Planetarium’s Dome Roof Gets Restored in Albuquerque, New Mexico
by Ali Turner, editorial assistant
Built in 1986 and located in historic downtown Albuquerque, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a staple to the local community. The museum preserves and interprets the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of New Mexico through amazing collections, research, exhibits, and programs. One of the most popular features of the museum is its 55’ full-dome planetarium and theater. Unfortunately, visitors were getting more than a glimpse of the stars, as the dome’s 80’-high roof began experiencing leaks from expanding seams and years of weathering.
Commercial Roofing LLC, Albuquerque, was brought on for the dome restoration, which began in the summer of 2019. Matt Erickson, managing partner at Southern Sustainability, was the Carlisle representative on this project. The roofing professionals began by washing the entire roof and applying SeamlessSEAL™ ULTRA LS and Seal-Tek Micro Fibers from Carlisle® to all of the seams. Then, they applied two layers of the Carlisle LS tan silicone coating with rollers one triangle at a time. Once one half of the dome was completed with the initial coats, the team then applied two coats of SeamlessSEAL ULTRA HSLV silicone coating in the color coppertone. This single-component, moisture-cured, fluid-applied silicone coating is specially formulated to meet low-VOC requirements and has excellent resistance to water intrusion, UV exposure, and natural weathering.
“The good history we’ve had with our Carlisle representatives, as well as the support Carlisle offers throughout the duration of our projects made this an easy choice,” said Michael Aldrich, sales and project manager, Commercial Roofing LLC. “Carlisle offers a multitude of reroofing options that are easy to install and are based around productivity savings.”
“This particular job had many difficulties, including height, access, and safety,” said Aldrich. “Also, the building is a staple of the Albuquerque area and can be seen from all over the city.”
Commercial Roofing LLC had to shut down one lane of traffic, including the sidewalk, in order to allow a 135’ boom lift to access the planetarium dome daily. The restoration took place Monday through Thursday and it unfortunately lined up with Albuquerque’s monsoon season, which brought heavy rains and afternoon shutdowns.
“The project went much smoother than anticipated due to the products and support we were given from Carlisle,” said Aldrich. “To have completed a project that has a very high profile and is iconic to the New Mexico area is incredibly rewarding.”