Metal Architecture Home


Metal panels reflect university's aviation- and science-based culture

West Tampa Glass fabricated 130,000 square feet of Alcoa Architectural Products' 4-mm Reynobond aluminum composite material (ACM) with a fire-resistant core for the College of Arts and Sciences Building at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla. The 140,000-squarefoot building was built with a structural steel frame, and an exterior skin of curtainwall and Reynobond ACM wall panels. Sweeping, curved forms were intended to reinforce the concept of motion. Beams of curved steel clad in Reynobond ACM appear to pop out of the building and stab back into it. In other areas, the Reynobond panels appear to end with crisp angles, as if sheared for wind-resistance, according to Leo A Daly, the project architect.

Ron Wiendl, AIA, design director at Leo A Daly, says the metal panel exterior envelope design was intended to reflect Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's aviation- and science-based culture. "The form of the architecture is based on the concept of the study of motion and reflects how the air and water forces being studied inside the building curve and bend around the building's solid surfaces," he says.

The project utilized 72,000 square feet of ACM in Bone White Colorweld 500 coating and 48,000 square feet in Platinum Colorweld 500 coating for the exterior walls, beams and soffits. Additionally, 10,000 square feet of Platinum ACM was used on the interior walls and soffits in the lobby.

A WTG 200 dry-joint rainscreen panel system with 1/2-inch-wide vertical joints colored to match and blend with adjacent panels was installed. The 1 1/2-inch-tall, horizontal joint lines were finished with Deep Black panel strip infills to lead the eye across the face of the building and create the illusion that the Reynobond panels are streaming across the façade in a current. The panel joints align with window mullions and glazing segmentation.

Roger Campla, vice president of preconstruction at West Tampa Glass, says the rainscreen design required special layout, schedule sequencing and coordination with sheathing and waterproofing trades ahead of installation. "We incorporated special 3-D scanning equipment along with physical verification in determining building variances within 1/16-inch of plumb, level and alignment for the WTG 200 system's tolerance," he explains.

Campla notes West Tampa Glass used a segmented approach for the installation. "Many panels were unique because of the changing angles of the return legs," he says. "So sequencing during fabrication and installation became even more critical than normal. It was also difficult to physically transfer a good layout from the Revit drawing into the beams, which made the joint alignment during the installation challenging. Layout was critical as the horizontal joint lines continued around the entire building from the flying beams to the wall panels. They never terminated and eventually came together. Maintaining the elevation was key."

Deep blue glass was specified for the curtainwall to create a jet blue windshield illusion on the building. The steel beams were covered with field-applied, spray-on fire protection and sheathing wrap. West Tampa Glass adjusted sizes and the layout in many cases to allow for beam twist, levelness and alignment irregularities.

Architect: Leo A Daly, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Fabricator: West Tampa Glass, Tampa, Fla.,

Aluminum composite material: Reynobond by Alcoa Architectural Products, Norcross, Ga.,