Inside and out, top to bottom – government buildings, institutional projects and public spaces rely on finished architectural aluminum products to provide safe, healthy, accessible places. As we emerge from the pandemic and shift to Spring, there is an opportunity for renewal and renovation.
Updating existing buildings with high-performance window and façade systems is a key part of achieving energy efficiency and reduced emissions to meet federal, state and city environmental mandates. Along with exterior retrofits, improving interiors with a focus on health and wellness also is essential to helping people safely return to our public spaces.
Serving the needs of the public, these spaces also must be built to balance functionality and affordability with respect to taxpayer dollars. Choosing high-performance finishes not only provides architectural aluminum products with durability and reliability, it also demonstrates a commitment to minimize maintenance and repair and to maximize long-term savings and life-long value.
The Office of Federal Sustainability coordinates policy to promote energy and environmental sustainability across federal government operations, which encompass more than 350,000 buildings. Of these, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) owns and leases more than 376.9 million square feet of space in 9,600 buildings in more than 2,200 communities nationwide.
The GSA uses the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® green building certification system as a tool for evaluating and measuring achievements in sustainable design. As of Jan. 2021,more than 6,900 federal projects are participating in LEED. The GSA requires, at a minimum, new construction and substantial renovation of federally owned facilities to be LEED Gold.
Architectural product manufacturers play a critical role in supporting the LEED goals, sustainable decisions and guiding principles for government buildings. These include reducing consumption of non-renewable energy, using environmentally preferable products, enhancing indoor environmental quality, and optimizing operational and maintenance practices.
As a single source solution, Linetec offers both painted coatings and anodize finishes that meet the industry’s highest performance specifications standards. To ensure aluminum products on government projects’ exteriors meet these standards, paint should be specified as 70% PVDF resin-based coatings to meet AAMA 2605 and anodize should be specified as Class I finishes to meet AAMA 611. The AAMA specification standards were most recently updated in 2020 and published by the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA).
Because most government buildings service a large number of people, the aluminum surfaces on their high-traffic interiors also may benefit from high-performance finishes. If there is little chance that public will be touching these surfaces, you may want to consider specifying a lower performance and lower cost finish on the interior. On the other hand, if these are high-touch, highly visible interior surfaces, you may want to consider enhancing the finished product’s performance with antimicrobial coatings.
Along with high-performance finishes, Linetec supports government buildings’ energy efficiency goals. Although aluminum is extremely strong, lightweight and nearly maintenance-free, it also conducts heat very rapidly. To reduce this heat flow, aluminum window, curtainwall and entrance systems should be thermally broken, or thermally improved, by separating the interior and exterior framing members.
Linetec offers two methods for thermal improvement: polyurethane poured-and-debridged or polyamide insulating strips (thermal strut). Window, skylight, curtainwall, storefront and entrance systems with thermally improved aluminum framing and high-performance glass help occupants to remain comfortable indoors in every season and all climate zones.
As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec uses a 100% air capture system and regenerative thermal oxidizer to safely remove the VOCs in liquid paints’ solvents. By managing this in its quality-controlled facility, there is no adverse environmental impact either at Linetec or on the jobsite. No-VOC eco-friendly options from Linetec also include powder coatings and anodize finishing. Further demonstrating its beneficial attributes and a life expectancy of 40 years, Linetec’s anodize finishing for aluminum has earned a Declare Label as Living Building Challenge™ (LBC) Red List Free through ILFI.
The sustainability, functionality and longevity of our public spaces and government buildings also should be visually aligned with community expectations and aspirations. Color quickly communicates and Linetec has the finishes to match the message:
- Firehouse red
- Safety orange
- Courthouse bronze
- School bus yellow
- Park board green
- Postal blue
- Playground purple
- Train station silver
Remember that architectural aluminum products also can be selected with specialty finishes that resemble other construction materials, often at a more economical price point.
- Want the warmth of wood without the maintenance? Check out our wood grain finishes for aluminum.
- Want the high-end appearance and tactile feel of terra cotta without the expense? Touch our textured terra cotta finishes.
- Want the shiny copper of a new penny without the patina? Take a look at our Copper Anodize.
- Want a marble wall panel without the heavy lifting? Talk to us about spattercoat.
Whether your next government project needs to be stoically dignified or playfully welcoming, let us help you make it a success. For personalized assistance, please contact your local representative.