The giant new Labatt Food Service distribution center in Houston, TX utilizes approximately 140,000 sq. ft. of Metl-Span insulated panels in three different panel types. The $14 million project features 148,000 sq. ft. of space including a two-story office and storage areas for dry goods, perishables and frozen foods on a 21 acre site.
Design/build services were provided by TEAM Group, Ltd., Euless, TX, specialists in the construction of food facilities. According to Andy Bowser, TEAM Group principal and project manager, “This was a great example of being able to use several Metl-Span products in applications they are ideally suited for.”
The majority of the Metl-Span material was CF insulated wall panels utilized for interior and exterior cold storage walls. Approximately 93,000 sq. ft. of CF-42 Fluted wall panels in 3”, 4” and 6” thicknesses were used. The 26 gauge panels were finished in Sandstone. Nearly 31,000 sq. ft. of CF-45 Mesa wall panels in 2” and 4” thicknesses were also used. The 26 gauge panels were finished in Igloo White.
In addition to the CF panels, 12,000 sq. ft. of Metl-Span’s new Tuff-Wall® panels finished in Light Stone were used around the two-story office portion. Tuff-Wall provides a stucco-like finish that is highly resistant to impact and abrasion. “We were looking for a thermally efficient office envelope that could be easily maintained, was attractive and was compatible with the rest of the building,” Bowser said.
Metl-Span’s ThermalSafe™ product was also used. The fire resistive insulated panel consists of metal facings bonded to a structural mineral wool core. Approximately 4,800 sq. ft. of 4” ThermalSafe panels were used as a firewall around the forklift battery charge area. According to Bowser, “Building codes required a one hour separation between the office and the battery charging station. ThermalSafe accomplished that without changing the visual appearance of the structure and still provided good R value.”
Installation of all Metl-Span panels was done by Southwest Vault Builders, Lewisville, TX. “We use a lot of Metl-Span panels but this was our first job with Tuff-Wall,” according to David Enoch, project manager. “I was pleased that it was very easy to work with. It’s definitely a nice way to dress up a metal building.”