Category Archives: News

Bold Metal Panels Raise College Profile in Chicago

“The bright yellow of the overpass represents the use of caution colors in manufacturing and draws the community’s eyes to the facility even more dramatically,” wrote Metal Architecture Editor Paul Deffenbaugh.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Rossiter

Breathing new life into a predominantly working-class Latino neighborhood, CannonDesign and JGMA selected bold metal colors and shapes for the Daley College’s Manufacturing, Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC).

Metal panels, glass and exposed steel combine to create an industrial, high-tech aesthetic, drawing attention to the modern façade. Silver, yellow, orange and red panels appear as fins, blocks and geometric shapes throughout the 57,000 sq. ft.  exterior and interior, creating a bright, attractive look. A bold yellow metal panel highlights the underside of the overpass, acting as a prominent entry point.

“The bright yellow of the overpass represents the use of caution colors in manufacturing and draws the community’s eyes to the facility even more dramatically,” wrote Metal Architecture Editor Paul Deffenbaugh. “The hope is that while young people drive past the school and see the dramatic reveal of the manufacturing equipment, their interest will be piqued.”

“The CENTRIA Formawall paneling especially gives the building a contemporary feel, and the varied angles and shapes and three-dimensionality showcase a design philosophy that is forward looking, and not representative of a historically grimy manufacturing sector,” said Deffenbaugh.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Rossiter

Large expanses of glass draw the eye to the colorful machines and equipment inside the advanced facility. As expressed by the architects, “the seamless fluidity to the building’s form was inspired by the constant and linear flow of the manufacturing process.”

The natural flow of the building brings students and visitors through a series of exterior and interior learning spaces, and acts as a new front door for METEC and campus itself.

Located near Midway Airport, the new building raises the former one-building college into a more prominent role within the community it serves. The technical education offerings are aimed at generating high-end manufacturing jobs for Chicago residents to boost the local economy and promote development in the West Lawn community.

The natural flow of the building brings students and visitors through a series of exterior and interior learning spaces, and acts as a new front door for METEC and campus itself.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Rossiter

“The CENTRIA Formawall paneling especially gives the building a contemporary feel, and the varied angles and shapes and three-dimensionality showcase a design philosophy that is forward looking, and not representative of a historically grimy manufacturing sector,” said Deffenbaugh.

Recipient of an MCA Chairman’s Award in the (college and university category, the architectural design incorporates a number of seating areas, platforms and alcoves, to support socialization and incidental learning outside of class.

MCA judge Steven G. Blye of Legat Associates comments, “this is an outstanding project. The triangular motif is expressive, and they really showcase the use of metal, which plays up the school’s curriculum.”

In all, 28,000 sq. ft. of architectural metal panels were specified for the project.

PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Rossiter

Durable Metal Roof Covers the country’s Most Sustainable, High-Altitude Building

Preserving a piece of American history, the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex replaces an old, bunker-like center on top of the 14,115 ft. “America’s Mountain” in Cascade, Colo. where poet Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write the patriotic song “America the Beautiful” in 1893.

Designed to achieve both LEED Silver and Living Building Challenge certification and be the most sustainable, high altitude building in the U.S., RTA Architects and GWWO Architects had to highly scrutinize every product and material going into the 6,200 sq.-ft. visitor center to meet the materials petal requirements for the stringent seven-petal Living Building Challenge.

Further, with below freezing temperatures the majority of the year, heavy snow loads of 125 lbs per sq. ft. and winds reaching 170 mph, the Colorado Springs roofing contractor Weathercraft needed a highly durable and robust metal roofing system to withstand the extreme weather conditions.

Fortunately, Drexel Metals had performed some unusually high wind testing for its DMC 200S with a custom clip-on attachment system AND the system was free from Red-listed chemicals. After submitting all data on the roof system’s components for LBC review and acceptance—including the sealants, butyl, clips, roof panel, backplates, seam sealant, snow guards and sheets—the roofing system could then be designed and fabricated.

The 22-gauge, 2-ft. mechanically seamed Corten steel standing seam panels sit on top of a precast concrete floor, wall and roof structure. With a 1/12 pitch in a trapezoid shape, the metal panels run as long as 115 ft., and are tied into a ¼-in. plate gutter system running around the roof perimeter.

Contributing to the building’s high rooftop R-90 insulation, high-density EPS insulation with ¾-in. plywood is mechanically attached to the structural metal decking. The roofing contractor also installed a layer of Metshield ice and water shield.

The next step in the installation process was marking the clip layout on the underlayment as the roof required fixed clips. By providing a point of fixity for the metal panels, this allows for thermal movement toward the eave and peak line. The Drexel panels were then lifted by crane and installed with fixed and continuous clips. The clip systems reduce panel stress caused by changes in temperature and help maintain a smooth, uniform appearance.

Each panel was seamed right after installation to protect against wind damage. After completing the peak detail, an S-5 ColorGard snow guard system with 199 clamps was installed. The snow retention system is custom designed and anodized in bronze to match the roof color.

Structurally, the roof is reinforced with superimposed loading of 540 lb/ft2, with a dead load of 390 lb/ft2 and a live load of 150 lb/ft2. The project team also designed the roof to keep boulders away from the walkways on the site and dowels were installed to prevent the upper concrete form from sliding off the roof.

High Altitude Sustainability

The Pikes Peak Summit Complex, which is connected to the U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ new High-Altitude Research Laboratory on the mountain top can be accessed by car or via the modernized cog railroad, originally built in 1891, to travel nine miles up the mountainside.

The north side of the Summit Complex sinks into the mountain to take advantage of the ground’s thermal mass for insulation. The subtle design also allows the mountain itself to take center stage.

“We wanted to create an iconic experience, not an iconic building,” RTA Principal Stuart Coppedge, FAIA, LEED AP, told Civil Engineering magazine. “You can’t out-mountain the mountain. It’s all about the total experience, not some architectural monument.”

On the south side, a high performance curtain wall system with electrochromic glazing in the lobby space enables the building to benefit from passive solar heating, which is tied into a radiant floor system.

While the harsh climate made a rooftop solar panel installation unviable, the Complex is able to import PV renewable energy from another location to make the building net electricity positive.

The building also features rainwater and blackwater collection, treatment and reuse systems. The rainwater supplements municipal water for potable needs and the graywater and blackwater is be treated onsite and reused for toilet flushing.

IMPs Double as Teaching Tool for this STEM-Focused High School

New three-story Mandeville High School classroom building designed by Holly & Smith Architects

With overflowing enrollment, it was time for Mandeville High School in Mandeville, La., to expand. To create an energy-efficient enclosure with a striking, colorful appearance, Holly and Smith architects chose insulated metal panels (IMPs).

Not only do the metal panels offer a weatherproof enclosure with R-values of up to 7 per inch, but a mix of horizontal and vertical blue and grey panels of varying lengths replicate the famous mathematical Fibonacci sequence.

Used as an important teaching tool for the students, the Fibonacci formula is a string of digits where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones. By integrating these values into the size of the IMP panels and windows, the façade achieves what’s called the Golden Ratio of visually appealing proportions, creating a sense of harmony for the subconscious mind.

In mimicking the Fibonacci pattern 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, Driftwood, Dove Gray, Regal Blue, and Slate Blue IMP panels at 12 in., 24 in., 28 in., 31in., 36 in., and 38 in. sizes were mixed and matched to achieve the formula.

New three-story Mandeville High School classroom building designed by Holly & Smith Architects

“The team assigned each different panel a color and selectively placed window openings to make the façade visually interesting and reinforce the pattern,” explains Damon Brown, regional sales manager, Kingspan Insulated Panels North America. “Each floor then mirrors the pattern—1st floor left to right, 2nd floor right to left, etc.—so the pattern does not stack vertically.”

The versatility of the IMPs was key to creating the sizes, orientations, and color changes to produce the aesthetic, educational façade. The design team also incorporated storefront windows with the Kingspan BENCHMARK Designwall 2000 panels to bring natural light into the classrooms.

“The building has classrooms which are more art and STEM focused and the Fibonacci sequence has important connections to art, natural science, math, and technology,” adds Brown.

In addition to the cool looking, energy efficient enclosure, the IMPs also contributed to the project delivery schedule.

“Getting the drywall and the finishing is the part that takes the longest in the building. Getting that stage started sooner is a big time-saver overall on the construction schedule,” reported Holly and Smith Project Architect Paul Morvant, AIA, NCARB, in a Design and Build with Metal article.

The three-story addition was expected to last 18 months, but COVID-19 delayed construction by an additional 6 months. If it hadn’t had been for the IMPs making up for lost time, the delay would have been even longer. Unlike traditional cladding installations requiring multiple trades, IMPs require just one installer – ER Barnes, based in Mandeville.

The new facility houses 38 new classrooms—26 regular classrooms and 12 smaller special education modules—support spaces and a courtyard offering collaborative space for students to study and socialize. The brand new building replaces 32 modular classrooms.

Other planned additions include a renovated locker room area, new HVAC system, and an adjacent, already completed sports practice facility.

Austin Residence Features Trendy, Curved Metal Roof

A sleek, curved standing seam metal roof on four buildings enabled an Austin residence to meet its sustainability and aesthetic goals. Photo courtesy: Green Knight Metal Roofing

Winning a Metal Roofing Alliance 2020 Best Residential Metal Roofing award and an MCA Chairman’s Award, four structures at the Olympus residence in Austin showcase the sustainability and aesthetics of metal roofing.

“The house sits at the bottom of a hill, so their roof is the first thing you see as you drive up,” explains Joel Kenty, CFP, CLU, ChFC, Partner – Business Development, Green Knight Metal Roofing, whose Austin-based company installed 7,500 square feet of standing seam roofing for the project. “The client wanted a ‘wow’ factor for their roof and worked with the architect Bercy Chen Studio on the design.”

What emerged was trendy curved roof which inverts halfway through the approximately 70-foot-long by 30-foot-wide steel, double-lock paneled material. The McElroy Metal Hyperbolic, Parabolic roof incorporates a thinner, 12-inch flat pan roof, instead of the standard 16-inch width. This was done to prevent oil canning and more optimally seam the double lock.

The panels were roll formed on-site and immediately installed with a clip system. Because the fasteners are raised above the level of the metal roofing, this resulted in fewer seams, and a more aesthetic, durable installation.

Metal roofs are quite popular in the Austin area with the influence of the region’s farm houses and barns spreading to the city. While the homeowner desired the material’s sustainability, the family wasn’t interested in the Texas barn metal look, which is why they chose to collaborate with the architect to create a sleek design.

Made from recycled materials and fully recyclable at the end of a long life, the panels incorporate a Kynar coating to reflect harmful UV rays and cool down the attic space. “Metal roofing generally saves between 20 percent and 40 percent on homeowners’ cooling costs,” notes Kenty.

The coating also enhanced the roofing system’s longevity and ability to withstand Austin’s hail, thunderstorms and intense summer heat.

The alternative, asphalt shingles, would have created an adverse effect, absorbing heat and increasing the attic’s temperature. Asphalt also has a very short lifespan, usually ends up in the landfill and as a petroleum product, is not good for the environment.

“The gorgeous roofs featured in this project are truly an architectural highlight of the home,” said MRA Executive Director Renee Ramey. “No other roofing material would have been able to achieve this incredible design, and best of all, it met all the goals the homeowners had for lessening their impact on the environment.”

New North Dakota Airport Terminal Showcases the Durability and Beauty of Metal Panels

Metal panels were generously specified for the award-winning Williston Basin International Airport in Williston, North Dakota.

Driven by oil-related industry, business is booming in Williston, North Dakota. So much so that the airport could no longer keep up with the surge in travel to the region.
In designing the new 110,000-square-foot terminal building for Williston Basin International Airport, Alliance Architects sought a low-maintenance, durable cladding that could withstand the harsh northern winters. Metal emerged as the material of choice and was specified in a number of styles, types, and locations including insulated metal panels (IMPs), single-skin, and corrugated panels.
The façade’s colors blend into the surrounding prairie landscape, stratified limestone of the Missouri River, and the area’s industrial mines.
MCA member companies CENTRIA and Kingspan earned a Metal Construction Association Chairman’s Award in the industrial category, which evaluated the project based upon overall appearance, significance of metal in the project, innovative use of metal, and the role of metal in achieving project objectives.
Serving as a judge for the Chairman’s Awards and Metal Architecture magazine’s annual Design Awards Program, Steven G. Blye, AIA, LEED AP, AMFP, Legat Architects, stated, “This is a great exploration of metal. The patterning is strong and done very effectively. Metal is used in a lot of different textures and forms, but it remains cohesive throughout and works well for a greater whole.”
To create a 10,000-square-foot enclosure at the main entrance elevation and North/South returns, the architects selected Kingspan’s rainscreen façade.
For the west, north, and south sides of the exterior and interior walls, CENTRIA’s EcoScreen Screenwall corrugated metal panels in Allusion Rust were fabricated with mitered corners that wrap window openings and corners of the building. In addition, CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series IMPs were installed with flat and embossed finishes in Silversmith and Dark Bronze at the stair enclosures. The overhang has a five-step soffit and fascia configuration and some of the IMPs were manufactured in parallelogram shapes to maintain vertical joints at sloped fascia.
Alliance Architects also specified CENTRIA’s CS-200 Concept Series single-skin metal wall panels in Dark Bronze at the bridge abutments and interior soffits.
Built to accommodate 350,000 passengers annually, the two-story structure—more than double the size of the former airport—features four gate lounges, a bar, restaurant, retail, and two runways.

Tribeca Mid-Rise Features a Unique Metal Angled Facade

iUniquely angled metal spandrels frame the windows of the 10-story mixed use 108 Chambers in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood and blend into the historic cast iron neighboring buildings.

With its striking metal angled façade, the 10-story mixed use 108 Chambers, also called “The Tribeca Rogue” in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca district, is turning heads.

To create the customized, geometric array of angled spandrels framing the windows on the entire façade, metal was selected for its ability to be easily shaped, formed and cut.

The metal facade panels were fabricated by BAMCO and colored with organic resins of pure aluminum. In addition, a highly reactive ink in the metal’s Bronze Deco finish from Pure+Freeform contains varying levels of luminosity which creates an optical texture and glint. The color and reflectivity of the facade changes with the sun’s movement throughout the day adding additional dimension to the large facade.

A Metal Architecture magazine Design Award winner, one judge on the panel, Christina Bazelmans, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, an associate principal with Lamoureux Pagano Associates, commented, “this struck me as really interesting. It’s innovative, the paneling is bold, and the strong forms are interesting and make an insightful statement about the neighborhood—an all-around unique look.”

The architect Woods Bagot’s design carefully considered the surrounding urban context and the fact that the streets in the Tribeca neighborhood are not straight right angles, as is common in Manhattan. Taking this cue, the architects settled on a 108-degree angle for the protruding metal half frames.

The design also considers the nearby 1875 Italian Renaissance Revival Cary Building in setting its angled panel profile at a similar scale and color as the Cary Building’s cast iron façade and point-arched windows.

In the architects’ assessment of their unique design, they state, “the façade maintains the rhythm of the deep mass and large windows of neighboring buildings through a series of interlocking metal frames. These weathered structures offer a nod to the industrial aesthetic of Tribeca and are positioned to optimize views while maintaining privacy for residents.”

BAMCO engineered and fabricated more than 10,000 square feet of Pure+Freeform’s 3 millimeter-thick aluminum wall panels for the project.

The building’s first two floors house retail space with condominiums occupying the remaining floors. Setbacks in the sixth and eight floors support outdoor terraces for some units.

The bronze finish creates an industrial, weathered look and the interlocking metal frames are designed to lend shading and privacy while optimizing views.