P r o j e c t s  
Grade-A Glass  
Florida Hurricane-Rated Project Passes Test  
for Daylighting, Impact Performance  
The recently completed  
A.K. Suter school  
project in Pensacola,  
Fla., featured a variety  
of hurricane-rated  
glazing applications.  
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-  
front glazing.  
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  
P r o j e c t s  
An artistic muntin pattern in the curtainwall eleva-  
tions was a unique glazing design element.  
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Arched tops are a prominent feature in the school’s  
various entrances.  
The glazing installation was done in three  
phases and took approximately five to six months  
with some gaps in between. All sizes for the square  
openings were guaranteed early in the process,  
which allowed Hanssen to build the frames and  
order the glass ahead of time.  
One of the biggest decisions made from a glaz-  
ing standpoint involved the classroom windows.  
The project called for at least one egress window  
per classroom. Originally the architect drew in  
sliding windows in the storefront framing for that  
Morette worked closely with the surrounding  
purpose, but Hanssen advised them against that and businesses and residents to coordinate construction  
instead recommended a casement outswing window. activities in order to minimize disruptions to those  
We went with a zero sightline outswing case-  
areas. According to Morette, this was important  
ment,” he says. “There are casement vents in these due to a very constricted project site situated in a  
windows, but you can’t even tell they’re there.”  
residential neighborhood.  
Summer 2016