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Readers' Choice Awards for 2015

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Last year, our readers dug into Metal Architecture and followed our coverage on products through our articles and our ads. They expressed interest by seeking more information about the hundreds of products and projects throughout the year, and we tabulated their responses. The results give us the Metal Architecture Readers' Choice Awards for 2015.

We measured our readers' interest by the number of leads they generated for each mention and then ranked them. The winners of the awards are the 20 products that received the most leads from being featured in the editorial content of the magazine.

This is the second year that we've identified the top products, and much like last year, we discovered that architects are focused on learning more about sustainable building practices, especially energy systems such as photovoltaics, and energy conservation such as insulation systems. It is all about keeping current and informed to improve building performance, and our readers focused on products that would give them design flexibility. To accent the need to flexibility, many of our winners this year were improved daylighting systems, designed to help get the natural light into the interior of the building.

But the winners aren't all about capturing the sun or letting the sunlight in. Many of them fulfill the very basic need of any structure, protection from the elements, and in that category, controlling moisture got our readers' special interest. Please take a look at the 20 selections for Metal Architecture's Readers' Choice Awards for 2015.


MBCI Solar Panel

MBCI Photovoltaic Systems
January 2014

MBCI produces two photovoltaic systems. The first is a rigid glass-based polycrystalline silicon module installed on standing seam metal roofs using a non-penetrating clamp that mechanically attaches to the seam. The second system is flexible thin film typically adhered to the metal roof panel in a factory, which allows the photovoltaic array to be installed with the roof panels.

CPI Panel

2. CPI Daylighting Inc.
UniQuad Structural Translucent Panel System
April 2014

CPI Daylighting's UniQuad structural translucent panel system is an assembly of two independent translucent insulated panels joined by a mechanically interlocking structural connection that eliminates the need for adhesives. The UniQuad system can span up to 12 feet without compromising panel deflection, is available with up to 0.22 U-value and 50 percent light transmission, and has Removable Skin Technology that allows the exterior panel to be replaced as needed.

Mounting Systems

3. Mounting Systems Inc.
Tau+ Solar Module Fasteners
January 2014

Mounting Systems' Tau + is a system for mounting solar modules on trapezoidal sheet metal roofs. The Tau+'s fasteners and Clickstone attachment technology increase installation speed and roof strength.


4. AmeriLux International
LEXAPANEL Standing Seam Systems
April 2014

AmeriLux International's LEXAPANEL Standing Seam System is manufactured with LEXAN polycarbonate, which has high light transmittance and thermal resistance. The LEXAPANEL system has a high load capacity and can be used in glazing applications including canopies, skylights and overhangs.

5. Conserval Systems Inc.
SolarWall Systems
January 2014

SolarWall air heating and ventilation systems use the sun's energy to pre-heat ventilation air for buildings and crop-and-process drying applications. Depending on the size and application, SolarWall systems can displace 20 to 50 percent of heating fuel consumption and can also act as a rainscreen.


6. Covertech Fabricating Inc.
rFoil Reflective Insulation
January 2014

Covertech's rFoil reflective insulation is designed to control heat gain and loss, and prevent interior condensation on all types of metal buildings. The insulation is made of polyethylene bubbles bonded to and sandwiched between a radiant barrier metalized foil and a white polyethylene sheet.


7. Huber Engineered Woods
ZIP System
March 2014

Huber Engineered Woods' ZIP System radiant barrier incorporates ZIP System technology with radiant heat protection. ZIP System radiant barrier roof panels are available in 1/2-, 5/8- and 7/16-inch thicknesses and block up to 97 percent of radiant heat transfer, which can lower attic temperatures by as much as 30 degrees. The all-in-one sheathing makes installation more efficient and the roof panels eliminate the need for felt paper.

Major Industries

8. Major Industries Inc.
LightBasic Quick Ship Skylights
April 2014

Major Industries Inc.'s LightBasic Quick Ship Skylights are pre-engineered, feature a self-flashing design, and are ship assembled in a number of standard sizes from 4 by 4 feet to 5 by 20 feet. The translucent, single-slope skylights blend glare-free light, economy and thermal performance in a single package.

Big Ass Fans

9. Big Ass Fan Co.
Isis Fan
March 2014

Big Ass Fans' Isis fans, available in 8- to 12-foot diameter models, provide efficient airflow in a lighter, smaller package and incorporate the same components and aerodynamic principals as industrial Big Ass Fans. Isis fans are suitable in commercial spaces including restaurants, bars, health clubs, libraries and offices.


10. Englert Inc.
E-375 Commercial/Residential Soffit Panel
December 2014

Englert's E-375 Commercial/Residential Soffit Panel in solid or vented styles features a 3/8-inch Deep V-Groove, unobtrusive seams with a positive lock and concealed fasteners. E-375 Commercial/Residential Soffit Panels provide a net-free ventilation area of 10.12 square inches per square foot.


11. Solatube International Inc.
February 2014

Solatube International Inc.'s new SkyVault with a 29-inch diameter opening features an amplifier that reorients daylight downward to increase optical efficiency. The tubular daylighting device eases glare, reduces light loss at ceiling level and focuses light downward in high-bay applications for greater light availability at task level. Airports, convention centers, lobbies, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, retail centers and other large spaces with high ceilings are ideal for SkyVaults, which maximizes output, minimizing impact on the building envelope and reduces installation costs. Higher daytime luminance and more space between units results in fewer roof penetrations. SkyVaults have insulated, sealed, curb-mounted roof assemblies that integrate into the vapor barrier and minimize heat loss and gain through the roof.


12. ATAS International Inc.
InSpire Wall
January 2014

InSpire Wall by ATAS is a metal wall panel that acts as an auxiliary component to a heating system. It heats fresh air and utilizes free solar energy. The InSpire wall panel, a transpired solar collector, is mounted a few inches from the building's outer wall. The precision perforations in the wall panels allow outside air to travel through the panel's face. Solar-heated air at the surface of the panel is drawn through the perforations where it rises between the two walls and enters the building's central ventilation system or supply fan.


13. CertainTeed Corp.
MemBrain Vapor Retarder
January 2014

CertainTeed's MemBrain vapor retarder and air barrier breathes and allows excess moisture to escape from wall cavities. The vapor retarder and air barrier is a polyamide film that changes permeability from less than one perm at low humidity, such as during winter, to greater than 20 perms at high relative humidity. It is used in place of traditional polyethylene vapor retarders with un-faced fiberglass insulation to provide an insulation system for areas with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.


14. MacroAir Technologies Inc.
AirElite Fan
March 2014

MacroAir's AirElite fan, available in 8- to 20-foot diameters, has a 1/2-horsepower motor, onboard electronics and integrated control system. AirElite delivers high-power industrial performance in a quiet, low-profile package.


15. Mitsubishi Electric U.S. Inc.
Variable Refrigerant Flow Zoning R2-Series and Y-Series
March 2014

Mitsubishi Electric enhanced its Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning R2-Series and Y-Series cooling and heating systems with a smaller footprint, improved heating startup and other efficiencies. The enhanced models operate quietly and simultaneously heat and cool zones. VRF zoning systems are outdoor units suitable for commercial applications.


16. Butler Manufacturing
SunLite Strip Daylighting System
April 2014

Butler Manufacturing teamed with Sunoptics to deliver the SunLite Strip daylighting system, a patented, self-curbing system developed for applications to the Butler MR-24 standing seam metal roof system. The 24-inch-wide system fits on top of the seams of the MR-24 panels, using the seams for structural support to remove it from water flow. The dome construction with prismatic embossing captures more light at low sun angles than other lenses. Thousands of mirror-like elements along a SunLite Strip lens magnify the effect of light transmission into a building and maintain 100 percent diffusion, eliminating hot spots, glare and ultraviolet damage. The SunLite Strip frame has a self-curbing design that avoids the risk of leaks around flashings of conventional skylights.


17. Firestone Building Products Co.
CLAD-GARD SA Underlayment
December 2014

Firestone Building Products' CLAD-GARD SA Underlayment is a self-adhered metal roofing underlayment with a non-reinforced, rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane for flexibility, adhesion and traction. The membrane is water- and fire-resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 250 F. It may be applied to Firestone Building Products' ISO 95+ GL Insulation, ISOGARD HD Cover Board, RESISTA Insulation, HailGard Composite Insulation, OSB and plywood substrates.


18. GRAPHISOFT North America Inc.
ArchiCAD STAR(T) Edition 2014
February 2014

GRAPHISOFT's ArchiCAD STAR(T) Edition 2014 features tools to create a Building Information Model (BIM) which can be used to generate architectural documentation including floor plans, sections/elevations, 3-D views and details, as well as the bill of materials. Advanced modeling tools including the Shell tool, MORPH tool and priority-based connections are also included within STAR(T) 2014.


19. Carlisle Metal Products
CM150 SL System Roofing
January 2014

A sloped shingle roof tied into a flat singly-ply roof on the Mount Bethel Fire Hall in Mount Bethel, Pa., was replaced by a CM 150 Snap Lock system metal roof. The 16-inch-wide panels with striations were used to address potential oil canning in the design, completed by Rohrbach Associates PC, Iowa City, Iowa. Carlisle Metal Products, Carlisle, Pa., supplied the metal- and single-ply roof areas. Alan Kunsman Roofing & Siding Inc., Freemansburg, Pa., also installed CMP FW1 Soffit Panels and CMP Fascia and Gutter.


20. Metal-Era Inc.
Hi-Perf Ridge Vent Slope to Slope Shingled Version
September 2014

Metal-Era Inc.'s Hi-Perf Ridge Vent Slope to Slope Shingled Version provides exhaust airflow at the ridge to help prevent heat buildup and moisture accumulation underneath the roof covering. The ridge vent comes preassembled. Prior to Hi-Perf Ridge Vent, multiple components needed to be assembled in the field.