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The Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau announces the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas recently received the 2015 North American Copper in Architecture Award.

Now in its eighth year, the award program, presented by the Copper Development Association Inc., recognizes North American buildings that demonstrate the exemplary application of copper and copper alloys. This year, 12 projects were honored across three categories: renovation/restoration, ornamental applications, and new construction.

The Irving Convention Center received recognition in the new construction category for its innovative use of copper for the building’s façade.

Architect Studio Hillier selected copper for the building’s façade because it is a natural, light-weight and low-maintenance material. The façade was installed as mill-finish copper, which means that the raw “red” copper surface will go through a long process of patination. Within weeks of installation, the project had already begun to darken in areas, and within a year, the whole building had a deep, bluish-brown patina.

“We had a distinct opportunity with the design and construction of the convention center to create a new icon for the destination that would set a standard for a new category of gathering places,” said Maura Allen Gast, Irving CVB executive director. “The copper-clad facade is more than just a design element. It also sets a new standard for sustainability.”

The center is LEED certified for its integration of sustainable principles and generative design. The no-maintenance material translates into lower costs for the center, eliminating the need for painting every few years to maintain its appearance. In addition, perforations in the copper skin provide an important role for energy efficiency, allowing for built-in shade while using the natural currents of the wind to create a cushion of cooling air between it and the building, decreasing the need for air-conditioning while in essence, shading itself.

The trusses of the massive 4,000-ton steel structure were designed so that they could be sourced domestically. Irving based A. Zahner Company was selected as the Sheet Metal Contractor, and much of the steel came from recycled sources nearby in North Texas and Oklahoma.

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