Volume 47, Issue 6 - June 2012


Stopping the Wind … and Rain
Two Studies in Hurricane Glazing

Protecting the Children: The Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.
Crawford Tracey Corp. in Deerfield Beach, Fla., recently completed the glazing package for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

The $140 million freestanding children’s hospital showcases its theme of “Power of Play” throughout the exterior glass with each floor representing themes of sports, arts, games and dreams. The company utilized 25,000 square feet of high-performance window systems throughout the hospital. Among these was the company’s own Pro-Tech 7SG curtainwall and Pro-Tech 45 window system, which have water test ratings of 100 pounds per square foot (PSF). Both are structural glazed systems.

The project was completed in September 2011. Viracon was the glass fabricator for the job, and the company’s reflective laminated glass line was utilized, according to Ray Crawford, CEO of Crawford-Tracey.

Crawford-Tracey became involved in the project early in its history. “We were brought in by the design team and contractor at the beginning of the project,” says Crawford. “We were involved, just shy of a year, eight to ten months prior to the commencement of construction.”

The company had worked with the building owner and general contractor previously, leading to this design-assist relationship. The actual project was quite lengthy.

“Actual installation from the time the openings were ready to the time we completed our portion was about five or six months,” says Crawford.

“It was an excellent project—very rewarding,” he adds.

Heavy Weight: Performance Glass Completes
Large Glass Installation in Palm Beach, Fla.

Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Performance Glass recently completed a hurricane-resistant installation of a 2-inch-thick piece of glass, made up of two laminated lites of impact-resistant glass and an insulating air spacer at a high-end residential project located on the ocean in Palm Beach, Fla.

“It is a single-family oceanfront estate home and this glass gave the owner unobstructed views of the ocean while complying with engineering for Florida’s hurricane impact-resistant codes,” says Louis Ferrusi, vice president of Performance Glass.

The project was just completed in March.

The installation consisted of seven lites of glass ranging from 97 square feet, weighing more than 2,500 pounds, to pieces that were 161 square feet, weighing 4,200 pounds a piece.

Rochester Insulated Glass (RIG) in Manchester, N.Y., fabricated the glass for the job.

“All seven pieces were installed in only two days with four men and an operator,” says Ferrusi.

With any project this large and unusual comes challenges, of course.

“The first challenge was finding equipment that could lift a two-ton piece of glass and safely manipulate it into a frame that was only slightly larger than the glass itself,” says Ferrusi. “The heaviest piece was in excess of 4,000 pounds and 160 square feet, and every piece of glass had to be installed into a framing system with only ˝-inch tolerances to comply with the strict Florida hurricane impact codes. After unsuccessfully searching for an existing vacuum glass manipulator that would work, we had a custom rig made with a lifting capacity of over 5,000 pounds. To our knowledge, there isn’t another piece of equipment that is available to lift a piece of glass of this size or weight.”

The lifting rig consisted of eight individual vacuum cups; power rotation; and a self-leveling 1,300-pound counterweight system. The crane utilized was a 75-ton machine with the ability to carry the glass from one end of the property to the openings some 100 feet away, according to Ferrusi.

The home’s location also was a hurdle. “The home is located directly on the beach prohibiting any equipment to operate from that side of the site,” he says. “The only area the glass could be staged was on the west side of the site and the installation points were located on the east side. We used a 75-ton crane, supplied by Hunter Crane, to fly the glass with the manipulator around the property and into the custom-made framing system.”

Performance became involved with the project through the glass fabricator, RIG.

“The homeowner and his engineer worked directly with the glass manufacturer, Rochester Insulated Glass, who recommended our company to do the installation,” says Ferrusi.

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