It’s a rare occasion when a newly constructed building is partially disassembled upon completion, but that is exactly what happened at the American Airlines Training & Conference Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Not long after expansion construction was completed, a section of Green Span Profiles insulated metal panels was removed to accommodate the installation of eight different full-size flight simulators.
“That’s how they wanted it done and that’s the way it was designed,” said Keith Tucker, Construction Manager for Southwest Vault Builders located in Lewisville, Texas. “They wanted the building completed and sanitized prior to the simulator installation. With the concealed-fastener insulated metal wall panels, they started at the top, unscrewed the fasteners and then worked their way down to the ground. Once the simulators were in, they reinstalled the removable wall panel section.”
Airline training simulators are large, the same size as the front end of airplanes, embodying actual cockpits. The company that installs the simulators also disassembled and reassembled the wall. Tucker said trainees enter the cockpit via a landing on the second floor inside the building. The simulators installed for training are an Airbus 320, a McDonald Douglas 80, an Embraer ERJ 145 and five Boeing jets: B-737, B-757, B-767, B-777 and B-787.
The project was an addition to the American Airlines headquarters in Fort Worth. American has another training facility in Charlotte, N.C.
Approximately 30,000 square feet of insulated metal panels from Green Span Profiles were installed on the project. The building design utilized both 30- and 36-inch wide panels to align panel sidelaps with window sections. Three-inch thick (R-24) panels were specified to fight off the hot Texas summers and conserve energy. The panel core is a continuously poured-in-place, polyisocyanurate insulating foam, sandwiched by 22-gauge Galvalume panel skins. Panel colors were Regal White I for the interior and custom American Airlines Tan for the exterior.
The space that houses the simulators is climate controlled, so insulated metal panels help American Airlines save on cooling costs during the warm Texas summer and autumn. “This project was a slam dunk for Green Span IMPs,” said Brian Jaks, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Green Span Profiles. “You simply cannot beat poured-in-place insulated metal panels as the most cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, insulated building product for a commercial/industrial project like this.”
Tucker said the addition was designed with the disassembly in mind…only insulated metal panels were installed as the walls of the first two stories. The lowest windows were installed about 8 feet above the start of the panels that had to be removed and reinstalled.
Tucker added his company has been a part of several projects that required the walls to be disassembled after the building was finished; some were cold storage buildings and others grocery stores.
The architect was Sam Watkins, Corgan Associates of Dallas. The general contractor was Azteca – Omega Group, Dallas. The wall square footage totaled 16,358 square feet, while the insulated metal panel installation cost was $383,500. The project was completed in June 2015.
Photography by Louie Galvez