It's amazing what a dash of red, varied texture, and a healthy dose of architectural ingenuity can do to transform an iconic athletic facility.
Just ask University of Nebraska – Lincoln students, faculty and staff about “the Bob,” the affectionate nickname of the 41 year-old Bob Devaney Sports Center. Two years ago the Devaney Center received a rejuvenating $20 million makeover, including a "re-skin of the entire facility," according to Tim Ripp, AIA, LEED AP, senior principal at regional design and engineering firm The Clark Enersen Partners, the project architects.
"The outer skin of the cladding was starting to delaminate in some areas," observes Ripp. "The joints between the panels were old silicone that had leached-out." The center was showing its age in other ways, too. The monolithic tan building envelope lacked the visual energy and "wow factor" pop so important in recruiting top collegiate athletes.
The Clark Enersen firm, a long-time Midwestern design leader, has extensive ties to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. For example, they had recently designed the adjoining $12 million Hendricks Training Complex, the home of the Cornhusker's basketball programs, along with wrestling. The Hendricks Training Complex opened in 2011. The side-by-side contrast between the new and the old added even more impetus to the Bob's exterior reboot.
"It was time to dress up the aesthetic of the exterior of the building and bring new life to the facility," Ripp says.
With emphasis on a bright, dynamic exterior aesthetic, Ripp specified just over 83,000 square feet of CENTRIA Concept Series concealed fastener rainscreen panels with a metallic silver finish and vibrant red accents to help get the job done. Concept Series single-skin panels have concealed fasteners and a common lock joint that allows for interesting design effects. The Bob features three distinct, ribbed profiles including Concept Series CS-200, CS-210, and CS-260.
"We used the three different CENTRIA panel profiles to create perimeter movement," Ripp says. "The visual dynamic serves as a metaphor for the athletic performances going on inside the building."
The interesting part? "We never tore the old panels off," Ripp reports. "We basically put weather barrier over the existing panel system, furring them to create an offset for air. The installers designed an attachment system based on the CENTRIA panel they used. We sealed all of the joints. The Devaney Center is much tighter now, even more energy-efficient." As part of the facelift, the design team also added a 10,000 square foot glazed grand entrance on the sun-exposed south side.
What's more, the cladding system now integrates with the adjacent Hendricks Training Complex. The seamless, unified look helps create a more impactful impression on prospective student-athletes.
Ripp is a big fan of metal panel cladding systems. "We specify them in a lot of our facilities," he notes. "CENTRIA is a good supplier. One reason we specified them on this project is because we could interchange between three different profiles and not face transition issues. The installation went smoothly."
As for the Bob, the swagger is back. "Everyone is happy with the final outcome. The process of bringing new life to an aging building is exciting," Ripp reveals. The centerpiece of Cornhusker athletics is helping to attract, retain and support a new generation of Nebraska students.
UNL Bob Devaney Sports Center
Architect: The Clark Enersen Partners
General Contractor: Hausmann Construction
Dealer: SGH, Inc.
Installer: Boone Brothers
Concept Series CS-200; Silver; 63,969 square feet
Concept Series CS-200; Bright Red; 7,543 square feet
Concept Series CS-210; Silver; 7.025 square feet
Concept Series CS-260; Silver; 4,471 square feet
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