The civic center in Edgewater, Colorado, started as a dream two decades ago and has now finally opened to the public. Edgewater is a Denver suburb that has a population of approximately 5,000 people and was named for its lakefront location at Sloan’s Lake.

The 55,000 square-foot civic center is home to city offices, the police department, a municipal library, and a fitness center that offers classes for residents. The new building allowed the police department to move out of a former grocery store and upgrade their evidence room, which previously was the size of a walk-in closet.

The design team from RATIO Architects faced two significant challenges with the new civic center: fit several different entities – each with unique needs - into one building with limited space and fit it all into the budget. The city also wanted a highly-efficient building with a focus on sustainability.

When searching for the right materials to use for this building, the architects found that insulated metal panels allowed the ability to do the entire enclosure using predominately one material, while also providing an energy-efficient and cost-efficient approach. The metal panels also provided a sophisticated look as an exterior skin on the building.

The Edgewater Civic Center uses the KarrierPanel Barrier Wall System from Kingspan. KarrierPanel is a cost-effective universal wall barrier alternative to traditional multi-component wall systems. Regardless of the façade materials, the KarrierPanel is there to provide a high level of energy efficiency by eliminating thermal-bridging energy losses associated with standard stud/cavity insulation construction.

“I think we as designers were impressed with the range of options that were available to us and then when the panels came out the site and started being erected, how easily it was done,” said Dennis Humphries, AIA, principal, Denver Studio Leader at RATIO Architects.

At first, city officials weren’t sold on the use of metal in the design of the civic center, thinking it would give the building an industrial look. However, insulated metal panels are diverse in nature and can provide different aesthetics to different buildings.

“Once we showed the owners the different colors and textures we were going to use, their concerns immediately went away,” said Humphries. “We were able to show them how sophisticated the panels looked as an exterior skin on the building and they felt very comfortable with that.”

“We’re trying to build a building that’s going to have a 50-year half-life,” Edgewater City Manager HJ Stalf told the local newspaper.

A significant portion of the funding for the new building came from one of Edgewater’s booming industries – cannabis. The city’s six cannabis dispensaries were responsible for $3 million in tax money that helped fund the $13 million project.

A community center, office and space for local residents to gather, the Edgewater Civic Center was created to stand the test of time.