In 2004, Stone Panels, Inc. completed a 20-story recladding project for Banco Popular in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, the island’s banking district.
Popular, Inc., founded in 1893, is the leading banking institution by both assets and deposits in Puerto Rico, and ranks 35th by assets among U.S. bank holding companies. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, a subsidiary of Popular, Inc., is the leading financial institution in Puerto Rico with $31 billion in assets. Banco Popular provides financial services to approximately 1.4 million individual and business clients.
As one of the city’s most famous buildings, Banco Popular exhibits a modern architectural style, made of concrete and a shear wall structural system. The 20-stories, which reach 247.33 ft, hold mainly commercial offices but include shops and dining as well. The building was developed in an area owned previously by the Puerto Rico Railway Company and when Banco Popular was built in 1965, it became the headquarters for the company, which has three other locations.
The Banco Popular tower was originally clad with a ceramic tile, but the tile began to fail and fall off the building in 2002. StoneLite® was the ideal, economical solution for Banco Popular’s exterior renovation. The lightweight panels were installed directly over the existing exterior of the bank without the need to completely demolish the existing façade and haul-off the debris.
The recurring problem when renovating is that the structure of most buildings may only be able to hold the weight of its original curtain wall, so it has to be reinforced before anyone can begin the renovations process and add the stone cladding they desire. Because StoneLite® panels are so lightweight, there is no need to reinforce the structure.
The recladding, or reskinning, of the building provided a quick return on investment for its owner because the natural stone finish upgraded the value of the property. In addition, StoneLite® panels increase the strength and impact resistance of the material it seamlessly adheres to.
On account of Banco Popular’s notoriety in Hato Rey, renovating with StoneLite® panels was the best decision; the material will outlast alternative stone products. The life cycle of the lightweight stone panels goes beyond that of 3 – 5 centimeter stone due to its durability, strength and flexibility.
For more information on re-cladding or over-cladding with StoneLite® panels from Stone Panels, Inc., call or email us today.