Ivy Street Center is the first new academic building on the Marist School campus in Brookhaven, Ga., in more than 20 years, and it’s the signature project in Phase 1 of the Campus Master Plan. Marist School is a private Roman Catholic college preparatory school serving 1,100 students in grades 7-12. The new 55,000-square-foot Ivy Street Center serves as home for the mathematics and English departments. The building’s name pays homage to Marist’s original three-story schoolhouse located on Ivy Street (now Peachtree Center Avenue) in downtown Atlanta.

The architectural design was created by S/L/A/M Collaborative, of Atlanta. Will Stelten, a design architect and 1985 graduate of Marist, said the school community chose carefully to design a building that would serve students for years.

“Marist gets full credit for embracing this. They took this farther than any other client has,” Stelten said.

The structure was built on the footprint of the razed Kuhrt Gym, a 50-year-old building. The new building now offers 16 classroom spaces, a tiered lecture hall, a 275-seat gymnasium plus collaborative areas and a campus store.

“The charge was to design a combination classroom building that wrapped around a new gymnasium,” Stelten said.

Two PAC-CLAD profiles were specified for roofing and wall applications on the three-story, highly-sustainable structure. Approximately 6,000 square feet of Petersen Aluminum’s M-36 wall panels were used to clad a major portion of the facade. An additional 6,000 square feet of Tite-Loc Plus roof panels were used on large canopies and overhangs at prominent locations of the building.

The Specifications

All panels were finished with Valspar Fluropon Silver and manufactured at Petersen Aluminum’s Acworth, Ga. plant. The Tite-Loc Plus panels were distributed by Commercial Roofing Specialties in College Park, Ga.

The building is larger than most on the campus.

“We felt that introducing the metal panels helped lighten the building and break up the massing in a way that made it more interesting,” Stelton said. “The M-36 panel is an interesting profile to use on a building like this. It has deep shadow lines that help add lightness and a horizontal feel.”

The PAC-CLAD M-36 wall panels were installed by SECO Architectural Systems of Snellville, Ga.

“Exposed fastener panels are often thought of as an industrial or utilitarian type of system,” said Joe Creighton, president of SECO. “But when they are installed horizontally, the panels suddenly create a nice architectural effect. The flashings become much more important and the folded corners add interest.”

Affordable Design

The original design called for aluminum composite material to be used for the siding, but that proved to be too expensive. SECO worked closely with the general contractor, Brasfield & Gorrie, to arrive at an affordable solution that met the architectural design criteria.

“One of the options I gave the GC was the Petersen M-36 system. It was quite a departure from the original plan but it was aluminum, it was silver and I knew it would make a nice statement with the right detailing,” Creighton explained. “After quite a bit of discussion, we got to the point where the architect liked the look and the owner could afford it.”

The key to the job was pre-planning and attention to detail, Creighton added. “There was a high degree of both and that’s what led to success. The M-36 panel really makes for a nice architectural look for not a lot of money.”

The second PAC-CLAD system used on the job was Petersen Aluminum’s Tite-Loc Plus roofing panels. Saco Systems, located in Suwanee, Ga., completed the installation of the Tite-Loc Plus panels.

John Salo, vice president, said the double-lock, mechanically seamed panels “Are about as structurally sound as you can get. They are highly engineered panels that satisfy the most stringent design criteria.”

Saco Systems has considerable experience in working with Petersen Aluminum profiles.

“There were no real challenges on the project other than the normal coordination with other trades,” Salo said. “The panels went down easily and the job came out great—that’s the way we like it!”

Sustainable Future

Marist School made a commitment to environmental stewardship as it built the new facility. “Sustainability has been a big feature on the campus. It fits in with the overall philosophy of the school,” said Marist Father John Harhager, school president.

Sustainability features of the building include a three-part daylight harvesting system of exterior sunshades, interior light shelves and sloped ceilings. Glare inside classrooms is minimized, and daylight reaches deeply into rooms, allowing classroom lights to remain off the majority of the time. Rain water is saved to a 3,400-gallon cistern filled from two sources: the sloped gym roof and condensate from the HVAC system.

The water in the cistern is used for irrigation of the planted rain garden. The building also features water bottle refill stations to reduce disposable water bottle waste. Sustainable materials include colorful sound-absorbing panels made of machine pressed, recycled plastic bottles in the gymnasium, reclaimed elm wood panels in the lobby, and locally sourced materials.

For more information on the project or the complete line of Petersen Aluminum metal products, visit pac-clad.com.


This article was provided by Petersen Aluminum, an Illinois-based company with a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality metal standing seam roofing products. Petersen Aluminum recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and also offers metal wall panels including exposed fastener panels, flush panels, composite wall panels and column covers.