Chicago, Illinois, is home to awe-inspiring architecture – from historical buildings that are centuries old to countless modern skyscrapers. Among the latest structures to pierce the sky in the windy city: The new Wanda Vista Towers. At 101 stories tall, one of the trio of the buildings north of Millennium Park is among the tallest in the city. All three structures include residences and retail establishments for discerning city dwellers who seek an urban living environment.
The height of the tallest building meant its potential to sway back and forth had to be considered in the design phase. Architects chose to make floors 83 and 84 of the building as blow-through floors to allow air to move through the building and reduce swaying.
These floors were designed to be primarily open to disrupt and reduce wind effects on that floor and for several stories above and below. In this critical area, Metl-Span insulated metal panels provided an all-in-one solution for thermal insulation with air, water, and a high R-value, which reduced costs.
“Ultimately we went with the IMP solution because of the 3-in-1 benefit that other options don’t provide,” said Mike Underwood, vice president at All American Exterior Solutions. “It was a simple solution that could help get the building up to code fairly quickly.”
For the blow-through floors and the top floor of the tallest building, crews installed CF Mesa panels, chosen for the ability to create a climate-controlled, energy-efficient space and higher R-value. The project team specified Mesa panels in Blue Tahoe to create a rippling wave effect, designed to complement the building’s location along the river.
Metl-Span IMPs were also specified for portions of the interior and exterior sections of the towers, with 18,000 square feet of panel integrating into the glass curtainwall.
Crews installed CF Architectural Wall panels on the exterior of the East towers on floors one through three and 10 through 11. On the West tower, the panels finished floor 11. Metl-Span fabricated a custom color, Blue Ash, for these sections of the building, completing a crucial element of the building design.
On the Way Up
The project’s size made installation an important consideration for the project management team.
“With a job this big that is in a very tight area, delivery and installation is always a challenge, so we needed a supplier that could keep up with our demand in product and our timeline,” Underwood said.
Metl-Span met the stringent demands for timely delivery of products and ensured crews could efficiently install the panels once they were on site.
Crews broke ground on the Wanda Vista Towers in 2016. The complex opened in 2020.
A Nucor company, Metl-Span is a pioneer of insulated metal panels (IMPs), providing state-of-the-art IMPs and building materials to the commercial and industrial industries. Metl-Span is committed to delivering high-quality, durable, and energy-efficient solutions designed for unparalleled performance to stand the test of time. Metl-Span is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with manufacturing plants across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit https://www.metlspan.com/.