The final results of Walls & Ceilings’ Sixth Annual Excellence Awards.

NASCAR Hall of Fame Office Tower Lobby. Photo courtesy of Peter Brentlinger.

Walls & Ceilings is honored to present the winners of our sixth annual Excellence Awards contest. The categories awarded this year are Ceilings, Drywall, EIFS/Stucco, Interior Plaster/Ornamentation and Metal Framing. The entries were judged by a panel of W&C staff members and its Editorial Advisory Board.

We asked each company to submit a profile of the job. In this profile, each company talks about the job and some of the challenges, an overview of the finished product and why they should win.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the awards and to all those who submitted projects.


Warco Construction

NASCAR Hall of Fame Complex Office Tower Lobby, Charlotte, N.C.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Complex’s Office Tower lobby was built for NASCAR fans-people who love speed and spectacle. When fans enter the lobby, they’ll immediately see the excitement of a racetrack in the lobby ceiling. Ceilings Plus transformed its metal Radians panels into a ribbon-like shape with alternating convex and concave radii using unusually large 4½-foot-wide by 10-foot-long panels. These panels may be big, but were installed quickly, just the way the race enthusiasts would want it done. Sustainable panels of this size and shape are technically demanding, but Ceilings Plus adapted, resulting in a design masterpiece at the finish line.

Wrapping around the building facade, a large metal ribbon fuses the racetrack theme into the lobby. Entering the lobby, 22 feet above the floor, the curvilinear ceiling pops out at the spectator as it contrasts all of the space’s rectangular-shaped objects. The Grau-finished (anodized aluminum) convex and concave panels interweave, generating the ribbon-like sculptural device in the ceiling. The ribbon motif gives the space character and identity more so than anything else in the room.

Sprawling across the entire lobby area and hallways at 3,225 square feet, the panels mimic multiple lanes in a racetrack. Keeping in line with the building’s 5 foot module, the panels are each 10 foot long, and each panel spans two of the 5 feet wide window sections. Every 10 feet, the ceiling waves allude to motion, as in the waving checkered flag associated with racing culture.

The ceiling’s curvilinear shape, anodized aluminum finish, and lighting draw spectators’ eyes upward and onward. Lights highlight the unique ceiling design, further evoking the speed and spectacle of a racetrack. Ceilings Plus helped the designers integrate an innovative lighting system that incorporates uplighting and downlighting. The metal finish allows light from the lobby windows to reflect off the polished floor and walls to further illuminate the room. The intersection of the Radians panels’ metal finish and this lighting combination highlight the panel waves, making them the lobby’s main attraction.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame lobby designers were ahead of their time with this design, and had the environmental future in mind, too. Spectator’s eyes aren’t the only thing doing laps in this room-materials in the ceiling panels have been recycled over and over, making this ceiling an environmental triumph. By using the Radians recycled aluminum panels, other common ceiling elements were eliminated from the panels, helping preserve natural resources. The NASCAR Hall of Fame lobby is a highly sustainable project using a unique ceiling design that will keep racing for a long time.

Project Details:

Completion Date: November 2008

Overall square footage: 3,225

Project Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Initial Project Budget: $95,215

Final Cost of Project: $95,215

Contractor: Warco Construction

Architect: Peicobb Freed & Partners Architect


Ceilings Plus Radian Panels with Grau Finish


E&K of Kansas City

Staley High School Project, North Kansas City, Mo.

Staley High School and District Activity Complex was built to handle North Kansas City’s expanding enrollment, as well as, to serve as the main venue for all district sporting events. Staley High School features many prominent drywall structures which include a multitude of curved surfaces, such as the two story serpentine exterior curtain wall system, which is highlighted by an interior serpentine soffit with various radius points. The challenge of this soffit was two-fold. E&K was given leeway to “freehand” the soffit in place yet the company was required to maintain the subtle curvature of the overall design.

This project also included four, two-story radius walls extending from the ground floor through the second floor and into the clerestories of the classroom wings. Finishing these walls required the utmost attention to detail to overcome the effects of critical natural lighting and high-gloss paint.

Another noteworthy architectural component at Staley High School is the use of pyramidal ceiling diffusers in the auxiliary auditorium. These suspended pyramids were 6 feet square at the base and had to be built out of metal framing and drywall. E&K framed, rocked and finished the pyramids on the ground and subsequently suspended them in place.

The most impressive component of the drywall construction on this project is the suspended drywall auditorium ceiling. It is suspended in six sections, each with their own plane and angle to the audience below.

Staley High School gets top honors as being the first LEED certified high school in Missouri. They received Silver Certification in October 2008. E&K of Kansas City worked hand in hand with the other trades and the General Contractor to ensure that certification was attained.

Through all its trials and challenges, this project turned into a magnificent testament to education. The North Kansas City School District has undoubtedly one of the most discerning educational facilities in the Kansas City Area. We are honored and proud to have been part of this amazing project.

Project Details:

Completion Date: September 2008

Size in overall square footage: 275,000

Project Location: North Kansas City, Mo. (suburban)

Initial Project Budget: $3.5 million

Final Cost of Project: $3.5 million

Owner: North Kansas City School District

Lead Architect: Hollis & Miller

General Contractor: J. E. Dunn Construction Company

Project Manager: Lee Moore

Project Superintendent: Max Overfield


National Gypsum Co. Gold Bond

USG Plus 3 Finish

Casino Snoqualmie in North Bend, Wash.


KHS&S Contractors

Casino Snoqualmie, North Bend, Wash.

KHS&S’ expert planning, and especially their skilled craftsmanship, defined the overall look of Casino Snoqualmie. Nearly 90 percent of the visible finishes were completed by KHS&S.

KHS&S completed the exteriors and interiors of the 171,000-square-foot casino and an adjacent parking garage for the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe.

KHS&S also installed metal stud framing, drywall, EIFS, wall coverings, faux paint, finished carpentry and two water features in the interior. On the exterior, its scope included metal stud framing, EIFS and painting. The mountain-style lodge casino includes 51,000 square feet of gaming space, an event center, five restaurants, a cigar lounge and wine bar.

KHS&S’ craftsmanship is most visible on the project’s exterior, where they developed a durable alternative to a red cedar treatment. Instead of using real cedar or another traditional construction method, KHS&S developed a faux wood grain with Dryvit. The foam was cut to look like cedar siding, while the finished coat was combed and stained to simulate red cedar.

“The architect wanted the look of cedar, but not the maintenance it requires,” says Jeff Castagnola, general superintendent. “He asked us to figure out a way to make it look like cedar, so we did. The specialty finish has garnered the praise of the general contractor, architect and owner.”

KHS&S also installed a wood grain wall covering on the interior trusses over the casino floor. The ceiling is 65 feet tall with trusses that measure 35 feet high by 100 feet wide. To achieve the look of natural wood grain, craftsmen framed the trusses, installed the drywall, then covered the trusses with a vinyl wood grain covering.

Overcoming Weather Challenges

The Casino Snoqualmie job site looked much different during the beginning of the project, when KHS&S battled snow, wind and low temperatures. Craftsmen protected themselves and the project from 60 mph winds and snow. KHS&S tented the scaffolding around the exterior, then heated the area to keep everyone warm.

The weather was also a constant challenge to the structural contractors, which in turn created a compressed schedule for KHS&S. Many of the completion dates for structural steel and concrete were delayed, so KHS&S couldn’t proceed as soon as it would have liked in many areas. To meet this challenge, KHS&S remained flexible and moved to other areas where they could work. They also worked overtime to meet the demanding schedule and completed many areas ahead of schedule.

Another challenge was presented by the casino’s underfloor duct system, which prohibited craftsmen from driving scissor lifts directly across the floor. The general contractor installed rails on the floor for the lifts to travel across. This required KHS&S to plan ahead and communicate closely with the general contractor so the lifts were moved to the proper location when needed.

Despite the challenges, “craftsmen did an outstanding job, and this shows in the finished product,” says Pete Battisti, regional vice president, Seattle. “They worked safely, productively and professionally.”

Project Details:

Owner: Snoqualmie Tribe of Indians

General Contractor: Skanska USA Building

Architectural Firm: Bergman Walls & Associates, LTD

Engineer: Anderson-Peyton

Project Completion Date: October 2008

Size in overall square footage: 171,000 square feet


Metal Studs: SCAFCO

GWB: GTS Interior Supply

Exterior: Dryvit and Evergreen Building Products

Decorative Metals: Streich Bros., Master Metal Works and Metal Engineering Inc.

FRP Fabrications: Western Architectural Services

GFRC: Z&Z Manufacturing


Interior & Exterior Cultured Stone: Johnston Construction

ACT: F. Rodgers

Fireproofing: Anning Johnson

Insulation: F. Rodgers

Scaffolding: ThyssenKrupp Safway

Temporary Heating: TuCo

Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Interior Plaster/ Ornamental

Triangle Plastering Ltd.

Uptown Theater, Grand Prairie, Texas

This theater is a historical marker for the city of Grand Prairie, Texas so they wanted it restored with the style it was built in 1950. The designer realized the only system that could restore this facility to its early 20th century art deco style would be metal lath and plaster. The architectural details called for plaster radius light coves throughout the entry and theater-not something seen everyday in 2008. The architects states, “Dealing with space limitations, strict program and technical requirements inside the building envelope, Killis Almond Architects, PC used basic architectural forms with vivacious finishes, while keeping some of the existing elements as a backdrop, to create the new center.”

Triangle Plastering brought in its most experienced lather and his crew to hand bend channel iron into the exact ellipse shape called for. Working from the detailed architectural drawings our lathers laid out each critical point for the radii and cove. With channel iron, metal lath and trim in place Triangle had to create a series of hand built iron mules to guide and apply the plaster coating. Each cove took a series of three to four mules before removing the guide and applying the plaster finish. The plaster finish coat was very important due to the critical lighting from the various coves. Lathers and plasterers had to draw upon old world skills to replicate this architectural style from the past.

Project Details:

Completion Date: December 2008

Size in overall square footage: 27,000 Project

Location: Grand Prairie, Texas

Initial Project Budget: $250,000

Final Cost of Project: $250,000

General Contractor: Phillips/May Corporation

Architect: Killis Almond Architects, PC

Owners: City of Grand Prairie


Plaster products: USG

Metal products: AMICO

Lewis Residence located in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii. Permission to use by M. Lewis.

Metal Framing

Lewis & Mann Plastering and Drywall Inc.

Lewis Residence, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

The Lewis Residence is located on a 12,996 square foot golf course frontage lot in the Pikake Subdivision, town of Lihue, on the island of Kauai. The tropical-styled home was designed by Gary Toby of Design Concepts Kauai, who has been designing high-end custom homes for more than 35 years. The cold-formed metal framing was engineered by TLCP Hawaii Structural.

The residence is a 3,000 square foot single story split-pitch Cedar Shake roof home with Fleetwood 3070 Series sliding glass windows throughout. Built slab-on-grade, the metal framing is 20, 18, 16 and 14 gauge. Lewis & Mann used Dietrich Metal supplied by GW Killebrew out of Honolulu. Also integrated into the home is 1/4-inch tube steel that is used at some headers and post areas. There are a total of four roof sections, all metal rafters, with the highest peak being 25 feet. For the exterior shear walls, Lewis & Mann used 20 gauge, 4 feet by 8 feet sheet metal in lieu of plywood shear paneling. The house was finished with a Direct-Applied Exterior Finish System, brown in color.

This home has a very tropical feel with 5-foot wide eaves and floor-to-ceiling sliding windows that invite the outdoors in. The two wood species used throughout the finish are Sepele and IPE. The cooks-kitchen showcases green, South-American granite countertops with a floor to ceiling mitered window. Designed in pod-like sections, the home has three very distinct high-pitched ceilings and features an attached, outdoor living room in a courtyard setting. The house was designed to obtain the most out of the property with open views down Hole #2 on the Puakea Golf Course, as well as facing the beautiful Haupu Mountain Range on the courtyard-side of the property.

The benefits of building with steel are endless. Besides being more environmental friendly, building out of metal makes the residence more sound and sturdy, as well as termite-proof rather than the typical wood framed house. Lewis & Mann Plastering and Drywall, Inc. is already embarking on another CFMF residence in the neighborhood and is looking forward to building more in the future.

Project Details:

Project Completion Date: July 09

Size in overall square footage: 3,000

Location: Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii Initial

Project Budget: $600,000

Final Cost of Project: $675,000

Gary Toby, Design Concepts Kauai

Jim Tribolet, TLCP Hawaii Structural


Metal Framing: Dietrich Ind.

EIFS: Dryvit

Drywall: Georgia-Pacific W&C