Dated Office Building Is Updated with a Zinc Façade

zinc cladding

The headquarters building of RLI, a publicly held specialty insurance company in Peoria, Ill., had become dated and needed extensive interior and exterior repairs. Originally constructed in 1970, the 81,000-square-foot building’s precast concrete façade had deteriorated significantly.

The major elements of the project called for the replacement of the cracked and leaking precast concrete, the addition of center stairwells with structural reinforcement and construction of large glass curtainwall.

The major elements of the project called for the replacement of the cracked and leaking precast concrete, the addition of center stairwells with structural reinforcement and construction of large glass curtainwall.

RLI hired Dewberry Architects Inc., Peoria, to handle design and construction administration for the renovation of its corporate headquarters. Construction management services were provided by Mangieri Companies Inc., Peoria.

RLI conducted employee focus groups to determine what design elements should be incorporated into the building. Employees expressed a desire for an innovative, modern look; more natural light; natural construction materials; and flexible conferencing/working areas. “Employees were really involved in the design,“ says Jonathan Michael, RLI’s chairman and CEO. “As a result, we became much more efficient.“

A major challenge associated with the project was RLI’s need to continue operations during the renovation process. This required a three-step plan to renovate a third of operations while employees worked in other areas of the building.

BEFORE: The headquarters building of RLI, a publicly held specialty insurance company in Peoria, Ill., had become dated and needed extensive interior and exterior repairs.

BEFORE: The headquarters building of RLI, a publicly held specialty insurance company in Peoria, Ill., had become dated and needed extensive interior and exterior repairs.

The major elements of the project called for the replacement of the cracked and leaking precast concrete, the addition of center stairwells with structural reinforcement and construction of large glass curtainwall. Significant exterior sections of the roof and walls were removed for the installation of curtainwall, center stairwells, a large glass vestibule and skylights. New structural steel was required in numerous interior areas of the facility.

Various alternatives were considered for the new façade. “We showed multiple façade options, including zinc, as well as a variety of traditional metal panel products,” explains Kalman Nagy, Dewberry project designer. “But the zinc provided the timeless, sophisticated, inspiring look that everyone wanted. Plus, everyone liked the fact that zinc is a natural material.”

Approximately 7,000 square feet of RHEINZINK Flat-Lock Tiles in PrePATINA blue-grey and preweathered graphite-grey were utilized to clad the façade. The Flat-Lock Tiles were fabricated by RHEINZINK distributor MetalTech—USA, Peachtree City, Ga.

Approximately 7,000 square feet of RHEINZINK Flat-Lock Tiles in PrePATINA blue-grey and preweathered graphite-grey were utilized to clad the façade.

Approximately 7,000 square feet of RHEINZINK Flat-Lock Tiles in PrePATINA blue-grey and preweathered graphite-grey were utilized to clad the façade.

“The RHEINZINK PrePATINA blue-grey material forms a band around the building that links the three vestibule entry areas,“ Nagy adds. “It helps provide the streamlined, progressive look that defines RLI and its employees.”

The installation of the RHEINZINK Flat-Lock Tiles was done by Climate Engineers, Eldridge, Iowa.

PHOTOS: RLI Corp.

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