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John Pappajohn Business Administration Building and Hillenbrand Residence Hall Project Profile

A variety of plaster systems with a wide selection of finish options meet a myriad of abuse-resistance requirements with the appropriate combination of surface strength, penetration resistance and cost control. Two different systems were chosen for projects on college campuses where heavy traffic and abuse resistance were factors.  

Top priority for the John PappaJohn Business Administration Building at University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa was a system that would look good for years with minimal maintenance. A two-coat Imperial veneer system was chosen for superior surface hardness and compressive strength (3,000 psi). Imperial veneer plaster products were also used in detail work on cornices, soffits and projections that created a sense of visual continuity with other architectural designs on campus.

The veneer system used for the Hillenbrand Residence Hall at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana needed to be rugged enough for living accommodations. USG Structo-Base® Gypsum Plaster was chosen for scratch and brown coats over metal lath on steel studs. Then, USG Red Top® Brand Keenes Cement combined with lime and sand was used for the finish coat, providing optimal hardness and workability. 

Both systems delivered the durability as well as cost and low maintenance requirements to ensure successful projects that will be enjoyed by students for years to come.

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People Involved

Kevin Monson, Neumann Monson P.C. Architect (John Pappajohn project)

Lanny Wilson Associate director for Purdue residence halls

Project Scope

187,000 square-foot (John Pappajohn)

105,000 square-foot (Hillenbrand Hall)

Special Factors

strong and efficient walls to stand up to daily university life