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Austin E. Knowlton Center

University Building's Design Features ACM Panel Systems Inside And Out

The Austin E. Knowlton Center at Baldwin Wallace University is a 46,800 sq. ft. facility designed by architects at The Collaborative, Toledo, OH with input from various STEM industry experts. Besides meeting ambitious programmatic requirements, the architect created a fitting look for the new building through its incorporation of ACM panels from Laminators Inc. inside and out.

The new facility includes dry and wet Engineering labs, fabrication lab and sensors and controls lab, robotics lab, human computer lab, data visualization lab, maker space, tech-enhanced social lounge, small group study and presentation areas, board room, classrooms, faculty/staff offices and math huddle spaces. FOLD Metal Fabrication, Berea, Ohio installed 9,940 sq. ft. of Laminators’ Omega-Lite ACM panels in a Custom Matte Black for the exterior (7,300 sq. ft.) and Bone White for the interior (2,640 sq. ft.) using Laminators’ proprietary Clip & Caulk ‘legacy’ installation system. Overseeing the project was general contractor, The Albert M. Higley Co., Cleveland, OH.

While Omega-Lite is typically used for exterior applications, it was also chosen for sections of the interior because of its attractiveness and enhancing qualities. Omega-Lite panels offer a highly decorative, strong, and durable surface finish for both exterior and interior wall surfaces. Composed of a polypropylene, corrugated core between two finished aluminum sheets, these panels are non-absorbent, water-resistant and easy to maintain.

The Clip & Caulk installation system provides customers with a rout and return "look" without the hassle of prefabricating the panels, greatly reducing installation costs. This easy, field-proven method is the choice of architects and installers who are looking for a very flat look without visible fasteners. Panels can be cut on-site with few peripheral accessories needed for installation.

Clip & Caulk looks great in combination with masonry, glass, 1-piece extruded molding systems or by itself in a stand-alone application. Color-matched caulk, displayed in this project, gives a beautiful monochromatic look while contrasting caulk can be used with eye-pleasing results.

In May 2019, Laminators introduced their new and improved field-fabricated installation systems, Clip & Caulk and 1-Piece, Tight-Fit Molding, that are fully integrated back-drained and ventilated systems, with an optional continuous insulation component. Since the onset of the new systems, Laminators has renamed and continues to support the previous Clip & Caulk and 1-Piece, Tight-Fit Molding system as “Legacy Versions” of their systems. The legacy field-fabricated installation systems are ideal for various architectural features, as well as when building codes do not require the high-performance as designed in their new back-drained and ventilated systems.

A “Legacy Version” of the Laminators Clip & Caulk installation system can be for use over plywood (structural) or non-structural (gypsum) sheathing and also addresses NFPA 285 (National Fire Protection Association) compliance.

Laminators’ Omega-Lite panels installed with the Clip & Caulk system guaranteed Austin E. Knowlton Center a class A fire rating as well as met NFPA 285, Miami-Dade County Product Control and Florida Product Approval requirements. Laminators Inc. manufactures high-quality ACM panels that meet these stringent performance levels and provide design professionals and building owners the confidence that their cladding will withstand the most extreme conditions.

About Laminators Inc.

Laminators Logo Laminators Incorporated, a leading manufacturer for nearly 60 years, offers a complete line of composite panels for the commercial construction and sign-making industries in the United States and Canada. Laminators’ lightweight systems are exceptionally strong and durable, and provide various application solutions making the panels quick and easy for users to fabricate and install. Laminators Incorporated is committed to providing value through high-quality products, innovative application solutions, and superior customer service. To learn more, visit

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