Volume 46, Issue 7 - August 2011


2nd Annual USGlass Green Design Awards Finalists
Glass Demonstrates a Range of Green Attributes

Earlier this year, USGlass sent out a request for submissions to its 2nd Annual Green Design Awards, and received in reply a wide range of project profiles that demonstrate the many innovative ways in which glass can contribute to a building’s sustainability, energy-efficiency, environmental conscientiousness—in short, overall “greenness.”

Our judges were asked to review all submissions to choose the one they felt best showed how glass can be used as a green and sustainable part of a building. Our criteria seemed simple; the green experts reviewing submissions had much, much tougher standards.
The team of judges included:
• Keith Boswell, technical architecture director in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill;

• Kerry Haglund, senior research fellow, LEED AP Center for Sustainable Building Research University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and

• Arlene Z. Stewart, president of AZS Consulting Inc. in Gainesville, Fla.
After much deliberation, our judges selected three finalists for the USGlass Green Design Awards. Now it’s up to you to select the winner. Visit www.usglassmag.com or watch the daily USGNN.com™ newsletter to vote for the project that you think best represents the green attributes of glass. The winner will be featured in the September issue of USGlass.

Georgia Gwinnett College Library in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Architect: Leo A. Daly headquartered in Omaha, Neb.
Glass Fabricator: Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope™ headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif.
Glazing Contractor: Glass Systems in Lithonia, Ga.
Materials: PPG’s Solarban 70XL/ Starphire glass; Kawneer 1600 Wall System® 1 and 1600 Wall System® 2
Green Statement: Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) Library is the first commercial building to earn LEED Innovation in Design credit, in part, for its extensive application of high performing glass.

According to architect Todd Dolson, the transparency and environmental performance of Solarban 70XL glass by PPG played an integral role in the design of the library, the first LEED Gold-certified academic library in Georgia and one of only seven in the United States. The design goals of the project required glass that was as transparent as possible, providing the highest visible light transmittance, while achieving thermal performance required to achieve the project’s sustainability objectives.

The glass was part of an integrated sustainable design strategy that dictated the orientation and arrangement of the library, including the layout of its windows and shading devices, and the incorporation of high-efficiency lighting and mechanical systems. Together, these components helped produce a 32-percent drop in energy consumption.

The Starphire glass also was part of a Cradle-2-Cradle (C2C) certified curtainwall system by Kawneer. Since the glass and curtainwall system were both C2C-certified, their combined 2.9-percent of the total building material cost exceeded the 2.5 minimum value established by LEED criteria to achieve an Innovation in Design credit.

The GGC Library was designed to function as the intellectual and social heart of the campus. A large atrium provides 90 percent open views to and from the central campus green and walk, and saturates 75 percent of the interior space with natural daylight.

Grand Rapids Christian Elementary

Architect: AMDG Architects Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Glazing contractor: Glass Design Inc. in Rockford, Mich.
Materials: Window systems manufacturer: Wausau Window and Wall Systems in Wausau, Wis.; window systems glass: PPG Industries in Pittsburgh; curtainwall manufacturer: Tubelite Inc. in Walker, Mich.; window and curtainwall finisher: Linetec in Wausau, Wis.
Green Statement: Connection and community were integral design themes for the new Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School. Contributing to these aspects, and to the USGBC’s LEED certification criteria, the triple-glazed, insulating windows provide daylighting, views, as well as thermal performance for cold climates and durability for year-round use.

The 75,000-square-foot facility pools three separate, elementary schools into one building. Rather than simply replace these aging buildings, AMDG Architects presented an educational model that physically combines the separate facilities, while retaining the benefits of smaller classrooms. This allows students to come together for collaborative learning and community time.

Owner Grand Rapids Christian Schools also asked that the building design include flexibility for long-term use, sustainability and community outreach. In response, AMDG designed a sweeping, curved façade and an open lobby that encourages students to gather and interact, parents to visit and staff to meet. A key design component was to connect the indoor learning environment to the outdoor learning spaces visually.

Within Wausau’s LEED Silver-certified manufacturing center, the Advantage by Wausau® 3250i-BHM INvent™ Series standard, 3.5-inch-deep windows were triple-glazed to ensure high thermal performance. The windows’ Sungate® 500 low-E glass also helps control solar heat gain, while allowing natural light to flow through the learning spaces. The glass is C2C certified. The windows’ aluminum framing also was manufactured with a high percentage of recycled content and finished by Linetec in a protective, clear anodize. The window frames are slim to keep sightlines as clean and open as possible. Operable windows provide students and teachers with fresh air and natural ventilation, as the building does not have air conditioning.

Maximizing the opportunity for natural ventilation and daylight, glazing contractor Glass Design Inc. installed 145 individual window units on the building. To minimize time on the jobsite, up to five window units were stacked horizontally in a single assembly. The average span was three units wide configured as fixed-over-operable.

Glass Design also installed Tubelite’s 400 Series curtainwall on the school’s front entrance. The system’s aluminum framing also was manufactured using high recycled content and finished by Linetec in clear anodize. Selecting high-performance, durable materials with recycled content was one of several strategies implemented to meet LEED criteria and to reduce long-term operating costs. The school’s other sustainable features include energy- and water efficient products, environmentally-conscious landscaping and healthy interior material choices. Inside the building, the design themes of connection and community continue. In place of traditional classrooms, learning “pods” comprise eight classrooms, one flex-room and two team rooms all connected by one larger common space. Interior windows visually link the pod components together.

1800 Larimer Street in Denver

Architect: RNL headquartered in Denver
Glazing Contractors: Harmon Inc. in Denver
Materials: Glass fabrication from Viracon in Owatonna, Minn. (low-E IG); window wall from Wausau Window and Wall Systems in Wausau, Wis. (7250-UW Series unit wall, 6250 Series window wall and K-D Series wall system); entrances from Tubelite Inc. in Walker, Mich. (Monumental Wide Stile doors); structural glass wall from W & W Glass LLC in Nanuet, N.Y.; and aluminum finishing from Linetec in Wausau, Wis.
Green Statement: The Denver Central Business District’s first high-rise office in more than 25 years, 1800 Larimer, has become the first building in Colorado to be awarded LEED Platinum certification based on the LEED Core/Shell version 2.0. The 22-story building is clad in glass to maximize the sweeping views. However, a great deal of planning was put into the glass selection, in an effort to “right-size” the glass. This resulted in a green, sustainable building with enhanced occupant comfort.

The architectural team recognized that daylighting is not about letting the maximum amount of light into the building, but letting the right amount of light into the building. To create pleasant, daylit interiors without glare or thermal discomfort, Viracon helped create a unique glazing solution. Gray insulating glass with a low-E coating is the primary glass. The glass has a visible light transmission of 23 percent to allow enough light inside without glare or significant solar heat gain. This glass is broken up by large squares of blue insulating glass. The blue glass has a lower light transmission, 8 percent, but casts a striking contrasting light into the building.

Contrary to the general perception that low VLT glass blocks too much light, the lower light transmission of the glass allows for daylighting effectively, without glare. With no glare, occupants do not need to supplement daylight with artificial light.
The glass also offers an enhanced solar performance. The gray glass has a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.23, while the blue offers a SHGC of 0.16. This high solar performance decreases HVAC system requirements and reduces overall energy consumption.

This glazing configuration allows a high window-to-wall ratio with floor-to-ceiling windows to frame the views while also allowing appropriate daylighting levels. However, by using glass with tinted substrates and high-performance coatings with lower visible light transmission, the building controls the daylight, avoiding glare.

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