Glass & Metals 401: Architectural Applications

Recent projects incorporate ballistic and fire-rated glazing to meet security needs
April 30, 2013

Detroit Public Schools made safety a top priority when specifying glazing systems for the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, a two-story, 245,412-square-foot building with six wings and a glassenclosed centerpiece atrium area. “They were looking for a glazing product that raised the bar in terms of impenetrability, way above the norm,” says John Miliacca, senior associate and project manager for the project’s architect of record, TMP Architecture Inc. “This was done mostly because of concerns over safety and security that have existed in the district.”

The school incorporates ballistic-mitigating glass throughout the first story of the building, with the façade of the atrium area consisting of more than 1,000 square feet of 4-foot by 8-foot laminated glass panels. Fabricated by Thompson IG, the laminated glass features a DuPont SentryGlas interlayer and is incorporated into an insulating unit. For energy performance, the glass features Guardian Sun-Guard SN-68 high performance glass on the north and east elevations, and SN-62 on the south and west elevations.

“A month after glass installation, someone in the locality put the glass to the test, and it did not fail. That particular lite was replaced, and it has never been tried again,” Miliacca says.

In addition to safety, the project was designed for sustainability and energy efficiency. The school earned Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, due in part to its high-performance glazing systems. All south-facing classroom windows feature sun shades to reduce solar gain and increase the building’s energy efficiency by reducing the cooling load. The project is the first building constructed as part of a $500 million, three-year capital improvement campaign throughout the Detroit school district.

The design-build team consisted of Jenkins Construction Inc. and Granger Construction Co. (Jenkins Granger Alliance for DPS), with TMP Architecture as the architect of record and primary LEED consultant. Curtis Glass Co., Troy, Mich., was the glazing contractor. Tubelite supplied its 200 Series and 400 Series curtain wall, T14000 Series Storefront system, and sunshades. Litex supplied the aluminum windows.

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