Renovation Overtook New Construction in 2022

In 2022, architectural billings for renovation overtook new construction at commercial, industrial and institutional firms by wide margins. According to AIA’s Chief Economist Kermit Baker, the last time design services were so heavily weighted toward renovation was likely during the Great Depression. The increase in firm billings from renovations, rehabilitations, additions and historic preservation has grown significantly over the last 15 years as building stock ages.

Source: The Business of Architecture: 2022 AIA Firm Survey Report

The Possibilities are Endless with MCM

Bend it, curve it, transform it. If you can dream it, Metal Composite Material can help you make it. “Individual Parts Bring A Greater Whole – A Primer on MCM” is a written course that will get you up to speed on the benefits of MCM.

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Photo courtesy of Arconic Architectural Products

Double-Curved Metal Bridge Provides Key Urban Link in Colorado Springs

Joining Architectural Digest’s coveted 2022 Works of Wonder list and earning the first place slot in MCA’s 2022 single skin metal panels category, the new Park Union Pedestrian Bridge is a 250-foot-long, curved steel bridge spanning over an active railyard and serving as a key urban link for Colorado Springs.

Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the unique double-curved geometry rises from opposite and opposing sides of the bridge, meeting at interlocking open loops in the middle where pedestrians are afforded framed views of downtown Colorado Springs, the adjacent U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum (USOPM), the railyard below and the Rocky Mountains in the distance.

“The bridge is an exercise in fitness – both in terms of material and geometry. The hybrid steel structure system functions as an arch and a truss, elegantly preserving views from downtown to the majestic mountain ranges of Pikes Peak,” said DS+R Partner-in-Charge and Lead Designer Benjamin Gilmartin, AIA.

Fabricated and installed by MG McGrath, the flat and curved panels are made from a 25-inch aluminum plate material with a 3-coat fluoropolymer finish. Close to 2,000 square feet of the custom panels were installed on bridge’s interior near the deck and around the circular oculus. The panels were designed and engineered to withstand extensive wind and live loads, in addition to accommodating the movement of the bridge structure.

Metal was selected as an elegant way to connect the America the Beautiful Park with USOPM. It also achieved the design intent for a modern bridge that blended well with USOPM’s metal facade, also designed by DS+R and fabricated/installed by MG McGrath.

The futuristic-looking bridge takes its inspiration from the gravity-defying motion of Olympic athletes with its steel structure appearing to float above the railyard.

“Metal beautifully matched the modernity and awe of the museum while being flexible and customizable enough to fit the curves and geometry of the arching overhead slopes,” said Allison Gladkowki, marketing specialist, MG McGrath.

The bridge was prefabricated in a Houston shop and assembled in a staging area. Next, a full fit up was conducted to ensure a continuous geometry. The bridge was then delivered to the site in sections, assembled, and welded together on the ground next to the rail yard. The full fit out included an 8 ½-inch concrete walking surface, parapets and architectural finishes.

The full 300-ton superstructure was then driven into place using self-propelled modular transporters to place the bridge on its abutments within an eight-hour window to minimize outage for the rail lines and yard later. 

The bridge’s generous width supports both pedestrians and bikers with access by stair and a glass elevator.

Single Skin Metal Panels Bring A New Chapter to Library

When the Missouri City Branch Library wanted a design that served as a welcoming beacon to the community, single skin panels were the natural choice. The panels provide sleek design and are environmentally friendly and recyclable at the end of the life cycle.

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Case Study and Photo courtesy of CENTRIA Nucor

Raising the Roof on Sales

The annual Commercial Roofing Report from Roofing Contractor Magazine revealed that 72% of participants reported increased sales in 2022. That seemed to fuel optimism for 2023 with the same percentage anticipating growth in total sales volume in the coming year. That’s great news for our industry!

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MCA Member Photo Courtesy of Isaiah Industries, Inc.

How Best to Reinvent the “Look” of Modern Healthcare?

With the Cutting Edge Looks of MCM

SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and Saint Louis University School of Medicine’s design mission was to create a facility that would provide first-rate patient care while leaving room for future expansions to the facility. Choosing Metal Composite Material (MCM) panels ensured the project was completed on time, under budget and meeting all the expectations of the project management team.

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