Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the second-largest community college system in the nation. It is also a leader in the move toward greener buildings. The construction of the new academic building on NOVA's Woodbridge campus reflects that position. It features on its exterior insulated metal wall panels from Kingspan Insulated Panels, DeLand, FL.
Groundbreaking for the Academic Building was in March 2011, with completion of the 83,915 square feet structure coming in the fall of 2012. It was the first major classroom construction in 23 years at the Woodbridge campus and provides much-needed space. Prior to its construction, some classes were being held at nearby high schools.
NOVA opened this region’s campus at Woodbridge High School in 1972. Its first actual classroom building was constructed in 1974. NOVA now occupies over 109 acres with classroom buildings and sports fields situated around a scenic on-campus lake.
Grimm + Parker, the architectural firm that designed the new Arts and Science Building, added a green aspect to the new structure with a geothermal heating and cooling system, which met the standard needed for LEED® Silver Certification. Many sustainable elements have been incorporated into the design of NVCC buildings. Most noticeable, because they cover the new building’s exterior, is the use of Designwall™ 2000 and 1000 insulated metal panels by Kingspan. The Designwall 2000 product was specified for its modern appearance and clean lines, which contrast the masonry materials on the building exterior. Designwall 1000 was specified for use at building cornices and soffits to create seamless detailing and a continuous metal panel system for the building envelope.
The high level of pre-design support from Kingspan was a driving factor for the architect to specify Designwall over competing products. “Kingspan Designwall 2000 and 1000 insulated panels were specified for this project because the architect wanted to install an insulated metal panel that could perform at a high level,” said William Magazine, preconstruction manager for PCC Construction Components of Gaithersburg, Maryland. “It also gave the building more of a modern look than using masonry alone.”
As a connection to NOVA’s Seefeldt Building, this new Arts and Science structure will house an extensive collection of modern facilities. Among them are eight computer-based laboratories, a black box theater with 115 seats, a lecture hall with seating for 160, two art studios, an art gallery, a computer graphic design studio, three science laboratories, a Cisco computer laboratory, 11 classrooms, two open computer lounges, a photo studio equipped with a dark room, 35 faculty offices and 12 group study rooms.
The building will also provide the campus with a new 120-seat cafeteria that has additional seating on an outdoor patio. In addition, the college’s Gordon Cook Library has a new 7,300 square-foot location in the Arts and Science Building.
Magazine said there were several unique design features on this project. One in particular was the use of a combination of Designwall 1000 and 2000 panels around the extended eaves of the roof. These panels proved to be the best way to clad the area that featured a combination of segmented and inverted radii. The exterior walls are comprised of a layering of materials with brick and cast stone used as the outer layer and metal and glass as an inner layer. Portions of the masonry façade are peeled away to reveal the metal and glass behind in the different planes that make up the exterior wall system.
Magazine outlined the three primary benefits of specifying Kingspan Designwall products. “Ease of installation on large run surfaces is probably the number one benefit. Another would be how this product material can be could be cut or modified to meet specific field conditions,” he said. “In addition to the ease of installation, friction fit gaskets and male/female joints made sealing the system much easier than conventional wet seals.”
Other benefits of the Designwall system are that it can act as an air and vapor barrier and it combines insulation with a cladding material. “Its versatility makes it easy to design with to accommodate a wide range of conditions that can be anticipated for many types of projects,” said David Whale, AIA and Principal for the Architect, Grimm + Parker.
Magazine believes Kingspan Designwall products will become a more standard cladding material on commercial buildings in the future. “The Kingspan insulated metal panels serve as an excellent, cost effective way to clad a building that both performs well and is visually appealing,” he said.
PCC Construction Components, Inc. has been a leading specialty subcontractor installing architectural wall systems in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for almost a quarter of a century. “Northern Virginia Community College must be a satisfied customer,” said Magazine. “The college has already engaged the PCC/Kingspan team to participate in the next phase of development scheduled for the Woodbridge campus.