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Perforated Metal Canopies Set New Standard for Active Aging

In Grand Prairie, Texas, Perforated Metal canopies help build a lively gathering spot for adults ages 50 and older at The Summit activity center.

The Hole Objective

In Grand Prairie, Texas, a forward-thinking facility was built as part of a 12-acre recreational project in the southern state’s Central Park. The Summit adult activity center would serve adults ages 50 and older. Nevertheless, this new hub was meant to be a lively gathering spot instead of a standard senior center.

At the time of building, Grand Prairie’s older population comprised a quarter of the city’s residents. It was important that the center would functionally serve these significant members of the community. The project’s planners specifically wanted to ensure opportunities for the active Baby Boomer generation to enjoy a thriving environment.

Beyond encouraging active socialization, there were some other factors that the building needed to fulfill. Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects sought sophistication and efficiency in their design of the recreational space. Keeping the Texas heat in mind, reduction of heat gain to the building and ample shade in outdoor spaces were significant end goals.

An awning at The Summit activity center.
Awnings at The Summit activity center.

The Hole Solution

Designers chose McNICHOLS® Perforated Metal based on the product's ability to reduce solar impact and provide a visually appealing, sleek look.

Installed around the exterior of the building, a series of Perforated Metal canopies provide shelter from the sun, cool the interior, and lower utility bills as a result. Underneath the canopies, visitors of the activity center can comfortably sit outdoors to overlook the lake, enjoy cuisine from the terrace café, and socialize. Ultimately, the cooled patio is a space that brings the excitement from the inside, out.

As tall as two stories and as wide as nearly 23 feet, the canopy panels have a light, airy appearance. The canopies on the building face follow a curved radius, adding dimension as well as structural reinforcement. At night, they provide a backdrop for decorative illumination displays. Meanwhile, Perforated Metal panels applied to the face of Steel columns help circulate air and transmit light.

Perforated Metal sheets on the side of poles at The Summit.
McNICHOLS® Perforated Metal being utilized at The Summit activity center.

The facility features more than 1,000 Perforated Metal panels in two varieties. Larger panels are .2500" thick Aluminum with 1/4" round holes on 1/2" staggered centers. The smaller panels are .1250" thick Aluminum with 3/16" round holes on 5/16" staggered centers.

Since 2010, The Summit has provided a gathering place for active adults with exercise rooms, banquet halls, classrooms, and other amenities available in the 60,000-square-foot space. Within the first few months of opening this new facility, the center skyrocketed from approximately 800 to 5,000 active members. From indoors to outdoors, The Summit is an exemplary environment for the engaged aging communities.

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If you’d like to buy Aluminum Perforated Metal, contact us at 855.318.8791, [email protected], or via Live Chat on