As one of the largest privately owned universities in the country, Brigham Young University (BYU) is constantly thinking of ways to renovate and improve its campus grounds which herald back to 1875. One of the school’s most recent points of focus was the College of Life Sciences building, which was originally stationed in a nearly windowless structure originally built in 1968. With the hopes of attracting more students and teaching talent, plans for a new 265,000-square-foot facility were developed in 2011 and the finished building opened in time for the 2014 fall semester.

Architectural Nexus out of Salt Lake City worked with metal panel installer LCG Façades almost immediately when the project came their way. Together, the teams brainstormed interesting and inviting inspirations that would draw visitors and future students to the university. The building’s exterior is comprised of varying products, like glass, brick concrete, steel and metal panels, and is divided into multiple levels as the building rises against the mountainous backdrop. From a distance, the structure appears to mimic the landscape surrounding it, as nearby canyons open up and mountains rise from the earth.

Another focus that designers stressed was the introduction of natural light, as the previous building was devoid of this asset. To achieve this focus, architects included expansive windows that reveal the landscape while allowing for a magnitude of sunlight to stream in throughout the day.  

During the construction process, general contractor Oakland Construction began weighing in with recommendations for the selected build materials. It was decided that LCG Façades and ALPOLIC team up to create a lightweight metal composite panel rainscreen system using exclusive SL-2200 rainscreen system from LCG Façades and ALPOLIC/fr 4mm aluminum composite panels fabricated at LCG’s facility in Salt Lake City.  ALPOLIC finished the metal panels using Valspar’s Valflon coating in Silver Mica, which emulates the neighboring blue limestone formation that caps the Wasatch Mountain spine. These silver panels also complement the red brick used on other parts of the structure, which was chosen to unite the many campus buildings and reference the color palette of the surrounding cliffs, canyons and mountainsides.

In addition to this cool silver coating, the project also called for a custom coating to be created and adorn specific metal panels around windows and other building selections. Custom coatings can be tricky to produce when there are so many people involved, from architects and design firms to building owners and, in this case, the university system. A blue mica finish was developed by Valspar in an efficient manner, which all parties involved appreciated greatly.

Valspar’s color scientists have a palette of more than 20,000 choices – and the ability to create a unique color to match any project’s exact specifications. Advanced color-matching technology helps Valspar’s color experts and lab technicians land on the perfect shade for a project quickly. During the color-matching process, architects or designers provide a swatch or image of a color that they want built out and turned into a coating. Valspar’s dedication to innovation allows our scientists in labs across the country to meet any challenge head on, ensuring that exterior coatings last as long as the building itself.

Valflon was the ideal coating choice for this specific project, as it is known to retain its color for many years, as well as resist harsh weather elements, airborne chemicals, and acid. It combines high gloss and bold colors, keeping the university’s cohesive look both stable and stunning.

The completed College of Life Sciences building houses 16 teaching labs, three auditoriums, four conference rooms and more than 70 academic offices. It is one of the most important buildings on campus and serves as the gateway to the south end of the BYU campus. The new remodel, finished in part with Valflon, provides the welcoming atmosphere designers were looking for – mixing intellect with architecture and modern construction with old school values.

Project Overview
Project: Brigham Young university – College of Life Sciences; Provo, Utah;

Coatings provider: The Valspar Corporation; Minneapolis, Minn.;    

Metal panel manufacturer: ALPOLIC Materials, Chesapeake, Va.;

Architect: Architectural Nexus; Salt Lake City, Utah;

General contractor: Oakland Construction; Salt Lake City, Utah;

Metal panel installer: LCG Façades; Salt Lake City, Utah;