P r o j e c t s
Florida Hurricane-Rated Project Passes Test
for Daylighting, Impact Performance
The recently completed
A.K. Suter school
project in Pensacola,
Fla., featured a variety
that incorporated maximum daylighting, including
in the fire stairwells.
The daylighting is great for the students and
also helps capture exterior views, allowing [them]
the benefit of exterior orientation even when
inside,” says Caldwell architect David Thomas.
Above the Curve
The project features many arched tops,
including a half circle at the main entrance. Eric
Hanssen, vice president at Hanssen, says the
peaks on top of the curtainwall also tested the
installers, as did the artistic muntin design. “The
entire building incorporates a unique look with
its muntin patterns, which are almost like tree
branches,” he says.
Mike Rogers of Coral says other challenges that
were overcome included the coordination of custom
hardware for the entrances, as well as the ever-strin-
gent compliance with Florida energy codes.
Energy efficiency was at the forefront of the
s far as glazing goes, the A.K. Suter Elementary
School has a little bit of everything.
Designed by Caldwell Associates Architects, the glazing, as many of the openings incorporated sun-
new 120,000-square-foot building in Pensacola,
shades, and Viracon supplied high-performance
glass for the project.
Fla., replaced the original school that was built in
the early 1900s. The project, executed by general
contractor Morette Co., was completed in the
summer of 2015.
The job included three 21-foot-high curtainwall
elevations, 12 entrances and 85 various store-
front openings. Pensacola-based Hanssen Glass
Thomas says his firm used “a glass that was
attractive, hurricane-resistant, [and also provided]
energy performance.” He says Caldwell, Morette,
Hanssen and Coral “met and discussed require-
ments of the system prior to installation.”
installed approximately 1,500 square feet of Coral Team Work
Architectural Products’ hurricane impact-resistant
curtainwall, as well as 5,000 square feet of store-
According to Hanssen, his company worked
with Caldwell throughout the design develop-
ment, making decisions on window types and
Natural light was critical for the project, as both glass products. This is something, he says, that is
Caldwell and the school district desired a design always important.
Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal