Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)

Energy Savings From the Inside Out

Petersen's PAC-CLAD Composite rainscreen panels

Petersen’s PAC-CLAD Composite rainscreen panels served as a strong design element at Pflugerville ISD’s new Dearing Elementary School.

The 20th and newest elementary school in the Pflugerville Independent School District opened to rave reviews from students, teachers and parents alike. Dearing Elementary School in Texas, which creates more energy than the building consumes, was lauded for its net-zero design.

The new building’s energy-efficient design made a special impression on school principal Christy Chandler. “The school’s amazing. I don’t know if there’s another one like it in the state,” she says. The two-story building uses geothermal heat for both electricity and heating and is equipped with LED lights throughout.

Petersen’s PAC-CLAD Composite rainscreen panels were utilized as a strong design element in both exterior and interior applications. Petersen fabricated the panels using 4 millimeter Reynobond aluminum composite material (ACM) finished in Copper Penny and Silver Metallic. The panels provide a dramatic look both outside and inside the new school.

The composite wall panels were only 11-5/8-inches wide by 8-feet long, which is an unusual size for ACM, according to Jesse Brown, operations manager at installer Dean Contracting Co. in Kyle, Texas. “The use of the narrow ACM panels with long spans and multiple colors was a vision of the architect to break up the façade,” Brown says.

“Traditional ACM panels are generally larger. In this case, the architect wanted just the opposite. That added a bit of challenge in fabricating the panels and for us in making sure that all of the horizontal and vertical lines matched up so that we could deliver the vision the architect wanted.”

Brown also commented on the use of PAC-CLAD products on an interior application. “It was unique — the ACM transitioned to the interior space through the outside wall and formed an inviting, elevated multi-use space.”

This article originally appeared in the issue of .