The newest landmark on the Charlotte skyline, Duke Energy Center, is distinguished from its neighbors by a sculptural roofline with a sharply slanted, handle-shaped bridge at the crown, and faceted, truncated corners on the tower. The building’s complex geometry is both attention-getting and inspiring, and prompted the metal panel installer to develop an unconventional installation solution for the Reynobond Aluminum Composite Material wall panels. Reynobond is a product of Alcoa Architectural Products.
Duke Energy Center was designed by tvsdesign of Atlanta, GA, in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®*) green building principles. It achieved LEED Platinum certification for Core and Shell Rating System 2.0 in September, 2011.Tthe 50-story, 1.5-million sq. ft. tower features 127,400 sq. ft. of Reynobond ACM on its corner details, exterior colonnades, recessed entry portals and roofline. To trim the “visual weight” of the building, the architects employed spandrel and vision glass. Reynobond ACM panels were also used to counterbalance the abundance of glass and to define the building corners and tapered crown element.
As the centerpiece of a cultural complex consisting of three museums and a performing arts center – all jewel-box size in comparison – the structure had to have enough detail at ground level to complement the neighboring edifices. The architects specified a combination of Pearl White Reynobond ACM and white Brazilian granite with stainless steel accents to create a neutral palette.
The complex geometry used in the design of the tower evolves as it reaches skyward. Reynobond takes on a prominent role at the 48th story where the glass walls begin to slope inward towards the crown. The building corners rise into the air beyond the angular glass façade and reconnect through a metallic bridge that forms a sweeping horizontal sky window extending 160 feet across.
An Unconventional Installation
“The combination of Reynobond’s rigid construction, light weight, high strength-to-weight ratio and superior flatness made it possible for the fabricator to create the complex geometric shapes that form the top of the building," said George Rosado, Commercial Director for Alcoa Architectural Products. “The geometry of the building allowed only limited access to the crown, so the installers literally rappelled down the façade like rock climbers, hanging off ropes suspended 786 feet in the air on a 72-degree incline to install the panels by bolting them to L-brackets on the substructure.”
The $880 million Duke Energy Center officially opened in September 2011. The structure was recognized by Siemens as the 2010 grand-prize winner in The Smartest Building in America Challenge™.
The architects specified Reynobond ACM, 4 mm, FR core with a Pearl White Colorweld 300XL finish. Batson-Cook Construction of Atlanta, GA, was the General Contractor, The Miller-Clapperton Partnership, Inc., of Austell, GA, was the panel fabricator and Juba Aluminum Products of Concord, NC, was the panel installer.
For more information about Reynobond materials, contact the Alcoa Architectural Products manufacturing plant at 800-841-7774 or visit www.reynobond.com.
*LEED is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.