Metal Sales roof and wall panels balance the old and new at the AB&W Building at 157 Washington St. in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The former auto showroom and candy factory site was redeveloped as a mixed-use building with retail and housing units.

The transformed AB&W Building is located one block from the new Four Corners commuter rail station. It consists of 3,300 square feet of commercial space for three retail tenants and 24 affordable rental cooperative housing units. The historic 1920s brick façade was preserved for the retail storefront while the remainder of the original building was demolished. 

Metal Sales supplied more than 6,000 square feet of 2.5-inch corrugated, 26-gauge metal roof and wall panels in a MS Colorfast45® finish with a vibrant Patriot Red color. The panels adorn both the front and rear façade of the building.

The Metal Sales panels provide the original front façade with a distinct band of color while maintaining its historic appearance. On the rear residential façade, the panels’ clean lines provide a sleek contemporary look. The bright pops of the Patriot Red color brings an interesting contrast in comparison to the soft earth tones on the rest of the structure.

“This was a key transit-oriented development project that preserved the existing façade for street-level retail space,” says P. Nicholas Elton, project architect for Elton+Hampton Architects. “The corrugated Metal Sales panels harmonize with the building’s historic façade while providing architectural edginess.”

Approximately 5,500 square feet of the material was used for the exterior walls. The panels were installed horizontally to create an eye-catching and welcoming building envelope that complements its urban setting. The remainder of the material was used for the roof.

The harmony with the building façade goes beyond aesthetics. All Metal Sales panel colors are listed with ENERGY STAR®, reducing solar heat gain and consequently lowering energy expenses.

“Serving as a model for sustainable development, we strived to use green materials. This was also a requirement from the city of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, which provided funding for the project,” explained Elton. 

Metal was an ideal choice for the AB&W Building because of its durability and sustainability. Panels require very little maintenance for co-op owners and have a long life span that will tolerate New England weather. Metal Sales offers a 45-year paint warranty that will ensure the panels maintain their vibrancy even after decades of wear. Metal panels are also 100 percent recyclable and contain a high percentage of recycled material.

The AB&W Building project team included architect P. Nicholas Elton of Elton + Hampton Architects, Roxbury, Mass.; owner/developer Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dorchester, Mass.; and general contractor Crosswinds Enterprises, Roxbury, Mass.

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