Category Archives: metal walls

WHAT’S HOT FROM THE SUMMER MEETING: Cool Wall Research

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was awarded a grant to conduct a research project on cool walls. This is important for California cities to find ways to reduce building energy usage and to help with the urban heat island effect.  California already has a project investigating the impact of cool pavement.  This wall project will evaluate the types of wall materials that are now in the marketplace. The performance of those products will be analyzed using outdoor exposure in three climates in California.  In addition, the dirt-shedding capability and durability of these wall systems will be evaluated. New technologies for ultra-cool pigmentation are also part of the research, in the field of product development.  The project begins in July with the product characterization on exposure racks.  The entire project will take 3 years to complete.  Several MCA member manufacturers are providing samples of their metal wall systems in this R&D program.  MCA is also participating in the project in their seat at the Industry Advisory Committee.

Trade Associations with Ties to Metal Discuss Collaboration

By Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

2014SummerMeeting-OpeningSession3 croppedLet’s assume that collaboration among trade associations whose members work with metal building materials, including wall and roof panels, will help them thrive in a construction industry marked by consolidation. The question is, where should collaborative efforts start?

The answer appears to be education, according to a panel discussion held at the MCA Summer Meeting on June 23–25, 2014, in Rosemont, IL.

Leaders from six trade associations met with MCA members and guests to discuss where best to pool their resources to help grow the metal construction market, and possibly their own memberships. Time and again, the discussion turned to education.

Panelists included leaders from the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA), the Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA), the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), the National Coil Coating Association (NCCA), the National Frame Building Association (NFBA), and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

MCA Board Member Roger Sieja, director of market development for Wismarq Corporation, moderated the discussion.

During the discussion, several panelists and attendees pointed to the need to educate the building community—particularly architects, specifiers, engineers, and board members of local municipal commissions—on current codes, regulations, and design trends.

Some panelists pointed out that, currently, education is done on a project-by-project basis, so having readily available, widely accepted educational tools on these issues would be useful to their own association members and the entire industry.

“Once [city commissioners]learn what they can actual do [with metal], they are more agreeable and realize that they have been too strict” in limiting the use of metal  in building exteriors in their areas, said Lee Shoemaker, director, research and engineering,  MBMA. “If [the issue] came up more often, we would probably come up with a program to address it more directly, but it happens only occasionally. We give members tools to help address it locally, but it is hard to do from a national trade association vantage point.”

MBMA promotes the design and construction of metal building systems in the low-rise, non-residential building marketplace. According to Shoemaker, MBMA devotes half of its budget to addressing technical issues of building systems.

Ken Gieseke, chair-elect of NFBA, agreed that broader education on the local level is needed.  “We’ve done one-on-one education with [our own city commission], taking pictures of jobs that show that metal is attractive and pointing out [limits to] their codes,” he said. “Getting tools to help us as an industry would be huge.”

NFBA has more than 700 members, including contractors, suppliers, and design professionals. The association seeks to expand the use of post-frame construction, educate builders and decision makers on post-frame construction, provide technical research, and market the benefits of post-frame construction.

The panelists also stressed the need to promote the benefits of using metal on building exteriors to the entire industry, including consumers.

Tom Wadsworth of DASMA said that, “thanks to coil coaters,” highly durable steel and aluminum garage doors now resemble wood ones, but are less expensive and easier to maintain on the part of consumers. DASMA works to create a unified force among its memberships of manufacturers of door and access systems, develop standards, influence building codes, expand its market, and educate the door systems industry.

Likewise, MBMA’s Shoemaker noted that metal buildings with wide clear spans offer superior durability to other construction types, particularly in adverse weather conditions. Getting out messages like this to influencers of construction and consumers is key to growing the industry, he said.

2014SummerMeeting-OpeningSession4croppedThe groups represented at the meeting vary greatly in size and educational offerings, with the 128-year-old NRCA being by far the largest with 3,500 members in the U.S. and abroad   and a $12 million annual budget, a vast array of training and educational programs, and its own Political Action Committee.  NRCA helps its members contend with government regulations and is active in the codes arena.

However, all the groups represented on the panel promote professionalism and provide education and training to their members, and some provide accreditation.

The 52-year-old NCCA, which has about 100 members, promotes the growth of pre-painted metal.  It serves as the voice of the coil coating industry for technical, promotional, education, and regulatory matters.

The 46-year-old MBCEA provides, among other things, national standardized testing and apprenticeship and accreditation programs. It has seen a 30% jump in its membership of metal building contractors and erectors over the past year, according to MBCEA President Gary Smith.

As the panel concluded, it was clear that this discussion was, itself, only a start. Sieja said that MCA would welcome an opportunity to discuss collaboration further at meetings sponsored by these groups.

 

 

 

 

Architects, Metal Construction Companies Converge on Chicago

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

This week the Metal Construction Association (MCA) is hosting its 2014 Summer Meeting at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. Representatives from metal roof and wall manufacturers, as well as suppliers, consultants, fabricators and more, will be participating in meetings to expand the use of metal roofs and wall panels. Meetings kick off Monday with the lunchtime General Session featuring a panel discussion of metal construction industry leaders. Committee and council meetings will be conducted Monday through Wednesday.

Many of our MCA members will be extending their stay in Chicago to attend the 2014 AIA National Convention from Thursday, June 26 through Saturday, June 28 at McCormick Place. Be sure to stop by and see MCA members exhibiting this year, including:

Exhibitor Name Booth Number
3A Composites 1906
Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc. 4042
Alcoa Architectural Products 1407
Alucobond 1215
Alucoil North America 2022
ATAS International, Inc. 3642
Bayer MaterialScience 1654
Centria 1425
Dow Building Solutions 4712
Englert, Inc. 3637
Fabral 606
Firestone Building Products 2113
MBCI 3845
Metal Architecture Magazine 4645
Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation 1245
Metl-Span 4204
Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America, Inc. 3624
NorthClad 1815
Petersen Aluminum Corp. 4245
PPG Industries, Inc. 4617
Reynobond/Reynolux 1407
RHEINZINK America, Inc. 3209
Solvay 3608
Valspar 3618

We hope you enjoy your stay in Chicago!

Metal Construction Highlights: Las Vegas Edition

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health,
Las Vegas

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

I’m getting ready to head to Las Vegas next week for the International Roofing Expo. I have to admit, I’m excited. Believe it or not (and most do not), I’ve never been to Las Vegas.

There’s no doubt that most of my time will be spent within the concrete walls of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center manning the Metal Construction Association (MCA) booth (booth #2143–stop by to say hello!), but I am looking forward to exploring the sights and sounds of Las Vegas.

One thing I always try to do before I travel to a new city for business is scope out some architectural highlights to visit. And since I work for MCA, I admit that I am always looking for real-life examples of metal construction.

Here are a few examples of metal roofs and walls that I plan to see while in Las Vegas. Feel free to let us know what your favorites are!

McCarran International Airport, featuring Alucobond Plus
Alcoa Reynobond - Terminal 3 Parking Garage

McCarran International Airport

I won’t have to wait long to see an example of metal construction after touching down in Las Vegas–the McCarran International Airport recently completed an expansion project that featured Alucobond Plus metal composite material (MCM) panels from 3A Composites.

The Terminal 3 parking garage also features metal wall panels: Reynobond aluminum MCM panels from Alcoa. I’m sure the airport won’t be the most exciting part of my stay in Las Vegas, but the metal cladding will at least give me reason for pause at the airport.

The D Casino

The D Casino, Petersen AluminumAfter a long day on the convention center floor manning the MCA booth, I can usually be found enjoying a quiet meal and catching up on e-mails back in my hotel room. But Las Vegas is all about the casinos, so I am sure I will venture into a casino or two at some point during the week. Why not try my luck with the one-armed bandits at The D Casino in downtown Las Vegas, which sports a new, metal-clad entrance from Petersen Aluminum? I’m looking forward to walking the strip–and I understand it is a long walk– to see the impressive architecture of the casinos. The over-the-top extravagance and grandiose resorts should serve as a not-so-subtle reminder that the odds are not in my favor for a big payday!

Downtown Container Park

Downtown Container ParkLas Vegas isn’t all casinos, glitz and glamor–there is plenty for families to do and enjoy. Even though my family won’t be traveling with me, I plan to check out the Downtown Container Park for some shopping and dining. It’s located away from the main strip on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. It’s just what it sounds like–a park and shopping center crafted from shipping containers. Architects and designers are finding new ways to utilize old shipping containers as structures, and this project reminds me of one of MCA’s 2012 Chairman’s Award Winners that also features shipping containers.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, featuring Centria IMPsAnd if I feel the need for speed, perhaps I will make my way over to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Even though the speedway’s NASCAR weekend events won’t be until the first week of March, it may be worth a quick visit to check out the exterior  since it is clad in Centria’s Formawall insulated metal panels.

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Designed by esteemed architect Frank Gehry, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (pictured at the top of this blog post) is a national resource for research and treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). While the design of the building has been a lightning rod for both praise and criticism, the important work being done within the stainless-steel clad walls is what’s most important.

Let us know if you have any other recommendations for Las Vegas architectural highlights. And if you are at the IRE show, we hope you will stop by the MCA booth–as well as our member’s booths–to say hello and learn about the many benefits of metal roofing.

Is It a Sign or Cool Stadium Façade?

Regions Field, Birmingham, AL

By: Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

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.

Ballpark shot WEB

High School Football Stadium, Texas Style

Allen High School Football Stadium, Allen, TX

By Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

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.

Visit MCA–and 44 MCA Member Companies–at METALCON

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

METALCON kicks off on Tuesday, October 1st. Be sure to stop by Metal Construction Association‘s (MCA) booth (#1553) to see a roofing assembly that illustrates a variety of sustainable technologies, and get the latest technical developments and case studies available. On display will also be MCA’s new website: www.metalconstruction.org.

And be sure to visit one of the 44 MCA member companies that are exhibiting at METALCON for the latest product developments in the metal construction industry.

Company Name                                                  Booth #

ABC Supply                                                            1730
Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc.                                    621
Alcoa Architectural Products                              1232
Aluminum Association                                         512
Arkema, Inc.                                                           1436
ATAS International, Inc                                         1615
Atlas Bolt & Screw                                                 1439
The Bradbury Company                                       1121
Central States Manufacturing Inc.                       901
CENTRIA                                                                   1030
Classic Metal Roofing Systems                             1131
(Isaiah Industries)        
DesignandBuildwithMetal.com                            528
Drexel Metals                                                          1807
Dura Coat Products, Inc.                                       635
Englert, Inc.                                                              921
Everlast Metals                                                       1835
Fabral                                                                       1637
Firestone Building Products                                 1015
FLEXOSPAN Inc.                                                      1341
GSSI Sealants Inc.                                                   1933
ITW Buildex                                                             1731
MBCI                                                                         1221
McElroy Metal, Inc.                                                  827
Metal Construction News                                      702
Metal Roofing Magazine                                        2246
Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp.                        1332
METALFORMING, Inc.                                             1421
Metl-Span                                                                 1138
Petersen Aluminum Corp.                                     1033
PPG Industries Inc.                                                  1321
Precoat Metals                                                         1725
RHEINZINK America Inc.                                         943
Roof Hugger, Inc.                                                     1143
SFS Intec, Inc.                                                           1132
Sheffield Metals                                                       1609
Solvay                                                                         904
Steel Dynamics                                                         647
Steelscape                                                                 721
TAMKO Building Products Inc.                               833
Triangle Fastener Corp.                                           747
U.S. Steel Corp.                                                        1830
Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.                   1054
Valspar Corporation                                               1001
Vicwest                                                                      821

We hope to see you at METALCON!

MetalCon

Take a Tour of the New Metal Construction Association Website

New MCA Website HomePage
Visit http://www.metalconstruction.org

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) is proud to announce its new website: www.metalconstruction.org. If you’ve been following The Metal Initiative (the former name of this blog, and its home website) you’ll notice that we still have the same goal: to be the go-to resource for information and education about metal roofs and wall panels.

Visit the new site, and you’ll find:

  • Case Study Gallery – Be inspired by real-world case studies about how architects and building owners have used metal to solve design challenges and build high-performing buildings.New case studies are added every month.
  • Photo Gallery – MCA’s expanded photo gallery features dozens of projects, including commercial, municipal, education, healthcare, and more. Photos from hundreds more projects will be added in the coming weeks.
  • Technical Resources – MCA is the leading source of technical resources for the metal construction industry, including white papers, technical bulletins and technical manuals. The section will be updated regularly.

MCA is also working to re-launch its Ask the Experts forum in the coming weeks, and will be building out a new Members’ Only section for MCA members.

Be sure to visit MCA’s new website, and bookmark it to check back for more information and resources.

Metal Construction in Atlanta: Portman Family Middle School

Portman Family Middle School, Atlanta, GA

Editor’s Note: As we gear up for METALCON International, Oct 1-3 in Atlanta, we’re highlighting some of our favorite Atlanta metal construction projects. We hope to see you next week in Atlanta!

Sports arenas, event centers and skyscrapers generate the most buzz around their construction. Other buildings, such as schools, may not enjoy the limelight, but they’re no less important. In fact, one could argue the design, planning and function of a school building affects the future of more people than any other building type.

As you tour Atlanta during the upcoming METALCON, Oct 1-3, you can’t miss metal’s contributions to the city’s famous buildings. But get off the beaten path a bit, and take note of some of the less known, yet highly influential ones.

Atlanta-based Portman Family Middle School is a prime example of design done well, and metal products contribute to the middle school’s educational and green attributes. A LEED Gold-certified building, construction of the middle school was made possible by a generous $10 million donation by Jan and John Portman.

Designed by architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch, the 75,000 sq.-ft. building was completed in 2009. Some of the “green” features of the design include:

• a garden roof used as an interactive learning space with native plants fed by a rainwater-fed runnel carrying water through the garden to a cistern below
• low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, and dual flush toilets
• daylight sensors, solar hot water, and a high-performance exterior envelope

ALPOLIC aluminum composite panels are central to the high-performance exterior envelope. The metal panels were chosen for their versatility, durability, modern appearance and energy efficiency.

As an energy-efficient green building, the middle school not only saves tens of thousands of dollars annually, it also educates hundreds of children about the importance of sustainable living.

Metal’s use as a green construction material will no doubt be a hot topic at METALCON this year. For a prime example of metal’s green attributes in action, check out Portman Family Middle School, too.

Immerse Yourself in Metal at the Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA

 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 Alucobond metal 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.

For more information about METALCON visit www.metalcon.com.