Cedar Rapids Federal Courthouse

Metal Design Systems began design assistance for the Cedar Rapids Federal Courthouse back in 2005, working with the designers to provide the best solution for materials. MDSI created a large scaled mock up of natural copper material per the design intent and kept it outside to view the aging process. After the flood of 2008, the Federal Courthouse project was escalated and an embossed LIC stainless Steel material was selected in a bronze palate, with varying colors of this hue on the overall façade. Our Series 70 was selected because of the superior performance of a pressure equalized rainscreen system as well as the ability to utilize varying materials and adaptability to the radius scope with numerous differing dimensioned panels of the design. The Series 70 panel system covers the front façade, soffit area, column covers, as well as interior panels in champagne metallic ACM. The final finished building meets the design intent with a fully functioning mechanical system, effortlessly installed to the radiused substrate with the use of our Exact+Site 3D™ laser Scan service. The Exact+Site™ 3D laser scan was utilized to scan the building and create a 3D model of the as built conditions. We then laid out exactly where all the Series 70 mullions and pins needed to be placed, saving quite a lot of time in field.


University of Iowa Children’s Hospital

During the past four years Metal Design Systems, Inc. had the privilege of working on the nationally renowned University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.  This hospital is, and will continue to be a very important facility for the community, Iowa, and medical community at large.

Over the course of the four and a half year construction at UICH, MDSI broke the project up into five “smaller” architectural projects.  This approach allowed for streamlined scheduling and communication throughout the build.

This project was quite large, with over 2,600 panels and 62,000 square feet of material.  There were many areas of the project where a custom unitized assembly was the only available approach.  MDSI was able to meet those needs.

These custom areas included a special attachment system for soffit areas and vertical slots that extended up the full height of the hospital.  Series 20 and Series 44 panels can also be found on this project.  The elliptical shape of the building created very complex panels and attachment methods.  This was especially true on the sloped soffit area of the 12th floor and the compound curves of the drop off canopy.

Metal Design Systems, Inc. worked with Heery Design on the development and execution of the project.  Click here to learn about the project from their perspective.  Two different Alucoil products wereused including their ACM Larson, and their honeycomb Larcore.  Visit this page to learn more about the hospital, see construction pictures, and renderings of the project.  Many families and individuals have already been touched in a very profound way by the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and MDSI was honored to be part of the construction of this building.

Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust

Metal Design Systems’ Series 20 Rainscreen was selected for the silver metallic ACM panels, accent band, canopy, eyebrow, and the MDSI ColumnMax™ column covers. The panels feature a bullnose shape along the top of the and accent band, adding dimension and interest to the overall aesthetics, according to the design by OPN Architects. MDSI Series 10 System was selected as an additional solution for ease of installation on the top of the canopy of the Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office was designed with large profile shingle panels in a natural copper finish. MDSI Series 60 System was a perfect match for this design criteria. A 4mm copper MCM profile was selected to avoid any oil canning which can occur with flat sheet metal in larger profiles. The project consists of interior high sheen natural copper and exterior natural patina on the knife wall. The diamond pattern continues from the exterior into the interior naturally.

The Series 60 System is also very desirable as it installs quickly with simple field modifications where needed. This project is not only built with highly sustainable copper MCM material, but as the finish ages, it will continue to patina to a natural green shade.

Chesapeake Energy

The Series 72 attachment system was utilized for the Chesapeake Energy building in order to apply the new panels over the top of the existing hail damaged foam core panels without removing them or compromising the interior environment. Metal Design utilized the Exact+Site™ scanning process to measure the building in a matter of hours and produce all of the panels for the site without needing to rent lifts to measure all of the windows and details. The building remained in full use during the installation. This was an extremely cost effective solution with a quick installation, as well as a beautiful fit and finish with custom ACM colors selected for this 27,000 square feet project.

Cedar Rapids Public Library

The Cedar Rapids Public Library consists of many unique design features such as the entry area utilizing Series 72 panels in varying depths to create depth and space for illuminated panels. Red accent fins were fabricated and installed along with white ACM trim panels, to accent the gray Series 72 panels. Swiss Pearl fiber cement panels were manufactured and installed on the long side and front portions of the façade. MDSI ColumnMax™ Column Covers in white ACM compliment the façade. The project also features a red ACM drum on the roof, and a skywalk element clad in ACM to match. The overall project features 43,000 sq. ft. of MDSI wall cladding with a total of 2,600 panels.

Metal Architecture featured this project on the cover of their June edition. An article about the work MDSI contributed can be found here.

Also read the Project Report by Alcoa discussing the layered panels which give the Cedar Rapids Public Library a unique look.


Argonne National Laboratory

The Argonne National Laboratory project utilized both clear anodized and copper anodized finishes in .080 aluminum sheet goods. Metal Design Systems’ Series 80 was the preferred attachment system. Series 80 is a Rainscreen panel system that lends itself to use with a wide variety of materials. This allows the architects and designers to choose the final aesthetic of any project. Argonne National Laboratory has a combination of same and differing sized panels. MDSI worked with the architect’s design team and general contractor to provide a solution for the range of alternating colors available with copper anodized panels.


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