United Therapeutics is a biotech company focusing on innovations in the fields of cardiovascular medicine, infectious diseases and cancer. The company’s research and development facility is nestled away in the tall white pines of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Reflecting the high-tech nature of the activities within, the building’s exterior is a mix of aluminum composite metal wall panels and glass.
Altech Panel Systems of Carterville, GA, fabricated the sleek metal wall panels from ALPOLIC® aluminum composite material by Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America Inc. Two colors of the 4-mm-thick, PE-cored panels were used on the project—BBR Red and LTG Grey. Handling the product installation was SECO Architectural Systems of Snellville, GA.
The 1,699 sq. ft. of red panels were focuses on a canopy that appears to knife its way through from the exterior to the interior of the building. Though there is glass between the inside and outside canopy sections, the ACM was installed to make the canopy appear a one continuous piece. This was just one of the many challenging aspects of the overall project.
“Aluminum Composite Material was chosen to convey the high-tech nature of the client’s business and for its ability to be structurally sound, yet formable to mold into the geometric shapes,” noted a project statement provided by Altech. The material was used to wrap the building’s cantilevered overhangs, its walls, and columns and beams both inside and out. “A custom light gray was chosen as a subtle, yet stable backdrop to enhance flowing lines and interactive joint lines,” continued the statement. “Bright Red is featured to draw attention and energy to the main entrance which houses a multi-story cylindrical aquarium inside the foyer.” The total amount of gray panels utilized on the project was approximately 47,000 sq. ft.
The research facility was designed by O’Neal. The firm is located in Morrisville, NC. The general contractor was DPR Construction Inc., Falls Church, VA.
About Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America
Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America, Inc is the global leader of aluminum and metal composite materials. With U.S. headquarters in Chesapeake, VA., Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America (MPCA) has been manufacturing the ALPOLIC® materials for architectural wall cladding and specialty applications markets since 1974. MPCA is truly a global presence, serving a worldwide customer base with products that offer innovation, style, and performance. To learn more, visit www.alpolic-usa.com.