Volume 50, Issue 11 - November 2015


Bright Ideas: Guardian Glass Helps Buist Academy Students See the Light

The recently completed Buist Academy in Charleston, S.C., features high-performance glazing
products supplied by Guardian Industries.

Advances in design and construction have taken school projects to a whole new level. Dark classrooms and drab interiors have given way to beautiful facilities that incorporate vast amounts of natural light, which studies have shown help improve student performance.

Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based Stubbs Muldrow Herin architects (SMHa) navigated the challenge of designing Buist Academy, a K-8 magnet school, in historic, coastal Charleston, S.C. This included facing the analysis and sometimes-stringent requirements of the Board of Architectural Review, resulting in an award-winning project.

Glass, brick and cast stone make up the façade of the three-story, 68,000-square-foot structure, which complements the adjacent original school building, simultaneously renovated by SMHa. The new building has the capacity for 500 students and includes a cafeteria, gymnasium and media center. Guardian Industries had a crucial role to play in the school’s design. The company supplied its SunGuard SNX 62/27 glass for the building’s exterior.
According to information from Guardian, high-performance, low-E, triple-silver products, such as its SunGuard SNX 62/27 on CrystalGray glass, add an important benefit: The glass keeps energy costs low by blocking solar heat gain. When SunGuard SNX 62/27 is applied to the No. 2 surface of the company’s CrystalGray outboard lite, it allows in 45 percent of visible light, while keeping the solar heat gain coefficient at a low 0.22.

“SMHa specifying SunGuard SNX 62/27 glass for Buist Academy’s new building is a great example of how the most advanced architectural glass can fit into projects that must comply with environmental and historic preservation guidelines,” says Chris Dolan, director of marketing, North America, Guardian Industries Corp. “Triple silver products are great choices for architects and designers wanting to deliver abundant daylight and manage solar heat at the same time.”

The glass was fabricated by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, a Guardian Select® fabricator and installed by Charleston Glass Company based in North Charleston, S.C. According to information from Guardian, the SunGuard glass product line for commercial applications offers excellent solar control and a wide variety of colors and performance levels.

Among its recognitions, Buist Academy earned an Honor Award from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) South Carolina Chapter, as well as the Best Design Award for the CEFPI Southeast Region. It was also granted a 2014 Founders Award from the Historic Charleston Foundation and the 2014 Brick in Architecture National Bronze Award, Renovation/Restoration.


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