Home Architecture/planning Acola Kevlar composite material used on Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience

Acola Kevlar composite material used on Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience

Acola Kevlar composite material used on Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience

Aluminum Composite Materials (ACM) from Alcoa Architectural Products (AAP) are integral components and contribute to the sustainable design of the glass-and-metal building envelope that protects $64 million Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, the newest addition to Florida’s nascent biotechnical research center in Jupiter, FL, an Acola news release says.

The laboratory and office building were designed to meet the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council LEED New Construction (NC) accreditation program and the supplementing laboratory-specific energy-reduction recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lab 21 environment performance criteria. The institute is one of only a very few life sciences research facilities in the world to have achieved LEED Gold-certification, the news release says.

A sleek look

“The pairing of traditional Reynobond ACM and Reynobond with Kevlar ACM enhances the project in several ways,” said George Rosado, commercial director for Alcoa Architectural Products. “By specifying both materials with our anodic clear  Colorweld 500 coil-coated paint finish, they blend seamlessly on the façade to create the sleek, modern look the client desired, and they comply with the hurricane wind load and impact requirements—withstanding the impact of debris hurled at hurricane-force speeds. Additionally, the lightweight, flexible panels contain a high percentage of recycled material, which earns points toward LEED certification.”

The 100,000 sq. ft research building has been designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) Architects, LLP, a Washington, DC-based architectural firm, in conjunction with PGAL, a Boca Raton, FL-based architectural firm. It features 54,000 square feet of Reynobond ACM specified by the design team to create a crisp, clean architectural aesthetic and to meet the Florida Building Code (FBC) and Miami-Dade County Hurricane Building Code requirements. Reynobond with Kevlar ACM was used on all building faces below 30 feet at ground level while traditional Reynobond ACM was used on the balance of the façade, including all exterior wall paneling, coping and soffits.

Impact-resistant strength

Reynobond with Kevlar ACM combines the light weight of traditional Reynobond ACM with the impact-resistant strength of DuPont Kevlar material. Panel modules can be installed over structural steel studs without a heavy substrate while still meeting the Miami-Dade County Hurricane Building Code for large-missile impacts over the entire surface of a building.  Traditional Reynobond ACM meets the code for small- and large-missile impacts for building faces over 30 feet.

The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience provides a state-of-the-art home for scientists and research teams focused on brain function and neural circuits. The building can accommodate nearly 58,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space, housing wet and dry bench research, instrumentation labs, computational research, core imaging facilities, microscope suites, information technology services and offices for researchers and support staff.

In a joint venture, the Weitz Company, LLC, of West Palm Beach, FL, and DPR Construction, Inc., of Palm Beach, FL, served as the general contractors for the project. Doralco Architectural Metal Solutions of Alsip, IL, fabricated the Reynobond materials that were installed by the Weitz Company.

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Mark Buckshon has published regional construction news publication since 1989. Earlier, he worked as a journalist and sub-editor, including a stint on the Bulawayo Chronicle in 1979-80, during the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.  He has been president of the Construction News and report Group of Companies since 1988.


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