Products at Work

December 01, 2006 |

LEDs illuminate Saks Fifth Avenue

Since November 20, onlookers at the Saks Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan have been able to gaze upon 50 enormous illuminated snow flakes that reach 10 stories high in a high-tech snowflake LED light show choreographed to a modern version of “Carol of the Bells.” By upgrading to the latest Philips LED system, this year's spectacle will use only 2,600 watts of energy—the equivalent of just three toaster ovens. The display uses 40,400 LED modules. The solid-state lights are strung at a length of 13,480 feet, or 2.55 miles, to cover the 36 eight-foot-diameter and 14 20-foot-diameter snowflakes.


Input No. 309 at

Chocolate shop gets a new ceiling with an old look

When Wilmar Chocolates in Appleton, Wis., underwent a full interior remodeling, the owners wanted a look that would reflect the old-fashioned ambience of the 19th-century building. Rich in tradition, the specialty chocolatier has not only used the same recipes since opening in 1956, but the interior of the shop also had not changed until the recent remodeling project.

For the shop's new ceiling, the owners wanted a style and color that would fit the building's vintage fixtures, as well as convey the elegance of an Old World candy store. Local ceiling contractor Appleton Lathing recommended Acoustic Ceiling Products' classic tin-style ceiling system. The product can be installed into any new or existing suspended ceiling.

Jeff Eiles, project manager for Appleton Lathing, said the panels achieved the pressed-tin look at lower cost and could be replaced more easily, if necessary.

Acoustic Ceiling Products

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Cannon Design uses fabric ducts in its own office

A/E firm Cannon Design, headquartered in Grand Island, N.Y., specified fabric duct for its Boston office. Cannon's team wanted to capitalize on the open feeling of the high ceilings and semi-industrial appearance of Boston's 41-year old Saltonstall Building, where it was moving its local office.

Cannon's in-house project managers felt the fabric duct would add a soft contrast to the industrial style of the space. The streamlined appearance and built-in linear vents lent an aesthetic that was superior to the ribbed surfaces and protruding diffusers of spiral metal ductwork.


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Perforated walls screen in airport parking facility

Perforated Screenwall panels from Centria were specified for Charlotte Douglas International Airport's new five-story, 1 million-sf, $29 million customer parking deck.

“The screenwalls allowed for a number of things that other materials would not,” said Brian Wilson, design architect from the Wilson Group, Charlotte, N.C. “We were able to create a curved surface with the material. The perforations provided an open area, which helps with the parking structure's ventilation, and it provides an aesthetically pleasing appearance.” Wilson specified 60,000 sf of perforated screenwall in 20-gauge stainless steel. The product's fabrication provides 40% open area to allow the transluscent screen to control light and air movement and to conceal the appearance of equipment behind the screen. Architect of record was LS3P Associates, Charlotte; the CM was the local office of Turner Construction. SECO Architectural Systems, Stone Mountain, Ga., was the installer.


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Historic forts gets second metal roof

A Follansbee TCS II standing seam roof tops the most recent of many restoration projects at historic Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia. Design teams first used TCS II in a 1970s restoration at the site, then again in 2005.

Fort Mifflin, located in southern Philadelphia, on Mud Island in the Delaware River, was built in 1776 to protect the city during the Revolutionary War. In 1962, Fort Mifflin was deeded back to the City of Philadelphia; restoration began in the late 1970s. The design team chose Follansbee's TCS II standing seam roofing to finish the Commandant's Residence. Soon after completion, fire ravaged the residence and it was again left dormant. In the late '90s local firm Atkin Olshin Lawson-Bell Architects guided the building's reconstruction, and again chose Follansbee TCS II for the roof.


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New ridge skylight system illuminates San Francisco's historic Ferry Building

The 1898 Ferry Building was the primary point of arrival and departure for San Franciscans before the construction of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. Its main feature was the Great Nave, a 660-foot-long, skylit two-story concourse located on the second floor that provided access to ferries. The Ferry Building was recently redeveloped through a public-private partnership and made into a world-class food market on its ground floor. Local architects SWWM and Page & Turnbull came up with a renovation plan that included a skylit upper floor. San Francisco general contractor Plant Construction selected skylight glazing contractor Vogel & Associates, who worked with Naturalite Skylight Systems to manufacture and install custom ridge BMS skylight units. Naturalite also engineered high-performance aluminum extrusions look like historic sheet metal. The Ferry Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Naturalite by Vistawall

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