteria:

  • Retractable fabric awning—Not recommended because rain runoff drains into the courtyard.
  • Trellis/louvered roof—Louvered system is high maintenance. Lots of moving parts might not be durable.
  • Standard roofing—Do not want 100% enclosed or opaque roof and want to avoid having to sprinkle the system.

Congregational Comments

The task force reported on their work at two congregational forums. (presentation PDF) and gathered the following comments:

  • Raise new courtyard cover 2–3′ above existing roof line for ventilation and extend over the roof to drain into the existing rain gutters.
  • Ask vendors and/or owners of installed examples of the preferred roof types about appearance and durability over time, and about cleaning requirements.
  • Consider lighting requirements in relation to building codes and to meet our needs for different occasions (bright, dim, strobe, disco-ball)
  • Consider if there are benefits of raising height of one side or the other to facilitate ventilation and views, e.g. raise roof on steeple side of the courtyard to capture trade winds and widen view opening.
  • Be careful about highly reflective material impacts on neighboring buildings.
  • Investigate measures to discourage birds from perching on interior roof supports.
  • Be careful not to encumber the courtyard space too much (e.g. planters, fountains, etc.). Keep the space open and usable for as broad an array of uses as possible.
  • When requesting proposals, make sure they are turn-key, including permitting, materials, and installation.  Check warranties.

Next Steps

Next steps for the task force are to get a courtyard roof committee together and divide labor; contact vendors for three preferred roof types to discuss design criteria, alternatives, and cost proposals; and find examples of installed covers for three preferred roof types and contact owners for experiences.


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