Tag Archives: design

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.

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.

Grupo ARKHOSBy: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

I was excited to see the Chihuahua Businessmen Foundation, (FECHAC) featured in Architect Magazine‘s project gallery today. The project—MCA’s 2012 Chairman’s Award Winner for Overall Excellence—is an outstanding example of ingenuity and resourcefullness, and an innovative application of Reynobond Composite Aluminum MCM panels. Grupo ARKHOS, the architect for the project, is well deserving of the many accolades it has received for the project.

Read more about the project–and more than 60 others–in the case study library.

Grand Central Terminal Turns 100 – Thanks in Part to Copper Roof

By John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

 Grand Central Terminal This month Grand Central Terminal in New York City is celebrating its 100th birthday. The iconic landmark has been a transportation hub for generations of travelers and commuters, and a destination for tourists and visitors looking to get a flavor for the Big Apple’s history.

I had the good fortune of working several blocks of Grand Central for several years prior to joining the Metal Construction Association, and often visited it to grab a bite for lunch, meet a friend who was coming to town, or just to enjoy the beauty of the main concourse.Grand Central Roof Detail 2

While the main concourse is stunning, and on each visit I would notice for the first time architectural details that I had never noticed before, I always found Grand Central’s copper roof to be striking. With its green-patina and ornate details, it seemed to be the perfect crown for one of the city’s most impressive landmarks.

But after spending time with MCA, I now have a greater appreciation for what that roof represents. It’s not just a beautiful architectural detail, but it’s also a high-performance feature that helped the building stand the test of time. The original roof, installed in 1913, was recently replaced with a new copper roof as part of a recent renovation, even though engineers determined that it was still serviceable almost 100 years later. That’s something that the average person might take for granted, or not fully appreciate. But not only did the copper roof look great, it performed well for nearly a century.Grand Central - Roof Detail

That’s 100 years. In New York City. That is quite an accomplishment, and speaks to the performance and beauty of metal roofs.

Green Building Pioneer: Use Commonsense Roofing Design

The greenest house in AmericaIn a recent presentation at METALCON in Chicago, IL, Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA, principal, Barley & Pfeiffer Architects, Austin, TX, discussed some commonsense ideas for building and living green. Pfeiffer, a pioneer in green building who owns “the greenest house in America,” stressed the cost-effectiveness of conserving energy in simple ways, such as adjusting your sprinkler system, placing your electrical panel on an interior (instead of an exterior) wall, and having your roof act as a shading umbrella.

Green Roofing System
“A roof should act as a shading umbrella,” Pfeiffer said. “R-value means little if the house leaks, the windows are unshaded, or the roof is a dark color.”

“Don’t underestimate the value of discussing the obvious,” said Pfeiffer. “R-value means little if the house leaks, windows are unshaded, or the roof is a dark color. This is obvious stuff.” He added that sensible green building is “smarter and better” because it results in “reduced consumption of stuff,” such as energy, water, and nonrenewable materials. This type of building also improves health and indoor air quality.

Pfeiffer stressed that producing your own power is expensive. “Shading windows is better than adding [high-maintenance] solar roof panels. Light-colored metal roofs with broad overhangs that shade windows save money and are easier to maintain.”

How do you accomplish green building? Pfeiffer stated, “Keep it simple and rely on smart, thoughtful, climate-sensitive design.” He said that gizmos and complex things break, and are expensive and time-consuming to fix. Instead, make practical changes to your house, such as using Energy Star dishwashers, low-flow showerheads, and less hot water (instead of buying a fancy water heater). Also, don’t use dark roofs in the South.

Pfeiffer is a proponent of cool metal roofing/ASV ventilation. Unlike conventional roofing insulation, ventilation makes the roof last longer because it doesn’t lock in moisture. A Galvalume metal roof with an airspace underneath keeps heat in the house, he said, and a metal roof costs more than shingles, but it provides long-term cost savings on energy and insurance.

Solar radiation is a “big, powerful thing—and it’s uncomfortable. You need overhangs. Retrofitting with window awnings cuts air conditioning loads by a third by reducing radiation.”

Billings for Design Projects Rise

Improvements to the metal construction industry2013 is looking promising for architects. A recent Wall Street Journal article, Demand for Architects Builds Momentum, reports that billings of design projects at architecture firms rose 4 consecutive months after having been depressed for 4 years in a languishing housing and real-estate market. The American Institute for Architects’—Architecture Billings Index—rose to 53.2 in November, up two points from the previous year and the highest reading since November 2007. A reading above 50 indicates that billings are increasing.

According to the article, if the trend continues, architecture firms will need to hire new design teams—welcome news for working architects, whose numbers declined to 153,000 in 2011 from 214,000 in 2007. “Rising billings also are viewed as a gauge of future construction activity because real-estate developers tend to break ground on new projects 9–12 months after they hire design firms,” it reads. And with that, 2013 is looking promising for metal construction as well.

School Construction Trending Towards Metal

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

My daughter just started kindergarten this fall, and picking her up from school each day often reminds me of my days in grammar school. The brick-walled schools that I attended years ago are still in use today (they seemed so much bigger back then), and still providing students with a great environment in which to learn.

But just as I am reminded that every year I am getting older, there are reminders that the country’s thousands of school buildings are aging, too. Many are being replaced with new, state-of-the-art schools, and many more are being retrofitted to make them current with the latest education, technology and energy standards.

Retrofitted High School
William Allen High School, Allentown, PA

And with more frequency than in the past, those familiar brick walls are being upgraded and replaced with new, energy-efficient metal walls and roofs. Take, for instance, the Metal Construction Association’s newest case study on the William Allen High School in Allentown, PA. The school—originally constructed with brick masonry—had outgrown its existing space, so they built a new addition on an adjacent lot. The exterior of the new building is a combination of brick and metal panels, with the majority of wall surfaces being insulated metal panels (IMPs).

The metal complements the brick aesthetically—a trend that we are seeing more and more of—and it helped the new building attain LEED gold certification. Not only are the IMPs energy-efficient, but the added benefit of quick installation (IMPs allowed the building to be enclosed with insulation and the finished panel in one shot) made them an ideal choice for this project.

Check out our case study library for additional examples of how schools—new and old—are making use of metal walls and roofs.

The Beauty of Steep-Slope Metal Roofs

Todd Miller

By: Todd Miller, Isaiah Industries, Inc.

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.NJ church with standing seam metal roof

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.

Metal roof revitalizes historic landmark

MCA Board Chairman Todd Miller is president of Isaiah Industries, Piqua, OH.