Tag Archives: Metal Building Materials

Got Metal Construction Questions? We’ve Got Ask-The-Experts Answers

When it comes to new commercial construction, it’s helpful for architects and engineers to have reliable resources at their disposal for questions related to planning, designing, and building. The Metal Construction Association’s Ask The Experts is an online discussion forum for exchanging technical information concerning the use of metal in commercial construction, including general material and metal installation questions.

This spring has been a big season for new commercial construction projects and MCA has seen some trends with forum questions and discussions related to the following topics:

• Choosing Metal for Commercial Construction: New commercial construction can take a lot of building research between owners, architects, and engineers. For questions related to ‘choosing metal’, this topic is great for viewing previous discussions on metal being the best solution for commercial construction, types of metal, and more.

• Metal Installation: Installing metal for commercial construction can be a complex task for all engineers and contractors involved. For questions related to ‘metal structure installation’, this topic is great for viewing previous discussions on metal wall and roof installation.

• Metal Construction Engineering: Commercial engineering is a major part of the construction process with technical and strategic planning. For questions related to ‘metal construction engineering’, this topic is great for viewing previous discussions on testing, metal application, and diaphragms.

• Metal Maintenance: Building commercial structures with any material leads building owners to speculate on life expectancy, maintenance, and upkeep. For questions related to ‘metal building maintenance’, this topic is great for viewing previous discussions on common maintenance issues and weather myths.

• Metal Wall Panels: A popular commercial construction addition is metal wall panels. For questions related to ‘metal wall panels’, this topic is great for viewing previous discussions on Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs), manufacturers, and alternative wall solutions.

Find helpful metal construction discussions and create new topics for our expert panel. For more information related to these popular topics this season, please visit the Ask The Experts forum today.

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.

Kriner to Present at Energy Efficient Roofing Conference on April 8

Energy Roofing Conference LogoAttending the Energy Efficient Roofing Conference in Charlotte, NC, next week? Don’t miss Scott Kriner’s presentation on the integrated energy efficient metal roof retrofit system at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX.

“This Department of Defense (DOD) demonstration project is a result of the $1 million Environmental Security Technology Certification Program grant, which was awarded to a team of industry professionals representing metal roofing, retrofitting, solar technologies, insulation, and the Metal Construction Association  (MCA),” said Kriner, MCA technical director. Results of the installation are expected later this year.

Kriner will be presenting on Monday, April 8, from 3:50–4:10 pm. At 4:30 pm he will serve as a panelist in a Q&A session.

The Transformative Power of Zinc

Zinc Wall PanelsWith the help of zinc wall panels, you’d never guess that this retail building, located in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago, was formerly a Borders bookstore. The black and patina-blue VMZinc flat lock panels are not only versatile and extremely durable, but they add visual interest, even an edginess, to the building design, say Jim Tuschall of Tuschall Engineering Company Inc., Burr Ridge, IL, and architect Wil Bruchmann of Antunovich Associates, Chicago.

Zinc Wall Panelling

The project serves as an anchor to a revitalized retail street corridor near the University of Chicago campus. Slated to open in June, the building houses a women’s clothing store and yoga studio in the front portion colored blue, and a high-end restaurant and music venue in the black- colored back.

“I was drawn to the patinaed zinc because itsWall Detail Close-Up WEB color changes slightly with the time of day, weather, and seasons. Every time you look at the building, it has a whole different color that can range from gray to aqua blue to anywhere in between,” says Bruchmann. “The panels are uniform height but random lengths. Adding detail to the wall also created a dynamic transition between the two colors, which mimic the differing uses within the building.”

Bruchmann also notes the long life of zinc. “It ages well over time and is very resilient,” he says. “There’s no question in mind that this was the best product for this particular project. There’s no other material out there that could create this sort of look and feel.”

Pre-Zinc Metal Panels On Chicago Building
Before
Metal Chicago Building Adds Zinc
After

Solar Roofs Revisited: Economic Benefits as well as Green Benefits

Metal Roofing and Solar PanelsBy: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

The connection (pun intended) between metal roofing and solar (photovoltaic) systems has been a common theme for the Metal Construction Association’s The Metal Initiative these past few months. See some of the latest blog entries from February and December. We also recently hosted a webinar for architects on the metal roofing and solar topic. If you missed us, sign up for our next “Metal Roofing: The Perfect Platform for Solar Technologies” webinar.

And our friends at DesignandBuildwithMetal.com have been covering the story, publishing two stories on the topic recently. Ken Buchinger from MBCI recently wrote an article that shared his perspective about why standing seam metal roofs make the perfect platform for photovoltaic (PV) systems because the roofs have a service life that is likely to outlive the PV system, and because the systems can be mounted to metal roofs without penetrating the roof. Bob Zabcik of NCI Group, Inc. also penned an article that confronts common misconceptions about solar roofing.

We’re used to hearing about the well-established green and sustainable benefits of solar roofing, but Bob and Ken both take the stance that there are significant economical benefits in solar roofing, as well. PV systems can be expensive, but over time these systems can generate significant returns on the initial investment. And to protect that investment, metal roofing is the ideal platform for PV systems.

Solar roofsJoin us for our next “Metal Roofing: The Perfect Platform for Solar Technologies” webinar and earn AIA CES credits, or feel free to visit our event calendar for other events and webinars that may be of interest.

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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.

Metal Construction Association Unveils Interactive Heritage Site

The Metal Construction Association  (MCA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, and to celebrate its rich history MCA has launched a new Heritage section on its website.

Since 1983, MCA has been privileged to represent the metal construction industry, and to help expand the amount of metal used in building envelopes. The association has guided its efforts with three distinct purposes:

• Universally promoting metal’s identity
• Unifying our industry
• And educating about metal’s benefits in construction.

The Heritage section is a media-rich, interactive timeline that features significant milestones from MCA’s history. Take a look at the site, enjoy a trip down memory lane, and learn more about the value that MCA has brought to the metal construction industry.

The Metal Initiative–MCA’s market development initiative launched in 2005–is proud to play a key role in strengthening MCA’s mission: To expand the use of metal in construction through marketing, technology and education.

MCA is excited and looking forward to the next 30 years!

Building Green Gathers Momentum

GreenBuild Expo Logo

Representatives from the Metal Construction Association’sThe Metal Initiative, attended the Greenbuild Expo in San Francisco last week. It was great to be in a setting where so many professionals are devoted to building green. The movement has shifted, however—architects and building owners are building green not just because they want to do the right thing, they are doing it because it makes good business sense.

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.

Retro Metal Is Always “In”

No, we’re not referring to retro metal music like Kiss or Quiet Riot. We’re talking about retrofitting buildings with metal roofs and metal walls.

Retro metal roof on a elementary school   Elementary school with retrofit 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 Management magazine 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.

Interested in learning more about retrofitting with metal walls and roofs? Register for the free “Retrofitting with Metal Roof and Wall Systems” webinar on November 6.

Visit our Retrofit page for additional resources about retrofitting with metal. Or visit our Case Study library, and search for “Retrofit” to learn more about inspiring retrofit projects.