Products at Work

Steel is a Steal





Lowe's company headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., recently added a 1,500-car parking structure. While architects initially designed a garage made of precast concrete, a cost analysis revealed that a proposal utilizing hot-dip galvanized steel castellated beams would save $500 per space. The team changed to a structural system using steel SmartBeams up to 60 feet long. The architect preserved the original vision by adding a precast concrete façade. Due to the hot-dip galvanizing process, the garage should remain maintenance-free for at least 60 years.

SMI Steel Products. Reader Service No. 307

Strong and Sterile

When designing a $53 million expansion of Cook Children's Medical Center in Ft. Worth, Texas, project architect Anne Mullins of FKP Architects spent months searching for flooring that would appeal to the children, help with traffic flow, and meet the hospital's stringent performance requirements. Mullins chose Stonblend RTZ poured-in-place, seamless resin-based flooring for its durability, low maintenance, and design possibilities. The team designed colorful patterns to guide traffic flow and distinguish one area from another. Nursing director Barbara Green says RTZ is also softer than vinyl: "The nurses say it's easier on their legs and lower back."

Stonhard. Reader Service No. 313

Show Me the Green

More than 45,000 sf of Formawall foamed metal wall panels clad the exterior of a new manufacturing facility in Shanghai for Chengdu Banknote Printing Co., which prints China's legal tender. Finished in aged copper, the panels offer the strength and durability of a steel skin with a rigid insulating urethane foam core.

Centria. Reader Service No. 302

Panels for the Planet

When designers of the new sports and entertainment center in downtown Winnipeg, Man., wanted eco-friendly wall panels with acceptable flame-spread performance and high surface density, they looked to the nearby wheat fields. Woodstalk-brand wall panels are made from renewable wheat straw fiber instead of wood, and use resin instead of formaldehyde as a binder. These materials ensure that the panels emit as much as 97% less VOCs than other fiberboard and particleboard products.

Dow BioProducts. Reader Service No. 306

Safety First

During Polshek Partnership's recent entryway renovations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the design was just like your mother always told you—safety first. More than 130 sm of stainless steel cable mesh later, even the most overprotective mother would have been proud. X-Tend mesh was used as railing infill throughout the new pavilion to provide for visitor safety on stairs and balconies and to promote the concept of transparent architecture in the museum. The mesh is a system of stainless steel wire woven within a cable framework and spaced between 60 and 80mm apart, making it appear almost invisible.

Carl Stahl. Reader Service No. 316

Picture-Perfect Plaster

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., houses 900 works of art in 22 exhibition rooms within its West Building. During its renovation, this meant 35,000 sf of walls to plaster. Due to the NGA's stringent zero-tolerance standards, precision was essential to construction of the walls. To achieve the straight walls and plumb corners, contractor C.J. Coakley (whose plaster superintendent, Jim Bowman, is shown in photo) used two layers of gypsum drywall around 5/8-inch plywood to cover 16-gauge steel studs, and a veneer plaster system with Imperial Brand Basecoat and Structo-Gauge Gauging Plaster with lime finish. The result was an upgraded look for the walls of the gallery, with precise corners running 20 feet from floor to ceiling.

USG. Reader Service No. 304

         
 

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