The new Max Planck Florida Institute For Neuroscience is a postmodern, glass-and-metal laboratory and office building with amenities designed to attract world-class scientists and to support sensitive, advanced diagnostics. To create the crisp, clean aesthetic desired, and to meet the Florida Building Code (FBC) and Miami-Dade County Hurricane Building Code requirements, the project’s architects specified Reynobond® with Kevlar® and traditional Reynobond Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) to protect and define the building envelope.
The project’s genesis dates back to 2008 when the Palm Beach County Commission; the city of Jupiter, FL; Florida Atlantic University; and the state of Florida each allocated funds to develop and support the construction and operation of a biotechnology research center in Palm Beach County as part of their plans for economic growth. The Max Planck Society, a 60-year-old global scientific research organization based in Munich, Germany, was courted along with the La Jolla, California-based Scripps Research Institute to form a key nucleus for the program. The Max Planck Society then commissioned Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Architects, LLP, of Washington, DC, and PGAL of Boca Raton, FL, to design the new facility on the southern end of Florida Atlantic University’s MacArthur campus in Jupiter, FL, and asked that the design integrate well with the existing buildings on the research campus.
The 100,000-square-foot structure was designed to meet the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC®) LEED® New Construction (NC) accreditation program and the supplementing laboratory-specific energy-reduction recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lab 21 environment performance criteria. The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience building was completed in May 2012 and has achieved LEED-NC 2.2 Gold certification—making it one of the very few LEED Gold-certified life sciences research facilities in the world.
Laboratories are known to consume an average of five to ten times more energy than an office building of the same size. Therefore, the main sustainable features focus on the building envelope, energy efficiency and water usage. The architect’s building models show an improvement in energy usage of 25 percent above the standard baseline for laboratory facilities. The building’s energy-efficient skin is fashioned from a combination of ACM, glass and sunshades. The building structure was also designed to provide high levels of stiffness and vibration isolation for sensitive imaging technologies.
Doralco Architectural Metal Solutions of Alsip, IL, fabricated 27,000 square feet of Reynobond with KEVLAR®, 4 mm polyethylene (PE) core with an Anodic Clear Colorweld® 500 paint finish, and 27,000 square feet of ACM, 4 mm fire-resistant (FR) core with an Anodic Clear Colorweld 500 paint finish. The Weitz Company of West Palm Beach, FL, installed the Reynobond with KEVLAR® panels on the entire façade of the building below 30 feet, at ground level (AGL), and installed the traditional Reynobond ACM on the balance of the façade, including all exterior wall paneling, coping and soffits. The panels were installed using Doralco’s patented Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA) Compositecore’s (CCRS) Rout-and-Return Dry-joint Rainscreen Installation System. This system is designed as a water management system to control the impact of wind-driven rain on exterior walls. Its caulk-free design provides the desired crisp, clean look while still satisfying the small- and large-missile impact requirements and general code specification. In a joint venture, The Weitz Company, LLC, of West Palm Beach, FL, and DPR Construction, Inc., of Palm Beach, FL, served as the general contractor for the project.
“Reynobond materials were specified by the design team in line with the requirement to fulfill the Florida Building Code (FBC) and Miami-Dade County NOA requirements for the region,” said Trip Hummel, general manager at Doralco. “They’re also an integral part of Doralco’s systems to meet the code requirements.” The fabricators/installers met challenges posed by custom panel detailing, unique termination and transition details. The project has distinctive window enclosures—some protrude from the building façade, others are recessed—large eyebrow soffits, dilution well areas and penetration details. Coordination with substrate framing, waterproofing and other design elements was also essential.
“The pairing of Reynobond ACM and Reynobond with KEVLAR® enhances the project in several ways,” said George Rosado, commercial director for Alcoa Architectural Products. “By our finishing both materials with our Anodic Clear Colorweld 500 coil-coated paint finish, the materials blend seamlessly on the façade to create the sleek, modern look the client desired; the high percentage of recycled content in the material adds to points for LEED certification; and the lightweight, flexible panels can withstand the impact of debris hurled at hurricane-force speeds, meeting the FBC and Miami-Dade County Building Code requirements.”
Reynobond with KEVLAR® combines the light weight of Reynobond ACM with the impact-resistant strength of DuPont™ KEVLAR® material. Panel modules can be installed over
structural steel studs without a heavy substrate while still meeting the Miami-Dade County Hurricane Building Code for large-missile impacts over the entire surface of a building (NOA #11-1102). Both Reynobond ACM with a polyethylene (PE) core and Reynobond ACM with a fire-resistant (FR) core have an NOA for small- and large-missile impacts (NOA #10-1118.05) for building faces over 30 feet. Per NOA, if Reynobond ACM is installed over a heavy substrate like CMU, a heavy backer such as concrete, 7.2" RIB steel deck panel or 5/8" plywood is required.
The $64 million, world-class research facility provides a state-of-the-art home for scientists and research teams focused on brain function and neural circuits. The facility is designed to accommodate nearly 58,000 square feet of laboratory space housing wet and dry bench research, instrumentation labs, computational research, core imaging facilities, microscope suites, information technology services and offices for researchers and support staff.
Laboratory and office spaces have large windows facing due north for maximum daylight and south-facing offices have external sunshades calibrated to provide ample daylight while minimizing heat and glare. All areas include an air-conditioning zoning strategy that reduces loads. There are also mechanical systems with state-of-the-art energy recovery wheels to capture usable energy from building exhaust.
An atrium connects the three-story structure to an outside terrace. The design also incorporates a central lobby that connects to lounges and administrative offices on all three levels. Amenities include six guest labs to facilitate collaborative research, conference rooms and a 100-seat auditorium.