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Fire Retardant ACM Panels in Port Canaveral Exploration Tower | ALPOLIC

  • Use

    Exterior Coating, Curtain Wall Façades, Rainscreen Systems
  • Applications

  • Characteristics

    Rigidity, lightweight material, panels accommodate virtually any architectural fastening system, superior flatness, vibration damping, durability and ease of maintenance
  • Format

    1/8" aluminum panels

More about this product

Project: Port Canaveral Exploration Tower Welcome Center
Location: Port Canaveral, Florida, United States of America
Fabricator: Firestone Building Products
Installer: Kenpat USA LLC
Architect: KGWWO, Inc. Architects
Exterior Panel Manufacturer: ALPOLIC® Materials / Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America, Inc.
Product: ALPOLIC®/fr fire-retardant aluminum composite material
Coating: Lumiflon® FEVE in Valspar VALFLON® custom BNX white with a clear coastal top coat

Port Canaveral, 45 miles east of Orlando on the central Florida coast, is one of the world’s busiest cruise ports, hosting 4 million passengers in 2013.

The new Port Canaveral Exploration tower, a seven-story, 22,000 square-foot visitors’ center has been described by Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Tim Macy as a “great iconic building, a great vision.”

The Challenge

Fire safety is important for any building project, and a fire-retardant panel is typically required in buildings that exceed a minimum height as specified by applicable codes. ALPOLIC®/fr is one of the most advanced fire-retardant materials available and is IBC-listed to ensure compliance with many fire codes worldwide.

Carl Ogren, project manager for Firestone Building Products, which fabricated all the exterior cladding, describes the southern elevation as the “sail side.” This façade features a steel frame that forms a complex, compound radius – in effect, an elliptical section rendered in three dimensions. Most of the sail side was clad in 1/8" aluminum panels sprayed in Valspar’s new Kameleon™ Color mica finish, an iridescent 70% PVDF finish. The top portion of the steel structure protrudes beyond the cladding and converges in a point high above the top-floor observation deck.

Fabricating and installing the aluminum panels to precisely fit this complex geometry was extremely challenging – especially given the project’s tight timeframe. To meet the architect’s design and performance requirements, the fabricators and installers devised a way to take what were essentially flat, rectangular panels and form them to the compound radius of the steel structure during installation.

The Result

By comparison, fabricating and installing the cladding on all the other sides of the building was fairly routine. The overhanging fourth floor observation deck/canopy does have a somewhat complex geometry, but the stair towers, floor lines, elevator bump-out and other features are relatively straightforward. All these features are clad in ALPOLIC®/fr fire-retardant material.

Ogren describes the cladding system used on the non-sail sides of the building as “It’s a wet set composite system, meaning we’ve got sealant joints from panel to panel and around the entire perimeter. It’s probably our most commonly used system.”

All ALPOLIC® materials used in the project were prefinished with Lumiflon® FEVE fluoropolymer resins in a Valspar VALFON® custom white color with a clear top coat rated for costal duty - offers a great combination of brightness, gloss and weatherability, making it the perfect choice for this challenging Florida location.

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