AGG Spring 2017 : Page 18

On the Fly For Dynamic Glass, Airports are an Intriguing Sector b y Nick St. Denis t 18 www.glassguides.com he office, educational and healthcare building segments have been primary adopters of electro-chromic dynamic glass. The ability to program various levels of tint to adjust light transmittance, glare and solar heat gain is a welcome amenity in these environments, where occupant comfort is at a premium. But what about a certain type of structure that consistently uses massive spans of glass and houses large numbers of people every day? What about airports? Meeting Needs “It’s kind of a neat, self-contained niche,” says SageGlass director of customer experience Derek Malmquist. “Every major metropolitan area has an airport. And just like what we’ve seen in health-care, they’re starting to think more about the ben-efits of occupant comfort—for both the employees and the guests traveling through.” This was the case at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport, which recently underwent a retrofit of an east-facing façade in one of its terminals. As is the situation with most airport projects, the design team didn’t have the luxury of positioning the facades based on sun direction, as they often are at the mercy of runway and roadway orientation. “Because of the orientation of the building, the checkpoint had to be developed in a way in which workers would be facing southeast through the glass with the sun penetrating directly into their eyes,” says architect Greg Maxam of the firm Alliiance, which designed the project. Faced with this challenge, his team conducted solar studies on how it could implement glass in a way that would maximize views and daylight while minimizing glare and heat gain. It ultimately settled on using Sage’s electrochromic glass, which is zoned both horizontally and vertically to various tint levels depending on time of day and year. Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal

On the Fly

Nick St. Denis

For Dynamic Glass, Airports are an Intriguing Sector

The office, educational and healthcare building segments have been primary adopters of electro-chromic dynamic glass. The ability to program various levels of tint to adjust light transmittance, glare and solar heat gain is a welcome amenity in these environments, where occupant comfort is at a premium.

But what about a certain type of structure that consistently uses massive spans of glass and houses large numbers of people every day?

What about airports?

Meeting Needs

"It's kind of a neat, self-contained niche," says SageGlass director of customer experience Derek Malmquist. "Every major metropolitan area has an airport. And just like what we've seen in healthcare, they're starting to think more about the benefits of occupant comfort–for both the employees and the guests traveling through."

This was the case at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport, which recently underwent a retrofit of an east-facing façade in one of its terminals. As is the situation with most airport projects, the design team didn't have the luxury of positioning the facades based on sun direction, as they often are at the mercy of runway and roadway orientation.

"Because of the orientation of the building, the checkpoint had to be developed in a way in which workers would be facing southeast through the glass with the sun penetrating directly into their eyes," says architect Greg Maxam of the firm Alliiance, which designed the project.

Faced with this challenge, his team conducted solar studies on how it could implement glass in a way that would maximize views and daylight while minimizing glare and heat gain. It ultimately settled on using Sage's electrochromic glass, which is zoned both horizontally and vertically to various tint levels depending on time of day and year.

Maxam says the upper portion of the façade also includes Solera translucent glazing to maximize daylight.

"The combination of using electrochromic glass in the view range with a translucent product in the upper section was very useful and has been a success," he says. "And we were also able to meet other specialty considerations that come with airports, such as security."

It was Maxam's first project working with electrochromic glass, but he plans to implement it again in future transportation structure designs.

No More Shade

View, another manufacturer of dynamic glass, has seen a rising interest in dynamic glass in the airport segment for the same purposes and applications. As large expanses of glass continue from the entrances into the gates and waiting areas, so do the opportunities for the product.

Its electrochromic glass was recently installed at the new Delta Sky Club in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The glass allows members and guests to enjoy unobstructed views of Mount Rainier without glare or thermal discomfort. It also enables the facility owner to maintain temperature at optimal levels and maximize the natural daylight by eliminating the need for internal blinds and shading structures.

The ability of dynamic glass to replace these devices has been a key benefit of focus, aside from the solar control capabilities.

"You'll see glass walls anywhere from ten to 20 feet tall, where using blinds and traditional shading systems is less desirable," says Brandon Tinianov, vice president of business development at View. "In addition to that, airports have mandates–either self-imposed or externally– to be the destination and representation of the future. Pulling down manual blinds in 2020 is non-sustainable."

Tinianov says another demand driver he was surprised to learn about was a plea from maintenance staff and interior design teams seeking an alternative to automatic shading devices. "They don't like the idea of maintaining automated blinds," he says.

The airport segment provides for a variety of applications beyond the main terminal and gate areas. For example, View had its dynamic glass installed on the facades of a new administration building at Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sage's glass was also recently used in a smaller airport application at the King County International Airport in Seattle. The electrochromic glazing was applied at its on-site aircraft rescue and fire-fighting station.

Seeing the Value

Manufacturers in the industry still see commercial and institutional buildings such as offices, hospitals and educational facilities as the top users of dynamic glass. However, the airport sector and transportation segment as a whole has proven a worthy market area.

"The pre-conception of airports is that they're slow and take five to ten years to complete the design and construction process," says Tinianov. "But we've found they're more agile than what we initially thought, sometimes in the two- to three-year window. And even the more long-term projects are beneficial."

Malmquist adds that the airport sector reinforces the value proposition of electrochromic glass.

"Whether you're considering the employees working there all day or the guests coming through, it solves the typical problems of heat and glare," he says. "And what's great is it serves this dual benefit for both the travelers and workers. That's the thing about airports that is a bit unique."

Nick St. Denis is the editor of Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal. He can be reached at nstdenis@glass.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStDenis.

Read the full article at https://mydigitalpublication.com/article/On+the+Fly/2758552/399210/article.html.

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