Airport’s entrance canopy reflects rolling hills of eastern Iowa

July 30, 2015

eastern-iowa-airport-300x138pxLocated amid fields of corn and soybeans, the Eastern Iowa Airport outside Cedar Rapids has an impressive past and a progressive future. Yet it hadn’t had a major modernization since 1980. That changed in June 2014 when a multi-million-dollar renovation began.

Led by the Mead & Hunt, a national architecture – engineering – consulting firm, Phase 1 was completed in early 2015. It focused on the airport’s front façade, which is now visually anchored by an undulating 453-foot canopy that integrates a translucent glazing system engineered by Duo-Gard Industries Inc.

“The canopy is an important element. When you fly into Cedar Rapids, you see a landscape of rolling hills. We wanted to reflect this in our canopy design,” said Matt Dubbe, AIA LEED AP and National Market Leader for Architecture. Dubbe and Mitchell Walker, Associate AIA, wanted their design to evoke the region’s agricultural heritage and actual topography.

The north-facing façade includes stone, insulated panels, wood and glass. The canopy is Duo-Gard’s new Sleekline system, which integrates monolithic polycarbonate glazing in a low-profile aluminum frame with variable edge baseplate and cap. The system gives designers exceptional flexibility. For this application, the system included quarter-inch-thick diffusing polycarbonate panels 2 feet wide by 16 feet long. The panels sit directly atop the glulam rafters – each with a varying elevation – and are attached with lag screws.

“We’re driven by performance first,” said Dubbe, “and the system’s ability to pick up the radius and pick up the snow load, as well as its hail-resistance, was impressive, as well as its ability to capture and send light along the planes of the rafters.”

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