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Reuse And Renovation - Great For Business, Great For The Environment, Great For The Metal Construction Industry

By Marge O’Connor

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Reuse and renovation can use metal panels for walls, roofs and soffits. The new look brightens up the existing building as well as the shopping center as shown in this project for WOW! Click images to enlarge.
 
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The green building movement began with a focus on making all new buildings more eco and energy efficient. The USGBC’s LEED rating system was a key factor in setting the pace of this trend. Plus, metal’s ability to add points toward LEED certification increased awareness of metal and our industry. As new construction has slowed, however, the upswing in renovation and reuse adds a new perspective to the business of using metal in construction.

For some companies this movement definitely has been a boon to business and a way to achieve the best of all green possibilities. “Our philosophy is that reusing existing buildings is the ultimate in green. The best way to conserve is to reuse. Renovating existing buildings is good for our customers and for us it’s meant an increase in sales during the last 18 months. Most of this is a matter of thinking outside the box to dress up an existing building. It’s an untapped market that many installers, contractors and architects are not looking at,” says Paul Riddell, president of Riddell and Company, Inc. headquartered in Englewood, CO.

His company, established in 1976, is an independent distributor of architectural construction products for the metal industry. As part of their service, he and his staff advise contractors and installers on ways to apply metal panels to a building. “The building owners usually have questions about how to give a building with brick or EIFS a new look. Putting metal over these exteriors is just using a surface-applied product to dress up or change the appearance. It’s so simple. We just took an existing waterproofed building and applied metal panels over it to change the look. A lot of people think that not having new construction is the end of selling and building, but it’s not. It’s just a matter of adapting to the changing market by focusing on what’s needed,” Riddell says.

Although his company has helped many local building owners to improve the appearance of their facilities, a big part of Riddell’s renovation work has involved supplying materials for remodeling buildings across the country for national retail chains such as Sports Authority, REI, and Destination XL.

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The application of metal panels is simple and quick. This gives retailers a fast track on activating new locations with an attractive appearance. Click images to enlarge.
 
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“In one case of a local retail building for WOW, we took an existing retail shell that had been vacant for 5 years and placed Omegalite composite panels from Laminators, Inc., [Hatfield, PA] right over EIFS and brick to bring the building back to life. For Sports Authority the projects were mostly to reuse existing retail structures such as those that had been Circuit City, Linens and Things, or Borders Bookstores. The big thing is to make the building look fresh and we do it all with panels from AEP Span, [Sacramento, CA] and Laminators that are applied to the walls, roofs, and soffits,” notes Riddell.

Another big reuse project was on the Broncos Mile High Stadium in Denver. “We put Laminators panels over insulated metal panels to bring in the red color for Sports Authority. The updated structure is now called Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The other unique thing about being geared toward retrofit such as we’re doing for Sports Authority is that most times it is a quick turnaround. We’ve finished some projects in less than four weeks because the customer needed it. On the Broncos Stadium project, for example, the installer had only three days to install almost 3,000 square feet of metal panels. We could do it with Laminators Omegalite panels because we had all the composite sheet material here and were able to field fabricate it quickly,” he said.

Perhaps the biggest overall benefit of renovation is preserving resources and saving time and money.“It’s unfortunate that many companies will tear down an existing building in order to build a LEED certified one in its place. It can waste time and resources to tear down and build new. Perhaps changing that is as simple as renaming the process. Right now, when we mention retrofit to someone they think of taking an existing roof and putting metal over it, so we now say ‘reuse and remodel’ because it implies so much more.”

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National retail companies such as Sports Authority recognize the value of bringing existing masonry buildings back to life with composite metal panels that can be quickly applied to the exterior. This technique preserves resources and creates more opportunities for the use of metal panels. Click images to enlarge.

 
Metal panels also cover interior details such as the signage on the Broncos mile high Stadium in Denver that is now called Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Speed was also essential in this project where the installer had only three days to apply nearly 3,000 square feet of new metal panels on the stadium’s exterior. Click images to enlarge.
 
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To learn more about the metal construction product manufacturers showcased in this article, click the links below...
 
 

For Riddell, this trend has been extremely beneficial. “We’ve ramped up reuse from 20% to 75 % in two to three years and we project it will be even greater in the near future. There will always be new construction out there but redressing buildings is an untapped market for many. We saw an increase in sales last year when the market was generally down.”

It’s a great example of being able to accomplish more in an economic slowdown just by taking a different approach. “For those continuing to look for LEED points only with new construction, the reality is that reusing an existing building and its materials is the ultimate green, especially if the existing building is not energy efficient. It’s not only a way to sell more products in a down market but a way to be more eco-friendly. So it accomplishes two things at once.”

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