The Metal Construction Association’s 2023 Design Awards winners were featured at METALCON, a major industry event held in Las Vegas on Oct. 18-20.

The Metal Construction Association Design Awards, previously known as The Chairman’s Awards, recognize member companies involved in the construction of outstanding building projects that use metal in significant and innovative ways. The panel of judges included Rick Harlan Schneider, FAIA, LEED, principal of ISTUDIO Architects; Paul Mankins, FAIA, LEED AP, founder and consulting principal of substancearchitecture; and Steve Blye, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, director of health care design at Legat Architects. The group selected eight winners from submitted projects that highlight the use of metal to enhance the design of a building.

“When you want to showcase the possibilities and advantages of metal, these are the cutting edge, state-of-the-art examples,” said Brian Partyka, MCA’s Executive Committee Chair. “All of the entries we received are impressive, intelligent and inspiring. And these are the best of the best.”

The categories and award recipients are:

Best Overall/Solar/Custom: Thirty75 Tech in Santa Clara, California

Thirty75 Tech

Photo courtesy of Tim Griffith via MCA

The judges were unanimous in awarding this project the top spot, citing the radiant work and spiritual feel it achieves. The metal louvres for the façade create a visual experience that attracts attention at first sight. Although the façade is static in construction, the metal louvres provide a dynamic experience based on the viewer’s position and daylight angle. The complexity of the louvers is not random and is based on performative needs to mitigate heat gain and glare in what otherwise is an all-glass structure. The project’s architect, Verse Design, said in a statement, “We are absolutely thrilled and honored that people routinely take selfies with the building as a backdrop.”

MCA Member Company: PPG Industries
Architect: Verse Design Los Angeles
Contractor: Truebeck Construction
Metal Installers: AGA/AGS, Viking Steel and SME

Insulated Metal Panels: Fred Ayres Memorial Playground at Pineapple Park in Jensen Beach, Florida

Fred Ayres Memorial Playground at Pineapple Park

Photo courtesy of Matix Inc via MCA

Commemorating the generosity of Fred Ayres with a cost-efficient community playground was a unique challenge. The 4,500-square-foot multi-age play area needed to meet the municipality’s need for more green, efficient commercial buildings. The use of a pre-engineered metal building system allowed for a structure that, in the words of the judges, is inviting, vibrant and expressive.

MCA Member Companies: Kingspan and Metallic
Architect: Ahrens Companies
Contractor: Ahrens Companies
Metal Installer: Ahrens Companies

Metal Composite Material: North Carolina State University’s Plant Sciences Building in Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina State University's Plant Sciences Building

Photo courtesy of 3A Composites USA via MCA

The judges were impressed with the integration between the building and public space and the innovative use of curved metal in a design they described as “clean and elegant.” A variety of metal materials create an environment that is forward-looking and designed around sustainable materials to achieve LEED Gold certification.

MCA Member Company: 3A Composites USA
Architect: Flad Architects
Contractor: DPR Construction
Metal Installers: SPS Corporation, BEES and Bonitz

Single-Skin Panels: Texas A&M’s Southside Recreational Center in College Station, Texas

Texas A&M's Southside Recreational Center

Photo courtesy of Wade Griffith via MCA

Single-skin metal panels were selected for this project to achieve a high-quality, distinct design filled with thoughtful details. The lower costs of the panels also allowed the campus to invest in additional outdoor amenities, including a terrace, two volleyball courts and a turf area for fitness classes and functional training.

MCA Member Companies: Carlisle Companies Incorporated and Auzmet Architectural Incorporated
Architect: SmithGroup
Contractor: Manhattan Construction Group
Metal Installer: Auzmet Architectural Incorporated

Residential Roof: 4/Way House in Topanga, California

4/Way House

Photo courtesy of Taiyo Watanabe and Atelier Taiyo Architecture Photography via RHEINZINK and MCA

The project’s name, “4/Way House,” was inspired by four “rotations” integrated into the home’s design. Sustainable zinc is used throughout the home, including the roofing, which offers a lifespan of 100 years or more and is 100 percent recyclable. Additionally, the metal roofing is inherently and effectively fire- and corrosion-resistant.

MCA Member Company: RHEINZINK
Architect: Deegan-Day Design & Architecture Incorporated
Contractor: Kent Snyder Construction
Metal Installer: Atlas Sheet Metal

Commercial Roof, First Place: Katy Trail Ice House in Las Vegas

Katy Trail Ice House

Photo courtesy of Ryerson Construction and Burke Construction via MCA

The use of metal achieves a sense of luxury and sophistication for this Las Vegas “gastro-hub.” Metal was used in this design to create wide-open spaces with strong foundations. The materials used allowed the construction team to create unique angles in the roof, fulfilling the expectation of the design. Massive open ceilings provide customers and other tenants breathtaking views of the sunny Las Vegas skies. People enter a space filled with welcoming opulence.

MCA Member Companies: Nucor Buildings Group and McElroy Metals
Architect: Gensler
Contractor: Burke Construction
Metal Installer: Battle Born Steel

Commercial Roof, Second Place: Phoenix Sky Harbor Sky Train in Phoenix

Phoenix Sky Harbor Sky Train

Photo courtesy of Bill Timmerman via MCA

The judges were impressed by the simple and unique design, noting that “the complexity of the geometry is outstanding.” Upgrading and modernizing the airport’s Sky Train with metal reinforces the aviation aesthetic, while the low-maintenance advantages include self-cleaning attributes that ensure the roofs never give a dirty appearance. Aluminum gave the stations the durability to outlast most buildings’ life expectancy. With the modularity of the roof and fascia panels, panel replacement due to incidental impact is a straightforward and quick process. The Sky Train has helped to significantly reduce energy consumption to the car rental area.

MCA Member Company: Dura Coat Products
Architect: SmithGroup/Gannet Fleming
Contractor: Hensel Phelps
Metal Installer: Kovach

Retrofit: SUNY Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York

SUNY Binghamton University

Photo courtesy of 3A Composites USA via MCA

Metal was chosen to give the campus an iconic look and fully improve the building’s thermal envelope. The ability to fabricate metal in different sizes and shapes allowed the realization of a design recalling a DNA mapping pattern to reflect the psychological research conducted within the building. Metal’s longevity and recyclability also contributed to its selection for this unique, innovative structure that has earned silver LEED status.

MCA Member Company: 3A Composites USA
Architect: Ashley McGraw Associates
Metal Installer: Gitzen Company, Inc.

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