Project Profiles: Education Facilities

CREC Academy of Aerospace & Engineering, Windsor, Conn.


Roofing Contractor: Silktown Roofing, Manchester, Conn.
Architect: Friar Associates, Farmington, Conn.
General Contractor: OWI Contractors LLC, Stratford, Conn.
Fabricator/Distributor: MetalTech-USA, Peachtree City, Ga.

Zinc was chosen to clad the façade of this unique structure.

Zinc was chosen to clad the façade of this unique structure.


The 150,197-square-foot building features 5,200 square feet of Zinc Double Lock Standing Seam Panels and 3,900 square feet of Zinc Flatlock Panels. The 0.8-millimeter panels are a PrePATINA blue gray zinc.

MetalTech-USA was selected to fabricate the 22-gauge preweathered zinc cladding. The original design called for a zinc standing-seam system to be applied to the wing. “The curvature and conical shape of the structure made it difficult to continue the straight line orientation of the Standing Seam Panels on the upper roof area,” cites MetalTech-USA Senior Project Manager Michael Love.

To best accommodate the architecture, Friar Associates made the decision to install MetalTech-USA Flatlock Panels, as well. The Flatlock Panels were installed diagonally to better conform to the curvature of the lower roof.

“The fact that tiles actually ‘corkscrew’ around the wing is a natural reaction of the material to the complex geometry of the wing,” says Bryce Sens, Friar Associates senior project manager.

Metal Products Manufacturer: RHEINZINK America


An antiquated business complex has been reimagined into the new CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, a state-of-the-art magnet school. Opened in September 2015, the facility houses 735 students, grades 6 to 12. The old structure was stripped to its steel frame and retrofitted to be as visionary as the school itself.

Friar Associates drew from Connecticut’s history steeped in aeronautics and aviation for the school’s thematic design. The exterior features a material palette inspired by the Hubble Telescope’s deep space photo of the Lagoon Nebula, as well as a contemporary “airfoil” form to emphasize the middle school façade. Zinc was chosen to clad the façade of this unique structure.

“The look of zinc best represented the look of an airplane wing while being aesthetically pleasing at the same time,” Sens says. “Additionally, the gray color of the zinc fit perfectly into the exterior color scheme of the building, which consists of black and white phenolic rainscreen panels on opposing sides of the structure.”

Sens adds: “Friar Associates is extremely proud of the final outcome of this project. We transformed what used to be an ordinary office building into what we would consider a habitable work of art that teaches and informs the occupants of the building [middle-school and high-school students] aeronautic concepts via architecture and engineering.”

PHOTO: MetalTech-USA

1 Comment on "Project Profiles: Education Facilities"

  1. Andrew Alexander | January 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Reply

    I was the Project Foreman on this job. Very proud to have been a part of it and thankful for the recognition!

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