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Rocketship Delta Prep School


Design of the new Rocketship Delta Prep school in Antioch, CA focused on being a modern interpretation of the local Spanish mission elements, keeping in mind the goal to be a Net Zero Energy building. Key to achieving the goals of the design team were insulated metal panels from Metl-Span, which offer high R-value, recyclability and extensive color and embossing options.

The two-story building is located at the front of a 1.7-acre site, leaving the back and side areas open for a play structure, soccer field, basketball court, lunch shelter and learning garden boxes.

Other design features were the perforated ribbed metal panels and wooden slats outside the second floor to provide some privacy for students as well as some shade to reduce solar heat gain and glare into the building. Also counting toward the Net Zero Energy scoring were solar panels installed on the roof, a highly efficient HVAC system and efficient lighting.

“We’ve used insulated metal panels on a number of school projects,” says Nathan Swift, AIA, CASp, Principal at Swift Lee Office in Pasadena, CA. “Usually, we use them in conjunction with pre-engineered steel framing, but this project was a site-built steel frame building. We adapted the panels to work with the site-built system.”

“We’ve used insulated metal panels on a number of school projects like this. They go in quickly; they reduce thermal bridging because they’re installed outside the framing and they help us achieve desired R-value. We also like that the framing and metal panels are produced from recycled content and can be recycled at the end of their life cycle.”

The design called for a variety of color and finish options with just more than 31,000 square feet of insulated metal panels, installed by Hilbers Inc. of Yuba City, CA. Two 24-gauge exterior panels had a Santa Fe embossed exterior, a heavy stucco finish to match the Mission style buildings of the area: CF36 in Polar White (12,435 square feet) and CF42 in Silver Metallic (7,280 square feet). Also, a pair of 22-gauge CF30 panels were used with different colors: Tundra on a Mesa finish (10,315 square feet) and Snow White on an Architectural Flat finish (2,521 square feet). The interior panels were either 26-gauge Light Mesa in Igloo White or 24-gauge Mesa in Polar White.

Almost 900 square feet of a 26-gauge Snow White single skin panel from Metl-Span was also used on this project.

“Insulated metal panels provide a high R-value with a neat, clean look on the interior and exterior,” says Nick Hilbers, Pre-engineered Divisionsion of Hilbers Inc. “They also provide for faster construction and installation. Like all projects, it seems, we were under a tight deadline. That benefit from IMPs, coupled with our experience with pre-engineered metal buildings and IMPs, went a long way to helping us make the deadline.”

About Metl-Span

Metl-Span-logoMetl-Span, a Nucor company, manufactures insulated metal wall and roof systems for projects ranging from architectural to cold-storage. To learn more, visit

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