The campus of Long Beach City College (LBCC), founded in 1927 in Long Beach, Calif., is undergoing upgrades and renovation, including a new four-level parking structure with more than 500 parking spaces. Designers focused on materials that would serve the functional role of sunshading for the garage while still maintaining an aesthetic appeal.

SAF provided 529 aluminum fins for the Long Beach City College renovated parking garages.

Working with McCarthy Building Companies, SAF provided 529 aluminum fins for the parking garage’s exterior, using 1/8-inch 3003 aluminum sheet to fabricate fins around extruded tubing. The fins, which range from 12 inches to 20 inches in width extending outward from the building, are designed to provide shading for the garage as well as diminish the intensity of headlights during the evening hours. For the project, 24,000 square feet of fins were finished in a three-coat XL Kynar® White Ice Metallic color finish and an additional 900 square feet of 1701 brackets were finished in three-coat XL Kynar® Stieglitz Silver.

Structural brackets (3/8-inch wall angle and made from 6061-T6 aluminum) were installed with milled slots and through holes to allow all brackets to be installed prior to the fins. This also permitted the installation team to adjust to field conditions on the fly if necessary.

“Our goal was to provide a high-performance product that met the aesthetic requirements of the job while minimizing time-on-site for the installation crew,” says Luke Lynam, senior project manager at SAF. “We pre-drilled holes in 2x4s and in the 1/8-inch aluminum fins because we didn’t want to have to deal with 2x4s in the field. We prefabricated everything at our SAF West facility to ease on-site labor and streamline the construction schedule.”

The architectural fins needed to be fabricated up to 20 feet in height, which required ingenuity from the SAF West fabrication team. In fact, SAF created custom, 20-foot bending jigs to ensure consistency and increase throughput during the manufacturing process.