On Monday, May 6, ATAS International held a ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of its second Allentown, Pennsylvania, manufacturing facility on Grant Way. The existing 65,000-square-foot building was constructed in 2005, and the addition will add another 53,000 square feet. This will allow for additional metal forming equipment and employees to support ATAS’ continually expanding product line.

ATAS is a family-owned business that went from a siding and trim installer to an industry-leading manufacturer of metal panels for the building envelope with locations across the United States. Aluminum Trim and Shapes was founded in 1963 by Jacobus “Jack” P. Bus in his home’s basement in Rochester, New York, where he, his wife, Nel, and their children resided. The company is now led by the second and third generations, and there were several children representing the fourth generation in attendance at the ground-breaking event.

In the past 61 years, there have been a total of six ground-breakings, including the original manufacturing facility in Rochester in 1972 and an expansion of that building in 1979; the original manufacturing facility on Snowdrift Road in Allentown in 1984 and an expansion of that building in 1999 (in which ATAS’ headquarters is located); the original manufacturing facility on Grant Way in Allentown in 2005 and now an expansion of that building. The owners of ATAS also have other facilities located in Mesa, Arizona; University Park, Illinois; Morrisville, Pennsylvania; and Trenton, New Jersey. From humble beginnings, the company has grown to a total of 645,000 square feet of space with 200 employees.

The existing Grant Way facility has a photovoltaic solar array on the roof and transpired solar collector metal wall panels installed on the south side of the building, making it very energy efficient. ATAS manufactures InSpire panels, which are metal wall panels with precision-lanced micro-perforations that create solar air heating. The panel is mounted a few inches from the building’s outer wall. Solar-heated air at the surface of the panel is drawn through the perforations, where it rises between the two walls and enters the building’s central ventilation system or supply fan. InSpire is a simple, economical solution for reducing carbon emissions and energy costs. The existing building has 4,000 square feet of InSpire panels installed on it in a 70 percent PVDF classic bronze paint finish, and the performance of those panels results in $7,152 of annual energy savings. The addition to the building will have 4,320 square feet of InSpire HP panels installed on it with a higher-performing selective surface finish and is expected to generate $9,026 in energy savings annually.