Case Study

Medicine Crow Middle School

Located amid the Rimrocks’ prehistoric sandstone banks, Medicine Crow Middle School was designed to be a bold statement rising from the river valley. The exterior skin, made of Copper Penny and Dark Bronze metal wall panels from Metal Sales, reflects the golden glow of the sun and surrounding Rimrocks. Meanwhile, intentional variation of the panels mimics the striation patterns in the area’s surrounding sandstone, engraved by erosion over the course of a million years.

The project features 52,000 square feet of Metal Sales T10-A, T10-C, T10-D and TLC-1 metal wall panels.

Community Space
A&E and Integrus, the architectural team knew the building had to be a resilient space for the Billings community, with a minimum lifespan of 50 years. The 121,000 square foot building houses 700 students in three grades, and has the capacity for 200 more as the city grows. During the day, the building accommodates 21st century learning; after hours, it serves the entire community. As the first new school built since 1989, the design provides a variety of environments to enhance the district curriculum. Classrooms open into shared learning spaces, and STEM labs connect to fabrication and technology spaces. Athletics, music and performance spaces are zoned for community use without disrupting the science/creative spaces and general classrooms.

Customer Service
After a meeting with a regional Metal Sales representative, the architects at A&E and Integrus knew they had made the right choice. The Metal Sales representative assisted with the project from concept design through detailing, providing valuable input regarding the specifications of the metal panels that would be needed.

A variety of metal panel options available through Metal Sales allowed the Integrus team to create wall systems with multiple profiles, which helped reinforce the design concept.

For more than 50 years, Metal Sales has worked closely with architects, project managers, estimators, installers and engineers from project design to successful project completion. The Medicine Crow Middle School project is another example of the company’s dedication to customer service.

The Products
The project called for a dynamic single-plane façade, and the variety of dimensions offered with the T-10 and TLC-1 panels enabled the architects to create a system that satisfied the design goals and was easily documented for detailing purposes.

The architectural team selected metal wall panels for a durable and aesthetically interesting solution, while meeting sustainability and energy goals for the exterior envelope. The building is articulated into simple rectilinear forms that define classrooms and community use spaces. The linear metal panels became organizing elements that intersect a masonry spine and reach out into the landscape, defining the procession to the entry of the building.

The metal panel solution provided cost-conscious detailing and visual massing with minimal undulation of the exterior form.

Metal Sales’s products optimize energy efficiency and minimize construction waste, and their roof systems provide the most sensible platform for renewable energy technology and potable rainwater harvesting systems. Panels reflect a significant amount of solar heat, improving a building’s efficiency by reducing the amount of energy needed for cooling. They are 100% recyclable and contain up to 30% recycled material, contributing to sustainable design.

2017 MCA Chairman’s Award – Education MCA Award Site

Project Details

Medicine Crow Middle School

Project Size: 55,155
Project Type: Education (K-12)
Architect: A&E Architects and Integrus Architecture
Installer: Vannoy Metal Works Billings, MT

General Contractor: Dick Anderson Construction