Solarban R100/Bronze Glass Helps Charlotte’s Capitol Towers Earn LEED Gold

Photo: Tom Kessler

Inspired by classical pavilion architecture, using a Doric Order and monumental half-round column design, Capitol Towers in Charlotte, N.C., is a newly iconic office building combining old-world Roman influence with high-performance glazing and modern energy efficiency. The ornate façade, designed by LS3P in Charlotte, showcases concrete pillars and a prominent glass façade, glazed with Solarban R100 on bronze glass by Vitro Architectural Glass.

Slated for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the gold level, the design prescribed preferential parking for low-emission vehicles, smart HVAC and air filtering systems and solar control low-E glazing.

“We chose Solarban R100 glass because its bronze coloration complemented the overall building color palette and its performance was vital to helping us attain LEED Gold certification,” said Jim Williams, vice president and studio leader for LS3P. “Even with the classical design, we achieved a 60/40 glass-to-solid-wall for the overall façade.”

A mixed-use structure, Capitol Towers includes 470,000 square feet of office space, a seven-level, 1,700-capacity parking garage and 30,000 square feet of retail space. To minimize local impact and attract progressive businesses, energy efficiency and sustainability were major design considerations.

1st Choice Glass of Monroe, N.C., installed floor-to-ceiling windows fabricated with Solarban R100 glass throughout the building, except for the street-level windows where local building code dictate the use of clear glass. Solarban R100 glass advances the structure’s energy efficiency ambitions by uniting a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.23 with visible light transmittance (VLT) of 42%, according to the company.

The structure also was designed for visibility. A coffered dome, functioning as a mechanical screen, tops off the building off at a height of 200 feet. With an exterior reflectance of 32%, Solarban R100 on bronze glass delivers a natural aesthetic that harmonizes beautifully with the concrete exterior while affording views of Charlotte’s Carnegie District of SouthPark, according to the company.

“The high-performance, energy-efficient, windows at Capitol Towers allow for an abundance of natural light to fill the space without the radiant heat gain from the sun,” said Patrick Stark, vice president and director of energy and sustainability for property manager Lincoln Harris. “The windows allow tenants to keep their blinds open and connect with the outdoors without sacrificing comfort or energy efficiency.”

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