Location: Manheim Township, PA

Project Size: 31,238 SF

ABC Keystone Chapter

Portfolio: Commercial/Industrial | Education | Interior Design |

Project Overview

Designed to make a statement and become a local landmark in Manheim, the ABC Keystone Chapter building is truly one-of-a-kind. Through the combination of the existing structure, a steel frame, and pre-engineered structures, the building was designed as a tool to educate the apprentices simply by interacting with it. The design incorporated various materials and details to show there is more than one way to design and construct a building, including decorative concrete masonry units in multiple colors and textures, two different metal panels in two different colors, standing seam metal and EPDM roofing systems, and aluminum storefront window systems. With the new addition, the building is now 31,238 GSF.

In order to be a useful educational tool for construction apprentices, the building addition includes a hands-on training center, classrooms, a computer lab, offices, a kitchenette, and building supply storage. The building also houses a high-tech multi-media classroom for webinars, board meetings, continuing education for members and their employees, and community education. Continuing the theme of education, the training center includes a manhole and a subterranean pipe for confined space training as well as a recessed concrete pit for hand work excavation and concrete formwork practice. Stairs lead to the roof, which was designed to support the weight of an entire class in order to practice fall safety and tying off for roof work.

Although this is not a LEED-accredited project, it was designed in the “spirit of LEED” using various techniques and features as required by a LEED-accredited building. These include natural daylighting through sun tunnels, motion sensors on lighting controls, interior vision panels to permit light into the interior spaces, high efficiency HVAC systems, LED light fixtures, roofs structured for future solar panels, and materials using recycled content.

SAAarchitects’ interior design of the ABC Keystone Chapter building was focused on the goal of the building serving as an educational tool for apprentices. To achieve this, steel was left exposed throughout the building — not just in the ceiling structure, but also in the columns, beams, and cross bracing — and was framed in multiple different configurations to show different methods of steel connections. Additionally, one corridor was left unfinished to show the materials that are concealed underneath the polished finished product. To quickly identify between water, gas, electric, and fire suppression lines, the exposed piping and conduit were painted a variety of colors. Typically framing, plumbing, electrical, and data are hidden behind the walls, however windows were created throughout the building to showoff the trades’ work. The reception desk’s design incorporates a layer of copper, steel, wood, and metal to represent the various construction trades coming together as one to represent ABC Keystone Chapter and free enterprise construction. SAAarchitects selected all of the finishes and furniture through the entire facility.