Western Specialty Contractors – Kansas City Sheet Metal Division was given the task of modernizing the front entrance of its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO. 

Constructed in 1969, the brick building’s entrance consisted of white metal trim work around a set of double metal doors with a two-foot-wide, rust-colored vertical metal panel wrapping around the entrance’s cornice. A metal light box sign featuring the company’s name had hung over its doors since 2005. 

Western decided in January to update the building’s entrance with a low maintenance Aluminum Composite Material (ACM)/Metal Composite Material (MCM) rainscreen for a fresh and modern look. 

“We chose ACM/MCM to give the building a new, modern appeal. Although brick will always be a classic look, it is also going to be an ongoing maintenance item for the building,” said Rod O’Bannon, Kansas City Sheet Metal Division Manager. “Covering the brick with a combination of light and dark gray panels gives the entrance a fresh and inviting feel that makes the building easier to recognize from the street and easier to maintain.” 

Architectural sheet metal panels, like ACM and MCM, are becoming an increasingly popular exterior cladding option for new construction and building renovations. ACM/MCM is a lightweight composite material consisting of two aluminum cover sheets and a fire-rated core. It is a simple and versatile product that delivers a weather-resistant, unbreakable and shock-resistant façade. These types of panels are available in a wide variety of sizes and finishes and provide an endless array of design options. Serving as a rainscreen system, these energy efficient panels also provide an air gap that allows water drainage and evaporation of moisture that can accumulate behind the cladding panel. 

Western also updated the buildings’ gutters and cornice around the entire building after discovering that the gutters had been failing and the wood substrate behind them was rotted. Western’s crews replaced all damaged wood and fabricated and installed new cornice conductor heads and downspouts around the building. 

Additionally, Western fabricated and installed new signage for the building that consisted of a low-volt LED light box made of .063 aluminum and ACM with the company’s name and address in painted vinyl lettering. To complete the new look, Western installed new light fixtures on either side of the doors.

O’Bannon says more building owners and facility managers are turning to low maintenance architectural sheet metal to update their buildings’ facades. Not just for gutters and metal roofs anymore, metal can be fabricated into wall panel systems that can be used in any number of creative ways to add architectural flair and protection to any building’s exterior. Metal wall panel systems have different benefits and are available in a variety of colors, designs and materials.

Western’s Sheet Metal Division can fabricate and install metal wall panels for new construction and renovation projects and has a dedicated crew to help with repairs of any sheet metal facet of a building, whether it be a broken gutter, split downspout, clogged scupper or missing piece of flashing. Additionally, Western can assist with many custom metal projects such as awnings, canopies, special gutter sizes, skylights, unit screens and interior metal work for lobbies, reception areas, accent walls and elevators.

“Updating a building to a more modern look can be easier and more affordable than you think,” said O’Bannon. “There are several products available on the market today that can make your aging building shine with new life ranging in price from $7 to $75 per square foot. Selecting what looks good to you and what is affordable are the first things to consider when updating your building. The design possibilities are endless.”

For more information about Western’s Architectural Sheet Metal Division, visit https://westernspecialtycontractors.com/architectural-sheet-metal/.