NY Architects Get a Lesson in Glass from AGC-Interpane

The TWA Hotel Showroom, located on the 86th floor of 1 World Trade Center, was an appropriate venue for AGC-Interpane to host an educational program about architectural glass yesterday. After all, the company is supplying triple glazed-triple laminated glass for the new TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, currently under construction. Architects from many of New York’s top firms, including SOM, Arup and Shop Architects, took part in the sessions held yesterday afternoon. The event covered some of the biggest issues architects are facing related to architectural glass.

Saul Papaleo (left) and Gregor Ranner of AGC Interpane spoke yesterday in New York about the company’s new Coating on Demand service.

Anisotropy–a hot topic of late–was on the agenda during yesterday’s program.  Luis Hidalgo, AGC Interpane Plattling quality control manager talked about the issue and how to work with it.

He noted that depending on the position, there can be different stresses in the glass. For example, some areas are hotter/cooler in the heat/quench than others. He said one thing to know is that you can’t ensure glass won’t have temperature differences; those are the stress levels.

He also talked about some of the new approaches/scanners for measuring anisotropy in different ways, and said that low iron, thick glass and heat-strengthened glass are all types of glass more likely than others to show anisotropy.

While there aren’t any standards currently available for measuring anisotropy, one architect commented that limits of acceptability are discussed constantly.

Christin Kilger, AGC Interpane Plattling international sales manager, talked about oversized insulating glass (IG) units, and their capabilities and challenges. He also showed some project examples.

According to Kilger, there are a number of the challenges related to oversized glass. These include the glass thickness as well as structural integrity. He said Interpane has help from its engineering department on structural calculations and thermal stress analysis.

Another challenge is glass availability and the supply chain. Most float factories do not stock oversized glass as standard. Interpane works with a network of special glass processors for this so its main focus is on coating and insulating of oversized units.

IG production itself can also be a challenge because of the handling/lifting requirement. Kilger said it’s important to automate as much as possible, adding that his company is automating the spacer application.

The next challenge is packing and delivery. Here, it’s critical to use the appropriate crates and containers. Oversized glass, he pointed out, is too big for standard containers.

Kilger also talked about a few oversized glass project examples, and pointed to the TWA Hotel, which he said is not oversized in height, but in thickness. This is primarily to improve acoustics.

Other concurrent sessions included those that offered a closer look at topics such as typical glazing failures, European vs. U.S. standards, quality inspections and standards, and more.

The final session of the program offered attendees a closer look at the company’s new Coating on Demand process. Saul Papaleo, AGC Interpane coating products manager, and Gregor Ranner, AGC Interpane general manager, led the session, explaining that this service allows architects to choose the exact coating, product, performance, etc.

“You choose everything and we produce what you decide,” said Papaleo.

The Coating on Demand process includes a one-day session at the company’s plant in Germany. Once there, architects choose a building that simulates their design and play with glass color, performance, etc. through the software.

“You can define exactly what you need in your building,” said Papaleo. “You will decide the characteristics of the coating in your building.” Architects will leave that day with a sample of the glass they created.

So far there are four Coating on Demand projects. These include the Vista Tower project in Chicago, the first in the U.S. The Hotel Porta Volta in Milan was the first project (completed in November 2016).

“This is a tailor-made service,” said Papelo. “It’s your product.”

Yesterday’s program concluded with a buffet dinner and impressive views of Manhattan at night.

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