A Dri-Design Wall Panel System has helped turn the 1700 South Patterson Building on the University of Dayton's River Campus into a stunning academic and research building. While interior renovations transformed the structure into usable university space, the building’s exterior was reclad with metal panels from Dri-Design in two phases during 2012 and 2013, with work finishing in October 2013. This renovation added an earthy, inviting feel to the building while eliminating safety concerns.
“Renovation work is always appealing because it brings life back into a structure,” said Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “Building owners are discovering the cost and efficiency savings that retrofits provide. Our metal panels add to this desirable market because of their ease of installation, durability and sustainability.”
The 455,000-square-foot building, located on 115 acres the university purchased from NCR Corp. in 2009, was built in the 1970s and clad in terra cotta tiles. After so many years of sunlight and water exposure, the tiles started showing their age and some tiles were failing and falling off the building. Sam Davis with Spohn Associates Inc., Dayton, noted: “This really was a safety issue. This was an occupied building with tiles potentially falling five stories to the sidewalk below.” The university and construction team proactively reviewed material options to eliminate any safety concerns.
Spohn Associates, the manufacturer’s representative and Dri-Design installer, has worked on many Dri-Design projects throughout the Dayton, Ohio, area, so university personnel had a variety of sites to visit to discover the Dri-Design appeal. Spohn Associates also completed a mock-up installation on the structure to help everyone visualize how the metal panels would transform the structure. Martz Architects LLC, Dayton, served as the project architect.
“One of the many attributes of our metal wall panels is the variety of designs that can be created,” Zeeff said. “From dramatic to subtle in urban and rural settings, the panels help to facilitate a building’s intention when the right combination of materials, coatings and dimensions is selected.”
This client was not looking for a drastic visual change to the building because university officials wanted to maintain the original masonry look. Installing Dri-Design in three colors created a subtle blended effect that mimics terra cotta. The color variations of the metal panels are further enhanced by sunlight, adding a uniqueness that terra cotta cannot create.
To begin the process, a Tyvek weather barrier was installed over the existing clay tiles with galvanized hat channels placed at all horizontal joints. The tiles did not have to be removed because water damage had not permeated the structure. Spohn Associates then installed 80,000 square feet of the Dri-Design rainscreen system. The 0.080-inch aluminum panels were finished in Clay Red, Dark Red Clay and Light Red Clay. Phase one installation was 40,000 square feet of panels on the rear of the building, and the additional 40,000 square feet was installed during phase two on the front.
With safety concerns addressed, university officials can continue to turn the interior space into their own. Reconfigurations have added the University of Dayton Research Institute and Alumni Center, as well as space for graduate classes, executive development programs and conferences, offices, an auditorium and a dining facility. A 1,600-space parking lot addition makes the revived structure accessible for the graduate students and employees who visit daily.
"We have made a tremendous investment in this property so it's important we take care of it," said Russ Potyrala, associate vice president of facilities at the University of Dayton. "Working with Dri-Design, we were able to find a solution that addressed our needs.