Open and Inviting
The Broadcom Parking Garage, a necessary and integral portion of the HOK-designed, 1M square-foot Broadcom campus, was transformed into a visually-appealing, open structure with CENTRIA EcoScreen Cascade
perforated metal panels in Champagne Pearl and Clay. CENTRIA provided more than 20,000 square feet of product for the four-level, 812-space garage, located in San Jose, CA.
“Part of the challenge was to transform the existing structure to become more open and interact with the surroundings,” says Rafael Gavilanes, Project Architect, HOK. “The strategy was to line the precast concrete structure with a veil of systematic, yet diverse elements — a metallic veil of perforated metal, and textures that allowed us to screen the cars and the headlights from the users and neighbors, while allowing light and ventilation to flow through.”
B.T. Mancini served as the façade installer on this project. “Like many projects we work on, the architect provides the concept design and aesthetic for the façade, and we put the ‘nuts and bolts’ behind the pretty picture, ensuring that it can be installed efficiently and engineered properly, while meeting the aesthetic requirements of the architect,” says Rob Calderwood, Senior Sales Consultant, Structural Products Division, B.T. Mancini. “Since the panels are equally visible on the interior and exterior sides of the garage, it was important to design the framing and attachments so they still looked good on the interior.”
EcoScreen perforated metal panels present an airy aesthetic, providing elegant camouflage to better blend buildings with their surroundings. HOK were able to achieve the desired level of screening and ventilation on this garage façade using EcoScreen, which enabled the scale of the structure to appear less monolithic and more ethereal.
“The particular panel specified for this project (CC-260) is part of the CENTRIA Cascade series of profiles, meaning the ribs in the panels have a radius on one side and are straight on the other,” Calderwood says. “This allowed the architect to choose to orient the radius towards specific directions where the radius sides got the most sunlight.”
Because of EcoScreen’s visual character, the design team at HOK were able to create a parking garage that was unified with the unique nature of Broadcom’s exterior work environment. The campus encourages and enables the mainly software engineer staff to work outside the labs and other interior spaces. Rather than stand out, it became part of the work experience and amenities, while defining the campus’ exterior perimeter.
The panels are easy to install, according to Calderwood. But they need a solid substrate to which they can be attached. In addition, in California, designing and installing the frames on a parking structure can be challenging. “Being in an area prone to earthquakes, we need to account for story drift,” Calderwood says, “And on a parking garage, we need to allow for vertical floor deflection. Finally, concrete construction does not meet the tolerances we need for metal panel construction, since the concrete can sometimes vary more than an inch across an elevation.”
To address all of these challenges, B.T. Mancini designed the frames like curtains to hang from a rigid connection near the top and be connected below. They were created to allow for sliding movements side-to-side, and up and down. The teams also designed brackets that allow for adjustments in and out to correct imperfections in the concrete.
“Compared with most architectural wall panels we install, EcoScreen is lightweight, easy, and fast to install,” says Calderwood. “If perforated panels are desired on a project, it can be a more economical choice than more expensive perforated plate panels. The ribbed profiles ensure that EcoScreen actually has better spanning ability than perforated plate, keeping the framing costs down.”
The Broadcom Parking Garage spans 249,000 square feet and it includes two stairwells and a masonry elevator tower. It was completed in October 2017.