Historic John Chavis Memorial Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, was undergoing renovations to better meet the needs of the surrounding community. Improvements to the 29-acre park included a new playground, a large plaza with water feature, and a new community center with a gym, dance studio and event spaces. The newly constructed 41,600 sq. ft. community center was designed to meet LEED Silver standards.
Windows behind perforated sunshades form the entire façade of the community center. On the west side, the sunshades are integrated with the large glass collage mural designed by local artist David Wilson. Each sunshade, manufactured by Accurate Perforating, is intricately shaped and painted in one of eight colors.
The community was heavily involved throughout the design process. The residents desired to incorporate movement and color into the project to reflect to the history of the park. The sunshades are important aesthetically and functionally. Their colors were inspired by the park’s historic carousel horses. The folded plates — in combination with the colors, perforation and spacing — lend a sense of movement to the building.
Clearscapes, the architect for the project, states that the folds of the sunshades are strategically positioned to provide structural rigidity along their length. Plus, the sunshades are purposefully angled to reduce heat gain from the afternoon sun, lowering energy usage in this LEED-certified building.
Leo Gaev, owner of Leo Gaey Metalworks, described the testing process as "Our greatest challenge during this project was to ensure that the perforated panels would perform as intended from a structural point of view. We built a prototype that was load tested with 5-gallon buckets of water to simulate a wind load. Simultaneously, a structural analysis was performed by computer modeling; but due to the unique shape of the sunscreen, the physical load test was more informative". And the panels passed the test!
According to Gaev, “Ensuring that each sunshade was installed plumb and level on the building was also a challenge. Each panel was attached to structural steel clips with eight 5/8” stainless steel bolts. Prior to installation, we templated each set of clips on the building to transfer the holes to the sunshades and drill them back in the shop. This allowed us to minimize on-site hole drilling and avoid drilling while in a manlift suspended 40 feet off the ground."
Our performance was judged positively by Leo K. Gaev, Leo Gaev Metalworks:
"Accurate Perforating was a committed partner in the successful execution of this project. Over the course of two years, we worked together to design, detail, problem solve, and prototype the final product. Their expertise helped guide the design, and their attention to detail was instrumental in [creating] a beautiful, finished product."
Accurate Perforating is proud of the part we played in a project that was so important to the neighborhood. From the community center’s beautiful and functional sunshades to its glass collage celebrating Black history, this is truly a project to which we are pleased to have contributed our experience and expertise.