Galvanize It! Online Seminar

Case Studies

Lowes Company Headquarters Parking Deck- Mooresville, NC, 2003

Lowes Garage Banner
Lowes Company Headquarters Parking Deck- Mooresville, NC, 2003

Image-conscious retail giant Lowes was looking for an attractive parking structure design to complement its spectacular headquarters campus. The company settled on the high-quality finish provided by hot-dip galvanizing. Originally focusing on a concrete structure, a proposed design utilizing castellated beams was not only aesthetically attractive to Lowes but delivered a $300,000 Initial Cost savings over pre-cast concrete.

Almost 1,700 tons of hot-dip galvanized structural columns, fascia beams, concrete embeds, lintels, handrail, and castellated beams were used on the project. Some of the castellated beams were over 60 feet long, posing a process and handling challenges to the galvanizer. Construction was fast-tracked because of galvanizing’s quick turnaround time and deliverability in any type of weather. Considering the long-term corrosion protection provided, hot-dip galvanizing maintenance costs are negligible compared to the regular maintenance required by concrete structures.

It is not often that a parking structure is viewed as an attractive piece of a building complex, but, in this case, the aesthetic value of a castellated beams building elevates this Lowes structure to an integral element of its appealing surroundings.

NREL Parking Garage- Golden, CO, 2012

When the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, decided on the critical protective coating for the exposed structural and architectural steel for NREL’s new $25 million, state-of-the-art solar array-powered parking garage, one need only imagine the path that led to a logical coating decision on this high profile parking structure. With a 50-year design life, the protection of all of the structural and architectural steel members was paramount, especially due to the incorporation of hollow steel components such as tube columns and pipe guardrail and handrail— all of which are susceptible to internal corrosion. In order to meet the design-life requirement, the protective coating must incorporate internal as well as external protection.

A requirement of today’s parking garages is to provide continuous access at all times. Protective coatings requiring periodic touch-up and manufacturer-recommended removal and re-coat intervals can render many spaces useless during containment blasting and coating re-application. Maintenance crews occupying NREL’s parking access would not be a practical option, and a coating requiring routine maintenance was quickly ruled out. For NREL, a maintenance-free protective coating was essential. The parking garage’s design firm, RNL, sought out a corrosion-protection system to encompass the environmentally-friendly philosophies at the very core of NREL. Factoring in some additional coating characteristics, including Sustainable Design (SD), Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI), and Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA), allowed RNL to select a coating that more closely exemplified NREL’s organization and its green mission.

Finally, as with most government projects, the budget was tight and meeting deadlines were critical. NREL needed a protective coating that would not cause construction delays, and could be applied quickly—regardless of temperature or humidity—and still fall within the budget for the project. Multiple steel shipments were actually galvanized, start to finish, and delivered to the job site all in less than 24 hours. Hot-dip galvanizing has no temperature or humidity constraints, and there was no drying or curing time and most materials could be processed (start to finish) in a three-to-five-hour period. NREL needed a superior, cost-effective, efficient, protective coating solution. Hot-dip galvanizing was the logical choice for those whose strategies include protecting our environment, reducing our energy consumption and saving taxpayer dollars better utilized in other projects. This decision will continue to provide savings and pride over the life of this amazing structure.

University of Windsor Parking Garage- Windsor, ON, 2013

University Windsor Garage
University of Windsor Parking Garage- Windsor, ON, 2013

The University of Windsor, located across the river from Detroit in Ontario, needed additional parking for students at the new science building. Instead of going with a traditional concrete structure, the University chose hot-dip galvanizing for the Newton Parking Structure.

Working with the Newton Group of Guelph, Ontario, a seven-story structure was designed to accommodate 1,000 vehicles. Hot-dip galvanized steel was used for the entire structure except for the clear and colored glass elements that give a rare aesthetic quality to the structure. The interior lights illuminate the structure, especially at night, when it becomes an attractive, well-lit structure and a non-threatening place for students and visitors to park their vehicles.

The structure utilized more than 1,400 tons of galvanized steel, and many of the large sections were progressively dipped, which means one half of the material was galvanized and then rehung to galvanize the other side.  The university also required a quick turn around time frame, hindering the use of paint or any other corrosion protection system. In addition to being able to meet the turnaround time, hot-dip galvanizing was also the best choice to combat the harsh Canadian winters and the different de-icing materials used. “No Future Maintenance,” which hot-dip galvanizing can provide due to its durability, is what sold the college. When a parking garage is built in a high-traffic area such as a college campus, it is nearly impossible to find a time to shut it down for repairs. The maintenance cost of past campus garages made galvanizing the most attractive choice for this visually pleasing parking necessity.