Indiana university science building enhances façade with ACM wall panels

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana, met the modern design goals for its Innovation Hall with aluminum composite material (ACM). Photo courtesy Alucoil
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana, met the modern design goals for its Innovation Hall with aluminum composite material (ACM).
Photo courtesy Alucoil

Discussions in the design phase of Innovation Hall at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana, were focused on constructing a facility to host the most modern technological class offerings. To meet the design goals, a significant portion of the façade was constructed with aluminum composite material (ACM).

According to the school’s website, Innovation Hall was constructed to meet the evolving teaching and research needs for programs in the school of science, engineering and technology, and informatics and computing. It also houses the university’s first Class 100 clean room, a specific type of space providing high levels of cleanliness, allowing faculty and students to have space on campus to fabricate nanodevices. Innovation Hall, approximately 9290 m2 (100,000 sf) of usable space, has general classrooms and faculty offices, engineering and science labs, and a state-of-the-art theater with two curved light-emitting diode (LED) screens.

“We wanted to deliver a clean aesthetic reflective of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education program,” said Max Adams, senior associate at Perkins & Will of Chicago, architecture firm for the project. “ACM was a cost-effective solution that reflects the technology field.”

“The metallic silver panels allow light to play off the façade. They highlight the taught enclosure and clean lines as light grazes them,” Adams said. “The metallic finish also gives the angled panels above windows shape even in overcast conditions.”

A total of 1054 ACM panels (2415 m2 [26,000 sf]) were installed by Interior Specialties Inc. (ISO) of Indianapolis. ISI also installed other metal components including the framing.

“Everything went just the way it was supposed to go,” said Brad Tuggle, ISI project manager. “The clips went on a little different than some other ACM products we have worked with, but that was not a big deal. It looks really good and it is definitely another job we are proud of.”

“The ACM on this project has a clean look,” said Mark Haab, vice-president of operations at manufacturing company. “I was very impressed with the outcome of the sloping panel above the windows; a subtle adjustment from the flat wall but it creates a noticeable and complementary contrast. Some of the panels around the windows were assembled due to the overall width, along with the panels being vertically oriented. This is a smart design by Perkins & Will and well executed in the field by ISI.”

Innovation Hall opened for students in January.

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