Alcoa's Kawneer Architectural Products Help in the Design of 'Green' Building

From Brownfield to Shining Star: ''LEED''-ing the Way in Little Rock - Heifer International World Headquarters

NEW YORK - Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that a wide range of the company's Kawneer architectural aluminum products and systems were used in the construction of a new "green" headquarters building designed for Heifer International, a non profit organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Kawneer teamed with the architect and glazing contractor to construct the building with careful consideration for the U.S. Green Building's Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.

Heifer International provides livestock and plants as well as training in sustainable agriculture for disadvantaged families worldwide. The organization needed a larger headquarters, but wanted the project to remain true to the earth's resources. Heifer identified a long-abandoned railroad yard in Little Rock's old warehouse district, an environmentally dirty site, known as a brownfield, and made the decision to transform it - the "green" way.

Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects, Ltd. developed the building's design, capturing every opportunity to achieve LEED points. Glazing contractor ACE Glass Company, Inc. and product manufacturer/design engineering team from Kawneer North America were called in to collaborate on the project. Completed in March 2006, the project is expected to receive its LEED certification in 2007.

The project showcases a range of Kawneer products, which is part of Alcoa's global Building and Construction Systems (BCS) business unit headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Design Highlights

The curved shape of the building served to take advantage of the solar orientation by stretching in an east/west direction and maximizing sun exposure. To block excessive sunlight, the team integrated sunshades into the exterior, while Kawneer's InLighten(TM) (light shelves) were installed on the interior of the wall to "bounce" natural light up to the ceiling and reflect it into the building.

Deeper, custom sun shades were created to be hung vertically between the punchouts, a unique design feature that served to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional, as they protect the interior from both east and west sun exposure.

The combination of the building's narrow floor plate and the curtain wall allows natural light to penetrate to the center of every floor, while strategic interior glazing continues the indoor/outdoor aesthetic and keeps individual offices bright and open. Fixed and storefront framing systems, in conjunction with swing and sliding entrances, were used throughout the interior offices and conference rooms. In addition, clean glass, and white frost and green glass added to a light and modern aesthetic.


The complex design required the customization of several existing Kawneer products, and the curved building footprint complicated fabrication.

The increased focus on recycled materials (per the Materials & Resources category under LEED) required the coordination of a sizeable order of secondary aluminum billet necessary for the project. (In fact, 97 percent of the building materials used for the project contain recycled content.)

Featured Kawneer Products
1600 Wall System® 1, 1600 SunShade®, Inlighten(TM) (light shelf), Trifab® Framing System, 350 Medium Stile Entrances, 1010 Sliding Mall Fronts, 990 Sliding Doors

About Kawneer North American

Celebrating more than 100 years of innovation and experience, Kawneer North America is headquartered in Norcross, GA, and is the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum products and systems for the commercial construction industry. Alcoa BCS manufactures and markets architectural systems and products in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. For more information on Kawneer or its products, please visit

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap® foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa® wheels, and Baco® household wraps. Among its other businesses are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 123,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at

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