Most construction projects are done on aggressive schedules. With an owner needing to occupy the structure in just 12 months from the start of design-build, the Northern Arizona Real Estate Holdings Office Building, located on a site near the edge of the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff required an especially fast-track delivery.

The three-story project, led by SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix, and Mortenson Construction, Chandler, Ariz., includes 45,000 sq ft of consolidated office space for several departments that had previously been scattered throughout the campus.

The construction team was able to accomplish the rapid project turnaround by balancing costs with speed of erection and thermal performance. A 3-in. Kingspan metal panel system was selected because it reached those goals at the same time as reducing the building's energy needs by 13%. The use of the system also helped reduce costs by eliminating trade work and materials as well as construction time.

All systems, including the steel structure, are exposed on the interior of the building. The thin insulated-core metal panels span the full height of the building and are painted on the interior to provide maximum thermal performance and weather tightness against the high-elevation environment.

The selection of this system also helped to maximize the usable interior area to create ample column-free open space. Consequently, the small amount of hard-wall offices and community conference spaces were located deep inside the interior of the floor plate to maximize daylight within the space. Copious light is provided by tall, narrow windows on the east and west facades.

The use of the Kingspan metal panels also eliminated the need for interior build-out and finish work that are typically needed with other skin systems and allowed for an interior design that provides for maximum flexibility. And, since the building core is located on the perimeter of the floor plate, the remainder of the interior space can be more easily adapted in the future, if space and layout needs change for the building occupants.

Northern Arizona Real Estate Holdings Office BuildingFlagstaff, Ariz.

Key Players

Contractor Mortenson Construction, Chandler, Ariz.

Owner Northern Arizona Real Estate Holdings LLC, Flagstaff

Lead Design SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix

MEP Smith GroupJJR, Phoenix

Structural Engineer Caruso Turley Scott, Tempe, Ariz.

Civil Engineer Shephard-Wesnitzer, Flagstaff

Geotechnical Engineer Speedie & Associates, Flagstaff