Groundbreaking for the Academic Building on the Woodbridge Campus (Phase III) of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) was held on March 18, 2011. When the building was completed in the fall of 2012, 83,915 square feet of academic space had been added to the Woodbridge Campus. It was the first major classroom construction in 23 years at the Woodbridge campus, a fresh addition to a college that has long outgrown its other two classroom buildings, requiring classes to be held at nearby high schools.

NVCC, now the second-largest community college system in the nation, opened this region’s campus at Woodbridge High School in 1972. Its first actual classroom building was constructed in 1974. Located in the Prince William County town of Woodbridge, NVCC occupies over 109 acres with classroom buildings and sports fields situated around a scenic on-campus lake.

NVCC has been a leader in the evolution toward greener buildings. Grimm + Parker, the architectural firm that designed the newArts and Science Building, added a green aspect to the new structure with a geothermal heating and cooling system, which met the standard needed for LEED Silver Certification. Many sustainable elements have been incorporated into the design of NVCC buildings. Most noticeable—because they cover the new building’s exterior—is the use of Designwall 2000 and 1000 insulated metal panels by Kingspan.The product was specified for its modern appearance and clean lines, which contrast the masonry materials on the building exterior. The panels were specified for use at building cornices and soffits to create seamless detailing and a continuous metal panel system for the building envelope.

The high level of pre-design support from the company was a driving factor for the architect to specify Designwall over competing products. “These insulated panels were specified for this project because the architect wanted to install an insulated metal panel that could perform at a high level,” said William Magazine, preconstruction manager for PCC Construction Components of Gaithersburg, Md. “It also gave the building more of a modern look than using masonry alone.”

As a connection to NVCC’s Seefeldt Building, this new Arts and Science structure will house an extensive collection of modern facilities. Among them are eight computer-based laboratories, a black box theater, a lecture hall, two art studios and art gallery, a computer graphic design studio, three science laboratories, a photo studio equipped with a dark room, and more.

The building will also provide the campus with a new 120-seat cafeteria that has additional seating on an outdoor patio. The college’s Gordon Cook Library has a new 7,300 square-foot location in the Arts and Science Building.

Magazine said there were several unique design features on this project. One in particular was the use of a combination of the panels around the extended eaves of the roof. These panels proved to be the best way to clad the area that featured a combination of segmented and inverted radii. The exterior walls are comprised of a layering of materials with brick and cast stone used as the outer layer and metal and glass as an inner layer. Portions of the masonry façade are peeled away to reveal the metal and glass behind in the different planes that make up the exterior wall system.

“Ease of installation on large run surfaces is probably the number one benefit (from using these products). Another would be how this product material can be could be cut or modified to meet specific field conditions,” he said. “In addition to the ease of installation, friction fit gaskets and male/female joints made sealing the system much easier than conventional wet seals.”

Other benefits entail that it can act as an air and vapor barrier and combines insulation with a cladding material. “Its versatility makes it easy to design with to accommodate a wide range of conditions that can be anticipated for many types of projects,” said David Whale, AIA and Principal for the Architect, Grimm + Parker.

Magazine believes these products will become a more standard cladding material on commercial buildings in the future. “The Kingspan insulated metal panels serve as an excellent, cost effective way to clad a building that both performs well and is visually appealing,” he said.

PCC Construction Components Inc. has been a leading specialty subcontractor installing architectural wall systems in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan-area for almost a quarter of a century. “Northern Virginia Community College must be a satisfied customer,” said Magazine. “The college has already engaged the PCC/Kingspan team to participate in the next phase of development scheduled for the Woodbridge campus.”