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UCSF Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building


The University Of California, San Francisco’s Helen Diller Family Research Building, located in San Francisco, CA, is a state-of-the-art research facility that provides a home for scientists investigating cancer’s basic biological cause. The building was designed to accommodate the work of researchers and clinicians who are dedicated to laboratory and clinical research, as well as patient care.

The five-story building - featuring metal wall solutions from CENTRIA - was built according to LEED guidelines, with a dramatic central atrium that floods the lobby in natural light. Terraced floor levels are linked by bridges and cascading stairways, creating panoramic views and a visual connection to the surrounding community. The design features interlocking L-shaped wings - one containing labs, the other containing offices - essential to fostering a collaborative atmosphere among scientists, clinical researchers and physicians.

CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series and Profile Series IW Series Concealed Fastener Profiles were selected for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Research Building project because of their outstanding performance features, as well as their superior benefits in terms of sustainability and aesthetics.

Formawall Dimension Series is the only wall system that provides both advanced thermal efficiency and moisture control in a single panelized component. The integrated wall components and the system’s ability to provide designers with virtually unlimited possibilities in form, color and texture were important to the building’s ability to complement the adjacent urban landscape.

The Profile Series IW Series Concealed Fastener Profiles use a common lock-joint design that helped create the building’s interesting visual effects. And because of the all-weather installation capability of both CENTRIA panels, the contractor was able to install the products faster and easier, saving on time and construction costs. In keeping with the project’s emphasis on sustainability, the Formawall Dimension Series and Profile Series IW Series Concealed Fastener Profiles are Cradle to Cradle® Certification recipients at the Silver Level.

Finally, CENTRIA products provided benefits in terms of aesthetics in concert with other exterior cladding materials, including stone and aluminum composite materials. Formawall Dimension Series and Profile Series IW Series Concealed Fastener Profiles enabled the architects to create a sleek, elegant exterior, reflecting the energy and innovation of the scientific community. They also provided the architect with the ability to create custom colors that added an additional level of distinction to the building.

The project architect was Rafael Viñoly Architects of New York, NY; the CENTRIA products dealer was Blackwood Associates, Inc. of Fairmont, WV; the CENTRIA products installer was Best Contracting Services of Hayward, CA; and the contractor was Hunt Construction Group of San Francisco, CA. The 163,865 sq. ft. project was completed in June 2009.

CENTRIA products used on the Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building included:

  • Formawall® Dimension Series® 2" Horizontal. Square Feet: 17,433; Color: Helen Diller White, Helen Diller Gold; Finish: Smooth; Coating: Fluorofinish Sundance AM; Gauge: 20/20.

  • Profile Series IW Series IW-60A Vertical Concealed Fastener Profiles. Square Feet: 10,674; Color: Helen Diller Gold; Finish: Smooth; Coating: Sundance AM; Gauge: .0500 Aluminum.


CENTRIA, a Nucor company, supplies a variety of architetural metal wall and roof systems. For more information, visit

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