Silicon Valley may have to watch out for Ames, Iowa. Workiva, a cloud-based software company, opened a sprawling two-phase headquarters near the Iowa State University campus. Dri-Design Wall Panels were used to bring high-tech class to the two buildings that span 120,000 square feet in the ISU Research Park.
SGH Inc., Des Moines, served as the supplier, and FEH Associates Inc., Des Moines, was the architect. SGH also installed 15,000 square feet of 0.080-inch aluminum Dri-Design Panels in Pewter for phase 1 and 17,000 square feet of the same panels for phase 2. Dri-Design panels are user-friendly and easy to install, but a serpentine roofline caused a challenge for the installation crew. The architect, therefore, created a design where the soffit panels could be installed after the wall panels. This allowed the top row of the wall panels to appear as if they disappeared behind the soffit. This design and installation solution did not affect the integrity of the panels.
"I love the fact that it is a true rainscreen product," says Jeff Alkema with SGH. "When this system is installed correctly, it has a very unique architectural appearance that does not change or require maintenance over time. This product truly stands the test of time."
To stay on schedule, installation occurred throughout the winter. A brutal Midwest season was overcome with teamwork and planning. "Fortunately we had an architect and general contractor who understood the challenge and addressed this very professionally," Alkema says. "They were not afraid of guaranteed dimensions, which allowed SGH to over perform and have panels onsite when needed."
In addition to the curb appeal, incorporating sustainable features was important to Workiva's executives. Skylights add daylighting; energy-efficient shades were installed; and products made with recycled content fill the space. Native prairie plants landscape the outdoor areas that were designed to give employees additional workspaces. The Dri-Design panels also bring longevity and sustainability to the project. “Unlike other metal wall panels, Dri-Design products do not have a foam core, composites, sealants or tapes,” notes Brad Zeeff, president of the company. “This not only allow the panels to age without any delamination, but it also is environmentally friendly.”
Photos by Mark Kempf, St. Louis