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Cladding With Copper

The versatility, appearance, and durability of copper cladding have increased demand for the material both as an exterior covering and building trim.


Mark Kenville


Long life and low maintenance are the driving forces behind any commercial building exterior treatment. Of the many available options, metal has emerged as the cladding of choice in many parts of the country. In New England, there has been a notable trend by designers and builders to use copper cladding for new construction and renovations. The metal has become particularly popular in school designs.

“Our firm uses a lot of metal cladding in our educational designs,” said Pip Lewis, AIA, a senior associate at HMFH Architects Inc., Cambridge, MA. “More often than not, we use copper panels over other manufactured metals. We like using copper because of its longevity, as well as its appealing look. I like to add copper for some punch to a design, even if it’s only in a canopy over an entryway. Copper adds a tactile depth of texture and conveys a great sense of quality as you’re entering the building.”v

The entrance to the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Beaver Country Day School uses copper cladding to visually connect the new building with the old classroom building. Brick further enhances the architectural integration.

Additionally, Lewis noted that copper is a slightly less expensive than brick and does not require any maintenance. “Copper lasts for years. Although the patinas will change slightly, it doesn’t need repainting like other metals,” Lewis said

Similarly, Dan Flanagan, division manager for institutional work at Erland Construction, Burlington, MA, commented that, in his experience, metal has become more popular in school building projects. “We’ve been involved in the construction of several educational buildings where metal cladding has been used prominently. Metals are more flexible in design and aren’t as costly as brick,” he said. He added that his company had completed a number of school projects recently that incorporated copper in a variety of design elements.

This movement toward use of copper on building exteriors is driven by its durability and attractiveness. It is a highly malleable metal that is easily fabricated, will not rust or corrode, and never needs painting. Because of its environmentally friendly qualities, copper is being incorporated into many university projects to generate LEED credits and certification.”

An example of this trend can be seen at the Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill, MA, where copper cladding was instrumental in integrating the modern design of a new visual and performing arts center with the architecture of 80-yr.-old New England brick structures.

Beaver Country Day School was incorporated in 1920 by a group of Boston-area parents who wished to have a “progressive” school where students were taught through creativity and play, as well as hard work. Today, the school is a private, independent, co-educational, college-preparatory institution with 410 students in grades 6 through 12. In 1999, the school initiated a master plan to meet its growing academic program and an anticipated increase in enrollment, while maintaining its standard of educational excellence. HMFH Architects was hired in early 2002 to plan and design an expansion and renovation of the existing 17-acre wooded campus to address program needs in performing and visual arts and athletics.

One of the priority projects was to address the need for a substantial amount of additional space for visual and performing arts. Although renovating and expanding underused existing space was initially considered, the decision was made to construct a new facility and connect it to the existing main classroom building.

For Lewis, being charged with designing the school’s new Visual and Performing Arts Center involved incorporating a state-of-the-art facility with the existing buildings of the school’s campus-some of which dated back to the 1920s. It was a project full of endless creative possibilities.

“Officials at the school did not place any restrictions on the facility design,” Lewis said. “There were no preconceived thoughts on how it should look.” Yet, Lewis recognized that the building was part of a long-established New England educational environment and needed to harmonize with the surroundings. While several designs were proposed, a brick structure with exterior copper cladding and accents helped bridge the …

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Window Film Repels Solar Heat

Occupants of Inlow Hall at Eastern Oregon Univ., an historical building, used a spectrally selective window film to reduce the effects of solar heat while not compromising the building’s appearance


According to the California Energy Commission, 30% of a building’s cooling requirement is a function of heat entering through existing glass. Carol Kroll, director of human resources at Eastern Oregon Univ., La Grande, OR, certainly is a believer in that statistic. Her office in Inlow Hall, the university administration building, faces a wall of glass through which the sun often raised temperatures to more than 90 F.

Thanks to V-Kool’s clear, spectrally selective window film, Inlow Hall occupants are able to work in a cooler environment.

“It was impossible to work in the afternoons,” Kroll declared, explaining that an air-conditioning unit in an outer office did little to cool things down. In an effort to block incoming solar energy, Kroll applied gold- and silver-colored heat reflective film to the interior of her office windows. The result was not much of a drop in temperature but a definite raising of administrative eyebrows.

“Inlow Hall is an historic structure whose appearance can’t be altered,” Kroll explained. The use of colored film on her office windows was very visible and substantially changed the external appearance of the two-story building, which was built in 1929 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Rather than jeopardize the revered building’s enlistment in the National Register, Kroll removed the colored film from her office windows and tried less-obvious heat blocking options, including traditional window blinds and shower curtain rods from which was hung a room-darkening fabric. Nothing seemed to bring the temperature to acceptable levels.

Fortunately, Kroll learned about V-Kool clear window film, manufactured by V-Kool Inc., Houston. The product was originally developed for the United State’s space and defense programs and with a process known as sputtering in which tiny particles of exotic metals are embedded in optically clear, durable polyester film. A durable, pressure-sensitive adhesive is adhered on one side of the film. On the other side is a durable scratch-resistant coating to ensure a long life. V-Kool is spectrally selective and allows in 73% of visible light, while blocking more than 90% of the infrared spectrum. This means windows remain visibly clear but cut out 55% of the solar heat.

“We were particularly interested in V-Kool because it is a clear film that blocks heat, reduces the temperature, and does not change the appearance of a building,” Kroll explained.…

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Windows Let the Sun Shine In

Windows from Simonton provide sunlight for multi-housing living spaces.


Even with an age difference of 50 years, college students and senior citizens benefit from ample amounts of sunlight. Both groups, at several multi-housing facilities across the country, are energized by natural sunlight exploding into their living spaces.

Azuza Pacific Univ.’s Trinity Hall boasts 420 insulating glass units filled with argon gas that reduces temperature transference and helps reduce outside noise.

At Kendal on Hudson’s continuing-care retirement community on the banks of the Hudson River, almost 5,000 windows connect residents with outdoor views. The 20-acre complex has floor-to-ceiling windows in common rooms and easy-to-operate, crank-out casement windows in 222 living units.

“Our Hudson River Valley setting was specifically selected to offer residents wide vista views,” said Patricia Doyle, executive director of the Sleepy Hollow, NY-based Kendal on Hudson. “Our residents find the [abundant use] of Simonton windows (Simonton Windows, Parkersburg, WV) throughout our complex really helps create a positive ambiance and allows them to easily see the ever-changing countryside.”

Another adult-living community relying on extensive use of windows in its design is Prestwick Chase in historic Saratoga Springs, NY. “The segmented-arch, two-story atrium allowed us to connect residents with the outdoors using walls of windows,” said architect Ethan Halls with Rucinski Hall Architecture, Saratoga Springs. “This facility includes 167 suites and private cottages, along with major central gathering areas. It was important that we specify energy-efficient windows.”

“People at this facility are very active, so they don’t have the time or desire to worry about their homes. The advantages of vinyl windows and doors are plentiful. Our research clearly showed that products from Simonton would be the ideal fit,” Hall said.

Across the country, in Azuza, CA, David Zeidman, a supervisor with Commerce Construction, Azuza, CA, also found that window selection was a critical issue when constructing a dormitory for Azuza Pacific Univ. The five-story, 350-bed Trinity Hall freshman dorm was constructed with wings featuring meeting rooms, computer labs, and gathering spaces.

“We ordered low-e glass to help maintain even temperatures in the dorm rooms during all seasons,” Zeidman said. For energy efficiency, each of the 420 insulating glass units is filled with argon gas. The non-toxic, colorless gas reduces temperature transference from the outdoors to the interior of the dorm rooms. As an added benefit, the argon has helped reduce outside noise from penetrating the building, so students have a quiet study environment.

Other students living and going to classes with secure windows include those at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbus, SC. Before 250 Simonton vinyl windows were installed in the historic campus buildings, windows would not close properly, panes would fall out, and gusty winds blew through dorm rooms.

“Maintenance and upkeep on the old wood windows was killing us,” said Tom O’Brien, vice president of business affairs at the seminary. “I believe this is the first building on the Columbia Historic register with vinyl windows. They look like the windows we took out, but maintaining them is much easier. Most importantly, as energy costs escalate, we now have windows that offer us long-term savings.”

The maintenance ease and energy efficiency of vinyl windows is changing the way many multi-housing contractors view vinyl windows. According to Simonton’s senior product manager Bill Lazor, the same reliable construction that makes vinyl windows appealing for homeowners is duplicated ten-fold when dealing with multi-housing projects.

“We’re seeing a steady increase in the specification and installation of our vinyl windows and doors in multi-housing projects. From oceanfront apartment and condo complexes featuring our hurricane-resistant windows to historic renovation projects of campuses, the benefits of well-constructed vinyl windows are quickly expanding in the multi-housing marketplace,” Lazor said.…

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A Clear Design Goal

Today’s windows provide more than just a view. They have to protect, and even help to green, modern commercial spaces.


Joshua Early, TRACO


Windows in a commercial building provide a view to the outside world, but today are also becoming an integrated part of the overall building design and must satisfy more than just the building occupant. Architects, owners, facility managers, contractors, and historic-landmark experts all have higher expectations for windows. This increasingly includes a requirement that windows also contribute to today’s green building practices.

More than just providing a view to the outdoors, today’s windows help protect building and occupants.

Windows also have to satisfy a higher level of security against terrorist threats; provide protection against horrific weather; still provide natural daylight, energy savings, long-term performance; and offer architectural aesthetic appeal. Window research-and-development teams are exploring technologies such as dynamic glazing, photovoltaic designs, and automatic controls to meet a demanding and evolving commercial window market.

Green windows
According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources, i.e., energy, water, and materials, while reducing building impact on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal-throughout the building’s lifecycle.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, architects, real-estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders, and government officials use LEED certification to help transform the built environment to sustainability. State and local governments across the country are adopting LEED for public-owned and public-funded buildings; there are LEED initiatives in federal agencies, including the Depts. of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and State; and LEED projects are in progress in 41 countries, including Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and India.

Windows play a big role in green design. They contribute to indoor environmental quality, optimized energy performance, and recycled content for LEED project points. Energy-efficient products help with the overall building energy assessment and thermal comfort for the building occupants.

Windows are a primary source of energy exchange in a commercial building. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), Washington, windows are the weak link in the building envelope, and as much as 30% of the energy loss in buildings is through windows. One sq. ft. of window conducts approximately 10 times as much heat as 1 sq. ft. of wall. By increasing the energy efficiency of windows, a commercial building can reduce its requirement for air conditioning and heating, and because electricity is a major contributor of nitrogen oxide, help lower levels of nitrogen oxide emissions as well.

“Energy is an increasingly important issue for builders and developers these days. We have a great challenge with aluminum products, but we are continuing to find the technology to meet the standards. We have to maximize the performance of the components that are needed for new and renovated buildings,” said Mike Manteghi, director of research and development for window supplier TRACO, Cranberry Township, PA, and a board member of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), Greenbelt, MD.

The DOE is pushing to ultimately achieve zero-energy commercial buildings by the year 2025, according to Manteghi. “As a result, we are looking at the U-value of the overall product and solar-heat gain coefficient[SHGC]. We are also seeing a trend toward high-performance glass and the use of more glass in the future to brighten buildings,” Manteghi added.

There are two energy-code criteria that must be met-SHGC, and the U-value of the thermal property. High-performance windows with low U-factors result in inside glass surface temperatures much closer to the room air temperature. Windows with warm-edge technologies and non-metal frames are also less likely to have condensation on the frame or at the glass edge.

Using windows for daylighting offers several benefits to the building and its occupants. Daylighting can reduce electricity consumption from the interior lights when used in conjunction with automatic lighting controls. This saves energy costs when the natural daylight is sufficient and the electric lights are dimmed. Natural daylight also provides a healthier building environment by providing a positive effect on the occupants and potentially making the environment more productive. The following issues continue to be important in window design when considering …

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Glass Hardware Keeps Luxury Cars in View

The goal was to ensure that luxury cars, including Mercedes Benz and Jaguar, could be seen from every possible angle and to the best advantage. The answer was to install the Manet Compact system that includes glass hardware designed to maximize glass surf


Filled with high-end Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, and Lexus automobiles, the showroom at Manhattan Auto Group, New York, required a sleek interior design to display the luxury merchandise. One goal was to eliminate unwanted bulky hardware elements that would detract from the cars.

Privacy and an unobstructed view of the dealership’s high-end cars was accomplished with Dorma’s compact Manet system at the Manhattan Auto Group.

The Manet Compact system, a glass hardware product family that maximizes glass surfaces and transparency, was an ideal answer. The unobtrusive system, from Dorma Glass, Millersville, MD, is used throughout the showroom to provide a crystal-clear view of the exquisite cars on display, while Manet Compact pivot doors bring style to individual sales office and entrance doors.

The system was a perfect fit for the specialty automotive dealer, which bases its success partly on a superior car-shopping experience, including the elegant look and feel of the dealership. Upon entering the modern showroom, customers are greeted and brought into a specialty glass-encased office for privacy, but the merchandise remains in full view at all times. After meeting with a sales associate, the customer is either brought a car directly or may be taken to view the car in the multi-story showroom building.

The Manet Compact system can be used on 3/8- and 1/2-in. sliding and pivoting tempered-glass doors. It features stainless-steel fixtures and components to render a clean, modern, aesthetic look for corporate offices, meeting facilities, and other applications such as the Manhattan Auto Group.

Components that attach directly to the glass surface feature strong, flush-fitting, single-point fixings that deliver a tasteful, uncluttered appearance. Without squeezing the glass itself, the single-point fixings safely transfer all forces acting on the glass to the load-bearing structure. Their three-dimensional adjustment capabilities allow problem-free adjustments to uneven walls. Countersunk holes ensure flush fitting with the wall system, while plastic gaskets protect the glass from direct contact with the stainless-steel fitting.

The Manet pivoting-door system features an unconventionally designed visible center pivot that extends the entire length of the door. The system includes pivot bearings, pivot poles, overpanel/sidelight connectors, stops for overpanel and ceiling mounting, door handles and locks. The door system usually attaches with a floor pivot to a Dorma BTS floor closer, as it does in the Manhattan Auto Group facility interior floor plan.

For sliding glass doors, the system offers sliding door rollers that hang from sliding track tubes, guide rails, clamp fixings for the track tube, door handles, and locks. The rollers and track of the Manet sliding-door system enable the doors to glide back and forth almost inaudibly. Sliding doors fitted with the Manet system can be fixed in glass partition -wall assemblies and wall openings. Accurate positioning of the endstops on the track safely restricts the sliding movement of the door. To reduce noise transfer and to prevent drafts, the sliding doors can be fitted with perimeter brush profiles. Center locks or corner locks are optional.…

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Stop Mold With Prevention

Mold, or the perception that itÂ’s present, can be very costly to contractors and owners. It also can devalue a building. Prevention is the only effective way to deal with it.


Charles Perry


Over the past several years, mold has crept into many thousands of commercial buildings and multifamily dwellings across the country, causing serious concern for builders. Perception is reality, and if the perception is that there is mold on-site, then the builder’s reputation will be tarnished, even if that particular strain of mold does not affect physical health.

This is especially true for three reasons.

  • There is no longer any coverage for mold in commercial or multifamily property-casualty insurance-a builder’s first line of defense prior to the past 2 yr.
  • Since insurance coverage is gone, the next alternative for a financial solution is litigation-one of the primary reasons lawsuits involving mold and real estate are being filed at a rate of ten or more per day. That has been the case for the past 3 yr.
  • Despite a decade of environmental changes in the building industry, including protocols having to do with issues such as asbestos, lead paint, and leaking underground-storage tanks, mold is an altogether different enemy. At least with any of those other environmental hazards, if you removed them, you knew they were gone, and you and your lender moved on. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with mold.

The conditions required for mold to grow are mold spores; moisture; a normal temperature range; and the presence of a food source, such as cellulose (paper), according to an analysis developed by the University of Florida, Gainsville, FL. Because temperatures, airborne spores, and moisture occur naturally, the only truly controllable variable is the food source. The food source primarily includes products with organic content, which account for approximately 80% of a building’s surface area. Water plus organic material means mold. As one consultant told me, “It means mold 100% of the time.”

Organic products, in the form of carpets, ceiling tiles, insulation, and paper-faced wallboard, have been major components of building construction for decades. When it comes to products with organic content, there are only two kinds: those with mold and those that will have mold. If mold is present and you have it removed, given the right climate or an unseen water-soaked area of the building, it will be back for another visit in 48 hr. If the conditions are right next year, the chances of another invasion are extremely good. If the growth is in a relatively inaccessible area, the mold can get out of control before it is noticed. The only real solution to the mold problem is prevention.

Mold, as found in this hotel room, is difficult and expensive to eliminate once it is established. Prevention during construction is the best way to handle this problem. Photo courtesy Williams Building Diagnostics Inc., Maple Glen, PA.

Four mold myths
Unfortunately, much of what people believe about mold is wrong. Here are four mold myths:

  • If you can control moisture, you can control mold. The fact is that humidity is always present. If you live in or build and finance properties in certain parts of the country, it will likely be worse. Humans, with our four bathrooms and our dishwashers, generate more moisture in a day than is allowed into a building by poor construction. Water is a fact of life.
  • Remediation is the solution. Once mold has become visible and able to be remediated, it’s too late. No matter what you do, unless you remove everything that might have caused the problem or “scraped the ground,” as they say; or unless you’ve moved from Texas to Minneapolis to escape the humidity, mold will likely return. Today’s average cost to remediate mold in a 2,000-sq.-ft. business is more than $40,000, and that’s just the first time around. In contrast, you could spend no more than a few hundred dollars on preconstruction mold prevention on that same building and stand a very good chance of never having to worry about mold contamination. One builder who specializes in $1- to $3-million houses on the East Coast, said, “The equivalent of making these homes mold resistant is
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Commercial Buliding Products: Serving Low- and Mid-Rise Construction – Article

Windows, Doors Add New Urban Distinction

To convey a small-town feel to each of the New Town planned community’s 10 unique neighborhoods, Whittaker Homes selected Kolbe’s windows and doors.


Walking to the store for a gallon of milk, playing a quick pre-dinner game of ball at the park, biking to the coffee shop for a quick lunch with friends, visiting with neighbors on the front porch. These are the picturesque results of new urbanism exemplified by Whittaker Homes on the massive, 750-acre, New Town site under construction in St. Charles, MO.

New Town’s residences will feature a variety of Kolbe’s windows and doors to help each of the 10 distinctive neighborhoods project its unique style.

Developers and designers around the world watch with interest and awe as the first residents of New Town transform a philosophical plan into a living, working reality. Already sensing its success, Whittaker is looking to duplicate the ‘New Town’ concept in other areas around the country.

In December 2005, New Town celebrated the completion of Year One in the construction of this 15-year building project. Phase two is underway and at least eight more phases are scheduled before 2020 when the former farmland will be covered with 10 distinctive, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

Designed by Miami-based new urbanism champions Duany, Plater-Zyber & Co. (DPZ), New Town will feature civic green-space and lakes, community centers and churches, specialty shops and general stores, and small restaurants and cafs. Residence options range from single-family homes and cottages, to senior courtyard homes, live/work units, and townhomes.

Every building embraces a modern interpretation of the familiar, small-town comforts and presents high-tech amenities with 19th Century styling. Differentiated from other mixed-use, multi-family subdivisions, New Town’s construction relies on high-quality materials-such as Wausau,WI-based Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.’s windows and doors-to articulate DPZ’s unified, yet personalized design plan for Whittaker Homes.

“When the Kolbe representative presented the windows, the first thing that caught my attention was the bottom window sash; it was more traditional than anything else on the market and perfectly complemented the architecture at The New Town at St. Charles. Once I researched the quality of the construction and the variety of trim colors, I knew Kolbe was the right supplier for New Town,” said New Town’s developer Greg Whittaker.

“Kolbe also allows for the flexibility that is necessary in a new urban community. We have several different housing types in New Town. We need a supplier that can work with us to provide a vast array of window sizes and colors,” Whittaker said.

Reviewing Kolbe’s near-limitless options, Whittaker was especially intrigued by the dual-color finish options, which allow for separate colors for the frame and the sash. Along with the seven-color palette of prescribed finishes, Kolbe’s aluminum-clad wood windows and doors were selected in specified sizes, trims, and grille patterns to communicate New Town’s architectural aesthetic across all of its buildings and homes.

“Even with the narrowed selection, this still is a lot broader range of options and a much higher quality product than we see most developers offer,” said Jack Meldrem of Jefferson City, MO-based distributor E-Blok. Ensuring Kolbe’s quality craftsmanship could be delivered at an accelerated pace, E-Blok worked closely with Whittaker, his architects, and his purchasing department for nearly two years before placing the first order.

Meldrem and his staff remain flexible and available, reviewing each order for accuracy, and talking almost every day with the Kolbe’s sales and fabrication representatives. He noted that this collaboration is essential, given the fast-track timelines. “Typically, we work with homeowners and builders on large, single-family homes. It’s not unusual to have the design and construction process take 18 to 24 months. Most homes in New Town are built in three to six months,” he said.

As of February 2006, New Town’s community included more than 600 sold housing units, plus civic and commercial buildings. “When we discovered the magnitude of the project, we were flabbergasted. We have changed our business to be more responsive than ever before. It’s an enormous undertaking,” Meldrem said.

“New Town is a 12- to 15-year project and will eventually result in 5,700 units. As the architecture evolves, each one of the ten phases will …

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Campuses Turn Up Construction Heat

Skyrocketing student numbers and a growing demand for “green” facilities are driving rapid campus expansion and renovation.


  1. Alan Whitson, RPA


Construction spending in the college market varies in dollar amounts, but is consistent in its expansion. Campus infrastructure needs constant maintenance, expansion, and modernization to meet educational demands.

Skyrocketing student numbers and a growing demand for “green” facilities are driving rapid campus expansion and renovation.

In 2005, enrollment in the 4,216 colleges and universities that make up the American higher education market hit an all-time high at 17.3 million students. Construction spending for 2005 was $14.4 billion, and is projected to be at an annualized rate of $14.7 billion per year for 2006 through 2008.

How hot is the college market? Campus officials at Texas State University forecast that enrollment at their Round Rock campus will double in the next five years. To address growing enrollment and aging infrastructure, the Texas state legislature earmarked $1.8 billion for new campus projects.

Yet, classroom education is only one of the activities taking place on the nation’s college campuses. Colleges build and maintain many types of facilities, including research laboratories, art studios, utility generation and transmission plants, dormitories, and water-distribution systems. The large research institutions also have specialized facilities such as medical centers, agricultural centers, nuclear reactors, and high-security biomedical laboratories.

Here are some of the trends that will drive the secondary-education market in the next few years.

  • Social, economic, and demographic factors will cause total college enrollment to reach 19.5 million students by 2014, a 12.7% increase. The shift to more female students than male will continue and will be more pronounced with part-time and older students.
  • The relationship between a college and its surrounding community is becoming more complex on several levels. This is especially true when it comes to real estate issues:
    • Some institutions are finding that property they purchased “just in case” is becoming a source of revenue, as developers want to use it, creating more private/public types of arrangements.
    • George Washington Univ., a large landowner in the hot Washington real estate market, is now seen as a “corporate developer first, not an educational facility,” by some of its neighbors.
    • Repeatedly, studies have revealed that college towns are “cool cities,” retirement magnets, or “enlightened” places to live.
    • Migration into college towns will make them more economically desirable than they are now. Colleges may face increasing pressures for affordable staff and faculty housing.
  • Hurricane Katrina’s impact on building materials and supplies and increases in the cost of oil and natural gas have created unexpected deficiencies in operating and capital budgets for the current fiscal year:
    • The “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to operating and capital budgeting is over. Look for increased and ongoing interest from administrators as to when and where the money is being spent and how it ties back to the original budget.
    • Look for a more direct connection between design and construction and operations/maintenance.
    • More staff positions on campus will be created with the goal of improving energy efficiency, including working with students and staff to reduce their energy use. Alternatively, this effort may be outsourced.
    • Interest in alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, co-generation, and bio-diesel will grow as prices of petroleum-based products stay high or go higher. This also will drive the trend for “greener” campuses.
    • In an effort to control costs, a college in Scotland is creating two open-space office buildings out of which all staff and faculty will work, i.e., no one on campus will have a private office.
  • There is a growing effort in colleges to examine the design of the learning space-virtual and physical, formal and informal-and the effects of that design on learning:
    • The design trend is to create a sense of place inside classrooms, as well as in student unions and campus open spaces. This is akin to the “branding” of retail and corporate spaces.
    • Look for more research and analysis on what students do and where they are throughout the day, and attempts to find ways to instill learning in all of their environments. Note that this trend may go to extremes and create a backlash against the “plugged-in” culture and the data overload it can create.
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School Goes “Green,” Recycles Runoff Water

In an effort to provide a good example for students and the community, Londonberry School installed a reflective, energy-efficient roof on its new building.


The Londonderry School in Harrisburg, PA, recently opened the doors to a new facility and ushered in a new era of environmentally friendly considerations in school design. Established in 1971, the school occupied leased space for classes extending from preschool through eighth grade. As the population grew and classroom space became tighter, school board members and staff began plans to construct a new building.

The white, 60-mil membrane that was installed over 8,555 sq. ft. of the Londonderry School’s roof provides exterior solar and heat reflection, which helps reduce HVAC energy consumption and water collection for sanitary facilities.

Realizing that construction of a new facility would provide an opportunity to integrate environmental consciousness and affordability in design, school officials systematically studied available options. The result, according to school officials, was “a model to challenge and revolutionize traditional thinking in school construction.” After careful analysis, construction materials and methods were selected to help reduce operating costs for energy consumption.

This innovative approach qualified the school as a “green” building with the U.S. Green Building Council, in Washington, and secured a silver rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. LEED is a national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings, including educational facilities.

One of the components of this green building effort was the use of Carlisle, PA-based Carlisle SynTec Inc.’s Sure-Weld TPO mechanically fastened roofing system. The white, 60-mil membrane was installed over 8,555 sq. ft. of the building’s roof, offering Londonderry School a twofold benefit: exterior solar and heat reflection, which helps reduce HVAC energy consumption, and water collection for sanitary facilities. Rainwater from the sloped roof is collected in a cistern and used to flush toilets in the school’s lavatories and to provide water for the heating system. The roof was installed by Progressive Services, Inc., Dover, PA, a Carlisle-authorized applicator.

The first step of the roofing installation was to secure polyisocyanurate insulation to the deck using fasteners and plates. Once in place, the reinforced membrane was attached to the insulation using the company’s fasteners with piranha plates and then heat welded along the seams. TPO accessories and flashings were installed to complete the roofing portion of the project.

Larry Toot, president of Progressive Services, was pleased with the opportunity to work on the school project. “The Londonderry School was the first LEED project we were involved in. Since the entire program was designed around the “green building” concept, we were able to take advantage of the company’s total roof system package that meets Energy Star guidelines and includes membrane and insulation, as well as a total system warranty,” he said.

In addition to the white TPO membrane and its unique application for recycling runoff water, the building’s insulation values are very high, offering additional energy-saving benefits to the school. Toot added, “We used two layers of four-inch polyiso, throughout. And, since everything is manufactured by one company, I am only dealing with one representative. Also, the fifteen-year total system warranty gives everyone peace of mind.”

Designed by the architectural firm of Murray Associates, Inc., Harrisburg, PA, and erected under the general supervision of the contracting firm of A.P. Williams, Inc., also of Harrisburg, PA, the Londonderry School was given a $500,000 loan from the Sustainable Energy Fund. That led an area bank to finance the remainder of the $3-million project.
The masonry exterior, accented by clerestory windows and large amounts of energy-efficient glazing throughout, provides a balance to the wooded pastoral setting just minutes from Pennsylvania’s state capital. With a “green” building; a silver rating; and a white, Energy Star roof, Londonderry School and Carlisle set a good example of how environmentally friendly products can be integrated into design plans to reduce energy consumption and costs.…

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Flooring “Rocks” at Hall of Fame

When the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s original rubber-tile flooring began to show signs of aging and abuse, the museum turned to Stonhard for a solution that fit the facility’s design and was easy to clean, impact resistant, and sound reducing.


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Can you imagine memorabilia from Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Aretha Franklin, and Bruce Springsteen, all in one place? Atlantic records founder Ahmet Ertegun did and, along with a small group of music industry professionals, created the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. This $84-million, 150,000-sq.-ft. museum opened its doors in 1995, and is a dazzling show house of rock-and-roll memorabilia and a major attraction for Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor.

The contemporary and sculptural styled museum was designed by I.M. Pei, the architect responsible for the National Gallery of Art’s East Building in Washington and the expansion of the Louvre museum in Paris. “In designing the building, it was my intention to echo the energy of rock and roll. I have consciously used an architectural vocabulary that is bold and new,” Pei said.

One of the design team’s considerations was what type of flooring to use in this modern structure. It was determined early on that the floors in the museum had to be design worthy to match the vision set out by Pei. However, they were also required to be easy to clean, impact resistant, and sound reducing.

Stonblend RTZ flooring from Stonhard, Maple Shade, NJ, covers all public areas at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Working in stages, installers made the process invisible to museum staff and visitors. The result is a smooth, seamless, easy-to-maintain surface.

The original floors were rubber tile. After ten years of extensive daily wear and tear, along with the damp lakefront location of the facility, the floors were in dilapidated condition. The rubber tiles had delaminated. Moisture caused the tiles to peel away and the floor to have a worn and weathered appearance. Furthermore, the maintenance staff faced a significant cleaning challenge because of the dirt and moisture trapped between tiles. The decision makers for the new floors added to their list of criteria a flooring system that would address hydrostatic and osmotic problems.

Stonhard, Maple Shade, NJ, presented Stonblend RTZ, a 3/16-in. seamless, urethane system, infused with rubber aggregate chips to provide exceptional acoustic efficiency and ergonomic comfort, and a superior wear- and stain-resistant floor. The flooring would also compliment the dramatic design scheme of the museum. Multi-colored aggregate in a high-performance matrix created intricate patterns and a unique design style.

Stonhard began work in January 2005. The installation process was performed by the company’s installation team. This work was accomplished while the museum was open to the public by marking off small areas and completing the job in several stages. Masking and vigilantly draping installation areas prevented dust from landing or settling into exhibits or disrupting museum guests.

To prepare for the application, the installation team removed the existing tiles, stripped the substrate of all dirt, grease, and oils and flattened it to a smooth, dry surface using concrete blasting equipment, sanders, and grinders. An acrylic copolymer primer was applied to the substrate to produce a strong bond with the base prior to the flooring application.

Then Stonfil OP2, a three-component, polymer-modified grout, was applied. This product is a cementitious, osmotic-pressure-resistant grout developed for areas exposed to water. It permanently seals the concrete and protects against moisture. Stonblend RTZ, a three-part application incorporating curing agent, resin, and aggregate, was applied using a screed rake and spiked roller. A topcoat was rolled onto the surface. A 12-hr. cure time was required before foot traffic was permitted and in 48 hr. cleaning was allowed.

Working in stages not only ensured proper cure times but also made the process invisible to museum staff. The entire 42,500-sq.-ft. job was completed in March 2005.

Cleaning the new flooring proved to be exceptionally easy due to the smooth, seamless surface. The maintenance staff at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame no longer battles to clean between the tiles. All that is needed to keep …

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