b y J o r d a n  
S c o t t  
BUILDING  
WITH SCIENCE,  
FOR SCIENCE  
2
Double Skin Façade Project Stands  
as an Achievement in Sustainability  
1
cientists work constantly to im-  
prove the lives of the nearly 7.6  
billion people on Earth through  
S
advances in technology, big and small.  
Some of the greatest changes have come  
in the field of medicine. Engineers, ar-  
chitects, manufacturers, contractors  
and the materials they use can assist  
through their own advancements, that  
improve the occupant comfort level  
without polluting the surrounding  
environment.  
The Jerome L. Greene Science Center  
will house dedicated space for Colum-  
bia University’s neuroscientists to con-  
tinue their fight against Parkinson’s  
and Alzheimer’s diseases. It’s part of  
the first phase of the university’s new  
Manhattanville Campus in West Har-  
lem, New York.  
Building occupants will be sur-  
rounded by natural light let in by a  
highly energy-efficient building enve-  
88  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | December 2017  
www.usglassmag.com  
Clockwise from left:  
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. The Jerome L. Greene Science Center’s double-skin façade is made up of six  
wall types. The building envelope is 175,988 square feet.  
. The mullion style was chosen to express the industrial ties of the building.  
. Each of the 189 double-skin façade units weighs an average of 4,500  
pounds.  
2
3
4
. Filtered air is pushed into the double skin through the base and picks up  
heat gain as it travels through the cavity and out through the top.  
directly on the building,the shades can very slender mullions. The system had  
retract and reveal a transparent façade. very small tolerances and the glass di-  
During overcast days,the shades are mensions had to be extremely precise.”  
retracted fully, allowing the maximum  
Enclos, the glazing contractor, was  
amount of daylight to enter through awarded the job in late 2010.According  
the extra clear glass. During sunny to vice president Jeffrey Vaglio, the ar-  
conditions, computers automatically chitectural team wanted to achieve the  
activate shades to the optimum posi- design intent by using specific mullion  
tion for light penetration, glare control, profile shapes to maintain minimal  
3
4
views and heat gain control,” he says.  
sightline obstructions, as well as oper-  
The double skin is closed and me- able doors that would allow access to  
chanically ventilated. Filtered air from the cavity space.  
the exhaust system is pushed into the  
“Being a double-skin facade with  
double skin through the base, then roller blinds in the cavity space, access  
travels through the cavity, picking up to them for cleaning and/or replace-  
heat gain from the shades and sending ment was a key consideration, with  
it out through the top.  
Computers calculate the best veloc- ment team’s ease of use over the build-  
ity and temperature to take full advan- ing’s life,” he says.  
thought given to the facility manage-  
tage of the double skin.In combination  
Vaglio explains that the double-skin  
with the automated shades, and inte- façade provided a unique opportunity  
rior daylighting system, it makes for to deliver and install units of the exterior  
a complex and very integrated facade and interior skins as a single assembly.  
system,” says Drouin.  
“Cast elements were used to span  
The building envelope is 175,988 the cavity space between the outer and  
square feet. It consists primarily of inner skins’ mullions, resulting in a  
transparent floor-to-ceiling glass.Each truss-like assembly that provided great  
lope. It is made up of six wall types, of the 189 double-skin façade units stiffness when lifting the deep assem-  
including a double-skin façade. The weighs an average of 4,500 pounds.  
bly,” he says. “In many areas, the units  
“The façade program incorporates were three modules wide by two stories  
chitecture firm Renzo Piano Building six wall types, including high-perfor- tall. Units were assembled in Virginia,  
mance structural facades, double-skin shipped to the site, lifted and installed  
Designed with science and for sci- walls, metal and glass canopies, and as 7-foot-10-inch by 29-foot-6-inch  
ence, the facade addresses the build- vestibules. In fact, AGC Interpane units.”  
science center was designed by ar-  
Workshop (RPBW).  
ing’s relationship with the surrounding supplied the whole glass for the dou-  
The U.S. Green Building Council  
industrial history of the neighborhood ble-skin wall used on the building,” selected Columbia University’s Man-  
and environmental context in a sus- says Eduardo Rosa, international busi- hattanville Campus expansion for the  
tainable way,” says Serge Drouin, as- ness manager at Interpane.  
Leadership in Energy and Environmen-  
Interpane provided their Ipawhite, tal Design (LEED) Neighborhood De-  
scientific dedicated program is lifted extra low-iron glass with a clear low-E sign pilot program.The 17-acre campus’  
aboveground, while the support spaces coating for the project. According to design earned LEED Platinum status. s  
are pushed underground. The highly Drouin, at 2 feet 7.5 inches by 14 feet 9  
sociate architect at Renzo Piano. “The  
transparent, permeable and active inches, the panels were larger than what  
ground floor called the “urban layer” is most domestic manufacturers could  
open to the public and the larger uni- produce within the required budget.  
J o r d a n S c o t t  
is an editorial  
assistant of USGlass  
magazine. She can  
be reached at  
versity community.”  
The curtainwall is composed of close-  
Automated shades within the dou- ly-spaced vertical mullions.Drouin says  
ble skin provide dynamic protection the mullion style was chosen to express  
from solar heat gain. Unlike fixed glass the industrial ties of the building.  
jscott@glass.com.  
coatings, when the sun is not shining  
“It was very important to maintain  
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December 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
89  

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