The design challenges facing architects and builders when renovating older buildings are considerable from increasing energy efficiency, to navigating inherited structural and building code changes. Here are five projects highlighting how such issues were solved, and illustrate some incredible transformations.
Charles H. Shaw Technology & Learning Center
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A
Farr Associates converted a century-old industrial powerhouse into a modern learning center filled with natural diffuse daylight, while preserving key structural elements, including brick walls and floor tile, as well as some of the original machinery.
This neighborhood sports park utilized Kalwall for its ability to provide balanced daylight and line of sight for athletes inside. The translucent panels help ensure the safety & security of athletes with visual privacy and impact resistance. As an extremely lightweight option in retrofit design, Kalwall offered large clear spans and accommodated the existing brick walls of a historical munitions factory.
Crouch End Picturehouse
VertiKal™ panels were factory unitized with sash, for a sleek, energy efficient recladding of the Crouch End Picturehouse – a renovated 1950s factory building. The Panter Hudspith design, which won three industry awards, uses the curtainwall to create gentle backlighting at night as a visual marquis.
1060 Redwood Office Building
Mill Valley, California, U.S.A.
An ordinary commercial box building was transformed by adding top-lighting from Kalwall skylights. This modern workspace is now filled with natural, diffuse daylight, creating an ambiance that ensures a healthy work environment that boosts productivity. The OSHA fall-through compliant (`man-safe’) translucent skylights enable effective and easy maintenance without the need for safety cages.
Featherstone High School
Kalwall window replacements were an economical energy upgrade for an old school building that was failing due to decay and ingress of water. The highly-insulated translucent sandwich panels bathe the classrooms in diffuse natural daylight while reducing HVAC and artificial lighting costs. Unitized construction allowed for fast installation and minimal disruption to school operation.
Company: Kalwall Corporation
Product: Wall Systems
Heat conduction, or the transfer of heat through a solid material at the molecular level, is a problem that occurs in aluminum framing. Providing a thermal break in the aluminum is the most common solution for disconnecting the exterior and interior of the aluminum frame. The frame is literally split into two components and must be connected by a structural material that is of significantly less conductivity as the aluminum. Simultaneously the thermal break material must bond the two components together.
There are many ways to thermally break glazing materials and the frames that house the glazing. Insulated glazing generally uses multiple panes of glazing separated by air, gas or other fill. The glazing is then bonded at the edges with a material of low conductivity. The aluminum frame, most commonly used for storefront framing, skylights, and windows, is a highly dense material with great strength. Yet, aluminum is light in weight and durable. It is also a widely recyclable material and is readily available.
Aluminum, however, is highly conductive of heat and cold. For many decades thermal breaks have been a common and economical means of lowering temperature conductance in aluminum framing. Thermal breaks have taken numerous forms over the years, from plastic and Styrofoam to wood and nearly any material that had a lower thermal conductivity than aluminum.
The 1970s marked the beginning of the high performance, chemically manufactured and engineered thermal breaks that we see today. Standard to the storefront, window, skylight and curtainwall industry is the poured and debridged polyurethane thermal break. This material provides significant structural strength in shear, compression and tension, as well as integrity and resilience. The polyurethane polymer has a very low conductivity, allowing it to bridge the gap between the interior and exterior aluminum components of a frame. Due to polyurethane’s structural strength, longer spans are capable and the integrity of the aluminum frame is not compromised.
The method for manufacturing the polyurethane thermal break has become standardized in the aluminum framing industry. A strategically placed open cavity is extruded as part of the aluminum frame. The cavity may be grooved or extruded in a way as to act as a lock when bonded with the polyurethane polymer. The liquid polymer is poured into the cavity, and upon solidifying, the bottom of the cavity is then removed, or debridged, creating the perfect thermal break for all forces of extreme weather conditions.
So where are thermal breaks necessary? The short answer is that they are necessary in all climates where there is a difference in temperature from exterior to interior. Cold climates benefit from aluminum thermal breaks by providing protection from cold temperatures entering the building and causing condensation build-up on the interior face. In these situations, aluminum frames can also become very cold to the touch and uncomfortable to be near. Hot climates benefit from aluminum thermal breaks by providing protection from hot temperatures entering the building. Not only does a thermal break affect air temperature and cooling demands on HVAC systems, but aluminum frames can become very hot to the touch, causing issues for people, plants, animals, and objects nearby.
While thermal breaks add some up-front costs, technological advances have made them an economical solution. This is especially true when you consider that they can prolong the lifespan of materials around them and provide a more comfortable environment for building occupants. Whether you’re in a hot or cold climate, thermal breaks are well worth it.
For more information on our thermally broken system options, visit us online. Our Clima-Tite™ system with pultruded fiberglass framing, is also available and provides an even higher level of thermal performance and condensation resistance.
Company: Major Industries Inc.
Of: Courtesy of Amy Stalbosky, National Corporate Architect, Major Industries, Inc.
Chicagoland’s DuPage Airport Authority is home to the largest concentration of corporate aircraft in Illinois. It supports more than 400 based aircraft and is the only general aviation airport in Illinois with four active runaways, two instrument landing system approaches and a 24-hour FAA Air Control Tower, U.S. Customs and 24-hour onsite rescue and firefighting capabilities.
In addition to the aircraft on site, the airport receives daily transient aircraft. To better accommodate their aviation needs, the DuPage Airport Authority opened a new hangar in August 2017, reflecting its goal to build and maintain a world-class facility in the heart of the United States.
The new 31,000-square-foot hangar spans 244 feet wide by 134 feet deep with 29-foot-high doors. It features EXTECH's LIGHTWALL 3440 and SKYGARD 3300 polycarbonate systems. Mark Doles, the Director of Aviation Facilities and Properties and DuPage Flight Center, says of the new facility and EXTECH's systems: "We chose EXTECH’s systems to give us the architecturally attractive look we wanted and the translucent polycarbonate lets us take advantage of the borrowed light. With the natural light, we usually will not have to utilize any electric lighting at all during the day. When we do illuminate the hangar, it’s stunning to see at night.”
Company: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.
Product: Custom Facades
This visual blog highlights how architects incorporate Kalwall® as a centerpiece in projects across a wide range of industries.
Buckeye-Woodhill Rapid Transit Station
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
The canopy covering the platform area for waiting passengers adds a backlit feature at night to define the space and acts as a waypoint for travelers.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
The train depot utilizes energy efficient, balanced daylighting and low contrast ratios for high visual acuity for maintenance crews working on the resting trains.
Glasgow International Airport
Passenger safety and security was at the heart of the design goal for this airport terminal, which was the target of a horrific car bombing in 2007. Kalwall was specifically called for in the new terminal design because of its anti-terrorism force protection/blast resistance.
Southbend Regional Airport
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.A.
The large Skyroof® is a signature feature of the airport terminal. In addition to superb solar heat gain control, the Skyroof bathes the grand hall in diffuse usable light and offers low maintenance and easy cleaning, in addition to masking rooftop debris and bird droppings that are more visible on glass.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Morrisville, North Carolina, U.S.A.
The nationally-renowned architectural firm of Clark Nexsen won several awards for its Terminal 1 renovation. A re-clad and re-imagined landside building elevation features Kalwall panels and provides a light-filled interior space that not only provides privacy, but gives off a soft glowing lantern effect at night that enhances the airport landscape.
Company: Kalwall Corporation
Product: Roofs — Specialty Applications
Explosives have become the weapon of choice for terrorists around the world, and the force of these blasts can wreak havoc on standard building materials. As an explosion impacts your building, a flying debris field is created which can cause a variety of injuries to your building’s occupants. In fact, studies show that lacerations due to high-speed flying glass fragments are responsible for a significant number of injuries sustained in explosions. Less flying debris equals less chance of injury, and because they’re designed to “flex” with the force of an explosive blast while remaining intact and secure in the opening, Guardian 275® Translucent Daylighting Panels can reduce the amount of dangerous fragments created by an explosion.
Guardian 275® translucent daylighting systems also shield occupants from a direct line of sight. Potential terrorists observing from busy streets and other uncontrolled locations are offered few clues to the activity within occupied spaces while interior spaces are enhanced with glare-free, energy-saving daylighting.
Tested, Abused – and Performance Verified
During a series of tests conducted by Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc., a world-renowned engineering and testing firm, a variety of Guardian 275® panels were attached to a large shock tube, a test device that creates specific pressures and applied impulses (an applied impulse, measured in psi-msec, is equal to the net force on the panel times the time period over which this force is applied) to simulate the effects of an actual explosive device.
Guardian 275® panel configurations were put through a range of pressures and impulses in order to thoroughly evaluate their blast resistance and safety. A machine-generated blast pressure range of 5 to 6 psi, with applied impulses between 41 and 69 psi-msec, was chosen to test commonly specified blast loads for anti-terrorism protection of buildings in the United States. To put these numbers into a real-world scenario, a similar blast load of 5 psi could snap a wooden utility pole. A larger applied pressure of 10 psi with an applied impulse of 90 psi-msec was used to generate a medium level blast load that studies show could cause significant structural damage and serious health risks. Testing conducted in the 5 to 6 psi range showed that Guardian 275® panels resisted the applied loads over a range of impulses and retained their structural integrity. The largest applied pressure, used to recreate a devastating medium level blast, was 10 psi with an applied impulse of 90 psi-msec. The Guardian 275® panel once again “flexed” with the pressure and remained intact.
Please view below for high-speed video of a Guardian 275® panel “flexing” with the force of a blast.
Department of Defense (DoD) Minimum Anti-terrorism Standards for Buildings (UFC 4-010-01) for conventional building standoff distances and ISC Security Design Criteria Level C loadingGuardian 275® panels, after going through the most punishing blast tests in the translucent daylighting industry, meet or exceed the following related performance requirements:
- US General Services Administration (GSA) Standard Test Method for Glazing and Window Systems Subject to Dynamic Overpressure Loadings – Condition “1”, Hazard Level “None”
- ASTM F 1642-04 Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loading
- AAMA 510-06 Voluntary Specification Guide for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems
Since specific system configurations are dependent on a variety of factors, including stand-off distances and additional conditions, please contact us at 888-759-2678 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pressure Release Systems
For test laboratories, research facilities and other high risk areas, Guardian 275® systems can also be fitted with third-party certified fasteners that relieve sudden pressure surges by releasing the panels before structural damage occurs. Stainless steel safety lanyards keep the panels attached to the framing, minimizing the risk to people and property.
Company: Major Industries Inc.
The right light is essential to experience and enhance the viewing of art, and Kalwall® has become the preferred choice of architects to provide museum-quality daylighting™ for cultural projects worldwide.
Calder Foundation Gallery
New York, New York, U.S.A.
The diffuse daylight of Kalwall panels cleverly showcase the unique sculptures and mobiles of Alexander Calder and the other artists on display. Softly balanced, glare-free light envelops the art from every angle. The use of Kalwall turns what was once three disparate rooftop sheds into a breathtaking space.
The ability to provide necessary temperature control, along with safety and security, made Kalwall the choice for this duty-free storage unit where wealthy art investors can store their valuable collections. Kalwall provides museum-quality daylighting for viewing artwork as well as privacy and superior structural integrity that allows peace of mind.
Elgin Artspace Lofts
Elgin, Illinois, U.S.A.
A centerpiece Kalwall skylight was reintegrated into a 1908 Sears building being converted to a mixed-use space. Kalwall panels with .10 U values were chosen to provide exceptional thermal performance and low solar heat gain. The skylight provides diffuse daylight to both levels of this historic building and beautifully highlights the central gallery.
Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, California, U.S.A.
Perfectly diffuse top lighting by Kalwall allows the vibrant colors of the artwork below to come through naturally, as opposed to the harsh effects of artificial lighting.
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Sisika, Alberta, Canada
The architect of this breathtaking building viewed his design as “a reinterpretation of a vast range of Blackfoot cultures,” and Kalwall is a dominant feature in that design. Kalwall panels are used to create the central teepee that greets visitors as they enter this historical center that promotes and preserves the culture of the Siksika Nation Peoples. The panels emit an ethereal glow at night reminiscent of traditional lanterns created by ancient cooking fires, reflecting the functionality of teepees as well as a connectedness to earth and sky.
Company: Kalwall Corporation
Daylighting can be dramatic… and it can also be a hassle. Too much direct light can cause glare and hot-spots, leading to eye strain and an uncomfortable environment for building occupants. But there is a way to control solar heat gain and diffuse direct sunlight, making for a bright, evenly lit space that welcomes visitors and creates a more comfortable work and learning environment. What’s the solution? Translucent panel daylighting systems!
When designing the new Lac Vieux Desert Health Center in Watersmeet, Michigan, DSGW Architects met with Indian Health Service staff, tribal community members, clinic staff and providers, clinic task force members and the Tribal Council to help define and create a health center that includes 12 exam rooms, two procedure rooms, a nine-chair dental suite with lab services, retail pharmacy, imaging suite, clinical lab, chiropractic and physical therapy department, optical department, behavior health and family services, a community gathering room and more.
An integral part of the space is natural light – from both windows and skylights. A Guardian 275® skylight, as shown in the image above, helps bring light to a nurse’s station where uncontrolled light could cause an uncomfortably hot work environment and wreak havoc on computer screens. It also lessens the need for artificial light sources and makes for an inviting and welcoming space. (Not to mention the numerous studies that show access to natural light is beneficial to both staff and patients in healthcare environments.)
What can a translucent skylight do for your space? Call and talk with one of our staff members for more information @ 888-759-2678.
Company: Major Industries Inc.