Metal wall panels save money and add interest at the University of Texas.
The University of Texas at Tyler created plans to add a STEM and business building to its expanding campus to attract students from across the country. The original specification called for aluminum composite material (ACM) to match metal wall panels on the College of Pharmacy Building. However, the construction team was looking for an alternative to save money and speed up installation. Additionally, the design team was not willing to compromise on design, so they wanted a system which could expand their creative possibilities. The team was also looking for alternatives for the wood soffit. They needed something which would not only meet the budget concerns, but also have superior longevity.
The architects at SmithGroup, Dallas, recognized the significance of this project for the campus and the need for a façade with a bold statement. “The university is in a transitional time as it is setting goals for growth,” says Randall Daniel, design architect with the firm. “This project is very significant for the campus as it strives to become more well-known on a larger scale.”
Cost savings, design options and speed of installation were brought to the table by utilizing Shadow Series wall panels from Dri-Design.
“We were involved in the early bidding process, and we worked with the general contractor and architect to switch from ACM to Dri-Design,” says Preston Pressley, vice president of business development and marketing with Baker Triangle, Mesquite, Texas. “We have worked with Dri-Design many times, so we know the impact the panels can have on a project.”
Baker Triangle installed 44,990 square feet of 0.80-inch Shadow Series panels in a Dark Bronze Mica color along with an Inspire wood grain pattern for the soffit. Pressley notes the Wood Grain print mimics the aesthetic of wood but with the durability of metal. Shadow Series panels add depth and definition to any architectural design. Individual panels can be manufactured at varying depths to create texture or a dynamic variation in patterns while keeping the substrate and weather barrier in the same plane. All Dri-Design wall panels have true dry joints with no gaskets or sealants. The panels are single-skin and are not composites. They are available in any color, with Fluoropolymer-based paints for long-lasting finish durability. Finishers use a 100% air capture system to destroy the VOCs produced, so thereis no adverse environmental impact.