2nd Annual USGlass Green Design Awards
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,
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
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
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
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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