Located on 6 acres within the Brook Hollow Industrial District,
General Datatech‘s new 95,300-square-foot Customer Service Center in Dallas is LEED Silver certified. The original two-story, 70,500-square-foot masonry and concrete building was built in 1958 for Foremost Dairy as a processing plant and office. After sitting vacant for years, the building was purchased in 2009 by General Datatech with the goal of renovating it to create a modern image for the progressive data and telecommunications service provider. The facility houses the company’s administrative, operations and customer support.
Completed in February 2011, the project involved cladding the masonry building with a combination of metal envelopes. Along with as-cast concrete, the materials create a contrast of precise machine-shaped forms versus artistic cast forms, creating a well-balanced pallet. Anchoring the project to the west is a new 30,000-square-foot as-cast tilt-up concrete warehouse. The warehouse’s roof supports a 100Kw photovoltaic array from REC Americas LLC, San Luis Obispo, Calif., which provides power for the facility. Rainwater is captured with an underground cistern, which provides an irrigation source throughout most of the year.
For the project, Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga., supplied its 4-mm Reynobond aluminum composite material panels. There are 6,562 square feet in Bright Silver Metallic and 3,562 square feet in Red. Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America Inc., Chesapeake, Va., provided 700 square feet of 4-mm ALPOLIC composite metal panels in Brushed Stainless Steel, while Houston-based Architectural Building Components supplied 15,247 square feet of its 24-gauge, 36-inch-wide corrugated metal panels in Galvalume and 826 square feet of its 24-gauge, 12-inch-wide smooth interlocking metal panels in Galvalume, which were only used at the soffits.
The composite metal panels were used to represent the building’s administrative areas with Bright Silver, and marketing portions with Red. The corrugated metal represents the building’s support services. Both types are attached to a backup system of metal studs, shimmed and attached directly to the existing masonry, creating a new enclosure. New parapets give the project new proportions and hide the rooftop equipment. Additionally, a new FG-3000 aluminum storefront and Reliance curtainwall system from Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Santa Monica, Calif., was used on the entire building. The Eclipse Advantage Arctic Blue 1-inch insulated glass was supplied by Toledo, Ohio-Pilkington North America Inc. Inside the warehouse, skylights in the ceiling elements and Solatubes from Solatube International, Vista, Calif., help diffuse the interior with natural light.
The different types of metal were used to create a new, contemporary modern image for the adaptive reuse of the old dairy building. As Edwin Brantley Smith, AIA, president, Edwin Brantley Smith & Associates Inc., Dallas, explains, the exterior represents a new start for the building, while the interior retained much of the raw details that existed. “The marriage of these design ideas resulted in a thoroughly modern and unique project that represents the ideas and innovative aspects of the company,” he says.
“We use metal in many of our design retrofit projects because it gives us the clean modern expression of precision, texture and durability,” Smith adds. “Many times we try to reinvent an existing building image with our design by applying a second skin over the existing 3-D form. The lightness of metal allows this to occur with virtually no structural modifications to the existing building. This is not only practical, it looks great, saves our clients money and ultimately reduces the overall cost of maintaining the building appearance.”
General Datatech Customer Service Center, Dallas
Building owner: Metro Media Place LLC, Dallas
General contractor: Structure Tone Southwest Inc., Dallas
Architect/interior designer: Edwin Brantley Smith & Associates Inc., Dallas
Metal installer: Composite Panel Technology South, Addison, Texas
Structural engineer: Smith Engineering Inc., Bossier City, La.
Photovoltaics installer/engineer: Axium Solar, Plano, Texas
Daylighting: Solatube International, Vista, Calif., www.solatube.com
Glass: Pilkington North America Inc., Toledo, Ohio, www.pilkington.com
Metal wall panels: Reynobond by Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga., www.reynobond.com;
ALPOLIC by Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America Inc., Chesapeake, Va., www.alpolic-usa.com; and Architectural Building Components, Houston, www.archmetalroof.com
Photovoltaics: REC Americas LLC, San Luis Obispo, Calif., www.recgroup.com
Storefront/curtainwall system: Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Santa Monica, Calif., www.oldcastlebe.com
Photographer: Steven Vaughan