Food and cooking have never been so popular with the proliferation of cooking shows and food-related channels. Those who feel called into the culinary world have many educational options, including Houston Community College’s Culinary Arts Program. Established in 1982, the program has consistently grown every year, requiring a new state-of-the-art space. Aesthetics and durability in a rainscreen system influenced the design team of Stanec, Houston, to select Dri-Design’s Shadow Series panels for the HCC Culinary Arts building. 

McIntosh Wood and Metal Works, Fort Worth, Texas, installed 10,000 square feet of painted Shadow Series panels in Silver and Cityscape colors. Shadow Series panels allow depth and dimension to be added to any architectural design. Individual panels can be extended at varying depths to create texture or a dynamic variation in patterns while keeping the substrate and weather barrier in the same plane.

“Shadow Series is a unique design option for architects,” says Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design. “With it, designers can bring a playful depth to a structure.”

Devin McIntosh, the owner of McIntosh Wood and Metal Works, performed a 3D laser scan of the entire building once the sheathing was in place. He then modeled it in CAD and placed the material order based on the measurements. And yes, the measurements were accurate. For the installation, the crew installed z furrings or z girts along the walls to accommodate the panel flanges and rigid foam insulation. The trim was installed followed by the panels. 

The $30-million culinary arts building is in downtown Houston and sits on a former parking lot. To ensure students receive training in everything from cooking and nutrition, food safety and sanitation, to professional and management skills, the 38,000-square-foot building has many amenities. Students have a cooking and baking lab, a dining room and bar, as well as computer labs and classrooms, a student lounge, locker rooms, faculty offices and conference rooms.

"As much as I love the material, the people at Dri-Design are a pleasure to work with,” McIntosh says. “The material looks beautiful installed, and it really is a nice product. One of the biggest positives is the accuracy of both the drafters and the finished project. Coordination with the project managers has been flawless as well."

For more information about the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System, call 616-355-2970 or visit