This 23-unit luxury apartment building has a lot going for it—panoramic views of the Rocky Mountain foothills, an airy private courtyard and a contemporary feel. But designers say it’s the small details that really made this project come together.

From the start, the design team at Studio Architecture knew they wanted to incorporate natural materials to give the façade warmth and keep with the character of Boulder, Colo. An earth tone colored brick along with tongue-and-groove stained cedar fit the bill nicely.

The only question was how to add detail while keeping the contemporary feel and still making it easy to construct in the field. Answering this question for the outside corners of the tongue-and-groove siding was particularly challenging. Mitered corners could be costly and Colorado’s extreme climate would cause the joints to pull apart.

“We knew that in order to achieve our design goal that the building could be simple, but the detailing would need to be well executed in the drawings and in the field,” says Aldo Sebben, director of design and principal at Studio Architecture.

Fortunately, the design team found a solution that solved all these problems—extruded aluminum trim. “The extruded aluminum trim provided a clean, contemporary detail that did not detract from the tongue-and-grove siding,” Sebben says.

Another plus was that the trim came in a variety of dark color selections, perfect for the look Sebben and his team were hoping to achieve. Along with dark colors, the team chose a simple low profile corner and a standard J mold. The J mold not only provided a clean transition between the siding and other materials, but also provided a smooth surface for sealing joints. “The trim system provided a clean line at the corners that is hard to achieve with other systems and methods,” Sebben says.

Overall, Sebben and his team say using the trim system was the best way to achieve the design they wanted—without breaking the budget. “It was simple to execute in the field. It didn’t leave exposed or field cut ends of the siding and it was a more cost-effective option that mitered corners,” Sebben says. “It’s a durable material that can withstand minimal impacts at areas prone to pedestrian damage, and will last over long periods of time.”

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