Two 2012 AIA Honor Award Winners Feature VMZinc Exteriors

Architectural zinc adds to beauty, sustainability of two projects. 

The Gates Center

January 17, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) — Two of the nine projects from around the world that recently received 2012 Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) feature VMZINC® exteriors.

The award-winning Carnegie Mellon University’s Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies were designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, Ga., with attention to energy and water conservation and other sustainable practices.

The centers’ zinc exterior skin and distinctive window openings differ from the predominately yellow brick, historically influenced buildings on the CMU campus. Yet the jurors believed the zinc skin and window openings “surprisingly relate beautifully to the campus fabric without being literal.”

Last year, both centers received LEED® Gold certification. The use of architectural zinc contributed to the certification because zinc is manufactured using very little energy, it lasts an average of 80 years with very little maintenance, and it is completely recyclable, both during construction (construction scraps) and at the end of its use.

Another award-winning project with a VMZINC exterior is The Poetry Foundation in Chicago, designed by John Ronan Architects. The building’s outer layer is VMZINC’s black ANTHRA-ZINC®. Since transparency was an important issue in the design, the ANTHRA-ZINC is perforated where it borders the garden, allowing visual access to the garden from the street. Inside the garden, the zinc screen wall internalizes the garden experience and provides a sense of removal.

The Poetry Foundation was featured in Architectural Record in November prior to winning one of this year’s AIA Honor Awards.

“We talk a lot about the sustainability of zinc but there’s also the aesthetic quality,” said Daniel Nicely, director of market development for Umicore Building Products USA, the manufacturers of VMZINC. “Architectural zinc allows architects to easily create interesting and innovative forms. We’re proud that our product played a major role in the striking design and sustainability of both of these award-winning project.”

For more information on the 2012 AIA Honor Awards, go to

For more information on VMZINC, visit

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc:

Umicore Building Products is a world-leading producer of architectural zinc. For over 160 years, Umicore has been providing innovative solutions for building owners, architects and contractors. Umicore has offices and representatives all over the world. In the United States, Umicore Building Products USA, Inc., is based in Raleigh, NC. For additional information, visit VMZINC also maintains the blog ZINCsense ( and an active Facebook page.

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