Volume 40,   Issue 7                                  July 2005

Sky Diving
Companies are Jumping into Innovative Overhead Glazing Applications

When you hear the term “overhead glazing” if you simply think of the basic skylight applications in your local shopping mall or, perhaps, the one in your neighbor’s bathroom, think again. Companies have given new meaning to that phrase, taking “skylight” applications to new heights. With architects vying for an increase in natural light and increased transparency, overhead glazing has evolved, in some instances, to overall glazing. The next two pages look at “overhead” glazing jobs that are far beyond ordinary.

The San Jose Civic Center, San Jose, California
Glazing Contractor: Enclos Corp., Eagan, Minn.
Glass Suppliers: Cricursa, Barcelona, Spain and Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.
Architect: Richard Meier Partners
Type of Glass Used: 1-inch insulating (tower and curtainwall); laminated, high-performance (rotunda)
Tower Completion Date: June 9, 2005
Rotunda Completion Date: Early fall 2005 (expected)
• The San Jose Civic Center consists of three parts: an 18-story tower, a council chamber and a 100-foot tall point-supported glass (PSG) rotunda. 
• Glass used on the tower and curtainwall was approximately 100,000 square feet.
• Panels used on the tower and curtainwall was approximately 190,000 square feet. 
• Approximately 20,000 square feet of glass and 16,000 square feet of panels were used in the rotunda. 
• Total manpower for the tower, including glaziers and ironworkers, was 30 workers at the peak of construction.
• Total manpower for the rotunda, including glaziers and ironworkers, was 20 workers at the peak of construction.
• The tower features 13 glass and/or aluminum canopies and approximately 20,000 square feet of skylights.
• The rotunda features a PSG wall dome and cylinder. “This was the first application of its type in the world in a ‘dome’ of point supported glass wall,” said Ron Montgomery, project executive with Enclos. “The means and the method for the PSG system was totally custom designed, developed solely for this application.”

General Motors Global Headquarters - Jefferson Plaza Detroit
Specialty Glazing Contractor: MERO Structures Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wis.
Glass Supplier: Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Type of Glass Used: Clear, laminated glass was used on the roof structure; clear monolithic class was used in the wall portion.
Glazing System: A “football” shaped cable net, engineered, furnished and installed by MERO Structures
Completion Date: October 2004
Total Surface Area: 12, 150 square feet
• The scope of MERO’s work included all glass, stainless steel cables, columns and stainless steel roof trusses. 
• MERO says the cable net “represents one of the most transparent structures ever built in the United States. 
• The lightweight structure consists of stainless steel vertical cables joined to parabolic cables by stainless king posts shaped like cigars. 

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