Why was copper siding selected for the new Overland Elementary School? Wouldn’t that cost quite a bit more compared to other options? — JS
Ah yes, the copper siding. It definitely cost a little more than the pretty penny it resembles, but I’m told it was still an overall good deal.
According to the people in the know, the siding cost $508,950, about $175,000 less than the estimated cost.
So hats off to whoever was cutting coupons that day.
I talked to architect Kevin Holm who didn’t know off the top of his head how much more expensive the siding would have been compared to other materials. He did clarify, however, that materials are not the most expensive part of a project.
“The actual increase in cost is pretty minimal when you’re talking about non-ferrous versus ferrous metals,” Holm said. “When you look at any material in construction, in general the material cost is 50%, plus or minus, of the labor cost.”
For those who do not have an architect-to-layman dictionary on hand, “non-ferrous metals” refer to those that don’t have iron in them. In other words, it means they won’t rust.
And that brings us to why copper was chosen in the first place.
“It significantly reduces the maintenance,” Holm said. “In theory, that copper will never need to be repaired or improved upon.”
It will, however, change colors, a process known as “patina.” As in “it should patina over time.” In other words, it should take on a darker tone, closer to a bronze color.
He said, however, that the new elementary school shouldn’t be destined for the same outcome as the Statue of Liberty, another copper-coated project.
“It should not turn green in any of our lifetimes,” Holm said. “The reason that (the Statue of Liberty) patinas is because of the acid rain, and in the Midwest, we just don’t have that unless you’re close to some kind of factory or plant.”
With Overland Elementary surrounded by residential neighborhoods, I think it’s safe to safe that acid rain won’t be falling on it, turning it green.
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