An antiquated business complex in Windsor, Connecticut has been reimagined into the new CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, a state-of-the-art Magnet School, with the help of MetalTech-USA’s zinc panels. Opened in September 2015, this new facility houses 735 students Grades 6-12 in an impressive 150,197 square feet. The old structure was stripped to its steel frame and retrofitted to be as visionary as the school itself.
Friar Associates of Farmington, Connecticut drew from Connecticut’s history steeped in aeronautics and aviation for the school’s thematic design. The exterior features a material palette inspired by the Hubble Telescope’s deep space photo of the Lagoon Nebula as well as a contemporary “airfoil” form to emphasize the middle school façade. Zinc was chosen to clad the façade of this unique structure.
“The look of zinc best represented the look of an airplane wing while being aesthetically pleasing at the same time,” says Friar Associates Senior Project Manager Bryce Sens. “Additionally, the gray color of the zinc fit perfectly into the exterior color scheme of the building which consists of both black and white phenolic rain screen panels on opposing sides of the structure.”
MetalTech-USA was selected to fabricate the 22 GA (.8mm) preweathered zinc cladding. The original design called for a zinc Standing Seam system to be applied to the wing. “The curvature and conical shape of the structure made it difficult to continue the straight line orientation of the Standing Seam Panels on the upper roof area,” cites MetalTech-USA Senior Project Manager Michael Love.
To best accommodate the architecture, Friar Associates made the decision to install MetalTech-USA Flatlock Panels as well. In total, 5,200 square feet of Double Lock Standing Seam and 3,900 square of Flatlocks were used. The Flatlock Panels were installed diagonally to better conform to the curvature of the lower roof.
“The fact that tiles actually ‘corkscrew’ around the wing is a natural reaction of the material to the complex geometry of the wing,” says Sens.
“Friar Associates is extremely proud of the final outcome of this project. We transformed what used to be an ordinary office building into what we would consider a habitable work of art that teaches and informs the occupants of the building (MS and HS students) aeronautic concepts via Architecture and Engineering.”
The installing contactor on this project was Silktown Roofing of Manchester, Connecticut.
The provider of the zinc for the new CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering was RHEINZINK America Inc., Woburn, MA. To learn more about the company's products, click here.