The new Monument Drive Commuter Parking Garage and Transit Center in Fairfax, Virginia, showcases a unique aluminum cladding system.

EXTECH/Exterior Technologies manufactured and engineered the system, which Linetec finished with textured terra cotta specialty architectural coatings.

To create the 262,000-square-foot transit facility’s façade, Linetec finished more than 4,000 custom-profiled aluminum tube extrusions and 768 wall panels that varied in color and size. Four colors were specified in Linetec textured specialty finishes: Terra Cotta Orange, Terra Cotta Burnt Orange, Terra Cotta Brown, and Terra Cotta Bronze.

The vertical aluminum tube profiles ranged from 2 by 4 inches to 6 by 12 inches. The larger, pre-assembled panels were finished to match dimensions 7 foot 6 inches wide up to 11 foot 8 inches tall.

“Terra cotta transcends trends, whether featured in wall panel system, a fenestration framing element or as an architectural accent,” says Tammy Schroeder, Linetec’s marketing director. “The Monument Drive project provides an excellent example of collaboration and creative application.”

She says that for more than a decade, Linetec has served as EXTECH’s architectural aluminum finisher of choice.

“We appreciate EXTECH’s continued interest in the new and unique finishing technologies that Linetec provides,” Schroeder says.

Architectural Aluminum Products in Various Paint Coatings

Linetec VA MonumentDrTransitCtr KateWichlinski3As a single-source solution for architectural finishing, Linetec provides architectural aluminum product manufacturers with a choice of paint coatings, anodize, specialty finishes, and value-added services. Its textured terra cotta specialty coatings for aluminum provide the desired, natural clay-colored appearance and stone-like texture with the advantages of metal and fluoropolymer (PVDF) coatings. Compared with actual terra cotta, finished aluminum offers an economical choice that can be delivered in a short lead time, is lighter for a faster installation, and can be easily formed in many shapes and sizes, as well as a broader choice of colors.

On the Monument Drive project, the aluminum extrusion profiles were made to match the three “baguette” terra cotta profiles designed by HGA’s architects. EXTECH engineered its system to accommodate garage structure differential deflections and cladding system thermal movement by incorporating a unique sliding clip into the extrusions.

Linetec textured terra cotta specialty coatings meet the industry’s most stringent performance specification standard, AAMA 2605, “Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Superior Performing Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels,” published by the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance. These durable, fluoropolymer-painted finishes are formulated with a 70% PVDF resin-based coating system to achieve the highest performance levels in exterior environments.

For EXTECH’s aluminum material on Monument Drive Commuter Parking Garage and Transit Center, Linetec used a PPG Duranar 70% PVDF resin-based coating system with a texture additive. Architectural coatings with 70% PVDF resin that meet AAMA 2605 specifications exhibit outstanding resistance to color fade and change, chalking, gloss loss, humidity, salt spray, and chemicals and ensure a long-lasting, durable finish. These performance attributes are key to high-traffic transit facilities seeking to maintain their desired appearance and a long lifecycle.

Finished aluminum is more readily available, less fragile, and more resilient than actual terra cotta during shipping, handling, and installation. Additionally, finished aluminum is a lighter-weight material than actual terra cotta, allowing for faster installation. EXTECH’s panelized system helps save additional time and costs while accommodating each project’s unique specification requirements.

100% Air Capture System

Linetec VA MonumentDrTransitCtr KateWichlinski2As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec uses a 100% air capture system and a regenerative thermal oxidizer to safely contain and eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with solvents in liquid paint. This process is carefully managed in the Linetec facility. This prevents adverse environmental impact and alleviates concerns about VOCs at the job site and after the finished material is installed on the building.

Working closely with general contractor Howard Shockey & Sons, Modern Door & Equipment Sales installed EXTECH’s systems throughout the parking garage and transit center. Fairfax County managed the facility's construction from its groundbreaking in November 2021 to its completion in late 2023. Funding was partly provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s “Transform 66” concession project.

Located at the Government Center Parkway and Monument Drive intersection, the new commuter parking garage and transit center are adjacent to the I-66 express lanes ramps. The facility offers eight levels of structured parking, a bus transit center, a short-term parking area for rideshare pick-up and drop-off, commuter (slug) lanes, secure bicycle parking and storage, solar panels to reduce energy consumption, and a partial green roof.

Linetec is a brand of Apogee Enterprises and the nation’s largest finishing services provider for architectural aluminum products. Visit

Photos by Kate Wicklinski, courtesy of Linetec