As one of Tulsa Tech’s six freestanding campuses located in the Tulsa metropolitan-area, the Sand Spring Campus offers a range of career-friendly educational majors. However, the buildings now used to provide technical tutelage weren’t always used as classrooms and lecture halls. The Tulsa Technology Center Sand Springs Campus was originally home to the Sand Springs Ford dealership.

Repurposing an aging car showroom and clerical offices into a modern technical learning center was a uniquely challenging project idea, one favored by Tulsa’s school, the city, and civic leaders. Not only did breathing new life into a defunct business promise the area greater economic activity, but the new campus also allowed the adjoining Charles Page High School to reclaim classroom space it shared with Tulsa Tech before construction.

Because the construction project required a new building to be created utilizing an existing structure, it was crucial that building products were chosen that could tie the original building system into the newly constructed portions. Project Architect Jim Healy chose Kingspan’s BENCHMARK Designwall 4000 architectural wall panels for their design appeal, easy integration with other building materials, and flexibility for tailor-made custom designs.

The architectural wall panels possess distinctive features, textures, and colors for a project with customized needs such as the Sand Spring Campus. The panels integrate easily with one another, and other building materials for true and complete design flexibility. Healy knew the company offered everything needed for the project—window frames, column covers, custom sized panels, and custom shaped panels—to meet the performance requirements they specified.

To seamlessly merge the exterior of the existing building structure into the new campus, the horizontal panels with block splines were utilized. They offer a high thermal performance for large-scale projects and create a highly attractive visual appeal. The panels can be utilized in both vertical and horizontal applications, nearly eliminating design limitations.

The product provides high thermal performance with an R-value of 14 - 21 (per ASTM C1363). The panels insulate the exterior of the building structure to provide the best possible thermal envelope by reducing thermal bridging typical of cavity wall systems. In addition, they feature excellent insulation core-to-core contact, which provides an unbroken thermal shield against heat transfer. And, the single-component design of the panels means speedy installation times at the job site.

These panels are also environmentally friendly. Their energy-efficiency means less energy is used throughout the building’s lifespan, thus reducing its carbon footprint. The panels are both recycled and recyclable—their exterior skins contain a substantial amount of recycled content, and the panels themselves are recyclable. Their low weight of just three pounds per square foot reduces transport and installation energy, another “green” benefit. They also contribute to LEED certification programs and the path to Net Zero Energy targets.

Project specifier Robert Glenn Jr. of Glenn’s Architectural Products Inc. is a proponent of Kingspan’s entire product line. He knew the materials would be ideal for the complex construction requirements of the Sand Springs Campus of Tulsa Technology Center. As Glenn puts it, “We have been working with BENCHMARK products since 2001 and have had great success in partnering with them.”

The “lessons learned” during this project? When dealing with a construction plan requiring a complete building transformation, count on design-flexible and high-performing products to provide the specified building needs.