Glass enclosure acts as a seismic joint

August 11, 2010

At first glance it seems only to provide enclosed space between two buildings in Costa Mesa, Calif., but the 3,600-sq.-ft. glass enclosure that connects the 17-story Imperial Bank Tower building with its neighbor-a one-story retail complex - was specifically designed to act as a seismic joint.

The glazing is point-supported by four-pronged, stainless-steel sliding 'spider fittings' that work in conjunction with a system of stainless-steel cable trusses and aluminum purlins to allow the vault to move more than 6 inches within a 30-ft. span - theoretically without breaking any of the structure's 96 glass panels.

The low-iron glass panels were treated with a custom silk-screened pattern and a low-emissivity coating for solar control. The enclosure was designed by Chicago-based Murphy/Jahn Inc. Architects and engineered by Marina del Rey, Calif.-based ASI Advanced Structures Inc.


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