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Metal panels install replacement flexibility

When designing The Eagle Center at McGogney, Washington, D.C., the owners sought an intellectually stimulating, sustainable environment for more than 900 students that resembled its previous castle-like building.

When designing The Eagle Center at McGogney, Washington, D.C., the owners sought an intellectually stimulating, sustainable environment for more than 900 students that resembled its previous castle-like building.

The 27,000-square-foot early childhood public charter school, owned by The Eagle Academy Public Charter School, is located in the southeast side of the city and security was a concern. Architects specified 13,000 square feet of UniQuad panels from Lake Forest, Ill.-based CPI Daylighting.

The system provided building envelope protection with Removable Skin Technology that allows an exterior panel to be replaced as needed. Carlos Talero, architect at Washington, D.C.-based Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design, says the school was in a zone prone to vandalism. "If they have a problem with it, panels can be removed one at a time," he says.

CPI Daylighting created a custom seamless glazed look without exposed aluminum connectors. This included a bi-colored design, alternating 27-foot-tall, blue and white panels on the inside. The outside panels are matte-finished for security and daytime privacy.

UniQuad panels provide the school a 0.22 U-value, 50 percent light transmission and 100 percent haze. "We picked a system that would give them the daylight they wanted without having to use windows," Talero says. "The UniQuad provides an interesting effect inside, durable material and a great aesthetic."

John Johnson, director of security/facilities at The Eagle Academy Public Charter School, says they haven't had any water issues or leaks. "We've had some days with heavy winds and I've walked into the gym to see if I can feel anything, but the panels are airtight," he says.

The project was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification and the UniQuad panels are one of many energy-saving features. "You get a lot of your daylighting points fulfilled without the negative glare views with UniQuad," Talero says. "In the gym, they almost never use the metal halides. When it's bright and sunny out, you don't notice the lights are off."

CPI Daylighting, www.cpidaylighting.com