New construction comprises a small amount of the total buildings in existence in the U.S., which means renovation work offers a lot of opportunities. As owners revisit buildings constructed 50-60 years ago they are realizing the return on investment renovation can create thanks to newer materials and designs that improve energy efficiency, drive occupancy and allow for higher rent prices.
According to KMR’s Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook report, more than 43% of glazing contractors anticipate an increase in retrofit/renovation work in 2019 compared to 2018.
Located in Springfield, Mass., Springfield Technical Community College’s new Student Learning Commons, is an example of a recent renovation that featured a lot of windows. The 170-year-old building, originally for storing gunstocks, was never fully enclosed, but now stands as the heart of the campus thanks to the use of SCW3000 Series windows from St. Cloud Window Inc. The renovation, which won a Robert H. Kuehn Award from Preservation Massachusetts, was designed by Ann Beha Architects located in Boston. The windows were installed by A&A Window Products of Malden, Mass.
Building 19 is part of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and is one of 13 National Historic Registered buildings on the college campus. It housed gunstocks from 1846 until it was closed and given to the college in 1968. However, because of the old infrastructure and the many considerations that go in to renovating and remodeling historic sites, it sat largely unused for nearly 50 years.
One of the largest challenges in updating Building 19 was its windows. Built as a storehouse for gunstocks more than 170 years earlier, it was never fully enclosed. Major updates would be required to make it an accessible, usable space. The building spans 767 feet long and three stories high, and the fenestration made up nearly 50 percent of the façade. This meant it needed a lot of windows – 552, to be exact. Due to the historic construction, no two windows were alike, with openings ranging from 10 by 7 feet to 10 by 13 feet.
The architect chose the SCW3000 series to update the windows while maintaining the building’s historical look and feel. St. Cloud Window worked with the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Historical Commission to develop the fenestration, fully enclosing the building while maintaining natural light. In addition, historical louvers originally designed for ventilation were retooled as exterior sun shades to manage and minimize heat.
Building 19 now stands as an accessible, sustainable and vibrant part of campus life. It houses administrative offices, student commons, student services, a health center, café, study spaces, a library, and campus bookstore.