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Metl-Span Products Deliver Versatility, Durability to BMO Tower

Investing in the Future of Downtown Milwaukee ​

​BMO Tower, the newest addition to downtown Milwaukee, stands at 328 feet tall. The tower includes 400,000 rentable square feet of space and is comprised of 15 floors of offices and first-floor retail.

The nearly all-glass tower, a $137-million investment in downtown Milwaukee, is anchored by tenants BMO Harris Bank and Michael Best & Friedrich, a full-service law firm. 

​Protection from the Elements
Architects were able to deliver on both a design and sustainability front by choosing Metl-Span CF Architectural and CF Light Mesa panels to enclose parking on the bottom eight levels of the otherwise all-glass, 25-story office tower.

To provide protection from the elements – particularly the cold, wind and snow that is common in Wisconsin – architects needed a product that would provide an optimal barrier and create a smooth finish.

“It’s a sleek building with clean lines, and the design with custom color panels that match the louvers creates a cohesive look,” said Mike DeBruin, senior project manager for Muza Sheet Metal.

Insulated, concealed fastener architectural panels from Metl-Span allowed for a clean sight line and a seamless look due to the interlocking nature of installation. To prevent water infiltration, designers added a composite band to transition from the glass curtain wall to the metal panels on the 12th floor.

“We needed to keep water out of the panels below the composite and keep water that shears off the large glass curtain wall from getting into the building,” DeBruin said. “The panels we installed were a second, insulated barrier that did that without requiring additional insulation to be brought in.” 

​​Clean, Smart, and Contemporary

Metl-Span architectural panels enabled architects to bring their design vision to life for BMO Tower – a high-profile, monolithic appearance. Specific colored panels with trimless ends and pre-formed corners eliminated the need for metal flashings.  
BMO Tower features CF Architectural panels in Charcoal and Satin Nickel and CF Light Mesa panels in Tundra – all three specifically chosen by the architect. The panels have a polyurethane core that is encapsulated by two steel facings for an all-in-one building envelope solution. This eliminated the need for addition insulation and created efficiencies on the jobsite. 

“The three Metl-Span panels had the greatest R-value and allowed for quick construction,” DeBruin said. “Knowing the quality and ease of install helped us save money with less guys in the building, less lifts and less time overall.”

In addition, the impermeable faces and built-in thermal breaks of the Metl-Span panels maintain insulating values for the life of the building. This significantly lowers heating and cooling costs, key to success in achieving Green Building Initiative certification for sustainable design, construction and operations. 

Ready for Business
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in November 2017, and while the building opened to a limited number of employees in April 2020, the official opening was September 8, 2020.

Architect: Kahler Staler, Milwaukee

Developers: Irgens Partners LLC, Milwaukee

General Contractor: Pepper Construction, Wauwatosa, Wis.

Installer: Muza Sheet Metal, Oshkosh, Wis.

Completion Date: September 2020

Metl-Span Products: CF Architectural, Charcoal (20,000 square feet), CF Architectural, Satin Nickel (5,000 square feet), CF Light Mesa, Tundra (5,000 square feet).

Images (from top left): BMO1.jpg; BMO2.jpg; BMO3.jpg; BMO4.jpg; BMO5.jpg
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