Category Archives: Design

3 Reasons Why Facebook Chose Perforated Metal Panels

Facebook Data Center, Prineville, OR

By: Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

There are three very good reasons why nearly a quarter of the 65,000 square feet of metal wall panels on Facebook’s new data center in Prineville, OR, are perforated panels. Foremost, the screen metal walls secure the center’s sizable generator yard and help ventilate its diesel-fueled backup generators.

The metal panels, including the perforated metal panels, also are customized by Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation  to allow the entire structure to meet strict LEED® Gold certification standards. More than half of each perforated panel—52.94%, to be exact—is open area for ventilation.

Last is aesthetics. The metal panels perfectly complement the simple and minimalist design of the neutral-colored center. But don’t let the Facebook data center’s understated façade fool you; inside the center is a powerhouse. The energy-efficient structure houses tens of thousands of Facebook’s servers containing information for its 800 million users. The only hint that the building serves one of the busiest websites in the world is the blue flag with the iconic ‘Facebook’ logo.

To recap, those three reasons are –

1. Superior ventilation
2. LEED® Standards
3. Aesthetics

Want to learn more about the role metal has played in Facebook’s new data center? Metal Sales has the full story.

Shipping Containers Find New Life in Metal Construction

Monterrey Technical University - Student Center
Student Center, Monterrey Technical University, Juarez, Mexico

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

Fortune Magazine recently featured a story about Starbucks’ use of shipping containers in the design of their new drive-through coffee shops. According to Fortune, a good portion of the 900 or so drive-through locations that Starbucks plans to build in the next five years will be made using retrofitted metal shipping containers.

The use and repurposing of metal shipping containers in construction is a growing trend, even though they are not always less expensive than other manufacturing methods.  And re-using a metal shipping container that would otherwise be destined for the scrap heap can make a statement about sustainability, especially when used with other “green” building efficiencies.

MCA’s 2012 Chairman’s Award Winner in the Education-Colleges & Universities category is a creative example of how shipping containers can be used in construction. The project, a student center for Monterrey Technical University in Juarez, Mexico, was designed by Ruben Escobar, a graduate of MTU and principle at the architecture firm Grupo ARKHOS.

Monterrey Technical University 1 WEBThe student center uses 14 metal shipping containers to make a 7,000 sq. ft. space for students to  interact socially. With exposed metal making up 80% of the new building’s structure, Escobar integrated a metal skin composed of Reynobond composite aluminum panels around the building’s entrance. The 4-mm panels from Alcoa Architectural Products proved to be a perfect complement to the shipping containers, and also were chosen for their durability.Monterrey Technical University 2 WEB

Not only is the new building constructed primarily of recycled materials, but it also is designed to keep cooling costs low. An outdoor paint scheme that uses automotive paint mixed with ceramic nanospheres helps repel the desert sun’s rays, and  a series of aluminum and glass garage doors open up to provide natural ventilation about 8 months out of the year.

It is estimated that there are more than 17 million shipping containers in the world today. Because the United States imports far more than it exports, there is a surplus of empty shipping containers in this country. Metal shipping container-inspired architecture is just one way to give new life and purpose to these resources.

Metal Construction in Denver: Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum - Night

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

As we ramp up for the AIA National Convention in Denver next week, any discussion of Denver architecture would be remiss to not include the striking Frederic C. Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the metal building addition opened in 2006 and has been a lightning rod for both praise and criticism.

Denver Art MuseumClad in titanium panels, the Frederic C. Hamilton Building reflects not just the Colorado sun, but also the shapes and angles found in the most prominent part of the Denver landscape–the Rocky Mountains. The metal building is sure to evoke strong feelings from even the most casual critic, but we simply appreciate the use of metal construction in new and engaging ways.

We’re excited to be in Denver next week, and will be sure to take in many of the many beautiful and varied examples of architecture. Stop by booth 1303 at the AIA National Convention in the Colorado Convention Center to say hello, and learn more about the beauty of metal walls and roofs.

Stop By and See Us at the AIA National Convention

Building Leaders

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

The AIA National Convention is right around the corner, and the Metal Construction Association (MCA) is excited to expand its presence at the show this year. We’re not just planning to take up more floor space this year (though we will be bringing a shiny new display), we’re also excited to offer a new showfloor educational program for AIA CE credits.

So stop by booth 1303 within the Metal Pavillion between June 20-22, 2013 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver to say hello, and see some of the exciting things MCA has to offer.

In the booth you’ll be able to see a mock roof and attic assembly that will demonstrate the energy efficiency of metal roofs compared to a conventional asphalt shingle roof. We’re also bringing along some of our favorite case studies and technical articles, and, of course, we’ll be there to answer questions.

We hope you’ve signed up for Scott Kriner’s seminar: “Metal Roofing: The Perfect Platform for Solar Technologies,” in which you will learn about metal roofing and photovoltaic systems, and why the two are an ideal pairing in new and retrofit applications. Scott, MCA’s technical director, will conduct the session on the convention showfloor in CE Theatre B (booth 4156) on Thursday, June 20, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. We’ve heard that it’s sold out, but you may want to double check with AIA on-site, or feel free to stop by the booth to speak with Scott and find out when the course will be offered via free webinar.

We’re looking forward to being in Denver next week, and hope you’ll stop by to see us at booth 1303.

And be sure to check back here over the next couple of weeks–we’ll try to post some fun examples of of our favorite metal construction projects in Denver.

School Strives for Exellence in Classroom, and in Sustainability

Redding School of the Arts
Photo Courtesy of Steve Whittaker

The list of design accolades for the Redding School of the Arts in Redding, CA, is impressive. It is the first new school campus in the world to receive Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools 2009 standards, and it also is expected to achieve Net-Zero. The school is designed to achieve the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) certification, a national movement to improve student performance and enhance the education experience by building the best possible schools.

Area View Of Redding School of the Arts
Photo Courtesy of Steve Whittaker

The design for the school was based on two essential ideas: First, the learning environment should create opportunities to show students, teachers and parents the importance of metal sustainability. Second, students should be inspired to learn in creative, colorful and fun surroundings. To help achieve these two ambitious functional and aesthetic goals, the design team turned to Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation.

“We were looking for metal panels with recycled content, durability and an energy-friendly SRI (Solar Reflective Index) value,” says James Theimer, Principle of Trilogy Architecture who served as architect for the project. “Redding School of the Arts has been designed to last for 100 years. With the metal wall and roof panels, I think we found a product that would live up to that challenge.”

Photo Courtesy of Steve Whittaker
Photo Courtesy of Steve Whittaker

All of the metal panel colors used on the school are listed with ENERGY STAR®, improving energy-efficiency and reducing the amount of energy needed for cooling. The panels also have a long life cycle that will endure the wide temperature variations of the Sacramento Valley, are 100% recyclable, and contain a high percentage of recycled material – contributing to LEED points.

The use of metal wall and roof panels helps give the facility a smart and modern look worthy of its high-profile, high performance mission.

Zinc Wall Panels, Poetry, and the Public

Poetry FoundationBy: Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

How do you design a Chicago cultural destination that will carry out the mission of the building owner, the Poetry Foundation, to celebrate the best poetry and put it before the largest possible audience?

Certainly, it’s no easy task. But renowned architect John Ronan of John Ronan Architects, Chicago, chose to wrap much of the new Poetry Foundation Building in a black zinc perforated screenwall, fabricated by VMZinc and installed by Tuschall Engineering Co., Inc., so that, when viewed from the front, the metal building becomes transparent and invites those on the street into an open-air garden to hear poetry and enjoy a place of quiet contemplation.

The garden is an urban sanctuary of sorts—a space that, according to Ronan, “mediates between the street and the building, blurring the hard distinctions between public and private.”

Ronan said the design of the building and the use of materials, such as perforated zinc wall panels, are intended to mirror the way in which people read poetry. “Just as good poetry doesn’t always divulge all of its meanings on the first reading, the new building will engage the public’s curiosity and unfold in states,” said Ronan.

Chicago Poetry Foundation New Building

Opened in June 2011, the Poetry Foundation’s new 22,000-sq.-ft., LEED-Silver home is one of only a few public spaces in the country built exclusively for the advancement of poetry.

CENTRIA Stadiums Featured in Final Four (and our unscientific prediction of who will win)

KFC Yum! Center Metal Roof
KFC Yum! Center – University of Louisville

If you’re like us, the brackets you filled out for your NCAA Basketball tournament pool were over long ago. But the tournament continues this weekend with the Final Four, and we need to find a new team to root for. Rather than picking winners by mascots or favorite location (we tried that before and it didn’t work), we thought we’d take a different approach: picking a winner that plays its games in a metal-clad arena!

KFC Yum! Center Design
Formawall Dimension Series Panels

Based on this, our pick to be cutting down the nets Monday night is the University of Louisville, which plays its home games at the KFC Yum! Center. The stadium features high-performance building technology and stunning aesthetics, thanks to CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series panels and a design that focuses on transparent facades and natural lighting. The winner of an AIA Kentucky Merit Award, the new arena was completed in 2010, and has since hosted its share of major college hoops action. Conveniently, the Louisville Cardinals are the only number one seed to make it to the 2013 Final Four, so we like our odds.

Georgia Dome
Georgia Dome Georgia Dome

Worth noting is that Atlanta’s legendary Georgia Dome is the host to this year’s Final Four. This enormous arena is a masterpiece of form and function, sporting over 200,000 square feet of CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series insulated metal panels for the best in advanced thermal and moisture performance (ATMP®). The current home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and the former home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the Georgia Dome is among the largest domed structures in the world and a staple in the landscape of global athletics—from the 1996 Olympic Games to the legendary Super Bowl XXXIV. Of course, it’s also the home of the 2013 NCAA Final Four!

Regardless of the winner, we’re sure there will be some exciting basketball. We’ll be tuning in to see how our prediction unfolds.

The Transformative Power of Zinc

Zinc Wall PanelsWith the help of zinc wall panels, you’d never guess that this retail building, located in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago, was formerly a Borders bookstore. The black and patina-blue VMZinc flat lock panels are not only versatile and extremely durable, but they add visual interest, even an edginess, to the building design, say Jim Tuschall of Tuschall Engineering Company Inc., Burr Ridge, IL, and architect Wil Bruchmann of Antunovich Associates, Chicago.

Zinc Wall Panelling

The project serves as an anchor to a revitalized retail street corridor near the University of Chicago campus. Slated to open in June, the building houses a women’s clothing store and yoga studio in the front portion colored blue, and a high-end restaurant and music venue in the black- colored back.

“I was drawn to the patinaed zinc because itsWall Detail Close-Up WEB color changes slightly with the time of day, weather, and seasons. Every time you look at the building, it has a whole different color that can range from gray to aqua blue to anywhere in between,” says Bruchmann. “The panels are uniform height but random lengths. Adding detail to the wall also created a dynamic transition between the two colors, which mimic the differing uses within the building.”

Bruchmann also notes the long life of zinc. “It ages well over time and is very resilient,” he says. “There’s no question in mind that this was the best product for this particular project. There’s no other material out there that could create this sort of look and feel.”

Pre-Zinc Metal Panels On Chicago Building
Before
Metal Chicago Building Adds Zinc
After

Five of our Favorite Green Buildings for St. Patrick’s Day

The Bullitt Center
The Bullitt Center, Seattle

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Metal Construction Association (MCA) has decided to celebrate our favorite metal green buildings; figuratively and literally. MCA—and its members—embrace the green construction movement, and support sustainable and energy-efficient products. Here is a list of some green projects we hope you will find interesting and inspiring.

The Bullitt Center, Seattle

Billed as the greenest, most energy efficient commercial building in the world, The Bullitt Center is a net zero energy building that is being constructed to meet the goals of the Living Building Challenge. Scheduled to open in 2013, the building features metal panels from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation that have a long life span, are 100% recyclable and contain a high percentage of recycled material.

Pixel Building with Green Roofing Aesthetics
Pixel Building, Australia

Pixel Building, Melbourne, Australia

Coined “the office of the future”, the Pixel Building is the first carbon neutral office building in Australia, and has received the highest Green Star rating ever awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia. With striking, multi-colored metal MCM panels from Alpolic on the exterior, the building is sure to grab the attention of passersby.

after photo WEB
GoodFellow Air Force Base, Texas

Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX

No, this Department of Defense facility is not olive drab, but the project earned a place on this list because its recent metal-roof retrofit includes integrated renewable energy technologies that will maximize electricity generation. The roof also has a rainwater capture system that will be used for irrigation purposes on the base.

MRI Scanner Unit
MRI Scanner Unit, UK

MRI Scanner Unit, Norwich, United Kingdom

The MRA Scanner Unit project features Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) from Kingspan Benchmark in various shades of green. It’s on this list because we love the colors for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not just an attractive project. In fact, IMPs provide consistent insulation and thermal efficiency, often leading to increased energy efficiency.

empiregreen
Empire State Building, New York

Empire State Building, New York City

A true American icon, the Empire State Building is bathed in green lights for St. Patrick’s Day. In 2012 the building was outfitted with a new, energy-efficient LED lighting system that will make this year’s St. Patrick’s celebration even more green. Find out when you can view tower’s lights with their schedule.

MCA wishes you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Metal Construction Blogs Provide Valuable Perspective

By Cathy Szmurlo, Metal Construction Association

Several members of the Metal Construction Association, which consists of manufacturers and suppliers of metal roof and wall components, have jumped on the blogging band wagon. By adding their input on products, projects, industry issues and current events to the blogosphere, these companies are providing a valuable resource to architects and building owners. We hope you’ll check out these members’ blogs for additional insights, and add them to your reading list:

  • Alpolic Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America – Descriptions of company case studies, news and projects as well as views on compelling metal architecture, design and sustainability projects.
  • American Iron and Steel Institute – Institute news and viewpoints on national and international issues affecting the steel industry.
  • Classic Metal Roofing Systems – Issues and benefits regarding metal roofing for residential building projects.
  • Copper Development Association – News and views regarding the use of copper in specific industry categories, including building construction.
  • Drexel Metals — Photos and videos along with viewpoints on company metal roofing products and projects.
  • Englert  – Metal roof and wall panel project commentary and insight on industry issues.
  • Kingspan – News and winning entries for Generation Kingspan™ Student Architectural Competition – a competition for students of architecture.
  • MBCI – Insights on metal roofing and wall issues such as the green movement, LEED, solar roofing and PV.
  • Metal Construction News – Industry news and views from publication staff.
  • Metalforming USA – Company and industry news from architectural machinery manufacturer.
  • Metalmag – Metal construction industry viewpoints from online magazine.
  • Miller Clapperton – Company, project and business opinion from this MCM fabricator.
  • Petersen Aluminum – Descriptive project articles and photos on a variety of company metal roofing projects.
  • Rigid Global Buildings – Company news and events from this metal building, roof and wall panel manufacturer.