Featured Project:

Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, Pittsfield, MA


Architect: Robert Harrison, Harrison Design Associates, Inc.

Sponsored By: SABIC Innovative Plastics, General Dynamics, Berkshire Bank Foundation

Product: Lexapanel*

Founded in 1896, Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary is located just one mile from the center of Pittsfield. With three miles of winding trails winding through scenic woods, fields and wetlands, nature enthusiasts can enjoy sightings of all kinds of bird, animal, and plant species.

canoe meadows pavilionFor 30 years, the Canoe Meadows Community Gardens site functioned without a shelter or program space. The submission of a “Share-to-Gain” project proposal by the National Audubon Society to three Berkshire corporations: SABIC Innovative Plastics, General Dynamics, and the Berkshire Bank Foundation would soon change that fact. During a one day volunteer event at the sanctuary, these three companies agreed to volunteer time and funding toward completing the construction of a much needed pavilion.

The pavilion project, in addition to a range of other sanctuary renovations, was the brainchild of Berkshire Sanctuaries chairperson Dennis Arseneau and committee member Robert Harrison, a local architect. Dennis encouraged SABIC to take on the project as their annual community and team building exercise. Robert drew up the plans with site planning help from sanctuary committee member and landscape architect Rob Akroyd.

canoe meadows pavilionIn one day, a 60 x 30 foot pavilion was constructed using an innovative plastic roofing material donated by SABIC. This new roofing material called Lexapanel* was used because it provided a daylighting option to the typical metal roof. The pavilions intended use is as an outdoor classroom and as a picnic spot for the visitors to the sanctuary. The use of Lexapanel* provides cover from the elements and shade from the sun while letting enough light in to eliminate the need for additional lighting. The pavilion is the first time the Lexapanel* standing seam system has been used as a roofing material.

Lexapanel* polycarbonate standing seam technology provides architects and canoe meadow pavilionbuilders with an exceptional daylighting option for beautiful translucent roofing, such as the Canoe Meadows Garden Pavilion. The Lexapanel* sheet system was developed in collaboration with AmeriLux International, the North American master distributor of SABIC’s Lexan* Thermoclear* and Thermoclick* structured sheet products. Compared to other standing seam systems, Lexapanel* offers far more glazing options, including choice of sheet width, thickness, coating, color, structure, and choice of connection.

After a year of being installed, SABIC contacted Harrison Design Associates, Inc., the firm that designed the Canoe Meadows Pavilion and had specified Lexapanel*.  Robert Harrison, the project architect, had this to say regarding the use of Lexapanel* in the future: “Certainly, our office would be willing to use the Lexapanels on a future project.  I can think of a lot of projects where the Lexapanel system would be a very good fit.  I look forward to being involved in a project where I can specify the Lexapanels again."

SABIC also contacted Rene Laubach, the director of Pleasant Valley and the Canoe Meadows properties.  Rene commented, “What we especially like about the roof is that it is translucent. It allows enough light to pass through, yet provides adequate shade at the same time. And the color blends in nicely with the sky making it less obtrusive.”

If you would like to learn more about the Lexapanel* polycarbonate standing seam daylighting solution, please go to www.ameriluxinternational.com and click on Lexapanel*.


* Trademark of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP B.V.

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