Safety And Wellness With Vitro Architectural Glass

Coast to coast, two recent projects using Vitro’s glass products highlight hurricane-resistant features and patient centered design.

Grove at Grand Bay, an upscale 98-unit Florida condominium featuring hurricane-resistant design and Solarban® 72Starphire® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) withstood 100 mph winds when Hurricane Irma made landfall in September 2017. As Jason Gilg, senior development manager of Terra Group, the building’s owner, notes, Grove at Grand Bay “did extremely well—including the hurricane-impact glass.”

Grove at Grand Bay in Cocoa Beach, FL (Photo: Tom Kessler)

Located in Coconut Grove, FL and designed by renowned Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group, Grove at Grand Bay consists of two 20-story towers coiled into identical tornado-like twists that provide a stylized buffer against hurricane-force winds while offering residents optimal views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. Completed in 2016, it is the tallest twisting structure in the Western Hemisphere and the first of its kind in the United States.

Windows and 12-foot-high floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors for the $400 million project were fabricated by Tecnoglass with hurricane-resistant, insulated Solarban 72 glass laminated with three lites of Starphire glass. The railings and balconies are laminated with two lites of Starphire glass. Tecnoglass engineers designed the doors using three pieces of ¼-inch Solarban 72 glass.

A composite core of concrete and steel internal plates for the towers’ shear walls enabled the building engineers to limit their thickness to 30 inches, less than half the 6-foot thickness required by local building codes for such structural reinforcements. Additional stability is provided by the installation of cambered, or arched, floor plates and pressure-injected auger-cast piles averaging 80 feet in depth.

The building received the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York’s 2016 engineering excellence award and a 2016 Concrete Reinforced Steel Institute (CRSI) Honors Award in the Residential Building category.

The first LEED Gold Certified residential building in Miami-Dade County, Grove at Grand Bay incorporates multiple sustainable design measures. They include an 80% reduction in the amount of potable water for irrigation and the installation of high-efficiency chillers and variable-speed exhaust in the heating and cooling systems. The project also features recycled and locally sourced materials, and sustainably harvested wood.

Formulated with the industry’s most advanced triple-silver coating that is engineered for use on Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, Solarban 72 glass has visible light transmittance (VLT) of 71 percent with a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 and a light-to-solar gain (LSG) ratio of 2.37.

In other Vitro Architectural Glass news, a healthcare facility that includes Vitro’s Solarban® 70XL solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glass on Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass as a key component receive a Healthcare Design Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA)/Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH). The University of California San Diego (UCSD) Health Jacobs Medical Center, designed by CannonDesign, is a 509,500-square-foot, 245-bed medical and surgical specialty hospital that functions as three discrete medical centers housing inpatient services for high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care, cancer care and advanced surgical care. The facility is part of the UCSD Health System.

UCSD Health Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, CA (Photo: Tom Kessler)

In its recognition, AIA/AAH said that the building “demonstrates a consistent design vocabulary, inside and out” and that “the innovative use of form for the patient units carries all the way through.” To achieve the hospital’s vision of patient-first care, all patient rooms are designed as private suites with floor-to-ceiling windows fabricated with ultra-clear Solarban 70XL glass and a “smart” bed that is oriented for panoramic views of La Jolla, CA.

Many of the facility’s 10 stories feature the vision glass splitting from the spandrel glass, curving wavelike beyond and behind the concrete slabs. Because these “folds” concave two feet into the building’s interior, the freeform curved structure minimizes traditional 90-degree building corners. This unique curvilinear form was driven by the design of the patient units, as well as by advanced modeling to capitalize on views, maximize daylight and minimize solar gain and glare.

Glazing contractor ENCLOS provided more than 205,000 square feet of curtain wall and a 9,637-square-foot point-supported structural glass wall. Northwestern Industries (NWI) of Seattle, a member of the Vitro Certified™ Network, was the glass fabricator.

The primary cladding consists of a front-glazed, unitized curtain wall system featuring triple-silver Solarban 70XL glass coated on Starphire Ultra-Clear low-iron glass and spandrel shadow-box glazing. The curvilinear glass and frame system includes more than 40 radiused dimensions, including both concave and convex surfaces. The point-fixed structural glass façade wall incorporates glass fins, nearly 3,900 square-feet of glazed guardrails and more than 5,300 square-feet of column covers and panels.

Construction of Jacobs Medical Center, which opened in November 2016, was part of the expansion of the UCSD Health System’s campus; it was Southern California’s largest ongoing health care project and the second-largest in state history.

With center-of-glass visible light transmittance (VLT) of 64 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.27 in a standard 1-inch insulating glass unit (IGU), Solarban 70XL glass is one of the industry’s highest performing solar control low-e glasses. Introduced in 1990, Starphire Ultra-Clear glass remains the clearest, most transparent commercial float glass available today, with VLT of 91 percent in a standard ¼-inch (6 millimeter) thickness.