SEI Investments

SEI Investment’s new office showcases vivid colors in sustainable Fluropon Pure coatings formulated with solar reflective pigments and without the use of LBC Red List chemicals

Designed by MSR Design, the newly opened Valley View building on SEI Investments’ North Campus in Oaks, Pennsylvania, features an aluminum panel wall system finished in Fluropon® Pure 70% PVDF coil coatings by Sherwin-Williams in Navy Blue and Center Stage bright green. Along with these architectural coatings’ vivid colors, these innovative finishes are formulated with solar reflective pigments and without the use of Living Building Challenge’s (LBC) Red List chemicals.

SEI is a global wealth management firm that has steadily grown to more than 3,700 employees managing $1 trillion in assets. A client of MSR Design’s since the early 1990s, the owner’s representative, architecture and consultant team developed the master plan for SEI’s South Campus and designed 10 buildings plus three parking garages.

Valley View is the first of several buildings planned and designed by MSR Design and the consultant team for SEI’s North Campus. The 108,000-square-foot, three-story building offers an open-plan office with space to host events for staff and clients. There are large meeting rooms, a small café with a walk-out patio and room for more than 600 people.

“We wanted to bring their North Campus building design into the 21st century,” said MSR Design’s architect and principal, Paul Mellblom, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C. “For the new campus, they were ready to think freshly, while keeping an eye on sustainability, occupant health and operational costs. Fluropon Pure was the natural choice. It aligned with all the project’s goals.”

With these goals at the forefront for Valley View, MSR Design’s architect and associate, Simona Fischer, AIA, said, “Wherever possible, we would design the building to be energy-efficient and to make good material decisions. We were guided by LEED and LBC, but didn’t go for certification. The use of a Red List Free metal panel coating was an example of us bringing the idea to the table and doing the research to show it would work as well, if not better, and that the cost difference was negligible.”

The Fluropon Pure finished panels are supported with an LBC Red List Free Declare Label by the International Living Future Institute. LBC Red List Free products disclose 100% of product ingredients plus residuals present at or above 100 ppm (0.01 percent) in the final product and do not contain any Red List chemicals. They have been shown to meet the requirements of the LBC Red List Imperative.

Along with evaluating ingredients for potential concerns, innovative coatings manufacturers must ensure their formulations do not sacrifice expected performance, resilience and reliability. As with other 70% PVDF resin-based, high-performance, architectural coating systems from Sherwin-Williams, Fluropon Pure meets or exceeds AAMA 2605. It has been tested to meet, or exceed, the equivalent of 10 years south Florida weathering exposure conditions for color retention, and resistance to fading, chalking and erosion.

Unlike SEI’s South Campus buildings, the metal wall panel systems on Valley View were not fabricated and finished on site. Instead, factory-fabricated wall cladding systems were manufactured by two companies and installed by HK Panel Systems.

  • Finished in Navy Blue, Morin Corp. supplied 44,100 square feet of its Matrix Series® MX 2.0 integrated, concealed fastener, rainscreen wall system with 0.040 corrugated aluminum panels ranging from 15 to 32 feet long.
  • Finished in Center Stage bright green, ATAS International, Inc. provided 11,835 square feet its Versa-Lok flat shingle style, concealed fastener, wall panel system in 16-by-48-inch horizontal, rectangular aluminum panels and flat stock length trim.

Both wall cladding systems were factory-finished by a single, qualified applicator, Metal Coaters. This allowed for greater quality control in applying Fluropon Pure’s specially formulated, durable, architectural coatings. The vibrantly colorful, sustainable finished and precisely formed panels require minimal maintenance. They offer a lifespan of 40 years or more, and can be recycled at the end of their useful life on SEI’s Valley View building.

In selecting and specifying Fluropon Pure and the aluminum wall cladding system, Fischer observed, “Two critical points in specification contribute to successfully implementing a key product: One when the architect and owner decide on the materials, products, and systems. And a second one with the contractors, where we have to be prepared for substitution requests. We reviewed submittals carefully to make sure specified materials weren’t flying out of the project. On certain key materials we had a plan in place to address both the owner’s and contractor’s questions. We anticipated their questions, gathered the supporting data, and had the right people at Sherwin-Williams on speed dial to reassure them or provide guidance as needed.”

“Why not err on the side of caution and use materials we do know are healthier?” Fischer asked. “If we have the choice, let’s use a better product that works well, is cost competitive, is easily maintained, lasts a long time and can be recycled.”

“We went through the rigor of proving it had a good ROI, which made it a clear and obvious decision for us,” said Mellblom. “Every project has a limited pot of money. How do you spend it for the best results? Return on investment isn’t just monetary. The wellbeing of your staff also is a driver.”

He concluded, “SEI’s team all work in these buildings. It matters to them personally, even though sustainability wasn’t directly stated on their agenda. We showed them how material choices support their values and how better, healthier spaces help reduce absenteeism and turnover. We discussed how improved indoor environmental quality is a natural fit for the way they work. We want to design the best building possible that reflects these values for their employees’ wellbeing and health. This also means we keep financial considerations in mind that go beyond ‘first costs,’ and look at durable, low-maintenance materials and products that add value to their long-term operational costs.”

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Fluropon 70% PVDF Coatings

Fluropon is Sherwin-Williams flagship 70% PVDF coating system for architectural metal building products. Its superior durability and color retention keeps your building facade looking new for decades to come. Available in over 50,000 colors, Fluropon meets the industry's most rigorous standards including AAMA 2605.


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