Acuity Insurance HQ Expansion


Growth Propels Acuity Through the Roof

The headquarters of Acuity Insurance along I-43 in Sheboygan is an impressive landmark, complemented by the world’s most massive free-flying American flag of 70×140 feet atop a 400-foot pole.  It has become even more impressive, thanks to an expansion project adding 240,000 square feet of space to the headquarters – including galleria extensions housing a 2,000-seat lecture hall and a 65-foot-tall Ferris wheel.  Meanwhile, more than 750,000 square feet of parking structure space is being added.

Multi-Faceted Roofing Includes Slate, Copper

F.J.A. Christiansen is the contractor for the roof systems that include slate, copper and other metalwork, low-slope membranes, pavers, and planters, along with elements to address existing drainage and snow-load support issues at junctures between new construction and existing structures.  “With its extensive use of architectural elements, some of the metalwork involving copper, the use of slate, exacting color specifications, the multiple sections of the complex to work on, and the need for tower cranes, this is a fascinating project that will create a beautiful and highly functioning roof system,” said Max Bade, project manager with FJAC.  With numerous subcontractors working on the project’s multiple sections, project management expertise has been significant.  FJAC’s Superintendent Dan Ott noted the work is really like five different roofing system projects at the same location, but all in different phases of progress.  Based on Acuity’s high expectations for the overall project, general contractor Mortenson Construction initially engaged FJAC for work on its initial stage and then, based on the success of that work, expanded FJAC’s involvement for the remaining roof areas.

Structures Replace Surface Parking

The two parking structures will each hold 640 vehicles and will give employees access to the office building via an arcade.  Face recognition software will provide employees with access from the parking structure into the office area.  The roof systems for the parking structure involve a Carlisle Syntec 60-mil FleeceBACK EPDM membrane asphalt-adhered to the concrete deck.  The decks have some tapered saddles for drainage while parapet walls include the use of copper trim and drainage elements, including scuppers and downspouts.  Both structures have a central utility plant in the basement, requiring multiple penetrations to the roof system and structural support for the roof-top mechanicals.  Clerestories on each of the roofs are surrounded by windows that are nearly floor to ceiling, bringing in daylight to enter the parking structures.  The roofs will not be used for parking.  Single-story pedestrian walkways to the office complex include steep-sloped roofs utilizing high-grade asphalt shingles over nail-base insulation, with, like other areas, custom-fabricated and custom-colored metal gutters and downspouts.

Galleria Addition to House Theater, Ferris Wheel, Offices

The existing glass-enclosed gallerias, each 85 feet tall, are being expanded.  The new Ferris wheel within, which replaces a smaller one, will serve as a focal point for charitable and philanthropic events.  The Galleria roofs include high-end slate and extensive use of copper for the drainage system.  The challenge was to blend the look of the new slate with the existing tiles that had faded from their many years of exposure to the elements.  Fall protection was another challenge.  “The existing slate roof had no fall protection system in place to safely allow access for maintenance and repairs, so we needed to add that,” said FJAC Vice President Don Walter.  “That involved removal of existing slate tiles, installing anchor and tie-off clips, cutting the tile to accommodate the clips and then replacing the tiles.  As one clip was completed, the installer would anchor himself to it and start work on the adjacent anchor,” added Walter.  Complementing the tile roofs, FJAC is fabricating custom copper gutters, downspouts, and louvers,” noted FJAC Sheet Metal Superintendent Jeff Keller.  “These are unique pieces that we’re building by hand in our shop.”  Adjacent low-slope roof areas are protected by a Carlisle EPDM .60 mil fully-adhered roof membrane above polyisocyanurate and DensDeck insulation boards.


Already a landmark, the complex will be more impressive once completed and is joining a long list of notable southeastern Wisconsin buildings with roof systems installed by FJAC.  “It’s great to be part of such a demanding project that is making highly visible location even more impressive,”  FJAC’s Dan Ott said.


Operating Unit: F.J.A Christiansen Roofing Co., Inc.
Client: Acuity Insurance
Industry Type: Commercial Office; Parking Structures
Project Type: New Construction
Location: Sheboygan, WI
Systems Installed: PVC & EPDM Membranes, Insulation; Slate; Copper & Prefinished Metal COmponents