Products at Work

August 01, 2006 |

Impact-resistant Windows Keep Houston's Weather Museum Weathertight

When the country's first national museum dedicated to weather opened its doors in April in downtown Houston, museum officials did so with the confidence that their 1930s building could withstand virtually any storm. Protecting the John C. Freeman Weather Museum are 68 StormBreaker Plus impact-resistant vinyl-framed windows. The units are composed of a piece of heavy polyvinyl butyral plastic interlayer sandwiched between two pieces of double-strength glass. The laminated glass is then combined with another piece of double-strength tempered glass to form an insulating glass unit. Simonton Windows Input No. 222 at

A Work of Art

Lending a weathered look to the interior and exterior wall plates of Las Vegas's Guggenheim Hermitage Museum is a custom-made, pre-weathered product called architectural weathered steel, manufactured by A. Zahner Co., of Kansas City, Mo. To meet project requirements, several thousand pounds of weathering steel were treated in Zahner's plant and then shipped to Las Vegas, where it was installed on the museum walls as backdrops to the works of art on display.

“The product produces a rich, unique texture and color on metal surfaces that retains the character of steel and possesses a spectrum of color that varies from deep reddish browns to orange brown tones,” said Zahner president William Zahner.

The custom-made, ½-inch-thick plates are available in various dimensions, from more than 8 feet wide to as long as 20 feet in length. A. Zahner Co. Input No. 203 at

Low-e Glass uts Head Gain, Saves Money

Ken Lewis, AIA, a principal at AC Martin Partners, Los Angeles, specified PPG Solarban 70XL low-e glass for a 72,500-sf building for the College of Business Administration at California State University, San Marcos. The new Markstein Hall has 27 classrooms and 88 faculty offices in two wings. Lewis estimates that by specifying the glass, which minimizes heat gain, he was able to lower mechanical costs for the building $2-3 per sf, with the savings coming primarily from lower chilling capacity and smaller fan sizes and ducts. The Building Team was also able to earn more than $100,000 in incentives through San Diego Gas & Electric's Savings by Design program. According to program administrators, Markstein Hall is expected to generate energy savings of 500,000 kilowatt-hours, or approximately $75,000 a year at current energy prices. That reduction exceeds California's Title 24 standards by more than 35%. PPG Input No. 211 at

Parking Garage Gets Waterproofed

In search of a high-quality waterproofing system for a new, three-story parking garage attached to Atlanta's Egleston Children's Hospital, local shoring wall contractor ABE Enterprises specified Kryton's crystalline waterproofing technology. Upon adding the application to concrete, millions of needle-like crystals are formed, filling the spaces between concrete particles and blocking the penetration of water. Krystol Input No. 205 at

A Perfect Fit at Portland Airport

Looking for a high-quality yet easily replaceable solution for the exterior railings at Portland International Airport, airport officials specified a steel railing system fitted with wire rope. The rope is attached to the steel railing frame with Electroline steel fittings, which can be replaced quickly when damaged from vehicle impacts. Esmet Input No. 210 at

Glass Interlayer Keeps Federal Court Building Safe and Civic

In 1996, the U.S. General Services Administration mandated that federal courthouses should be “visual symbol[s] of the monumentality and stability of the judicial system and embody a fundamental principle of our country—the courts are open to all.” The GSA also enforces stringent security requirements (including blast protection) for all its high-risk buildings. To translate these ideological and security goals in the design of the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Jacksonville, Fla., architect HLM Design, Denver, turned to laminated glass with a Saflex interlayer from Solutia that offers significant blast protection.

The $80 million courthouse is a 15-story tower with laminated glass curtain wall façades on all sides of the building. The blast-resistant characteristics of laminated glass with Saflex allowed the Building Team to safely construct the glass tower without compromising safety. Ordinary glass shatters outward during a blast, but Saflex is intended to break at a specified pressure with shards flying only a minimal distance into the building. Even if it is impacted or cracked, the glass is designed to adhere to the interlayer, significantly reducing or eliminating flying or falling glass following an explosion. Solutia Input No. 209 at

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