Self-Storage Design Study Using Complex Materials, by Capco Steel Inc.

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A-AAAKey Mini Storage No. 43 in San Antonio features a complex melding of colors, textures and materials to create an eye-catching exterior appearance. Capco Steel Inc., a steel supplier and erector of metal buildings, RV and boat storage, provided the steel, panels and building erection.

The project architect incorporated several building material elements such as split-face concrete masonry units (CMU) and textured CMU, which incorporated the use of an exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) skim-coating system with a course sand-type finish. It also features bold sections of glazed CMU, which looks like it has glazed tile manufactured into the surface, and large linear aluminum accent panels.

The large accents of purple-glazed CMU are intended to provide large blocks of color. Typically, the grout line between the colored CMU would be visible. The developer wanted to move beyond that type of standard detail. Special, colored epoxy grout was ordered in the exact color as the glazed CMU to place over the mortar joints. The mortar between the block was cut back to an appropriate depth so the joints could then be filled over with the grout. The end result is a large block of color where the typical joints simply disappear.

A-AAAKey Mini Storage No. 43 in San Antonio, build by Capco Steel Inc. (1)***  A-AAAKey Mini Storage No. 43 in San Antonio, build by Capco Steel Inc. (2)***

The walls were painted with a high-quality, elastomeric paint. This system was to function as the building's primary waterproofing system. A base coat of primer/filler was applied, then two coats of high-quality elastomeric coating.

The challenging part was the smooth, sand-textured block and the split-face block were to be painted different colors. This meant the line between the differing elements, as well as the line where this paint system abutted the colored CMU, had to be precisely cut in to provide a neat, straight line and fully waterproof each joint or transition. This was a painstaking process and took a great deal of time to achieve.

A-AAAKey Mini Storage No. 43 in San Antonio, build by Capco Steel Inc. (3)***

With changes in elevation in the foundation of the large, three-story building, combined with linear lines that intertwine around the perimeter, placement of horizontal elements was crucial. This involved the careful planning and monitoring of the elevations at differing building elements. Split-face CMU, smooth CMU and glazed CMU all work in concert in precise locations of a large structure to create this finished product.

A-AAAKey Mini Storage No. 43 in San Antonio, build by Capco Steel Inc. (4)***

The complexity of the finish is immediately apparent upon first glance. It’s difficult to fully appreciate the amount of detail required to produce this finished product. The special aluminum linear panels were supplied and installed by Capco Steel Inc. These panels required precise placement to integrate with the window systems and flashings.

A-AAAKey Mini Storage No. 43 in San Antonio, build by Capco Steel Inc. (5)***

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