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Metal upgrades terra cotta on university building

The 1700 S. Patterson Building on the University of Dayton's River Campus was renovated with metal.

The 1700 S. Patterson Building on the University of Dayton's River Campus was renovated with metal. The 455,000-square-foot building, located on 115 acres the university purchased from NCR Corp. in 2009, was built in the 1970s and clad in terra cotta tiles.

After years of sunlight and water exposure, some tiles were failing and falling off the 1700 S. Patterson Building. Sam Davis, Spohn Associates Inc., manufacturer's representative and installer, says it was a safety issue. "This was an occupied building with tiles potentially falling five stories to the sidewalk below," he says.

The 1700 S. Patterson Building's exterior was clad with metal panels from Dri-Design in two phases between 2012 and October 2013. Phase one installation was 40,000 square feet of panels on the rear of the building; an additional 40,000 square feet was installed on the front during phase two. To begin the process, a Tyvek weather barrier from DuPont was installed over the existing clay tiles and galvanized hat channels were placed at all horizontal joints.

Interior renovations transformed the structure into usable university space and the building houses the University of Dayton Research Institute, alumni center, space for graduate classes, executive development programs, conferences, offices, an auditorium, dining facility and a 1,600-space parking lot addition.

University officials wanted to maintain the original masonry look of the structure and Dri- Design's three colors created a blended effect that mimics terra cotta. Spohn Associates installed 80,000 square feet of Dri-Design's 0.08-inch aluminum rainscreen system in Clay Red, Dark Red Clay and Light Red Clay.

Russ Potyrala, associate vice president of facilities at the University of Dayton, says by working with Dri-Design they were able to find a solution that addressed their needs. "We have made a tremendous investment in this property so it's important we take care of it," he explains.

Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design, says metal panels add to the retrofit market with ease of installation, durability and sustainability. "Renovation work is always appealing because it brings life back into a structure," he adds.

Architect: Martz Architects LLC, Dayton

Manufacturer's representative/installer: Spohn Associates Inc., Dayton

Metal wall panels: Dri-Design, Holland, Mich.,

Weather barrier: DuPont, Wilmington, Del.,