The Finley Center sports complex and event venue provides a unique blend of multi-functional space for community sports and fitness, as well as convention and entertainment facilities to boost the local economy in Hoover, Ala. The project’s modern design called for a dynamic, all-metal façade featuring more than 100,000 square feet of Metl-Span insulated metal wall and roof panels.
The 150,000-square-foot indoor venue sports 11 basketball courts, 17 volleyball courts, a walking track, rock-climbing course, multiple meeting rooms for private events, and even a full-service food court and kitchen designed to meet the needs of a 2,000-person banquet. The Finley Center is the latest addition to the growing Hoover Met Complex, located just outside of nearby Birmingham.
“The premise of the Finley Center was to create a flexible multipurpose event venue with a focus on sports tourism and convention space as the first phase in the [Hoover Met Complex] masterplan,” said Project Manager Erik Consuegra of design firm Goodwyn Mills Cawood Architecture.
The complex is quickly becoming the go-to destination for regional collegiate and K-12 athletic tournaments, with multiple indoor and outdoor fields slated for opening in the near future. The team from Goodwyn Mills Cawood designed a facility that not only emphasized energy and enthusiasm, but also incorporated a high-performance, efficient building envelope that will serve the community for years to come.
According to Consuegra, the use of vibrant colors – including Gallery Blue and Regal Gray – were inspired by the surrounding facilities, which showcase Hoover’s city colors.
“The desire was to create visual excitement both from the exterior and interior as those spaces are engaged,” Consuegra explained. “The greys and blues of the Finley Center are primarily drawn from the adjacent Hoover Metropolitan Baseball Stadium that has Hoover-city blue roofing and exposed, cast-in-place concrete. There was a desire for these two facilities to visually relate to one another, creating a common sports campus language.”
The Finley Center’s exterior implements a combination of 2-inch Metl-Span CF Mesa and 3-inch 7.2 Insul-Rib insulated metal wall panels integrated seamlessly with a pre-engineered metal building from Mesco Building Solutions. The insulated metal panels, which total 31,538 square feet, were specified in metallic Regal Gray. The Metl-Span insulated metal panel system “tied different portions of the facility together in materiality and appearance,” according to Consuegra.
“The use of metal panels allowed for design flexibility and created consistency throughout the building,” he added.
The entire facility is topped by 99,625 square feet of Metl-Span CFR insulated metal standing seam roof panels in Gallery Blue. The composite panels combine durable interior and exterior steel faces with Metl-Span’s unmatched polyurethane insulating core. The panels feature 2-inch high standing seams for lengthy sightlines and Metl-Span’s lightly corrugated Mesa profile.
The 2.5-inch, 24/26-gauge CFR panels deliver an R-value of 20.41 for exceptional thermal performance. The product’s weathertight vertical side seaming also provides an unsurpassed weathertight seal and leads to potential installation savings with few side joints to seal at the jobsite.
As veteran designers of collegiate sports arenas and stadiums, Goodwyn Mills Cawood was drawn to an insulated metal panel building envelope from the project inception, citing several advantages beginning with the installation process. Insulated metal panels provide all the essential thermal and moisture controls in a single, easy-to-install component.
“Our experience on collegiate sports facilities led to a design around [Metl-Span] products for the Finley Center for ease of installation in an accelerated construction schedule, compliance with energy code requirements and cleanliness and rigidity of the interior of the building with minimal maintenance,” Consuegra said.
The design team also placed a high emphasis on sustainability. All lighting in the Finley Center is provided by low-energy LEDs, and the project utilizes natural lighting in the form of translucent panel clerestories and fenestrations that surround both the event and auxiliary spaces.
Metl-Span’s insulated metal panels are constructed from recycled material and deliver a high level of energy efficiency to reduce HVAC costs. In addition, the product’s single-component design leads to efficiencies throughout the installation process.
Construction was finalized on the Finley Center in the spring of 2017—just in time for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Baseball Tournament, which hosts more than 14 major college baseball programs as one of the nation’s largest events of its kind.