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  PIPS Technology, Inc.


Design Innovation Architects + Interiors + Planning 
402 S. Gay Street, #201, Knoxville, TN 37902

General Description

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Date Bid: Jan 2006 Construction Period: Mar 2006 to May 2007
Total Square Feet: 19,884 Site: 3.23 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: First floor, 15,835; second floor, 4,409; total, 19,884 square feet. Building Height: First floor, 10’; second floor, 18’4”; floor to floor, 15’; total, 34’4”. 
Basic Construction Type: New/Steel Frame.
Foundation: Concrete footing with CMU. Exterior Walls: Brick, metal, curtainwall. Roof: Metal, membrane. Floors: Concrete on metal deck. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Mallia Engineering Company - 1827 White Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916
General Contractor: Merit Construction, Inc. - 10435 Dutchtown Road, Knoxville, TN 37932
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: West, Welch, Reed Engineers, Inc. - 5417 Ball Camp Pike, Knoxville, TN 37921
Civil Engineer: Will Robinson & Associates - 131 Brentwood Drive, Oak Ridge, TN 37830

PIPS Technology, Inc., Page 32

Located in Knoxville, Tenn. this two-story, nearly 20,000-square-foot building serves as the new regional corporate headquarters for PIPS Technology, Inc. (PIPS) the world leader in Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology.

In response to the rapid growth of ALPR in the United States, PIPS sought the creative experience of Design Innovation Architects (DIA) to design a unique, exhilarating building for its new headquarters. The building houses corporate offices, as well as a manufacturing operation, research and development, and facilities for training and installation services.

Building owners in conjunction with DIA, developed a vision for the site in which the new building would house a state-of-the-art corporation within a sophisticated design, and allow for future expansion. 

The design implemented compliments its surroundings, while expressing the distinctive nature of the high-tech work produced within its walls. The building functions are articulated by its elements. A substantial suspended canopy delineates the entry and lobby areas, a prominent metal paneled curved wall defines the training rooms, and the second-floor exposed curved trussed roof structure houses the research and development department. The front access court was designed to enhance the building’s entry with a complimenting geometry of paving, landscaping, and flag poles.

The exterior materials are a blend of brick, metal panels, and clean lines of metal siding and trim, as well as storefront and curtain wall components. The building envelope was insulated on the exterior face of the studs and roof structure, as to improve the energy efficiency of the structure, and minimize the potential of moisture condensation within the wall cavities. Doing such also allowed for the exposure of the interior finished face of the barrel roof structural decking.

The barrel vault roof structure is designed to allow natural daylight to enter the research and development space during the winter months, while shielding off most of the direct summer sun. The west facing windows are high, and the internal stair shafts act as sun shields keeping the direct glare off of the work areas.

Due to the unique site location and high visibility of all four sides of the building, DIA was able to provide a distinct solution for the placement of the loading dock. Located off to the side of the building, it provides the overall plan an additional architecture element with a screen wall and canopy roof fitting that remains in proportion with the rest of the massing. In addition, the roof and parapet are designed to completely conceal the view of all rooftop mechanical units. A lowered roof portion holds all the units, while the larger volume of the shipping, assembly, and testing space fits within the same top of the parapet height as the rest of the facility.

With over 11,000 cameras installed worldwide, PIPS achieved its goal to have a premier building that portrayed its commitment to provide its customers, in the public safety market, with the best products, service, and support available.  


DIV. 7: Metal Panels: Centria, Alcan; EPDM: Firestone; Metal: Dimensional Metals.
DIV. 8: Curtainwall, Entrances & Storefronts, Windows: United States Aluminum. 
DIV. 9: Acoustical Treatment: Versadeck®; Carpet: Blue Ridge; Linoleum: Forbo; Ceramic Tile: Crossville.

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