Metal Architecture Home

Office & Mixed-Use

Pacific Plaza, Tacoma, Wash.

Pacific PlazaOnce a four-story, decades old and crumbling parking garage, the Pacific Plaza building is now a striking new six-story, state-of-the-art structure, and Washington's only LEED Platinum core and shell construction project.

The $35 million, 250,000-square-foot project features two new floors of 68,800 square feet of Class A commercial space; 32,000 square feet of refurbished storefront office and retail space; and a 28,000-square-foot green roof.

More than 26,000 square feet of Metl-Span CF insulated panels were used to clad the inhabited portion of the office building/parking garage structure. The 3-inch panels were finished in Weathered Zinc and installed horizontally in 24-, 30- and 36-inch widths. The Metl-Span panels interface with a cement composite façade system used to clad the exterior walls on the parking garage portion of the building.

Pacific Plaza is the result of a successful publicprivate partnership between the city of Tacoma and the local development team of Pacific Plaza Development LLC. The city replaced a seismically deficient garage with a larger, like-new facility while the developer obtained streetfront retail space and air rights for commercial space without the burden of providing structure parking. The result has rejuvenated a key commercial district.

Pacific PlazaBLRB Architects designed the award-winning project. "We were the only development team that proposed to keep the existing building and not put it in a landfill," says Ben Ferguson, project manager and lead administrator on the project. Built in 1970 as part of a HUD urban renewal effort, the original parking structure was clad in a hammered concrete finish. "It was stylish at the time but aged quickly," according to Ferguson.

While the firm had not used Metl-Span before, Ferguson reports that they were familiar with the concept of insulated metal panel products. "Our contractor looked around for different brands and the Metl-Span was the most price competitive by far," Ferguson says. "From an architectural standpoint, the Metl-Span enabled us to get the very flat aesthetic that we wanted. It creates a very monolithic, structured and polished look."

BLRB designers used a peel and stick air and vapor barrier. "By having the insulation outboard, it enabled us to break our dew point outside the air and vapor barrier which helped eliminate any concern for mold in the cavities of the walls," according to Ferguson. "What we really like about Metl-Span is that the system is really an air and vapor barrier on its own. The building is extremely tight and energy efficient."

Pacific Plaza was named the 2010 Sustainable Project of the Year by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Owner: City of Tacoma
Developer: Pacific Plaza Development LLC, Tacoma
Builder: Absher Construction Co., Puyallup, Wash.
Architect: BLRB Architects, Tacoma
Structural engineer: PCS Structural Solutions, Seattle
Installer: Kenco Construction Inc., Seattle
Metal wall panels: Metl-Span, Lewisville, Texas,