When a design calls for a building envelope that is both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound, it makes sense to explore customized metal panel systems, particularly for large commercial renovations and installations. One of the most durable and weathertight systems available, metal panels offer versatility and ability to accommodate contraction and expansion caused by seismic activity or temperature fluctuations.
But one of the most critical elements involving these systems can be overlooked – having an innovative attachment system. When metal panels are attached to the substructure, exposed fasteners, hidden clips, and an infinite amount of connections can be designed, fabricated and utilized.
Serious mistakes with how metal panels are fastened to the substructure can lead to unattractive design aesthetic, inadequate protection and even failure of the building envelope.
Here are a few of the reasons why working with a building envelope specialist that can innovate and adapt to achieve your structural goals ultimately matters….
- Reduction of parts and pieces to meet schedule demands
- Systems that meet specs and stay with budget
- Design appearance
- Building durability and maintenance costs
- Engineering and fabrication to accommodate natural occurrences from seismic activity to environmental conditions.
Just as critical as the shape and size of the metal panels themselves, you may find that attachment systems require even more ingenuity and innovation than the panels themselves.
Creative engineering at work
At Kovach, we illustrate the need for creativity and innovation based on real-life experience on renowned projects. One example, the Sacramento Kings Arena, Golden 1 Center, called for the following:
- * The architect, AECOM, wanted the design for the exterior of the building to mimic the falling leaves characteristic of an autumn day in the Sierra Nevada Mountains nearby.
- * Kovach’s vast network of providers allowed us to locate and procure the perfect routed and perforated leaf pattern on the ¼ inch aluminum plates.
- * Our engineering team needed to created a backup wall to attach the panels to that allowed for flexibility of the angulation of the panel while providing a high performing building envelope.
Starting with the attachment system again, Kovach’s work on Arizona State University’s Biomedical C Building is another example of intricate and unique metal panel design accomplished with the help of innovative engineering. Highlights include:
- * The intent of the space was to showcase innovation. The building itself supported shared spaces for some the nation’s leading biomedical researchers and scientists. ASU wanted the exterior façade of the building to reflect the complexities of the work and educational environment occurring within its walls.
- * For the architect, ZGF, this project brought both aesthetic and energy efficiency challenges. As a solution, the team designed a largely insulated metal panel (IMP) building with a cooper scrim that stood off from the primary wall about 24 inches.
- * But how could this be achieved? Kovach was charged with designing the main IMP wall in such a way that could support the steel exoskeleton that the cooper would attach to.
- * Critically important was that the engineering ensure that the building stayed energy efficient, in the desert environment of Arizona.
Kovach’s work on CalTech Chen Neuroscience Research Building spotlights where unitized wall systems and custom metal panel design accomplished with the help of innovative engineering. Highlights include:
Floating Custom Perforated Copper Panels
- * The architect envisioned a floating custom copper panels that stood off the building envelope to compliment the unitized copper wall.
- * Kovach developed a custom frame to support the copper panels.
- * Then, Kovach engineered an attachment bracket that mounted to the sheathing that penetrated the aluminum composite system at the panel joints. Each bracket had to be located so as to not penetrate the ACM rainscreen.
Unitized Copper Wall Panels
- * To maintain job schedule and minimize trades, Kovach developed a unitized copper wall system.
- * By unitizing certain sections of the wall to compliment the traditional glass curtain wall, the building’s waterline remained consistent. Also critical, it ensured reduction in labor normally required to build a traditional stud wall to support the copper panels.
- * A custom, concealed frame that attached to the curtainwall mullions supported the panels while ensuring the linear expressions of each copper panel aligned.
Craftsmanship and customization for over 50 years
Throughout our history, Kovach has adapted and innovated metal panel work by transforming solutions and modernizing solutions. With a host of awards behind us, these jobs reflect the amazing work our shop craftsman are capable of. Over 50 years of metal working knowledge and experience goes into each bend, break, shear, punch and attachment system.
But having a thorough understanding of design and function is where much of the complexity comes in. If you peeled back any of our exterior skins, you’d find attachment systems that are highly functional and fully customized. Creating one-of-a-kind metal panels coupled with complicated attachment systems is how a well-organized and highly collaborative organization can help you produce the best final structure.