Case Studies

Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting Co. Inc.

Installation, repair and maintenance specialists serving central and northern New Jersey

Founded in 1906 by Danish immigrant Christian Andersen, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting Co. Inc. (CARE) is one of New Jersey’s leading commercial roofing contractors, serving commercial and industrial clients alike with services including roof replacement, restoration, repair and preventative maintenance.

As a union contractor with a commitment to quality workmanship, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting serves some of the Garden State’s most prestigious universities, pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions and property owners as a general contractor.

In its role as a subcontractor, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting works directly with many of the state’s largest general contractors, providing roofing and erecting expertise on a range of projects.

“Our niche is a value-added approach to roofing needs — finding ways to be efficient to help deliver on time and within budget,” says Joe Castelluci, executive vice president and general counsel at Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting.

“We like to think of ourselves as leaders in the industry. We have a relentless focus on safety and compliance and working with the customer to find solutions to whatever needs they have,” he says.

Based out of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting works primarily in central and northern parts of the state, but will occasionally travel to southern New Jersey and New York for the right project.

The Andersen name has become synonymous with quality and attention to detail over the company’s 100-plus year history. While the Andersens are no longer involved in the company, that legacy has been carried on by the new ownership team. “The present ownership got involved and recapitalized the company in the mid ‘80s and has been responsible for the present growth,” says Castelluci.

Sensitive data

As a specialty roofing contractor, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting is often called in to complete technically challenging projects in sensitive environments such as pharmaceutical laboratories and data centers.

One such project required Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting to replace not one, but four different roof assemblies on a nearby data center. “The roof is the only line of defense between the elements and the giant computer below,” says Justin Lucas, chief operating officer of Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting.

The building’s two original roofs had been covered by two additional roofs over a sloped structural addition, requiring the company to carefully remove layer upon layer without exposing the data center’s delicate electronic components to outside elements.

Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting Co. Inc.Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting worked with a trade contractor to install a heat trace system on the data center, ensuring that snow and ice will not build up on the roof through the winter. “Every precaution was taken to protect the integrity of the data equipment,” says Lucas.

Installation of these heat trace systems is becoming more common in the roofing industry, according to Lucas. “It used to be cost-prohibitive, and the cost of electricity isn’t coming down,” he says. “However, the need to protect the equipment in these sensitive environments is certainly helping to drive the change.”

Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting also outfitted the new roof with a safety railing system and 24 inches of insulation. “The added insulation is critical because the computers generate so much heat; our focus here is to alleviate humidity-related moisture issues due to the interior versus exterior temperature differential,” Lucas says.

Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting offers a full slate of roofing and erecting services, including green, metal, single-ply and built-up roofs. The company also performs solar installations. Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting recently launched the CARE preventative maintenance program. “It is our experience that the implementation of a systematic roof inspection and maintenance program can enhance the long-term performance of the roof system,” says Lucas.

“Most if not all of our roofs come with a manufacturer’s warranty which often requires annual or semiannual inspections and maintenance,” Lucas says. “While the terms of the warranty will control, generally there is an obligation to perform regular inspections and maintenance in order to maintain the warranty in good standing. This is a market we have been targeting.”

High stakes, high rewards

Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting performs all its own sheet metal, waterproofing and roof systems work, but when a job calls for specialty trades like carpentry, steel and masonry, the company turns to a trusted network of subcontractors.

“We value our relationships with our subcontractors and suppliers,” says Castelluci. “We take a partnership approach to each project, and this translates to an overall positive experience for our customers.”

There is no shortage of challenges in the high-wire, high-stakes world of roofing and erecting. Working on some of the tallest skyscrapers requires Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting to occasionally hire out steeplejacks: craftsmen who scale buildings, chimneys and steeples to perform repairs and maintenance. “We completed a project in downtown Newark where we partnered with one of our subcontractors who uses steeplejacks,” says Casteluci. “The project required the use of netting and rigging on a daily basis to ensure a safe workplace.”

The company works with its customers to ensure the timely completion and delivery of each project. On a recent project at a New Jersey chemical plant, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting was called upon to perform its work during the scheduled shutdown of the facility, facing a particularly tight deadline of four weeks to complete the project. The project consisted of removal of existing roof and concrete deck panels, structural steel reinforcement, new metal deck and a new metal roof system. Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting accommodated the customer’s time frame by working up to 12 hour shifts almost seven days a week until completion.

“They had a specific timing requirement in order to minimize interference with their business operations,” says Lucas. “We worked closely with their site engineers to ensure maximum productivity during the plant shutdown.” In the end, the company completed the project in time and exceeded the expectations of the customer. “We pride ourselves on our ability to manage jobs efficiently and effectively and delivering within a customer’s time frame,” he adds.

Like many in the construction industry, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting measures success in referrals and repeat business. The company welcomes referrals and is grateful for its relationships with its customers, many of which stretch back as far as 30 years or more.

As a measure of success on each individual job, Chris Andersen Roofing & Erecting performs an exhaustive pre-inspection on each roof it installs before a manufacturer’s representative arrives to perform their inspection. “Most manufacturers have a grading system with a 10 being the highest grade,” says Lucas. “We always strive to make sure each one of those is a 10.”

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