Technically speaking, it’s a façade. But either way, this eye-catching western exterior of Regions Field in Birmingham, AL, sends a clear message of civic pride to passersby, locals and visitors alike, who are driving along a nearby elevated highway.
The city has reason to be proud. First, its new minor-league stadium, clad in metal by CENTRIA, was named Ballpark of the Year by Baseballparks.com. Second, the Birmingham Barons Double-A baseball club just capped off its inaugural season in the new ballpark by winning its division title.
According to an upcoming feature article in Metalmag, available mid November, the towering letters are cut with a unique, inside-out effect. Upper panels were cut to outside parameters; lower panels were cut to the inside parameters. CENTRIA’s EcoScreen® perforated screenwall helps limit sunlight exposure to the interior and creates an interesting aesthetic effect.
Birmingham baseball fans love the façade, of course.
Other design elements of the 245,000-sq-ft, 8,500-seat stadium include CENTRIA single-skin metal panels on a mixed-medium exterior. Among other features, the metal panels help promote the southern city’s industrial heritage and complement brick, ironwork, and steel buildings in the surrounding area.
Sure, everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes a high school football stadium so grand and high-budget that it garnered national attention last year. The $60 million Allen High School football stadium, located in the fast-growing Dallas suburb of Allen, TX, features many architectural bells and whistles, including concrete seats for 18,000, a towering upper deck, a spacious weight room, and practice areas for the school’s wrestling and golf teams. With its 100,000 square feet of metal composite material (MCM) panels, the structure looks more like a college stadium.
According to Zeke Miller, President , The Miller-Clapperton Partnership, Inc. @thepanelguys, Austell, GA, metal is a natural fit for stadiums of all types. “Obviously this project is like a dream assignment, where certain features lend pizzazz, and MCM panels fit the bill.” He adds that MCM panels are the modern day sheet metal because they do not oil can, are low maintenance and durable, and provide design flexibility. The paneling itself can be clad with decorative metal, which is perfect for all stadiums.
The only drawback to stadium projects is that there is no messing around with deadlines, Miller says, because the football season always begins on schedule. Miller-Clapperton, whose projects include the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida, is currently hoping that his MCM panels will be incorporated into the design of the new Atlanta Falcons Stadium that is scheduled to open for the 2017 NFL season.
Since the stadium opened in August 2012, Allen High School’s Eagles football team hasn’t lost a single home game, but Miller resists attributing the streak to anything associated with the stadium’s metal composite paneling. Still, with all the publicity surrounding the “most expensive high school stadium in America,” Miller says that he kind of wishes that the stadium was better known for its panels rather than the other way around.
After you’ve seen the latest in metal products at METALCON on Oct. 1-3 in Atlanta (stopping by to visit MCA in booth 1553, of course), come see how metal enhances the physical environment of all members of the ecosystem, from people to sea life.
Opened in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the world’s largest aquarium. It holds more than 8 million gallons of water and is home to more than 100,000 sea animals.
Designed by Atlanta-based architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates, the firm says its design “combines a unique exterior profile for the Aquarium with an interior concept that strives to give visitors the sensation of visiting an underwater world.”
Metal was a key component in bringing this underwater world to life. The building’s exterior uses metal panels to recreate the appearance of a ship’s hull. The building uses 50,000 sq. ft. of 3A Composite’s Alucobondmetal composite panels. The “ship” features approximately 3,600, 4-mm-thick panels in platinum, silver metallic and custom three-coat blue metallic colors.
The aquarium features six regular exhibits—Cold Water Quest, Ocean Voyager, Tropical Diver, Georgia Explorer, Dolphin Tales and River Scout—and a special exhibit, Sea Monsters Revealed: Aquatic Bodies opens September 27.
Attend METALCON first and then wade into the metal application of Georgia Aquarium.
Although the credit of Georgia Tech’s 63-21 win over Western Carolina last weekend belongs to the team and coaches of the Atlanta-based institute, maybe, just maybe, metal roofing played a role in the win? Okay it’s a stretch, but consider this: Georgia Tech players began practicing in the school’s new indoor practice facility in August, and that facility has a metal roof that is designed to arc like a perfectly thrown pass and provide maximum space inside. If the roof “played a role in a winning football formula,” says Bill Croucher, director of engineering at Lancaster-PA-based Fabral, then “Fabral is happy to be part of it.”
It sounds like a win-win to us.
Croucher says that metal is a top choice for curved roofs on stadiums and practice facilities because it provides a choice of color, profiles, and paint and substrates; has a high-recycled content; and is 100% recyclable when the useful life of the roof is over. Moreover, Fabral’s structural standing-seam metal roof offers superior wind-uplift resistance and is Class A fire rated.
Joseph A. Knight, AIA, Knight Architects, Inc., Atlanta, points out that the metal roof panels stretch the full width of the 80,000-square-foot building, without any end-seams. The 24-gauge Galvalume panels are 245-feet long and 16-inches wide. “The metal shines and contrasts nicely with the adjacent brick buildings, as well as the brick at the base of the practice facility itself,” Knight says. “There is really no other material we could have used that would have presented such an aesthetically and economically strong solution.”
More often than not, architects and designers choose Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) for a combination of reasons, not the least of which is aesthetics given that they come in a variety of styles, sizes, colors, finishes, and textures and can be installed both horizontally and vertically. Metl-Span’s Tuff Wall® IMPs, for example, provide a stucco-like appearance to the new corporate-headquarter addition to the Hitchiner Manufacturing facility, Milford, NH, a casting supplier to manufacturers in the aerospace gas turbine engine industry. But according to Dennis Mires, PA, of The Architects in Manchester, NH, IMPs also met insurance requirements, stayed within the owner’s budget, and provided a high-tech look for the company.
With that in mind, what are top reasons for choosing IMPs? Industry experts say that the metal panels:
are energy-efficient. IMPs have two metal skins, an interior and an exterior, which are bonded to a foam polyisocyanurate insulation core, making them highly energy efficient, said Brian Jaks of Green Span Profiles, Waller, TX, a manufacturer of IMPs. Initially used on cold-storage facilities, the panels have R values as high as 8 per inch, compared to 3.7–4.3 per inch for batt insulation, and range in thickness from 2–6 inches.
have thermal performance. According to Ken Buchinger of Metal Building Components, Inc., who recently spoke at METALCON, IMPs provide continuous insulation and consistent R values across walls, and have concealed fastener systems that prevent thermal bridging between the exterior and interior skins. He further noted that IMPs tend to hold their R value over time and do not have significant thermal drift.
allow for fast installation. IMPs’ one-piece construction makes for faster installation, Buchinger said. Faster installation helps lower construction costs and interim financing costs. Moreover, he said, the steel skins are resistant to abuse and, compared to conventional building envelope materials, are not as affected by adverse weather conditions such as high winds.
are suitable for green building. IMPs were used on the new LEED-gold-certified “Bartholomew Building” addition to William Allen High School in Allentown, PA, for their simplicity of design. “The [system] just goes together,” said Mitch Miller, associate and director of specifications of USA Architects, Easton, PA. “You’re installing the insulation and the finished panel at the same time.” Furthermore, the metal in a panel’s skin often has a high content of recycled steel or aluminum, and, when IMPs are removed from a wall, they can be recycled or re-used on another project, saving them from the landfill.
offer unsurpassed design flexibility. “People like the panel because it has a flat appearance,” Jaks said. “It doesn’t necessarily have corrugation and architects like that.” He added that IMPs are available in a variety of textures, including smooth, embossed, and heavy embossed. They also come in wide range of colors, and can be customized to match any color palette. IMPs’ design flexibility allows the ability to achieve almost any look and increase curb appeal.
are well suited for roof applications. More than 130,000 sq. ft. of IMPs was used to reroof the eight-building Haughton Middle School complex in Haughton, LA. According to Lauren Marchive, project architect with Newman Marchive Carlisle, Inc., Shreveport, LA, the local school board chose IMPs for their thermal performance and because the roof system was available in red, which matched the school’s original design. Even more vital was the speed and ease of installation, and that the roof could be installed during the school year on sections of buildings that were not in use.
Choosing between metal construction materials and systems can be complex—each project has a number of factors that need to be considered. But IMPs offer a host of benefits to make them an attractive choice for a wide variety of projects.
According to a new study released at Greenbuild 2012 by McGraw-Hill Construction, the top reasons for building green are client demand, market demand, lower operating costs and branding advantage. In 2008, the top reasons were doing the right thing and market transformation. This shift signifies that firms are seeing the value in building green, and that it can strengthen their bottom line. And building green is not just for new construction; renovation projects also reap the benefits, including near-term and long-term operating cost savings for building owners, as well as increased building values. (You can read the full article with additional details about McGraw-Hill Construction’s new study on the United States Green Building Council site.)
It was great to see so many MCA member companies exhibiting at Greenbuild 2012, and a reminder of the many green benefits in building with metal. Metal construction products have high recycled content and are recyclable, have fully developed distribution networks and are energy efficient. Their many benefits allow them to qualify for points in the United States Green Building Council’s LEED program. And their design flexibility allows architects and building owners to achieve design goals while building green.
Want to learn more about building green with metal? Register for our free webinar “Building Green with Metal Roofs and Walls” on January 17, 2013.
Today’s metal roofs provide far more than just protection from water intrusion; they now add visual beauty, style, and personality to a building—and then some. This is particularly true with steep slope metal roofs, those with a 3:12 or greater pitch. Some of these roofs can cover as much as two-thirds of a building’s exterior, providing a broad canvas on which to make a visual statement.
For property owners, choosing an attractive roof that enhances a building’s overall design is critical. There are many options of metal roofs from which to choose. Standing seam metal roofs offer clean, straight vertical lines. Numerous through-fastened profiles provide a more fluted or corrugated look. Then, there are metal roofs specifically designed and manufactured to look like wood shakes, slate, barrel tile, and even dimensional shingles. With these options and advances in coating, we can safely bid farewell to those monochromatic, heavy-looking metal roofs of yesteryear.
But, as you know, beauty is more than skin deep. There are other advantages to steep-slope metal roofing, including its
Low Weight. Metal roofs typically weigh from 50 to 125 lbs. per 100 sq ft. Aluminum metal roofs are typically the lightest, while steel and copper roofs, at about 125 lbs. per 100 sq ft, are about one-third the weight of standard shingles.
Wind Resistance. The uplift pressures exerted on steep slope metal roofs can be significant during heavy windstorms. Due to their fastening methods and often interlocking nature, metal roofs hold on tight, even in heavy winds.
Lower Installation Cost. Labor costs to install roofing are increasing annually—and, according to some research, are expected to double every 10 years. With very steep or geometrically complex metal roofs, labor can represent a significantly large part of the entire roofing project, even more than the roofing material itself. For that reason alone, it makes good economic sense to choose a durable, lasting metal roof and follow the adage, “Do it right. Do it once.”
Think of metal roofing as a building upgrade that adds property value, beauty, comfort, efficiency, protection, and freedom from maintenance. Contact MCA for more information on metal roofing.
No matter the age or style of building, retrofitting with metal can offer many benefits, including potential long-term savings, design flexibility, sustainability and energy efficiency. Building Operating Managementmagazine recently published a four-part feature article focusing on the many benefits of retrofitting with metal. The article offers a wealth of information and features insights from several Metal Construction Association member companies.
We’ve just posted a new case study about the project that provides more details about how the design process unfolded, and how the architects overcame obstacles to achieve the design that best suited their client’s needs and represented their client’s values. The Metal Initiative offers a library of more than 60 case studies featuring many inspiring project that reflect the benefits of building with metal.
The MCA judging panel chose this project because it incorporates metal into many parts of the building. They were fascinated by the architects’ ability to use metal to represent rock. Lights on the building were incorporated to make the metal look different in summer and in winter.