Utility Facility Features Gas-Flame Blue Roof

Oct. 19, 2021

The Sevier County Utility District uses a metal roof as its calling card, using more than 13,500 sq. ft. of metal panels finished in gas-flame blue.

Sevierville, Tenn.
BarberMcMurry Architects
© hortonphotoinc.com

Based in the county seat of Sevierville, the Sevier County Utility District (SCUD) serves more than 14,000 customers in Sevier and adjacent Blount counties. When the utility, which is also an agency of the county’s government, determined it needed a new employee training facility, it decided the new structure should offer amenities to the broader community as well.

Located on a larger campus of other utility buildings, the 9,500-sq.-ft. center provides a commercial-quality kitchen and a multifunction area that are available to area organizations for meetings, parties and other gatherings. According to A. J. Heidel, aia, an associate with the project’s Knoxville-based designers, BarberMcMurry Architects, establishing a sense of welcome was a priority from the start.


“Sevier County Utility District wanted a building that would be inviting, attractive and be able to accommodate a wide variety of events when rented out,” he says. “When people drive up and see this building, we wanted them to see a design that was thoughtful of its surroundings yet has a presence that stands on its own.”

Heidel explains that the facility’s metal roof helps define its two primary volumes, the first housing offices, conferences rooms, catering kitchen and hallways and the second, which is entirely given over to the multipurpose assembly space. “The first, lower volume, is characterized by a standing seam roof that wraps from the base of the walls, up and over to the opposite ground,” he says. “The second volume is accented by a high, blue butterfly roof held up by an exposed steel structure. This roof matches the existing buildings on SCUD’s campus and ties back to the utility’s branding elements of the blue natural gas flame.”


Metal was the design team’s roofing material of choice from the beginning, Heidel says, “because its material properties allow for a range of colors and ribbing patterns, and because of its ability to act as a wall cladding as well as roof. We were able to give different characteristics to separate volumes by changing from blue, smooth, flat-lock panels to musket gray ribbed panels, while maintaining a similar method of installation.”

However, initial plans had called for the metal panels to be insulated, an idea that butted up against budget concerns. “The owner-architect-contractor team determined the standing seam metal panels, with a more traditional wall assembly, were more cost effective,” Heidel says. “We knew from the outset that this change might happen, and we think the end result serves well as the exterior cladding.”

To supply the standing seam products, the installers with Knoxville-based Baird and Wilson Sheetmetal suggested three different profiles from Petersen’s PAC-CLAD line all in Berkshire Blue.


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