A science building at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, underwent renovations to meet the mechanical and educational needs of its students.

Informally dubbed “The Building in the Trees,” the Biological Sciences Building is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified structure largely devoted to the study of coastal plains biology and ecology.

The facility includes a three-story section that houses classrooms, instructional and research laboratories, and faculty and administrative offices. Attached to the three-story building is a one-story, double-wing component where field-collected samples and biology specimens are stored.

Architectural design was provided by S/L/A/M Collaborative in Atlanta. The firm specializes in higher education, health sciences and research projects.

 “From a practical standpoint, we needed to separate the functions, since they have distinctly different mechanical requirements,” said architectural principal Joseph League. “The labs and classrooms require 100 percent recirculated air. The building has a lot of plenum space and an attic that accommodates large air handlers. The whole rationale for the way we designed the low-rise wing was to separate the expanse of mechanical systems but to treat it as a handsome yet utilitarian outbuilding.”

More than 100,000 square feet of Petersen Aluminum’s Pac-Clad material was utilized in both roofing and siding applications. Outfitting both sections of the structure are the Petersen Aluminum 16-inch Tite-Loc Plus roof panels.

As with many university projects, the budget was a challenging factor, League said.

 “We considered several roofing product manufacturers, but Petersen Aluminum was chosen on the basis of cost as well as meeting our design and performance criteria, plus Georgia’s rather stringent requirements for maintainability, serviceability and guarantees.”

Installation of the Petersen Aluminum roof panels was completed by Richter Contracting of Albany, Georgia.

Ken Wood, senior superintendent, said the main challenge was getting the roof panels placed.

 “The only real challenge was getting the panels on the roof due to the limited accessibility of the site,” he said. “We had to use a sky crane and lay the crates of panels horizontal to the pitch. Then we would manually spin each panel and carry it over and drop it down onto the roof slope. That made it a little cumbersome since everybody was tied off for safety. But, there was nothing out of the norm about that, and the job went very well.”

The low-rise wing is horizontally clad with Petersen Aluminum’s M-36 siding panels that were “reverse rolled” with inward-facing ribs to create a wider-looking, flat-panel appearance.

The panels were installed by Pierre Construction Group of Stone Mountain, Georgia.

 “The job was relatively straight-forward,” said project manager Collins Westcott. “The GC put together a great team and did lots of front-end planning that really made the project go smoothly. And, we have considerable experience with Petersen Aluminum and their products, and they have always been good to work with.”

The general contractor was Brasfield & Gorrie in Kennesaw, Ga.