As the newest addition to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus, the College of Arts & Sciences Building was created to replace the 1960s-era Lindbergh Academic Complex, which was razed to make way for the new facility. The building, designed by the internationally celebrated architectural firm Leo A Daly, consists of a structural steel frame with an exterior skin of curtain wall and Reynobond® Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) wall panels. Reynobond ACM is a product of Alcoa Architectural Products.
The architect was asked to provide a dynamic image that would reflect the university’s forward-thinking educational program and would enhance national/international student recruitment. “The metal panel exterior envelope design was conceived to reflect the aviation- and science-based culture of the university,” said Ron Wiendl, AIA, design director for Leo A Daly of West Palm Beach, Florida. “The form of the architecture is based on the concept of the ‘study of motion’ and reflects how the air and water forces being studied inside the building curve and bend around the building’s solid surfaces.”
West Tampa Glass fabricated a total of 130,000 square feet of 4mm Reynobond ACM with a fire-resistant (FR) core–72,000 square feet finished in a Bone White Colorweld® 500 coating and 48,000 square feet finished in a Platinum Colorweld 500 coating–for the exterior walls, beams and soffits. An additional 10,000 square feet of the platinum material was used on the interior walls and soffits in the lobby. Reynobond ACM with a Colorweld 500 coating was specified for consistency with the newer, existing campus buildings clad in Reynobond materials.
This concept of motion is reinforced in the sweeping, curved forms of the architecture. Flying beams of curved steel clad in Reynobond ACM appear to “pop” out of the building and to “stab” back into it. In other areas, the Reynobond panels appear to end with distinct, crisp angles as if they’ve been sheared for wind-resistance. A WTG 200 dry-joint rainscreen panel system was specified to help meet the design intent: 1/2-inch-wide vertical joints were colored to match and blend with adjacent panels while the 1-1/2-inch-tall horizontal joint lines were finished with Deep Black Colorweld 500 panel strip in-fills that lead the eye across the face of the building adding to the illusion that the Reynobond panels are “streaming” across the façade in a current. The panel joints also align with window mullions and glazing segmentation. The glass specified for the curtain wall is deep blue, adding a “jet” blue windshield illusion to the building.
“The rainscreen design required special layout, schedule sequencing and coordination with sheathing and waterproofing trades ahead of our installation,” said Roger Campla, vice president Preconstruction for West Tampa Glass. “We incorporated special 3-D scanning equipment along with physical verification in determining building variances within 1/16-inch of plumb, level and alignment for the WTG 200 system’s tolerance.”
The College of Arts & Sciences Building is hurricane rated. The WTG 200 system was designed to help meet the stringent Florida building codes, and is one of the strongest on the market. The panel system is engineered to meet L/180 deflection.
“We used a segmented approach for the composite panel installation,” continued Campla. “Many panels were unique because of the changing angles of the return legs. So sequencing during fabrication and installation became even more critical than normal. It was also difficult to physically transfer a good layout from the Revit® drawing into the beams, which made the joint alignment during the installation challenging. Layout was critical as the horizontal joint lines continued around the entire building from the flying beams to the wall panels. They never terminated and eventually came together. Maintaining the elevation was key.”
The steel flying beams had field-applied spray-on fire protection and sheathing wrap. In many cases West Tampa Glass had to adjust sizes and layout to allow for irregularities of beam twist, levelness and alignment in order to maintain uniform panel sizes and joints around the entire building and other beams.
The new building also houses a large 40-inch Classic Cassegrain telescope with a two-piece, retractable observatory dome that’s 15 feet high, more than 30 feet in diameter and weighs more than nine tons. It moves electronically in sync with the main telescope, rotating a full 360º. A smaller dome will be used to track the sun. The galvanized steel dome sits on top of a tower that appears to be enveloped within the building but the tower is actually independent of the building to avoid vibration from elevators or the heating and air conditioning systems. The Reynobond panels around the observation tower are radius curved along with accent joint features.
The $27.4 million, 140,000-square-foot-academic building opened for classes on January 8, 2014. The facility houses a multi-story lobby, 25 labs that are dedicated to physical sciences alone, computer labs, lecture halls, classrooms, faculty and administrative offices to serve the physics, astrophysics, chemistry, biology, math and liberal arts departments on four full and one partial stories. An observation area on the roof houses six smaller telescopes. The telescope housed in the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University College of Arts & Sciences Building is the largest university-based telescope in the state of Florida.
Reynobond® and Colorweld® are registered trademarks of Alcoa Inc.
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Photo Credits - top to bottom: Smith Aerial Photos; Embry-Riddle University; Emby-Riddle University; West Tampa Glass; West Tampa Glass