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Metal Enhances Learning Environment

   Author: John Ryan
Location: Glenview, IL

June 20, 2012 - (Glenview, IL) - The spirit of Penn Yan Academy in central New York is based on Yankee ingenuity. The same type of inventiveness was also applied to the attractive durable metal exterior and high-tech interior of the 50-year-old building that was renovated and expanded in 2010.

Penn Yan Academy challenges students by providing an intellectually stimulating learning environment. But the high school's small, outdated structure did not reflect the school's upbeat attitude and it no longer offered a modern atmosphere for learning.

The project's main goal was to enhance the learning environment. The other goal was to renovate the facility that was built in 1962 to meet current code requirements. Metal was chosen for its sustainable attributes and to create a sleek new look for the exterior that would reflect the school's cutting-edge approach to education.

King + King Architects, LLP, Syracuse, NY, is the architect of record for this project. Jason Benedict is the firm's project manager for the school district's projects.

"The school district's intent was to update the envelope with a state-of-the- art look and continue that into the interior space. Energy efficiency was critical in both mechanicals and the envelope. The existing building had a curtainwall system that had been in place for some time. District officials wanted to maintain the functions of this system but bring the efficiency, color, and style up to date. The choice of metal products met their needs," Benedict said.

The entire exterior of the building underwent a complete makeover, integrating rich blue and cool, elegant gray panels along with a variety of other cladding products to achieve a colorful, modern look. The metal wall panels, with their sustainable characteristics and a wide range of available color and texture options, made it possible for the architects to achieve their goals.

The wall systems chosen by King + King are from MCA member company CENTRIA, Moon Township, PA. "The unique aspect of the CENTRIA panel system was how the tongue-and groove design created a very tight building from the exterior shell that made the building able to meet or exceed code requirements for walls. We used insulated metal panels with some flat and some corrugated profiles," Benedict noted. The wall panels also were chosen for their sustainable aspects including recycled content and the ability to be recycled.

Construction was done in short bursts during summers and school holidays, so the quick installation provided by insulated metal panels was a great asset to the series of tight schedules. An insulated metal panel (IMP) is a strong, single unit constructed of a rigid core of insulation adhered between two sheets of metal. It provides an exceptionally strong building enclosure that minimizes thermal short circuits. Its single-unit construction also eliminates the need for multiple components and related labor.

"Efficiency in installation was part of the equation. The insulated metal panels were modular and easily applied to the existing structure. Project time from construction to completion was 2.5-3 years. It is typical in school construction to stop and start to keep school in session. However, in this district students and teachers did not have the luxury of moving to another location during construction as is sometimes the case," Benedict said.

King + King has frequently chosen metal for walls and roofs. "One of the things relative to the metal panel product is durability; some think it is not as durable as masonry or cement. Metal is highly durable so we use it quite often on our school projects. Sometimes we need to have a conversation about cost with administrators. Even if the metal products cost more up front, the savings in labor during construction and the low maintenance and long-term durability usually help the district realize the value of metal products," Benedict said.

The best part of finishing a long-term project such as this is not only the lasting visual appeal, but also the enduring energy efficiency for the school district.

Please go to the Case Studies section of to read the entire case study, which includes photos and other project information.

About the Metal Construction Association
The Metal Construction Association (MCA) is an organization of manufacturers and suppliers whose metal wall and roofing components are used in buildings throughout North America. The association's mission is to grow the use of metal through market development, education, technical programs and selective action on public policies that affect the use of metal in building projects.

About The Metal Initiative
The Metal Initiative is an industry wide program to expand the use of metal materials in construction through various educational programs and market development efforts. Visit for additional information and educational resources in the commercial construction market.

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