METAL ARCHITECTURE magazine: “An Architect’s Insights and Instincts”

Frank Harmon lets people understand the world around them.

Frank Harmon, FAIA
Frank Harmon, FAIA

by Marc Robins, Senior Editor

When architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, founder of Frank Harmon Architect PA, Raleigh, N.C., was in his eighth grade English class, he stared out a window and saw an interesting building across the street that captivated him. Even though his mother wanted him to be a doctor, this building and his curiosity on how it was built formed the initial inspiration for his accomplished career as a multi-award-winning architect designing environmentally responsible, modern buildings.

In the past three decades he has won more AIA North Carolina (AIA NC) design awards than any other firm in the state. In 2013, Harmon received AIA NC’s Carter Williams Gold Medal, the highest honor the NC AIA chapter presents “in recognition of a distinguished career or extraordinary accomplishments as an architect.” He is consistently sought out as a judge for design award juries, and his design of the AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design in Raleigh received the 2013 Metal Architecture Judges Award.

As an architect dedicated to environmental sustainability, Harmon has specified metal-from standing seam to zinc-on basically all of his projects, including arts and environmental centers, commercial and liturgical buildings, museums, research facilities and dramatic single-family homes. He embraces the fact that metal roofs reflect heat and have very long life spans, and that zinc, in particular, is one of the most sustainable building materials available. READ MORE…

VMZINC® Enjoys Record Attendance at Expo CIHAC

L-R: Juan Clavel, Veronica Valderrama, Esperanza Munguía, Lili Martinez, and Francisco Jover.

November 21, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — If attendance at the VMZINC® booth at Expo CIHAC last month is any indication, Mexico will be a thriving market for Umicore Building Products, as the global company anticipates.

Expo CIHAC is the premier event in Mexico and Latin America for the building, construction, and housing industries. Held at Centro Banamex in Mexico City, the show features building materials, machinery, equipment, hand and power tools, building systems and prefabricated technologies, financial services, real estate, finished houses, insulates, piping, and more. Expo CIHAC also includes various technical seminars about the latest challenges and trends of the industry.

Architect Juan Clavel of Aldbanta Arquitects and the NOW Specialities, Inc., agent in Mexico, manned the VMZINC booth assisted by Francisco Jover, VMZINC Director of Sales in Spain.

The booth featured all of Umicore’s VMZINC architectural zinc products, including ALPOLIC composite zinc by Mitsubishi Plastics Composites American, Inc., using NOW’s zinc composite rainscreen systems.

According to Verónica Valderrama, coordinator of Mexico-Sales, attendance was “incredible. This was only our second year exhibiting at Expo CIHAC. The first year we had over 500 registered visitors to our booth. This year we had over 1000 registered visitors. Total attendance for the show has not been released, but the previous year was over 50,000.”

Expo CIHAC attracts exhibitors from all over the world and is attended primarily by people in the industries from Mexico, Central and South America.

“With our Mexican companies’ work experience in the past and the interest in our products at this year’s expo, we believe Mexico will be a great market for VMZINC,” Valderrama said.

For more information on VMZINC, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

For more information on Expo Cihac, go to www.cihac.com.mx/.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

Umicore Building Products Holds Open House in New Headquarters

November 15, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Umicore Building Products USA, manufacturer of VMZINC® architectural zinc, held an open house together with its parent company Umicore USA in its new North American headquarters at 3600 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, North Carolina, on November 1.

Umicore invited site managers from North America as well as corporate executives from global European headquarters to the open house, along with customers, clients, and other companies with whom Umicore does business.

UBP North American President Norbert Schneider and Daniel Nicely, Associate AIA and Director of Market Development, welcomed 150 guests as they toured the company’s new 15,000-square-foot headquarters.

Other company VIPS in attendance included Ravila Gupta, President of Umicore USA; Martine Verluyten, Former Chief Financial Officer of Umicore; LudoVandervelden, Chief Financial Officer of Umicore; and Denis Goffaux, Chief Technology Office of Umicore.

Catering Works catered the event.

For more information on Umicore Building Products and VMZINC, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

Umicore Building Products Wins Project of Distinction Award

American Builders Quarterly praises Gateway Center project. 

The Gateway Center features extensive use of VMZINC architectural zinc.

November 2, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — American Builders Quarterly magazine (ABQ) has chosen the Gateway Center at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, as a Project of Distinction in its 2011 Building Excellence Awards.

Umicore Building Products USA (UBP) entered the 70,000-square-foot project in ABQ’s annual competition since it features extensive use of VMZINC® architecture zinc. Umicore, UBP’s global parent company, is a world-leading manufacturer of architectural zinc.

Designed by Ennead Architects LLP of New York with Worth Construction as contractor, the Gateway Center’s building materials integrate the structure with the existing fabric of the campus and establish a new signature building for the College. Fieldstone at the base of the building resonates with historic buildings on campus, while offices and classrooms, cantilevered over a base of structurally glazed walls, are clad in VMZINC (installed by Barrett Roofing).

“We received entries from all over the nation, but [Umicore’s] stood out as an exemplary work in keeping with the best aesthetic and pragmatic traditions of architecture, engineering, and construction management in the United States,” said ABQ features editor Geoff George.

“We are honored to receive the American Builders Quarterly award,” said Dan Nicely, Director of Market Development UBP. “And we are very proud to be associated with such a great project by the very talented designers at Ennead Architects.”

The project is featured in ABQ’s November-December edition. 

The Gateway Center also recently received a national award from the Metal Construction Association for “the exceptional use of metal in innovative architectural designs.”

Now in its fifth year covering America’s construction industry, American Builders Quarterly provides an industry-specific look at high-quality companies spanning all aspects of the building trade. For more information on ABQ and to download the digital edition, go to http://americanbuildersquarterly.com.

For more information on Umicore Building Products USA and VMZINC®, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

 

 

Umicore Building Products Wins Three National Awards

For the exceptional use of metal in innovative architectural designs.

October 19, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Umicore Building Products USA received three national Metal Construction Association (MCA) Chairman’s Awards this year for the exceptional use of metal in innovative architectural designs.

In the Residential category, Umicore Building Products (UBP) received the 2011 MCA Chairman’s

The GREENville House

Award for Kristi and Bobby Walters’ “GREENville House” in Greenville, North Carolina. Designed and built by Tonic Design + Construction of Raleigh, NC, the exterior cladding of this modern, thoroughly “green” house is a mix of brick veneer, vertical cedar panels, and VMZINC® architectural zinc. Metal Worx was the installer.

UBP received the MCA Chairman’s Award in the Educational category for the Gateway Center at Westchester Community College In Valhalla, New York. Designed by Ennead Architects LLP of New York with Worth Construction as contractor, sustainable design strategies including the choice of materials: VMZINC, stone and glass. Barrett Roofing was the metal installer.

Finally, UBP received the MCA Chairman’s Award for Municipal design for the Nebraska Public Power

Gateway Center, Westchester Community College

District’s new Norfolk Operations Center in Norfolk, Nebraska. Designed by HDR, Inc., with J.E. Dunn Construction Co. as contractor, the LEED-Gold  project utilizes UBP’s patented Dri-Design® panels for 12,887 square feet of VMZINC’s Anthra Zinc in addition to aluminum and copper. SGH, Inc., was the metal installer.

The Chairman’s Awards are an annual designation given to outstanding building projects involving MCA member companies. The awards honor innovation and creativity while showcasing how metal products contribute to exceptional building designs.

“We are honored to receive three awards from the MCA this year,” said Dan Nicely, Director of Market Development UBP. “And we are proud to be associated with such great projects by incredible architects

Norfolk Operations Center

such as HDR, Ennead, and Tonic.”

The award ceremony took place on Tuesday, October 11, during this year’s METALCON International convention in Atlanta. Pierre Van de Bruaene, Umicore’s Corporate Senior Vice President for the building products division, Norbert Schneider, President of Umicore Building Products North America, and Dan Nicely received the award.

For more information on Umicore Building Products and VMZINC, visit www.vmzinc-us.com. For more information on the Metal Construction Association and the MCA Chairman’s Awards, go to www.metalconstruction.org.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

 

Umicore Building Products Donates VMZinc Roof for AIA NC’s New Headquarters

Modern, “Green” Architecture & Design Center to be crowned by

Rendering, AIA NC Center for Architecture & Design

PIGMENTO Red architectural zinc.

September 22, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Umicore Building Products USA (UBP), headquartered in Raleigh, NC, has donated $70,000 worth of PIGMENTO® Red VMZ standing-seam zinc panels to be used for the roof of the American Institute of Architects North Carolina Chapter’s new, modern, sustainable headquarters building that is now under construction in downtown Raleigh.

“We are proud to be a supporting member of the AIA NC building. It is wonderful to be a part of such an important project in our own backyard,” said Daniel Nicely, an associate member of the AIA and UBP’s Director of Market Development.

Officially named the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, the building was designed by Frank Harmon Architect PA of Raleigh, a multi-award-winning firm well known for its modern, green, regionally appropriate design. Under the direction of principal Frank Harmon, FAIA, the firm won a professional design competition for the project.

The design competition required submissions to be as “green,” or environmentally sustainable, as possible. Among the building’s many eco-friendly features will be the zinc roof.

“The three main environmentally sustainable qualities of architectural zinc are its  durability, its recyclability, and the moderate amount of energy required to manufacture it,” said Nicely. “Using architectural zinc for roofing materials or exterior cladding helps architects achieve LEED points.”

The new building’s other green features include: careful siting, extensive use of glass, operable windows, and open porches to maximize natural lighting and ventilation; a geothermal heating and cooling system; an underground rainwater collection cistern, the use of locally available and recycled materials wherever possible; a broad roof overhang to protect the interior from harsh summer sun; a special energy-conserving elevator; and an innovative parking “garden” comprised of porous paving that will eliminate all storm water run-off.

“There were three irreplaceable elements in the design of the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design: stone walls, landscape, and the metal roof,” said Frank Harmon. “Of these, the zinc roof was the most generous donation, and I think it will shelter the AIA for generations.”

The red pigment in the PIGMENTO® Red panel is created through a factory process that adds the red pigment to the coil during the manufacturing of the sheets and coils. The advantage of adding the pigment during manufacturing is that the panel will not require any reapplication of color, and the color will weather evenly and smoothly as it ages. VMZINC is recognized for blending well and easily with other architectural products, such as the AIA NC Center’s wood siding (cypress), stonework, concrete, steel, and glass.

The AIA NC building and landscape were designed as one interlocking system with the majority of the site left as green, open, park-like space in this urban setting. The building should be complete by the end of November. The landscaping will not be complete until the spring of 2012. For more information on the AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, visit www.frankharmon.com and click on “current projects.”

For more information on UBP and VMZ PIGMENTO® Red products, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

Umicore Publishes “VMZinc and Sustainable Building” Report

Detailing architectural zinc’s environmental impact.

August 29, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Umicore, the global materials technology group that produces

Guy Dolmaire high school in Mirecourt, France, features a dramatic rolled VMZINC® roof.

VMZINC®, has published a 20-page Sustainable Building report on the environmental characteristics of architectural zinc, along with a sample of award-winning buildings around the world that utilize VMZINC.

“In a context of increasing collective awareness of the major climate change issues and the potential contribution of the building industry to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, VMZINC is firmly committed to environmental excellence,” writes Christophe Bissery, director of research and development and environmental applications, in the introduction.

The Sustainable Building report details the three main environmentally sustainable qualities of architectural zinc: its durability, its recyclability, and the moderate amount of energy required to manufacture it.

Durability: Because zinc protects itself by producing an adhesive and rain-resistant substance on its surface as it comes in contact with atmospheric elements, the estimated life span of rolled zinc is over 100 years, according to the report. That lifespan will continue to increase as nations continue to strengthen anti-pollution legislation.

Recyclability: Construction waste and old rolled zinc is 100 percent recyclable, according to the report, which adds: “In Europe 95 percent is recovered during demolition and renovation work [and] reused in different areas of applications.”

Energy use: The VMZINC® sustainable building report compares the amount of energy used by the average French citizen annually to the amount of energy used to manufacture rolled zinc. The average citizen uses 37,514MJ (megajoule, a metric unit of energy) compared to zinc manufacturing’s 14.7MJ. To illustrate VMZINC’s very low impact on the environment and climate change, it also points out that the average citizen emits 1,443 kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide each year while architectural zinc emits only 0.65kg annually, or 0.2 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by an average French citizen each year.

Award-winning architectural projects featured in the report, which utilize VMZINC wall cladding and/or roofing, are: The Guy Dolmaire high school in Mirecourt, France, designed by AS Architecture-Studio; the Center for Academic Research at the University of Cincinnati, designed by Harley Ellis Devereaux and Studios Architecture; Nordheim Court student residences at the University of Washington, designed by Mithun Partners; Abergwynfi primary school near Neath in the United Kingdom, designed by Neath Port Talbot Council; and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Center in Melbourne, Australia, designed by NH Architecture and Woods Bagot. The latter is the first exhibition center in the world to receive “6 Stars” in Australia’s Green Star system of certification for sustainability.

“These worldwide award-winning projects point out the obvious: that ‘green’ can be, and is, beautiful,” said Dan Nicely, director of market development for Umicore Building Products USA, headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

For more information on VMZINC and the Sustainable Building report, visit www.vmzinc-us.com and click on “Environment,” or call 919-874-7173.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

Umicore Building Products USA Announces Instructional Seminar Series

Designed to increase VMZINC® installers’ craftsmanship and customer satisfaction.

August 19, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) – Umicore Building Products USA (UBP), a world-leading manufacturer of architectural zinc, has announced VMZ Pro-zinc®, a comprehensive program of instructional services for sheet metal workers and all installers of VMZINC® products.

According to Dan Nicely, UPB’s director of market development, the VMZ Pro-zinc® program is designed to give participants a greater understanding of time-tested VMZINC® building materials’ detailing, which will improves installation quality and customer satisfaction.

“Our goals in offering the VMZ Pro-zinc® program are to build lasting relationships with sheet metal workers in the industry and to assist them in delivering value to their customers,” he said.

The instructional classes are presented as seminars that vary in length from a one-day Wall Cladding seminar to two-day Steep-Slop Roofing seminars, and three days for both. American and European craftsmen with extensive experience in sheet metal and zinc installation serve as instructors.

The VMZ Pro-zinc® program explores installation considerations specific to VMZINC® building materials, including: expansion and contraction, forming on site in adverse weather, and storage and handling. The program also provides project-specific related support and education on the benefits of using zinc materials and can be presented, on request, in Spanish French and other languages.

“The VMZ Pro-zinc® program is required for all installers of VMZINC® materials,” Nicely said. “To participate, installers must already have experience in sheet metal work and a working knowledge of other metals.”

The seminars are held in special VMZ Pro-zinc® training centers across the United States in Allentown, PA, Mesa, AZ, and Raleigh, NC. All courses are free of charge for architects and installers with an awarded VMZINC® project. UBP does charge a fee for conducting in-house trainings at other facilities.

VMZINC® has existed since 1832. For more information on the VMZ Pro-zinc® program, go to www.vmzinc-us.com/TrainingCenters_Schedule.aspx, email info@vmzinc-us.com, or call 919-874-7173.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.

Umicore 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 www.vmzinc-us.com.

Architectural Press Praises the Use of Zinc Composite at Brown University

For the university’s new Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

August 15, 2011 (Providence, RI) –When the new Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University was completed this spring, New York Times’ 

The Center features 60,000 sf of Quartz Zinc from VMZINC®.

architecture critic Nicholai Couroussoff called the building a “handsome piece of architecture” and specifically praised the use of zinc composite panels for the exterior.

In the New York Times article, Couroussoff first observes that the 38,815-square-foot building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DSR) in New York, “adds a touch of contemporary glamour to a campus of solemn brick buildings and converted clapboard houses. And it does so without the over-the-top effects that could offend its aesthetically conservative neighbors.”

A large part of the contemporary look of the $40 million Granoff Center is actually a centuries old, naturally occurring substance — 60,000 square feet of QUARTZ-ZINC – VMZINC® from Umicore Building Products USA, Inc. – manufactured by Alcoa. Zinc metal exterior rain screens fold around windows to provide views into the

"The panels... are gradually pulled into a three-dimensional pleat..."

building from the street and out towards nearby Angell and Olive streets in Providence from the interior.

“Seen from Angell Street, the wide horizontal bands of corrugated zinc that make up its wall give the building the look of a stack of super elegant shipping containers. The bands are pried up on several floors at the back of the building to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows,” Couroussoff wrote.

Quaint houses and a small lawn surround the building’s site to the south and west. “And the zinc bands echo the genteel clapboard siding of those houses,” Couroussof noted.

Elsewhere in the media, Cathy Lang Ho of Architect magazine, the official publication of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), commented on DSR’s “treatment of the zinc rain screen on the two exterior side walls: The panels…start out flat toward the front of the building and are gradually pulled into a three-dimensional pleat, scrunched up in a few corners to reveal some of the private rooms at the building’s rear, as if one was lifting the hem of a skirt.”

“But there’s much more to the use of zinc on the Granoff building than aesthetics,” said Daniel Nicely, director of market development for VMZINC® and an associate member of the AIA. “Not only does it allow architects to easily create interesting and innovative forms, it also contributes to the sustainability of projects like this. The zinc will last at least 100 years, very little energy is used in its manufacturing, and at the end of its use, it can be recycled indefinitely. We’re proud that our product played a major role in the design and sustainability of this beautiful architectural element on Brown University’s campus.”

For more information on the quartz-zinc used on Brown’s Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, go to www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc:

Umicore 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, North Carolina. For more information visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

Umicore Building Products USA Donates VMZINC® To Fire Island Light Station

In association with ATAS International, Inc. and Kenneth J. Herman, Inc.

August 9, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — When the historic Fire Island Lighthouse’s new Fresnel Lens Building opened to the public last month, visitors saw the new

The Fresnel Lens Building roof as seen beneath the lighthouse.

standing-seam zinc roof donated by Umicore Building Products USA Inc. (UBP) and metal roof manufacturer ATAS International.

The Fire Island Lighthouse on Fire Island National Seashore in New York was built in 1858 and fitted with a first-order (or large) Fresnel lens. Fresnel lenses were intricately shaped, 16-foot-tall masses of brass and glass prisms designed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel. They rotated on a clockwork assembly, emitting a white flash at one-minute intervals. On Fire Island, the original lens served as a beacon to mariners from 1858 to 1933.

Anticipating electrical lighting, the U.S. administration of lighthouses removed the large lens in 1933 and stored it in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. When the Fire Island Preservation Society decided to build a new educational facility and bring the 1858 lens home, UBP offered to donate its VMZINC® coil for the new roof.

ATAS International, headquartered in Allentown, PA, donated its services to

The VMZINC standing-seam metal roof at Fire Island.

manufacture the roof. Kenneth J. Herman, Inc. of Amityville, NY, donated design services and managed construction.

Engineer Kevin Albert of Kenneth J. Herman, Inc., praised UBP and ATAS for their generosity to the Fire Island Preservation Society “at a time when the economy is still hurting.”

Erik Berg, former North American applications manager for UBP, explained the challenge the zinc roof entailed: “Fire Island is a uniquely shaped, marine environment application,” he said. “To achieve the longevity desired and to maintain the integrity of the beautiful gray aspect [of the zinc], proper detailing and installation was critical.”

ATAS president Dick Bus said he was “very impressed with the number of volunteers involved with the project” when he first visited the site. Volunteers, material donors such as UBP and ATAS, and money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded the project.

For more information on the Fire Island Lighthouse and Preservation Society, visit www.fireislandlighthouse.com.

For more information of UBP and VM Zinc®, visit www.vmzinc-us.com.

About Umicore Building Products USA, Inc:

Umicore 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, North Carolina. For more information visit www.vmzinc-us.com.