According to the American Library Association, the first free modern library was opened in 1833. While access to much of the knowledge we seek on a daily basis is now mostly attainable with the phone in our hand, the ability to go to the library has been a freedom enjoyed by Americans for centuries. It is the longstanding expectation of the library being available to all that led to Porter County deciding to galvanize the steel to be used in their new library garden front plaza. The use of galvanizing will ensure that the county library gateway will open its book shaped doors for many generations to come.
Nagle Sign reached out to the galvanizers before fabrication to discuss ventilation needs which greatly reduced the amount of external holes needed.
With a unique plan to make the gateway swing open like a hard covered book, the fabricators at Nagle Sign had quite the challenge ahead of them when taking on the project. The gateway and fence needs to not only be visually pleasing, it needs to function and last. On top of that, external ventilation holes needed to be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid any curios little fingers finding themselves stuck as people young and old come to enjoy the new outdoor Porter County Library Plaza. With these challenges in mind, Nagle Sign reached out to the galvanizers before fabrication to discuss ventilation possibilities for air and galvanizing flow through the gateway design. As you can see in the pictures, the tubes were internally ventilated and pictures were taken of the pieces during fabrication to show that the proper venting was maintained at all of the tube intersections. Because of Nagle Sign’s forethought into this possible problem, collaboration with the galvanizers ensured the projects coating came out uniform and complete while also being able to be dipped safely.
The plaza area is duplex coated to allow for the large steel structures to blend in a little more naturally with the planned surrounding trees and vegetation. While the matte grey color of galvanizing is beautiful in its own right, a bark brown color will allow for the steel structure to be aesthetically pleasing by being more neutral to its surroundings. The duplex coating is not only great for a change in the appearance of the gateway, the synergistic effect that paint and galvanizing have together will simultaneously increase the life expectancy of both coatings and increase the time to first maintenance of the project drastically. Time to first maintenance for galvanizing alone in this atmosphere is close to 70 years and the paint system used would last close to 7 years. With the two coating systems working together, the time to first maintenance on the paint is closer to 11 years with galvanizing around 105 years. This combination immensely reduces the life cycle cost of the project and helps reduce the total carbon footprint as there will be less need for maintenance overall. This is a truly sustainable use of materials that can be enjoyed for years to come.
When planning for materials to be used on the project, Porter County knew it needed to pick an option that would be environmentally friendly and safe for people to be around. The galvanizing used on the project is over 99% zinc. Zinc is mined directly from the earth and is found to be the 27th most abundant element with 5.8 million tons naturally cycled through the environment annually. Steel and zinc are infinitely renewable resources and are a perfect match when a structure needs to stand the test of time outdoors while also being conscious of the footprint we are leaving for the future generations to walk in.
Within a book you find pages of possibilities. Action, adventure, drama and knowledge. It is these possibilities and many more that we should not let go of. The Porter County Library Plaza, protected by galvanizing, will help ensure that books of possibilities have a home for future generations to come and find.
Valparaiso, IN United States
Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Life-Cycle Cost, Sustainability
outdoor gateway framing, fence
Nagle Signs Inc.
AZZ Galvanizing - Dixon
AZZ Galvanizing - Joliet
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