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Military chapel allies with metal

Architecture firm Bignell, Watkins, Hasser Architects, Annapolis, Md., and Gardiner & Gardiner Contracting LLC, Crofton, Md., general contractor and an Eufaula, Ala.-based American Buildings Co. builder, utilized American Buildings' Clear Span metal building system, Standing Steam 360 metal roof panels in Dark Bronze and Architectural III metal wall panels in Surrey Beige on the Dover Air Force Base chapel in Dover, Del.

Architecture firm Bignell, Watkins, Hasser Architects, Annapolis, Md., and Gardiner & Gardiner Contracting LLC, Crofton, Md., general contractor and an Eufaula, Ala.-based American Buildings Co. builder, utilized American Buildings' Clear Span metal building system, Standing Steam 360 metal roof panels in Dark Bronze and Architectural III metal wall panels in Surrey Beige on the Dover Air Force Base chapel in Dover, Del.

Completed in October 2012, the exterior elevations on the 20,000-square-foot facility were designed to avoid specific architectural elements associated with individual faiths while still retaining the image of a place of religious worship. The building entry points are indicated by landscaped approaches and building placement.

The facility has three main areas connected by shared resource areas key to each group: an administration and education space, 300-seat sanctuary and space for Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations.

A project goal was to provide a separation of the formal atmosphere of the sanctuary, the multipurpose and great rooms and the daily use of the administration and educational area. The administration and education area is connected with the sanctuary by a hallway that provides access to these facilities from the administration and education area without interaction with the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations. The sanctuary is connected to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations by a hallway that accesses the multipurpose room and kitchen. This allows the kitchen to be used by the multipurpose room and the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, while the multipurpose room acts as overflow or special use space for the sanctuary and the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations. The multipurpose room can be subdivided and used by the sanctuary and Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations at the same time.

Major architectural components of the LEED Silver-certified building include masonry, EIFS, metal standing seam roof system, doors and windows. Masonry was used at the wall bases, which are areas of high abuse, and the stucco finish system is elevated where it is less likely to be touched or damaged. The facility was designed so the materials and equipment would satisfy functional and operational requirements, and exceed minimum acceptable quality including aesthetics, durability, maintainability and reliability specified in the request for proposal.

American Buildings Co., www.americanbuildings.com