Butler serves an ace for husband-wife developer team
Following an afternoon tennis match, Marla Zupancic returned home with an idea. She shared her thoughts with her husband, Jim Zupancic, a Portland-area real estate/business lawyer and developer, and described to him how she played on a poor-quality court that day. Soon, inspiration evolved into a plan to build a tenniscentered health club facility. The Zupancics, both avid tennis players, recognized a shortage of highquality courts in Portland and set out to fill the void.
As their plan took hold and design concepts were created, the Zupancics concentrated on developing a club where people could gather, socialize and attend wellness-based events. The motivation to achieve these goals led the couple on an extensive tennis center tour, with stops in Australia and across the United States, as they evaluated design features.
One stop included a tour of the National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, home of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. A Butler® building system, the National Tennis Center features multiple metal systems, which encouraged Jim and Marla to focus the design team on metal building materials.
“When we saw the USTA Tennis Center in New York, we were inspired,” Jim said. “The building design reaffirmed that we were going in the right direction in terms of function and high-end finishes.”
Building a championship team
Upon returning to Oregon and securing development approvals on a 16-acre property, which included 10 acres that had to be preserved as wetlands, Jim organized a design team led by architect Ray Yancey and general contracting firm Todd Construction to complete planning for the proposed tennis-centered health club. He also contacted Butler Manufacturing™ to locate a Butler Builder® in the area that could infuse qualities of the USTA Tennis Center into his new project.
Todd Construction President Brent Schafer brought in three design-build companies to provide steel services proposals, including SM Andersen Company Inc., a local contractor and Butler Builder with more than a decade of experience building Butler building systems. Rick Brockway, manager of SM Andersen’s metal building division, met with the larger Stafford Hills Club group to give the design team an in-depth explanation of the benefits of Butler building systems.
“We selected SM Andersen Company due to Rick’s experience and expertise with metal buildings and Butler,” Jim Zupancic said. “Rick knew the Butler product inside and out, which gave us confidence, whereas other builders we spoke with had metal-building experience but gave us concern that our project would be more of an experiment for a less experienced builder.”
Achieving a Northwest look Once the team was in place, Yancey began designing the club with Butler® systems in mind. The plan called for creating an architecturally appealing building representative of the Pacific Northwest, but the overall scale of the structure in a residential neighborhood presented a challenge. Yancey had to design the large structure to be attractive and a complement to the natural environment. The project underwent a series of architectural reviews, and Yancey mixed colors and textures to downplay fears that the building could end up looking like a metal box — a big concern voiced by the City of Tualatin’s design review board. The final design incorporated a combination of steel, wood and stone, and it was approved by the city.
The final design plan called for two buildings: one to house the tennis courts and clubhouse, and another that housed offices, meeting rooms, a salon/spa, fitness studios, demonstration kitchen and aquatics locker rooms.
“We faced challenges by designing both a multi-story and a typical single-span, onestory building within a building, but the Butler engineering team put together two packages to ensure it could be done,” Yancey said.
A club with a view
The largest building, which houses the tennis courts and clubhouse, required the Widespan™ structural system by Butler to eliminate obstructions over the tennis courts. In a nod to the USTA building in New York, the Zupancics requested that the design include a second story “skybox” level that would allow spectators to watch matches.
To accommodate that request, Brockway and SM Andersen Company — serving in a singlesource management role for all steel and metal structures — called on Butler Heavy Structures to oversee necessary engineering and design changes.
“The Butler Heavy Structures group played an integral role with the heavy loading for the second floor of the building, along with the stairs and exercise room,” Schafer said. “It was really helpful as a general contractor to have them come in and handle the process directly.”
“Without Butler Heavy Structures, we wouldn’t have been able to provide a single source of responsibility,” Brockway added.
LEED® Silver energy efficient from inside out
The unique building-within-a-building aspect of the clubhouse design was truly remarkable and provided an interesting energy-efficiency benefit. Any excess heat that escapes from the interior clubhouse windows goes directly into the tennis building, creating an efficient heat transfer in which one building actually heats the other. This intentional engineering approach channels heat loss into the tennis building and keeps it remarkably comfortable in the winter.
“We carefully analyzed metal building structures and other energy-efficiency elements of the project to make sure we were building something that would perform well consistently on a long-term basis,” Jim said. “The building design maximizes the utilization of the Butler structure in a lot of different ways.”
When completed, the buildings earned a coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification.
An additional decision to include seven large, 18-foot metal roll-up doors on the perimeter of the tennis courts creates a cooling convection system during the summer months and helps maintain a consistent and comfortable ambient temperature. Beyond that, should a flood occur due to the building’s location in a flood plain, the doors can be opened to funnel water outside.
Butler form and function drive total cost of ownership decisions
As owners invested in the long-term success of the health club, the Zupancics were conscious of Butler’s reputation for durable, high-performing systems and higher-quality options to reap those long-term benefits. That approach drove product selections, including the visually appealing StylWall® flat and fluted wall systems, as well as R-30 over-the-purlin insulation. He also focused heavily on the high-performing, long-lasting MR-24® roof system.
“Jim really liked the MR-24 roof system and particularly the fact that Butler is the only company that completes a true double-lock seam system,” Brockway said. “Particularly in the rainy Oregon climate, proper roof sealing is paramount to keeping moisture outside the building.”
Factory-applied exterior steel finishes also stood out as an excellent choice for Jim Zupancic, who viewed a factory finish as far superior compared to what can be done on-site. “Our goal was to create a legacy property, and in order to do so, we needed the quality of the building to match our vision,” Zupancic said. “In order for the club to look good and perform well for decades, we were willing to invest in what we felt was the best of all our choices.”
Embraced by the community
The completed 95,000-square-foot Stafford Hills Club exudes excellence with its seven indoor tennis courts, three outdoor courts, a resort-style pool, cafe and high-tech gym equipment.
The club has been embraced by community neighbors who were at first skeptical of the project and the potential it had to negatively affect property values. Those neighbors now take the opportunity to participate in group fitness, cooking classes, networking events and other fun activities at the club. In fact, housing prices in the surrounding neighborhood have increased, partly as a result of the community amenities available at family-friendly places like Stafford Hills Club.
“We’ve received compliments from people within the community and outside Oregon who’ve come to see what we’ve built and have heard a lot of gracious compliments for how it looks and performs,” Jim said. “We’re proud to serve as the uniting hub for our neighbors.”
Operational flexibility achieved via Landmark ™ 2000 structural system
About 75 miles east of New York City, at the mouth of the Peconic River, lies a community of 33,000 people, aptly named Riverhead. It’s a community with a history that dates back to the 1700s, and one that Jesse Goodale II had strong pride in.
More than 60 years ago, Goodale chose this community for the home of Riverhead Building Supply (RBS), the residential construction supply business that he cofounded. RBS became a favorite among area DIYers and residential contractors alike. Today, the business encompasses 11 locations across New York and Rhode Island, includes a robust distribution and manufacturing arm, and employs over 500 people.
What began humbly has grown into a local empire, and RBS recently found itself in need of a second distribution warehouse to keep up with its success. With its wide distribution channel, RBS now delivers more products to customers than it sells in stores, requiring an efficient operation to maintain its reputation for quality and service. For a business selling many items that don’t fit neatly on pallets (such as 48-foot wood beams), efficient storage can be a challenge — the more flexible the distribution facility, the better.
Design flexibility fuels operational improvement
When RBS set out to expand its central distribution center and build the second warehouse, the original thought was to copy the design of the first building, a 124,000-square-foot structure with 16 mainframes and 48 interior columns. However, when Radon Construction, the local Butler Builder®, got involved, it became apparent the building design could be more efficient by opting for the Landmark™ 2000 structural system from Butler Manufacturing™.
This structural system helps minimize interior columns and uses open-web framing for maximum interior flexibility. The system provides the longest bay size on the market — 60 feet. This flexibility allowed Radon to share an alternative building design that eliminated eight mainframes and 24 interior columns — an updated design that RBS was quick to approve.
A frequent advantage of cutting down the number of columns is cost efficiency. Typically, designs with fewer columns require less steel and fewer labor hours when completing building installation. For this project, with its unique storage needs, the added interior flexibility was the primary benefit.
“By removing half of the columns in the building from the original design, we’re now able to more efficiently store and organize inventory in the building,” said Kevin Goodale, grandson of Jesse Goodale II and current vice president of RBS. “The layout flexibility achieved by the Landmark 2000 structural system allows our operations to run more efficiently.”
Along with the benefits the Landmark 2000 structural system offers, previous experience with a leased Butler® building system constructed by Radon helped put Goodale’s mind at ease, knowing the quality they’d deliver.
With over 30 years in operation, Radon’s design-build expertise stood out to RBS. A long-standing Butler Builder, Radon has over 20 years of experience behind its knowledge of Butler products and efficient building processes.
“Working with Radon and being able to utilize the Landmark system was great,” Goodale said. “We had a tight time frame, and Radon was able to put multiple guys on the job to get us closed in as fast as possible.”
A quick install was important to RBS to clear the way for subsequent contractors to complete the building and get it ready for operations.
Jesse Goodale II, who passed away in 2014 at age 97, was a pillar of the town. He was known for rolling up his sleeves to ensure his community was well maintained. From groundskeeping at the local cemetery to picking up trash off the side of the street (and enlisting 250 volunteers to help), the elder Goodale was passionate about helping his community look its best.
Continuing with its co-founder’s legacy of community enrichment, RBS prefers working with local contractors whenever possible. So, members of the community helped Radon construct some of the facility. Despite working with an unfamiliar crew, Butler’s factory-punched building components help ensure it could be erected correctly, minimizing the need for on-site workarounds and contributing to construction efficiency.
As a Butler Builder, Radon brought the exclusive MR-24® metal roof system to the project. This standing-seam roof system requires a proprietary installation process to achieve the Pittsburgh double-lock seam. This 180-degree seam connects the roof panels to virtually eliminate leaks. It’s the same seam used to seal soda cans and oil barrels. The erector team was able to move through all 124,000 square feet of roof in just three weeks.
Another interesting feature the new supply building offers is a row of clear panels just below the roofline that help draw in natural light. In conjunction with LED fixtures, these panels help reduce the amount of electricity needed to light the building. Beyond efficient lighting, Kevin Goodale is also looking into adding solar panels to the roof to help add energy back to the grid. one spot greatly improves our level of service to the customer.”When it comes to advice for other owners looking to work with Butler, Goodale knows just where to start.
“Take the time to get the details right during the planning stage and involve your designbuild contractors to ensure you end up with a building that maximizes return on your investment,” he said
That statement was echoed by Radon Construction.
“We prefer to be involved as early in the design stage as possible,” Plansker said. “If the design starts before the design-build contractor gets involved, it becomes harder to take advantage of the efficiencies afforded by choosing Butler.”
New building is a one-stop shop for everything from toy tractors to million-dollar machines
On any given day, customers visiting Green Tractors Inc., formerly Clow Farm Equipment, might include a mom picking up a toy tractor for her child’s birthday, a suburban homeowner comparing new lawn mower models or a large-scale farmer checking out specs for a million-dollar crop harvester. Regardless of who they are or what they’re looking for, every customer gets the same warm welcome and great service found at this John Deere dealership’s new 15,000-square-foot facility in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
The new building is a source of pride for the family-owned business that Oakley Clow founded back in 1962. Today, Oakley, along with his wife, Shirley, and their son, Doug, manage day-to-day operations and couldn’t be happier with their new structure and the process that went into it.
The new building consolidates all the farm equipment dealership’s functions under one roof — a big improvement over the multiple buildings and hodgepodge of additions constructed over the past 50-plus years. The older buildings were inefficient and no match for the energy savings, customer appeal and worker comfort found in a modern and efficient Butler® building system.
“After making the decision to build, we started researching options and toured other John Deere dealerships to get ideas and advice,” Doug Clow said.
As the Clows visited facilities throughout eastern Canada, one stood out — a Butler building system that inspired the new Green Tractors dealership design.
Bel-Con Design-Builders Ltd, a Butler Builder® in Belleville, Ontario, helped bring that inspiration to life, partnering with Ernest Cromarty of Ernest A. Cromarty Architect Inc.
“The local economic development corporation first put us in touch with Tom Gunsinger at Bel-Con,” Clow said. “We liked the idea of working with a local builder, and we liked what we had seen in Butler buildings during our dealership tour.”
The family already had a new building location, 29-plus acres along a major highway, purchased 20 years earlier with an eye on future growth and higher visibility for the dealership.
With the construction site selected, Bel-Con worked closely with the Clows to clearly identify design needs. The checklist included energy efficiency, low maintenance and a positive environment for both employees and customers.
Extreme energy efficiency
Faced with frigid winters and hot, humid summers near the Lake Ontario shore, Clow sought year-round energy efficiency and comfort in the new location. Gunsinger recommended several building system options from Butler Manufacturing,™ all aimed at producing a structure with low maintenance and extreme energy savings.
- MR-24® roof system. This weathertight steel surface covers the entire Green Tractors building with superior protection. Specifically designed moveable clips accommodate roof movement as Ontario weather changes from heavy snow and cold to blazing sun and heat.
- ThermaLiner™ insulation system. The ThermaLiner system pairs with the MR-24 roof system for superior energy efficiency with effective accredited R-values as high as 38.7. In addition, the finished interior ceiling panels contribute to an appealing customer-facing showroom.
- eShadowall™ wall system. With panels, thermal spacer blocks and fiberglass blanket insulation, this exterior wall system delivers accredited R-values up to 21.3, along with an architecturally pleasing exterior.
- SunLite Strip® daylighting system. By bringing more natural light into the building, the SunLite Strip daylighting system reduces electrical lighting costs and creates a more pleasing environment.
The net result of the design is an energyefficient building that is pleasant for both workers and customers, now and for the decades ahead.
Sustainability for the future
Long-term value was another reason Butler building systems were a perfect fit for Green Tractors.
“Going into this project, we focused on environmental sustainability, but my mindset was to achieve overall sustainability as well,” Clow said. “We wanted to invest in a building that would contribute to our profitability and help make our business economically sustainable for the long term.”
Low maintenance was also a top priority in the design process.
“Green Tractors is in the business of selling and repairing farm equipment — not repairing buildings,” Gunsinger said. “With a low-maintenance building, they can concentrate on what they do best.”
Besides serving a wide range of customers, the new Green Tractors building design needed to accommodate a variety of functional spaces — showroom, parts department, service shop and offices for accounting and other business functions. Green Tractors displays its largest John Deere farm tractors and planting and harvesting equipment on a sizeable outdoor lot. The indoor showroom showcases smaller machines, implements and lawn mowers along with a popular farm toy department. In addition, the service and repair area brings in all sizes of equipment, from small push mowers to massive 200-plus-horsepower farm tractors.
The Widespan™ structural system from Butler Manufacturing provided ultimate flexibility to design spaces to meet all these dealership needs.
For the 50-by-90 showroom and 30-by-90 two-story office area, clearspan modular framing gave total layout freedom with no intermediate columns. In the shop, Bel-Con was able to design separate areas for repairing large and small equipment.
The builder creatively and efficiently used the available square footage by placing the parts department on a mezzanine between the main floor and roof.
“We saved interior floor space by moving the parts department up,” Gunsinger said. “The versatile Butler structure could easily accommodate the addition of a 1,200-squarefoot mezzanine.”
Throughout the design–build process, Clow remained involved with every detail and relied on Gunsinger and his crew to exceed all his expectations. “It was nice to be able to talk to people face to face and be welcomed to ask questions. Tom was always there and willing to talk through every step with us,” Clow said.
After completion, the new building created plenty of buzz around Kingston. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the community support. The building was packed during our grand-opening open house. And we’re gaining new customers who stop in as they are driving past,” Clow said. “They see the beautiful building and are curious about what’s inside.”
Building is world-class model for environmentally friendly features
When officials cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the new Sustainable Energy Resources and Technologies (S.E.R.T.) building on the Iowa Lakes Community College campus, what color was the ribbon? Green, of course. That’s because the Estherville, Iowa, school not only houses environmental education programs — the building itself is a world-class model of sustainable, “green” design and construction.
It’s hard to believe that the project started as an abandoned stained-glass factory that the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees purchased in a sheriff’s auction in 2010. With a visionary design and energy-efficient components from Butler Manufacturing,™ the 21-year-old building was transformed into a state-of-the-art learning environment.
Converting from old to new
The task of converting the obsolete building to a marvel of energy efficiency fell to Christensen Construction & Design Company, Inc., a Butler Builder.® Coincidentally, the local company built the original structure adjacent to the college property in 1984. Over the past 22 years, Christensen Construction worked with Iowa Lakes Community College on more than 17 building projects. Those experiences gave the builder a leg up with the S.E.R.T. project.
“We had a long-standing relationship with Christensen Construction. Our experience working with them on other Butler buildings gave us confidence that the building we purchased would be structurally sound,” said Delaine Hiney, facilities management executive director, Iowa Lakes Community College.
Using the original 30,000-square-foot building shell as a starting point, Christensen Construction collaborated with architectural firm frk architects + engineers of West Des Moines, Iowa, to create functional educational spaces while minimizing impact on the existing structure. Along the way, the team relied on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to select sustainable, durable materials for construction. Butler® systems helped make that possible.
“We still had the original Butler building plans from 1984. That helped us figure out ways to utilize pre-existing components yet make the renovated building fit green construction goals,” said Steven Christensen, president of Christensen Construction.
The original Widespan™ structural system from Butler provided the flexibility to add classroom space and new, larger windows, which wouldn’t have been possible with masonry construction.
Christensen Construction fabricated multiple steel structures within the existing shell to accommodate the new S.E.R.T. building’s needs.
The construction team used multiple sustainable practices throughout the project, conserving where possible and recycling unneeded components to minimize the environmental impact.
“We ended up tearing down some walls, but we recycled the wood, copper and steel. We even recycled the concrete to make aggregate driveways,” Christensen said.
Supporting school spirit
Existing metal wall panels remained in place, but were covered by the 26-gauge Butlerib® II wall system. Like any campus, Iowa Lakes Community College rallies around a signature color, but the school’s color is a deep blue that is not a standard Butler® building system color choice. However, Butler Manufacturing was able to customize the wall panels with a high-performance Butler-Cote™ fluoropolymer finish, matching the college’s color while still meeting construction deadlines. The durable and economical Butlerib II wall system also contributed insulation and maintenance benefits. Fortunately, the building’s original Butler 24-gauge MR-24® roof system was still secure and weathertight after 21 years.
“No roof repairs were needed for the renovation, thanks to the longevity of Butler’s standing-seam roof design,” Christensen said.
The builder also found the original StylWall® flat wall system to be in good shape, with its signature smooth, uniform appearance. The 24-gauge wall panels simply needed a face-lift with a coat of shell gray paint.
Energy savings and quality light
Through the design phase, project architect Doug Chervek, ALA, collaborated with Butler Manufacturing and Christensen Construction to help solve the project’s unique challenges. One of those challenges was incorporating natural light to bring both energy savings and lighting quality.
The SunLite Strip® daylighting system from Butler was a perfect solution. Six SunLite Strip system units, each 2 feet by 10 feet, spread sunlight through a prismatic acrylic domed system. This technology adds up to three times the amount of light compared with translucent panels. It can reduce lighting costs by up to 70 percent when combined with lighting control systems. “This whole building is about showing students how to incorporate different sustainable energy strategies into a structure. We tried to add as many strategies as we could within the budget,” Chervek said. “The SunLite Strip system was a great choice and integrated perfectly with the existing roof system.
A slew of sustainable features Overall, Butler’s versatile Widespan™ structural system allowed Iowa Lakes Community College to incorporate many other features to enhance both mechanical and energy efficiency. The building’s “green” technologies include:
- Efficient, geothermal heating and cooling
- Polished concrete, radiant-heated floors
- Photovoltaic (solar) system to reduce electrical costs
- Sunshades to filter out 60 percent of the direct sunlight
- Thermal pane glass windows for added insulation
- Occupancy sensors to control lighting use
- Lobby ceiling fans for continuous air circulation
driving force — teaching students about sustainable energy technologies. “Our students now have a top-rated facility to safely engage in training and education needed to enter the workforce,” Hiney said. “The facility really shines, and our industry partners are impressed by the scope and quality of the training that Iowa Lakes Community College can provide.”