Kistler Project Spotlight: PGA Campus Headquarters

Kistler recently completed our most ambitious project to date, and we wanted to share a little bit about it.

This project involved creating and installing the architectural façade and soffit elements for the headquarters of a major utility provider in South Florida. Because of the critical infrastructure the client provides, the intricate design of the building, and a location that is prone to hurricanes, we faced a number of challenges.

In order to create the building elements to meet the design and specifications of the architect, we really had to push the edge of what is possible with metal. The panels themselves were constructed using ALPOLIC by Mitsubishi in a custom 3-coat metallic finish and installed over our Series 200 Wet-Joint System. The belly of the building is in the shape of a canoe, with a very sharp radius, so our panels needed to be almost cone-shaped and every panel is different.

A huge level of complexity is added by the fact that this building needed to be essentially hurricane-proof. The utility needed this building to serve as their command center in the case of a devastating storm, a place where their employees could hunker down and try to keep the lights on for their customers.

To achieve this, they did extensive model and wind tunnel tests. The stronger the wind is, the more pressure it puts on your materials. Our panels had to be engineered to meet the criteria the client set, which were almost off the charts. 

Once the client and architects agreed on what needed to be built and what the budget was, we needed to understand what our limitations were on the materials and the installation. Part of the process was using BIM (Building Information Modeling) at level of development 450, which means your level of detail is almost down to each individual fastener. 

Because of all of this, the building itself was what we call “overbuilt.” For us, that meant that our tolerances were extremely small because we couldn’t force or nudge things into place. Our panels either fit or they didn’t, so that made the fabrication extremely tricky, and the installation was about as difficult as it gets.

Ultimately, we were able to install nearly 35,000 square feet of façade and soffit elements that everyone was extremely happy with and that we’re incredibly proud of. It was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but we love a good challenge!

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