Adler Planetarium Copper Dome Reroof and Flat Roofs Renovation Chicago, IL; 2021
Definable features of work:
Copper Sheet Roofing
Scope of Work:
After 81 years of service, the lead‐coated copper dome at the Adler Planetarium was beyond its useful life, and for many years multiple roof leaks developed. There is a lot of delicate equipment and artifacts underneath the dome, along with the Sky Theater projection dome, so the Adler management decided to move forward with complete tear‐off and replacement. The Adler’s vision was to replicate the precise historical details of its predecessor, while providing a new weather‐tight copper dome.
14,000 pounds of existing lead‐coated copper, along with wood battens and cork insulation, was removed. This exposed the original 1930s site‐cast concrete‐paneled roof deck. Then the process of rebuilding the dome roof to current standards started. New cedar wood battens were installed vertically (taping with the dome) with 1.5” thermal insulation in‐between. Two layers of 3/8” marine‐grade plywood was installed, primed, and covered in a self‐adhering bituminous underlayment. Finally, 16 uniquely dimensioned rows of new 20oz copper panels were installed. Decorative copper detailing was added to retain the historical nature of the past roof. The integral gutter system was completely replaced with new copper and cast iron drain piping.