Tasked with building the new Boston Sports Institute—a 130,000 square foot, multi-purpose facility in Wellesley, Mass.—design build firm Dacon Corporation chose a metal structure to optimally support the facility’s large clear spans and insulation requirements.

Together with the primary and secondary steel framing, the project called for 58,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) in a variety of orientations, colors and designs. In addition to lending a sharp aesthetic with horizontal and vertical strips of gray, white and sandstone, the IMPs provide an all-in-one, built-in water, vapor and air barrier plus insulation system.

IMPs are “an ideal wall system for a facility with demanding environmental needs,” explained Kevin Provencher, Director of Architecture at Dacon in an architectural award submission. “We were committed to using insulated metal panels from the earliest design stages, both for their performance and design flexibility.”

Used on the walls and a portion of the pool roof, the IMPs thermal properties were key to maintaining temperatures a chilly 55°F inside the facility’s two NHL ice ranks and a warm 82°F in the pool area.

“Special attention had to be given to all sealing details as the building has two very extreme and different environments – ice arenas on one side and a pool on the other,” explains Tony Barnes, president, Barnes Buildings, the steel contractor for the project.

Team Overcomes Construction Challenges with Upfront Planning

To heat and cool the facility, three dozen HVAC units were installed on the roof. However, for the rooftop in the pool area, all equipment-supported steel and roof curbs had to be precisely installed for the large units. There was “zero tolerance for error. Coordination with the HVAC manufacturer and the HVAC subcontractor was key to ensure these curbs were properly located,” related Barnes.

Another challenge was contending with a relatively small building site and working around the massive hole that would eventually be the Olympic-sized swimming pool. Impacting the steel erection procedure, Barnes explained that the team carefully set up an erection sequence which included larger cranes and reach-lifts to safely allow the team to erect this portion of the steel over the future swimming pool.

The project team’s upfront planning paid off, ultimately shaving several weeks off the construction timeline and expediting delivery of the project.

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