Though indiscernible from a distance, a closer look reveals something rather unique about the perforated panels that cover portions of the Roger A. and Helen B. Krone Engineered Biosystems Building at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta. The panels, manufactured by Morin, a Kingspan Group Company, feature not one, but two different hole sizes and patterns. Their presence was the result of thoughtful detailing on the part of the building’s design team and precision fabrication by the panel maker.
Texas-based Lake Flato Architects designed the LEED-certified EBB Krone building. Functionally, the five-story brick and glass structure uses the perforated panels as a passive solar shading system over the large expanses of glass at one end to eliminate glare and reduce heat gain within. That is not to say, however, that the metal panels don't also contribute dramatically to the building's attractive appearance.
The perforated panels were roll formed into Morin’s 0-12 profile from 1.2 mm-thick zinc with a Graphite Gray color coat. Zinc is more expensive than some other metals but is specified increasingly for projects just like this one because it is a natural material—recyclable—and has a lifespan of 80+ years.
With the O-12 panels specified for horizontal orientation, careful consideration was given to the pattern of the perforations and where precisely the holes would fall. On the panel face, which runs parallel to the wall, ⅛” holes with 7/32” spacing were added, leaving a 30% open area. On the sloped edges that angle up toward the sky or down toward the ground, ⅛” holes with ⅜” spacing were punched, leaving only a 10% open area. To produce this two-pattern-in-one-panel design, Morin used a strip perforating process that avoided adding any holes where bends would be added during final profile forming. Doing so eliminated any potential for weakening or distorting of the panels during the roll forming step. Sample panels were produced prior to the full-scale production run to ensure not only that the perforation strips were in the right places, but also that the holes aligned from panel to panel where laps would need to exist for installation.
The O-12 perforated panels were one of five Morin profiles utilized on the building. Solid versions of the company's VB-34, F-16, F-24 and O-24 profiles were also specified for the top floor penthouse, for soffits and in select wall areas.
Morin’s customer on the project was Peachtree Protective Covers. The project management firm was McCarthy Building Companies Inc.
The building has received several awards since its completion. Chief among them were two awards from the South Atlantic Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America, including being named its 2016 Project of the Year, and a 2016 Design Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects - Georgia chapter.