Gilbert Place is a six story, mixed use, class A office building located in historic downtown Blacksburg, Virginia. Developed for the Virginia Tech Foundation, a non-profit that supports the Virginia Tech University and its initiatives, Gilbert Place
provides space for the university’s Department of Computer Science and College of Engineering, which have a focus of supplying talent for Amazon’s new HQ2 campus in Northern Virginia.
Designed by Hanbury Architects and developed by W.M. Jordan Company, the $100 million, 256,000 square-foot, six-story building serves both the campus and the community, also offering retail and restaurants on the ground floor, as well as a rooftop restaurant.
The challenges faced by the architects included blending the new building with an existing building across the street, and making the building not feel like a six-story building. The building materials include traditional brick, thin brick, insulated
metal panels (IMPs), single skin panels, MCM panels, concrete panels and high-pressure compact panels. The building also incorporates some Hokie Stone, a native limestone sourced from a Virginia Tech-owned quarry that dates back to 1869, commonly
used on campus buildings.
“The material palette starts to represent the interplay between the town, which is mostly brick, and the Hokie Stone gray palette, which is part of the Virginia Tech campus,” said Alec Yuzhbabenko, design principal with Hanbury.
Kingspan Designwall 2000 and Designwall 4000 panels were used, and 95% of the Gilbert Place building’s wall system is Kingspan’s KarrierPanel with QuadCore®, serving as the high-performing air and vapor barrier by providing continuous
insulation in an all-in-one product.
“As we went up levels, we wanted to break up the mass so it wouldn’t feel like a six story building, and there’s an economy to using the metal panels that we thought was quite elegant, and at the same time being pretty economical,”
said David Keith, chief executive officer of Hanbury.
KarrierPanel utilizes Kingspan’ full engineered KarrierRail that facilitates the use of a wide range of facade options. In addition to facilitating the use of several different facade materials, using KarrierPanel also helped with the speed of build;
other building envelopes were considered during the design phase.
“I think one of the most compelling reasons we selected KarrierPanel was not having to scaffold the entire building; the contractor quickly came on board to be able to dry-in this building and get multiple trades on the site almost simultaneously,”