Insulated metal panels from Metl-Span cover the walls of the new Baseball Player Development Center and Clubhouse, providing an energy-efficient shell for all seasons.
“From the initial programming and planning phases, it was clear the new facility would need to be very close to the existing field and in direct line of foul balls in left field,” says Eric Hudson, AIA, Principal at Method Architecture of Houston. “The building had to be beautiful, functional, and integrate seamlessly into the landscape of the University of Houston’s main campus. The buildings on campus project stability and longevity by utilizing durable materials, modern lines, and mostly neutral colors. Of course, there is always the signature splash of ‘UH’ red added in, promoting proper branding and continuity!”
The Method Architecture design team spent hours on-site, studying views from the exiting stands as well as the future building. “In order to maximize the experience, we needed to slice the facility along the viewing angle of the stands,” Hudson says. “This would allow visitors sitting on the left-field line a view to left field unobstructed as well as give the view from the second-floor alumni lounge a more direct line of sight to home plate. A large roof overhang provides protection from the blinding sun and foul balls hit high in the direction of the new facility. Once the building design took shape, we began looking at the second level of protection: impact-resistant exterior materials and glass.
“To blend with other buildings on campus, most of the exterior consists of a light color, split-face concrete masonry unit (CMU) which is a very durable product. Other areas needed to be just as durable, however, we felt a secondary material would complement the CMU and accent areas such as the main entrance, alumni viewing areas, and curved roof line. To do this, we utilized insulated metal panels (IMPs) which provided several advantages for this facility including meeting energy code requirements and providing a variety of color and texture options that would hide areas impacted by foul balls. After reviewing several options, our team selected a heavy-textured finish and neutral color that would minimize damage and maintain a finished look.”
FSR Services installed Metl-Span’s CF Tuff-Cast insulated metal panels. The 22-gauge exterior panel is Light Gray with a Tuff-Cast finish, offering the look of finished concrete. The exterior surface of the panel is a hard-aggregated fiber-reinforced polymer coating created with the factory-applied Tuff Cote® finish system. Tuff Cote® finish offers an extremely durable, impact and abrasion-resistant coating that withstands severe weather conditions. The 26-gauge interior panel is Igloo White with a clean Light Mesa finish.
“This was our first experience installing Metl-Span insulated metal panels,” says Mauricio Robles, project manager for FSR Services. “We didn’t have much room to work because the clubhouse is very close to the field. Our crew did a great job. The panels go together like a puzzle, so if you keep everything organized, it’s a smooth installation.
“When we got there, we were onsite for about four weeks and it all went well. I think everyone is happy with the way it turned out.”
Insulated metal panels offer many benefits to the project, including speed of installation compared to a multi-part wall system, a higher R-value, all with an attractive appearance.
The new development center and clubhouse is designed to provide the student-athletes with a comfortable work environment that features all the necessary amenities to enhance the success of the Cougars on and off the field.