Purdue University’s Birck Nanotechnology Center is considered one of the finest facilities of its kind in the nation. And while it’s what’s inside that really counts, the building’s exterior is an apt reflection of the center’s stature within the research community.
HDR Architects of Alexandria, VA, was the building’s designer and used products on the exterior to suggest the building’s technological mission. Among them were panels fabricated from ALPOLIC® composite materials by Mitsubishi Chemical FP America Inc. of Chesapeake, VA.
The standard ALPOLIC® ACM (aluminum composite material) is 4mm thick and features .020”-thick aluminum face and liner sheets bonded to polyethylene core. More than 67,000 sq. ft. of panels fabricated from that material were used on the building. They were supplied with a factory-applied, custom Silver Coraflon PPG paint finish. Used in conjunction with those panels were some 4,000 sq. ft. of panels formed from ALPOLIC® MCM (metal composite material) with 12 oz. copper skins. Following their fabrication a chemical accelerant was used to induce the green patina finish characteristic of aged copper.
The panels were fabricated for installation by Shaffner Heaney Associates Inc. of South Bend, IN, and then installed by Architectural Glass and Metal of Phoenix, AZ, using Shaffner Heaney’s proprietary RLS-9000 dry joint attachment system. Southwest Metalsmiths Inc. of Indianapolis, IN, providing the post-finishing services for the copper. The project’s general contractor was Pepper Construction of Indianapolis, IN.