New York’s The Forge showcases distinctive, copper anodized, aluminum wall panel system

TForge_2400-webWausau, Wisconsin (June 2018) – Opened this spring, The Forge, a 272-unit luxury residential tower in Long Island, New York, features a façade of copper-colored anodized aluminum cladding. Designed by FXCollaborative, its distinctive, artistically inspired, industrial-influenced, exterior is composed of Dri-Design’s aluminum wall panel system finished by Linetec. The project is pursuing LEED® Silver certification.

Developed as a “village in a building” by Brause Realty Inc. and Gotham Organization, the wedge-shaped site and stringent zoning requirements led The Forge to take a slender form with stepped massing in a neo-modernist style. While it is a single 38-story, 266,000-square-foot structure, the property appears as if it could be three separate wafer-like buildings set side by side with a fourth, far shorter, one nestled at the foot of the other three.

On the south elevation, where the dominant street grid meets the elevated Thomson Avenue, the building’s thin slabs are stacked and angled to follow the diagonal avenue. Each of the south elevation’s slabs measures no more than 20 feet wide and stretches to the pinnacle uninterrupted by openings. The other elevations also showcase the copper-anodized cladding punctuated by julienne strips of windows to maximize daylight and views toward the East River and Manhattan, all while preserving outdoor zones. 

Entire elevation of copper-anodized aluminum cladding

It is on The Forge’s south side that the copper-colored aluminum wall system clads the entire height of the building, accentuating its vertical presence.

TForge_018-webTo create the industrial metallic look specified by FXCollaborative, Linetec finished more than 92,000 square feet of Dri-Design panels in a proprietary copper color anodize and painted an additional 4,800 square feet in a Black Iron color.

Dri-Design’s Tyler Fowler says, “Linetec’s copper anodized finish was the look that the architect designed around. The natural variation that is expressed on the façade through the copper anodizing process was a desired look.”

“Whether creating a dramatic new design, or conveying a historic depth and heritage, the classic beauty of copper brings a rich, distinguished look to architectural building projects,” elaborates Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associate. “Today, with our exclusive copper-colored anodize for aluminum, you can achieve the look of real copper and lasting luster, without such shortcomings as salt run-off stains, galvanic corrosion, patina or intensive maintenance. Anodized aluminum also weighs less than half of real copper, for easier transportation and installation.”

Linetec’s proprietary and warrantied finish is accomplished through a three-step electrolytic coloring method, rather than the standard two-step process. The resulting finish remains a bright copper color, with no patina over time. It does not require a clear coat or ongoing treatment to maintain color stability. It is available for extrusion, stretch-formed and flat sheet aluminum, before or after assembly.

Fowler continues, “The unique process that involves using real copper to anodize the aluminum makes for a warm and natural finish. Combining the durability and performance of the finish from Linetec with the functionality and endurance of Dri-Design panels is a façade that will last for many years.”

Sustainable, recyclable and durable

TForge_2300-webSupporting The Forge’s healthy, sustainable goals and LEED criteria, Linetec’s anodized services produce no harmful or dangerous by-products and is non-hazardous. Anodized aluminum is an inert, non-combustible material that is 100 percent recyclable and poses no health risks.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Linetec and other environmentally responsible finishers, changed from the traditional caustic etching process to a more eco-friendly etch system. Compared with conventional etch processes, this improved anodize process reduces landfill waste by 75-80 percent. Landfill waste directly relates to the production of greenhouse gas.

This change to eco-friendly anodize also made it easier for customers to use secondary (recycled) billet in the anodize process. The Forge’s aluminum wall system is manufactured with recycled content and, at the end of its useful life as exterior cladding, is 100 percent recyclable.

Fowler highlights other environmental aspects of the system: “Dri-Design purchases its aluminum from domestic mills, which saves transportation energy costs. Additionally, Dri-Design’s single-skin technology – which does not have a plastic core like our MCM [metal composite material] competitors – saves on fossil fuels. Lastly, Dri-Design uses no joint sealants or gaskets, which are made with petroleum, saving fossil fuels and future maintenance costs.”

Further contributing to The Forge’s long life cycle and minimal maintenance, anodize aluminum resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping. Its copper anodize finish meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s AAMA 611 Class I Specification. Protecting and maintaining the structural integrity of the aluminum, it retains exceptional hardness and lasting durability.

Open communication and proven performance

To arrive at the enduring look of The Forge’s copper-anodized wall system, Dri-Design and FXCollaborative first began discussing the building’s design in 2013 during the earliest stages of the project’s conception.

“There was an abundance of collaboration between owner, architect, general contractor and Dri-Design to meet the design intent,” Fowler remembers. “With open lines of communications such as this, it makes for a better experience for all parties involved.”

He proudly notes that the two companies have a long-standing relationship and “the use of Dri-Design was a first choice based on many qualities.” Among these qualities, Dri-Design’s architectural metal wall cladding system is made form one single solid piece of aluminum; it is not a metal or aluminum composite material. Because it is not a composite material and is not laminated, the panels will not delaminate.

Engineered as a pressure-equalized rain-screen system, Dri-Design’s wall panel system complies with the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 285 standard. It also has passed the most stringent air, water and structural testing requirements in the industry, including AAMA 508 test protocol, as well as Miami Dade County’s hurricane testing.

“With the performance requirements along with the desired overall aesthetic of the façade, Dri-Design made the most sense,” summarizes Fowler.

Smooth, on schedule installation

TForge_010-webDri-Design’s rain-screen wall system attaches to nearly any substrate without the use of clips or extrusions. This quick-connecting, interlocking panel design helped installing contractor KNS Building Restoration stay on schedule.

KNS worked closely with general contractor Purves Street Development following The Forge’s start of construction in June 2015. In August 2016, the project “topped out.” The building was substantially completed, on time, in the summer of 2017.

“This was the first time Dri-Design and KNS Building Restoration worked together,” Fowler acknowledges. “It was a great experience for us. This was a group effort between both parties to make for a successful project.”

Eco-friendly, artistic amenities at The Forge

As a recognized part of The Forge’s success, residents enjoy 26,000 square feet dedicated to amenities and their own spacious outdoor park. A sunroom, lounge, children’s playroom, fitness center, business bar, workspace and local art installations are available throughout the interior. The property’s many outdoor areas include a pool, movie theater, sculpture garden, summer kitchen, and green roof with sky lounge and terrace.

The Forge also incorporates wind turbines and a solar power screen for supplemental power. An irrigation system captures rainwater and reuses it on the landscaped green spaces. Bike storage and on-site parking with electric charging stations also support a healthy, green lifestyle.

Within The Forge, residents and visitors are welcomed by a 24/7 concierge in an impressive, double-height lobby. The individual Feng Shui-certified residences continue the intended attitude of modern comfort and well being into the studio, one- and two-bedroom units. Delivering on these intensions, the building’s design and construction focuses on sound sensitivity and energy efficiency, as well as environmental responsibility.

Prospective tenants seeking to embrace the eco-minded, healthy lifestyle offered by The Forge still have the opportunity to lease a residence. Units currently available are listed as starting at $3,244 for a one-bedroom, one-bath.

The Forge, 44-28 Purves Street, New York 11101; https://renttheforge.com

Located in Wisconsin, Linetec serves customers across the country, finishing such products as aluminum windows, wall systems, doors, hardware and other architectural metal components, as well as automotive, marine and manufactured consumer goods. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG).

Linetec is a member of the Aluminum Anodizers Council (AAC), the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), the Glass Association of North America (GANA), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA).

Construction Specifier column addresses “Avoiding Color Variation with Anodize Finishes”

champagne range sample

Linetec Champagne anodize range sample

Learning from failures are some of the most difficult and most valuable lessons. Many times, failures can be avoided if we turned to those with more experience for advice. The Failures column in the January issue of Construction Specifier takes this approach issue and shares advice on “Avoiding Color Variation with Anodize Finishes.”

Authored by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder explains the variables affecting color in the anodize process, and the challenges of achieving an exact color from run to run and load to load.

To minimize color variation, she offers five tips:

  1. Maintain metal consistency – The easiest way to ensure this is to work with one metal source/extruder per project and request all metal come from one lot of material.
  2. Do not mix aluminum alloys, as even mixed tempers will not produce uniform results – For best results, use 6063 alloys for extrusions and 5005 for flat sheet stock and fabricated parts. When structural alloy is required, 6061 and 5052 can be used, but will not give similarly acceptable results.
  3. Perform as much bending and forming as possible prior to finishing – Anodic films are very hard, and as a result most post-production bending causes the film to “craze,” which produces a series of small cracks in the finish, giving it a spider-web like appearance.
  4. Be aware of anodizing’s effect on welds – The heat developed from the welding process changes the metallurgy on nearby metal or heat-affected zones, causing localized discoloration (i.e. halo effect), so one should use the proper 5356 alloy welding wire and lowest heat possible.
  5. Select an anodizer that uses automation – This helps to reduce inconsistencies in the process.
dark bronze range sampeles

Linetec dark bronze anodize range samples

Click here to read the whole Failures column, and please contact us for personalized service in avoiding color variation and selecting the correct finish for your next project.

Feature article in Products Finishing helps in “Choosing the Right Finish”

IMG_0084-webProduct Finishing magazine’s December issue features an educational article on “Choosing the Right Finish for Coastal Projects” by Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder.

As the company’s senior marketing specialist and a LEED Green Associate, Schroeder has authored dozens of educational articles and presentations about painted, anodized and specialized finishes to meet the needs of many climates and geographies.

Click here to read this most recent article describing optimal, durable finishes for aluminum architectural products facing some of the most challenging conditions.

In addition to offering guidance on selecting high-performance finishes and avoiding corrosion, the informative piece also shares steps for proper maintenance to ensure an ideal appearance for years to come.

To learn more about how Linetec can support your next project and fine-tune finishes for its climate, please contact us for personalized service.

Protecting Aluminum Finish During Building Construction

RichmondCtyCourthouse-1In the November issue of Glass Magazine, Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder shares tips on “Protecting Aluminum Finish During Building Construction.”

High-performance paint and anodize finishes for aluminum add durability and color flexibility to meet architectural requirements. To ensure a resilient finish, the article offers 11 points to consider during storage and installation.

Click here to read the full story.

In addition to the 11 tips, Tammy reminds us to extra care to protect finished aluminum material after installation and prior to the building’s final acceptance as most damage to aluminum work will occur during this time.

Significantly reducing the opportunity for damage, Linetec partners with customers from the earliest stages of their projects through final completion. Please contact us for personalized service.

How do you clean anodized aluminum?

CherryAirport09Anodized architectural finishing gives a tough and long-lasting surface to aluminum. This is particularly useful for high-traffic areas of a building, where hardness and abrasion resistance is vital. While anodize is as hard as sapphire (the second hardest substance in the world), it still requires regular maintenance and care.

Although anodized aluminum is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, discoloration and wear, it can be marred by harsh chemicals, abuse or neglect. Periodic maintenance inhibits long-term accumulation of soil, which can accelerate weathering of the finish.

It depends on the weather

The environment of the building will influence the cleaning frequency your anodized surfaces require. Factors such as smog, condensation or low rainfall areas can contribute to a surface needing more frequent cleanings to remove salt and dirt build-up. Areas that have seasonal rainfall to help remove water-soluble deposits and soil will require cleaning less often.

TampaMuseumofArt-close-up-webIt depends on the placement

Regardless of climate, recessed and sheltered areas usually become more heavily soiled because of the lack of rain-washing. Overhangs, bottoms of fascia panels and sheltered column covers are particularly susceptible to soil build-up. If not addressed, this can lead to accelerated weathering of the anodized finish. Integrating this as part of the building’s overall maintenance schedule is the most efficient and economical way to make sure soil and salt build-up is kept in check.

It depends on the build-up

The severity and tenacity of the soil build-up will determine progressively stronger cleaning procedures that can help maintain a building’s anodized surfaces. Be cautious. Experiment on a small area of the building, using stronger methods until you find the one that works.

  • For light soil, flush the surface with water using moderate pressure. Let it air dry and check to see if the build-up still remains.
  • If the build-up remains, move to scrubbing with a brush or sponge while spraying with water.
  • If, and only if, that does not remove the build-up, then add a mild detergent cleaner to the scrubbing.
  • If heavy surface soil persists, add an abrasive cleaning pad to the mild detergent washing. Be sure to always scrub in the direction of the metal grain.
  • If detergent is used, rinse the surface thoroughly, multiple times, with clean water after scrubbing, to avoid detergent residue building up in place of soil.

It depends on the cleaner

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) or similar solvents should only be used to remove oil, wax, polish or similar material from your surface. Extreme care must be exercised to keep MEK from damaging any organic sealants, gaskets and finishes around anodized surfaces. If the anodize is protected with a clear, organic coating, do not use MEK solvent, as it may deteriorate or remove the coating completely. Do not use aggressive alkaline or acid cleaners on or near anodized aluminum.

It depends on deterioration

Even if well maintained, architectural finishes, including anodize, could eventually need repair. There are solutions for both minor and major damage and deterioration of anodize, so plan accordingly. For small scratches and rub marks, minor touch-up paint can be used. The paint should closely match the color of the factory-applied anodize finish. Use caution when applying touch up paint to the damaged area. Be aware that the touch-up paint will not be as hard as the original finish and is not intended for areas larger than a few square inches.

harsh-chemical-damage-webWhen larger anodized areas are damaged beyond what a simple touch-up can fix, it is time to call in a professional. Large, full-service finishing companies often employ field service workers who are able to prepare and apply architectural paint finishes in the field. The coating used should meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s AAMA 2605 specification and be tinted to match the existing finish. This can be a difficult goal, particularly if only a portion of the existing surface is being refinished or the finish has already experienced some fade. Be certain to ask for an onsite sample to approve of before the full project begins.

Learn more about anodizing and its care and maintenance by clicking here. For personalized assistance in selecting or repairing anodize finishes for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers, email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

Shining the spotlight on Brushed Stainless anodize

LinetecBrushedStainlessAnodize-web2Those of you who have visited us at this year’s industry events were treated to a preview of our new proprietary Brushed Stainless anodize finish. We are excited to announce that this finish is ready for the spotlight and for your specification.

Stainless steel has long been used in the architectural construction industry for its luster, richness and highly reflective appearance. This unique look could only be found in stainless steel until now.

Our new Brushed Stainless anodize finish emulates the clean, bright surface that architects and specifiers find desirable in stainless steel. Helping enhance and protect architectural aluminum products, Brushed Stainless anodize creates a similar look on aluminum offering a more cost effective, lightweight option.

BS-banner-webDue to cost, stainless steel can be value-engineered out of a project. Our new Brushed Stainless finish offers the popular look of stainless steel at less cost and almost one-third the weight of actual steel, with greater fabrication flexibility and all the strengths of anodize. It resists fingerprints and scratching, and requires minimal maintenance including in high-traffic areas offering excellent wear and abrasion resistance.

A high-performance anodized finish has an extremely long life span, has exceptional stability to UV rays, is non-hazardous and produces no harmful or dangerous by-products. In line with Linetec’s core value of Environmental Responsibility, Linetec has implemented the newer electro-polishing technology to achieve the highly reflective aesthetic properties of stainless steel on aluminum.

Linetec’s anodize finishes meet the requirements of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s stringent Class I specification standard, AAMA 611-14. The anodized aluminum resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping, for a long product life cycle. Anodized aluminum may be specified with recycled content and is 100 percent recyclable.

shutterstock_flat sheets-webFor more information on our new Brushed Stainless anodized finish, or for personalized assistance in selecting and specifying the right coating for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers , email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.

Building Enclosure features “Preventing coating failures”

Helping ensure the best finish for architectural aluminum products, Linetec’s Tammy Schroeder recently authored “Preventing coating failures.” Published in the July issue of Building Enclosure magazine, the article addresses the benefits and cautions of selecting paint and anodize finishes.

5-webWith proper consideration and application, finished architectural aluminum will retain its intended look and long life with minimal maintenance. A durable finish helps provide the desired performance in the harshest environments, including the highly corrosive seacoast. These qualities reduce the need to replace materials and components, conserve resources, optimize labor and save money.

Click here to read the online article.

Need help selecting the right coating for your project? Please contact us for personalized service.