Project Profile

Originally constructed in 1894, Denny Hall is University of Washington’s oldest building. At 48,000 square feet and sited at the highest point on campus, the building, named in honor of Seattle pioneers Arthur A. and Mary Denny, remains it most visible icon. The slate roof and copper copula serve as the jewels on the building’s crown. Built of Tenino sandstone, Denny Hall is a unique structure in the Pacific Northwest; a fact that both qualified its architectural significance and presented certain challenges in assigning qualified resources.

Preserving a namesake. Restoring an icon.
Given the age of the building and its unique roof design, great care was considered with every step. With a roof slope which varied from 12:12 to 28:12, all work was performed by using roof jacks with a 6 inch walking surface. The conical areas were out of round and became apparent only after the slate installation had begun. We elected to remove the installed slate (at no cost) to allow contractors to access to the structure, manually planing the high areas while filling in the low areas, and creating a symmetrical conical shape. From there, 24,000 square feet of plywood diaphragm with self-adhered membrane and a natural Vermont slate in random widths were hand cut to fit and hand-nailed with copper fasteners.

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Solutions Highlights

  • Diaphragm and Membrane: Installation of 24,000 square feet of plywood diaphragm and self-adhered membrane
  • Hand-cut Slate: Placed hand-cut Vermont slate hand-nailed with copper fasteners
  • Waste Recycling: Recycled slate material waste as construction landfill.

Project At-A-Glance

  • Client University of Washington
  • Location Seattle, WA
  • Groundbreaking 2007
  • Opening 2008
  • Full Completion 2008
  • Owner The University of Washington
  • Architect Merritt
  • Snyder Estimator