The Salish Integrative Oncology Care Center is located in Fife, WA, contained within the Puyallup Indian Reservation. The Puyallup Tribe founded the hospital to create a unique form of care, blending traditional oncology treatments with integrative medicine techniques like naturopathy and acupuncture. The tribe purchased the existing building in the spring of 2015 in Fife, Wash.—a suburb of Tacoma—and opened the center’s doors to patients almost immediately. The structure required upgrades to its exterior and a re-skin of the brick facility, which was planned with the intent of crafting a cutting-edge metal-and-glass façade that also resembled natural materials.

According to TGB Architects project architect Chris Tongray, insulated metal panels proved to be the only system light enough to be added to the brick exterior without altering the building structure. The team turned to a high-performing building envelope system because of its ability to create the desired all-metal aesthetic and provide multiple lines of defense against water infiltration, an inspectable seal, and the benefits of pressure-equalization.

“The system was not only light, but it also incorporated an exterior insulation that would meet energy code requirements for even a new building,” Tongray says.

As this was essentially a retrofit project, and the center had to remain operational during the re-skin, using insulated metal panels over the brick was the most cost-effective and timely way to create the appearance desired.

“We decided on over-cladding as a less-expensive alternate to demolition and re-cladding, but we wanted a robust system of water control,” Tongray says. “This is usually accomplished by a system with redundancy. The system we ultimately selected was the lightest that also gave us redundancy—via the use of a PE seal plate.”

Insulated metal panels are generally easy to install. According to an article by the Metal Construction Association, when used during a retrofit project, these panels offer durability and an oft-desired modern aesthetic. Their light weight also means that existing structural elements in place are minimally altered—if at all. Additionally, metal panels can be specified in a wide range of substrates and coatings and are subsequently a good fit for a wide range of projects and client needs. For example, the Puyallup Tribe ultimately wanted the center to have a more organic appearance, even with the use of metal, and the team from TGB Architects met this need by specifying a mottled, natural finish designed to simulate natural materials like wood, slate, bronze, or zinc.

“The client is very satisfied with the project thus far,” Tongray says. “The contractors on-site have said that everyone loves it. We at TGB are delighted with the appearance and the flatness of the cladding.”

TGB Architects provided architectural services, Andersen Construction was the general contractor, and the CENTRIA dealer/installer was Cobra BEC, Morrison Hershfield was brought on board as a wall consultant.