Transparency and daylighting were important to architect EHDD when designing San Francisco’s industrial arts-focused Lick-Wilmerding High School. To achieve aesthetic and performance desires, they worked with Solarban® 70 glass from Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) for new skylights and a curtainwall addition to the existing building.

Located in san Francisco, Lick-Wilmerding High School features Vitro glass and was designed for transparency, daylighting and occupant comfort. Photography:
Michael David Rose Photography

The new third-story curtainwall, with its mullion-less silicone joints, rests lightly on top of the historic building below and integrates with the existing mid-century curtainwall. For added thermal performance, the architect added interior acrylic glazing to the older system.

The design provides daylit hallways and break-out spaces to help promote collaboration and interaction. Based on information gathered from daylight modeling analysis, the other skylights were strategically placed to graze hallway walls to ensure there weren’t any areas that were too dark compared to the rest of the space. Transom windows above the doors in the corridor also help achieve this goal.

The glazed curtainwall addition and new skylights served as a way to bring more daylight into the interior, which was restricted in height by the city’s historic preservation guidelines. Following the renovation, the building posted a very high occupant survey satisfaction score of 94% based on air quality, acoustic quality, lighting and thermal comfort.

To further mitigate solar heat gain, EHDD designed the curtainwall with line frit patterning incorporating different percentages of frit. All spaces are further equipped with individually controlled roller shades.

An exterior awning provides additional shading, integrates into the soffit structure and both references and continues the historic roof eave.

The renovation and addition earned an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) 2022 top green building award and a 2020 Livable Building of the Year award from the Center for the Built Environment at the University of Berkeley.