Architect Dennis O'Beirne on Kalwall Translucent Insulated Glazing
Kalwall's translucent fenestration system is a structural composite sandwich panel formed by permanently bonding (under heat and pressure) fiberglass-reinforced translucent faces to a grid core constructed of interlocked aluminum-composite, thermally broken I-beams. Millions of prismatic glass fibers imbedded in the faces refract sunshine and even overcast daylight, providing a balanced, diffused wash of natural light without glare and UV rays.
Dennis O'Beirne, architectural manager for Southfield, Mich.-based architecture and construction firm Giffels, specified Kalwall glazing for more than a dozen of substation renovation projects for Detroit Edison. The glazing replaced hundreds of rusted steel sash windows in the 90-year-old buildings.
Why Dennis O'Beirne specified Kalwall glazing for Detroit Edison:
“The aluminum framing has excellent weathering capability and is available with a thermal break to complement the glazing system's high energy efficiency. The U-value of the base system is 0.29, a huge improvement over the poor, 1.05 U-value of the single-pane glazing in the original buildings.”
“The standard system has very good impact resistance, especially compared to glass. A high-impact option is available for projects where vandalism is a concern, like tough neighborhood locations.”
“The product was specified as a cost-effective solution over alternative approaches originally considered by the building owner, such as glass block. The glazing allows a daylight light transmission factor of 20% for the standard white panels. We used clear plastic glazing vent units to provide substation operators with a line of sight and operable units for building ventilation.”