Sheet Metal ContractorKovach Building Enclosures
General ContractorDPR Construction
General ContractorSundt Construction, Inc.
ArchitectAyers Saint Gross
Los Angeles, California
OwnerThe University of Arizona
Using nearly 6,000 copper panels and more than 10,000 copper parts, the 268,000 square-foot Arizona Board of Regents' Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) achieved an innovative look inspired by the iconic canyon formations found throughout Arizona.
The project focused on finding the most inventive solutions to overcoming enormous challenges in constructing a noteworthy project during extreme economic conditions. Though located in downtown Phoenix, the new six-story HSEB, which is seeking LEED®-NC Gold certification, has significance to the entire state. By accommodating two end-users - the University of Arizona College of Medicine from the south and Northern Arizona University College of Health and Human Services from the north - the HSEB unites both ends of the state while addressing a growing need for educating healthcare professionals to mitigate a critical physician shortage, both state and nationwide.
In addition to two end-users, the project included: two owners, the City of Phoenix and Arizona Board of Regents; two architects, design and executive architect, CO Architects, and associate architect and master planner, Ayers Saint Gross; and two contractors, the DPR Construction and Sundt Construction, Inc., joint venture. Assisting in the design was a Chandler-based fabricator, Kovach Building Enclosures, which furnished and installed the complex and innovative copper metal panel system.
The design of the HSEB is a direct response to the users' goals for a world-class educational facility that heralds changes in medical school pedagogy while maintaining the dynamism of the downtown Arizona campus. Inspired by the iconic canyon formations found throughout Arizona, the copper façade echoes the stratified earth layers that have been revealed over time through natural processes. As the building extends skyward, the exterior transitions to a lighter material - copper panels - that have been fissured, formed, bent, pressed and perforated, akin to the forces that shape the earth's geology, providing the final layer of the metal rainscreen.
Allowing optimal natural light in interior spaces while mitigating heat gain using building siting and advanced materials, the copper exterior meets the objective for thermal performance and durability, while creating an architectural expression unique to the building's place and time. At the same time, the use of highly-recycled copper honors and respects the abundance of this natural resource in the state.
Kovach Building Enclosures designed, fabricated and installed the nearly 2,500-custom copper metal panels, optimized to create the appearance of a naturally-occurring random pattern, while utilizing only 13-panel types. The panel size and depth balanced visual and performance goals with cost-saving strategies, such as keeping overall panel size to domestically available copper. The quarter-million pounds of copper twinkling in the sunlight have made the new education building a landmark accomplishment for the Arizona Board of Regents and the State of Arizona. This educational, research and development and healthcare project features multiple exterior finishes, including the approximately 250,000 pounds of copper - all of it recycled.
Architectural Categories: Exotic or Unusual Applications, Horizontal Seam Roofs and Walls