Central Fleet

An opportunity presented itself to streamline Milwaukee’s Department of Transportation by putting many divisions under one roof. In doing so, a renovation and expansion of the existing Central Shop building, previously used by the Fleet Management and Highway Divisions, was necessary. The Dri-Design Tapered Series Wall Panel System was used on the expanded area to create a sense of movement, symbolizing the headquarters for the transportation department and its function.

“Dri Design was selected because it provides a high-performance pressure equalized rainscreen design that directs condensation from the back through an internal gutter system and weeps it out the bottom of the wall,” says John Schremp, PE, president of Architectural Products of Wausau Ltd., Wausau, Wis. “This keeps the internal wall cavity dry and prevents streaking from occurring on the outside of the building. Dri Design also provides a Tapered Wall Panel that is available in small quantities of three custom colors.”

The project required 4,210 square feet of 0.080-inch aluminum panels in Deep Spice, Old Redwood and Red Maple colors. Tapered Series allows each individual panel face to taper top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right or right to left. With the panels, random or regimented patterns can be created, including waves, bonds, running bonds and shingles.

The 17,389-square-foot central shop was gutted so Continuum Architects + Planners SC, Milwaukee, could prepare the new headquarters and efficiently add office space with meeting and training rooms. A 16,818-square-foot addition was needed to accommodate the additional departments moving into the building. The architects were challenged to create a renovated space that is open to the public but also very secure for the sheriff’s department.

The Dri-Design panels also bring sustainability to the project. Dri-Design products do not have a foam core, composites, sealants or tapes like many other metal wall panel products. This makes them environmentally friendly and easily recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

Schremp notes: “The new façade adds life to the building. As you move past the building the sun catches the tapered surfaces at different angles. This, in combination with the three colors, continually changes the building’s appearance.”

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