Capital Crescent Trail users in Bethesda, Md., are enjoying an aesthetically pleasing facade of digitally printed blue sky and bird silhouettes, designed and installed by Big Span Structures as part of a parking garage expansion project. In addition to the eye-catching view in place of an otherwise typical concrete parking garage system, the 11,000-square-foot facade provides protection from the elements and privacy within the garage while allowing natural ventilation.
“With the garage being constructed right next to the Capital Crescent Trail, this project required a great deal of precision,” says James Dougherty, vice president, Utica Contracting Inc. “Big Span’s installation crews were very sensitive to the hundreds of pedestrians along the trail, all while conducting an effective installation.”
Because of the specialized 3D shape of the support steel framing system, the panels were narrow, and Big Span Structures had to split the panels into three to four pieces to match up the images correctly. Because the printed panels could not be welded over, the project required a pattern plan with the graphic work split and sectionalized accordingly to allow for precision cutting and then ultimately welding and fabricating the final panel assembly.
A fully recyclable and zero-waste industrial product, the PVC membrane utilized in this project is fire resistant and meets numerous energy code standards, while being a great medium for print. The chosen and specified attachment method was a grommet and lacing detail.
Photos: Big Span Structures.
Location: Bethesda, Md.
Textile: PVC mesh
Size: 11,000 square feet
Architect: Page Southerland Page Inc.
Contractor: Utica Contracting Inc.
Design, engineering, fabrication, installation: Big Span Structures