Nestled among dry mountains under abundant sunshine, the West Career & Technical Academy in Las Vegas, NV features gleaming steel mesh panels from Cambridge Architectural that perform solar shading and create a fresh aesthetic for the structure.
The West Career & Technical Academy (WCTA) houses two separate academies – one for Medical Science and the other for Environmental, Engineering and Technical focuses. A total of nine academic programs are currently offered for approximately 730 students in grades 9 and 10. By the 2012-2013 school year, WCTA will have approximately 1350 students in grades 9-12. The Academy emphasizes making learning enjoyable and relevant for today’s students through digital collaboration, and has even partnered with Google to provide opportunities for students.
A Solucent™ architectural mesh shading system aesthetically plays to the forward-thinking feel of the WCTA while providing useful shading of harsh sunlight in front of classroom windows. The result is a unique and cutting-edge design material that not only adds texture and dimension to the building’s exterior but also inherently provides function in its desert surroundings, maximizing visual comfort through daylighting.
“The WCTA building demands attention, and we were very excited to contribute to that attention,” says Heather Collins, Director of Marketing for Cambridge Architectural. “Its design is really a breathtaking juxtaposition of clean, horizontal lines on jagged mountain terrain and a clear, bright and glossy canvas. And it’s a canvas that we’re quite familiar with, as our shading material is regularly chosen for its success in this kind of climate.”
Aside from its aesthetic and shading benefits, the Cambridge Solucent system installed at WCTA is 100% recyclable and virtually indestructible, outlasting most other materials in durability. The mesh system holds up incredibly well in the extreme heat and abrasive dust of the Las Vegas climate, eliminating the need for its repair or replacement.
Additionally, Cambridge worked very closely and diligently with the project team to provide a cost-effective system that still maintained the design intent of the architect. Cambridge is always committed to assisting the design and construction team from initial concept to final installation on each and every project, ensuring issue-free installation and a comprehensive, long-lasting architectural solution.
“Cambridge's involvement and assistance with the project, both on and off site, streamlined the installation process, allowing it to as go smoothly as possible," says Dean Rowe, Project Manager for Red Rose Inc., DBA Petersen Dean, Inc., the roofing contractor of the project.
The Solucent system was fabricated with a custom version of Cambridge’s Stripe metal fabric pattern, featuring large-scaled, flexible open weaves that shade and screen structures including facades, parking garages and pavilions.
Cambridge’s Scroll™ tension attachment hardware was used to install the custom Stripe product. The only tension system to keep the focus on the metal fabric by hiding the attachment behind it, Scroll conceals the support by quarter-wrapping the bracket that attaches to the structural support. The unique hardware grips the metal fabric and holds it in tension up to 100 feet.
Construction on the West Career & Technical Academy was completed in December 2010. The project team consisted of architect Pugsley Simpson Coulter Architects, Las Vegas, NV, Red Rose Inc., DBA Petersen Dean, Inc., roofing contractor, Las Vegas, NV and facility owner Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV.
Cambridge Architectural is an active member of the USGBC, and helps architects take maximum advantage of LEED credit through the many categories in which architectural mesh systems apply. Cambridge has several LEED APs on staff as well as sales representatives who understand exactly how Solucent systems can contribute to a LEED certified project. Most notably, mesh can contribute to as many as four LEED points for optimized energy performance, and can help in acquiring additional points for incorporating recycled content and reducing glare into the regularly occupied areas of a building as a contribution to daylighting and views credits.