Great Glazing: Salt Lake City Public Safety Building

Photos by Wayne Gillman

The basics: Salt Lake City’s 335,000-square-foot Public Safety Building features extensive glass that contributes to its status as the first public safety building designed as a net-zero energy building. The northwest-facing all-glass facade of the building features a serpentine glass curtain wall that slopes from one wing to the other. 

The glass complements the modern style of architecture prevalent in Salt Lake City, meets seismic and ballistic requirements and contributes to U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification. 

“The care and precision needed to make this complex design a reality was incredible,” said Gene Pagel,  vice president of engineering for Wausau Window and Wall Systems. “Every piece, dimension and angle of the 135 unique curtain wall units located at the center of this building is different. That meant each component of each trapezoidal unit required design engineering and 3-D layout, along with precise and unique machining, fabrication, glazing and even shipping provisions.”

The players: Architect, GSBS Architects; general contractor Okland Construction; glazing contractor, LCG Façades;  glazing systems manufacturer, Wausau Window and Wall Systems; glass fabricator, Viracon Inc.; glazing finisher, Linetec

The glass and systems: For the Public Safety Building’s lobby and main floors, LCG installed more than 32,000-square feet of Wausau’s INvision Thermal Unitized Curtain wall, including 19,150 square feet of 7250i-UW Series and more than 13,000 square feet of 6250i-HRX Series. Along with the curtainwall, LCG Façades installed nearly two dozen Wausau 4250-Z Zero Sightline casement windows on the building’s upper floors to support the project’s goals for natural ventilation and a connection to the outdoors for occupants. Also contributing to the Public Safety Building’s net-zero energy goals, Wausau engineered and installed Clear Story interior light shelves and sun shades to allow light to penetrate deeper into the interior spaces.

Viracon fabricated the high-efficiency, triple insulating glass used in the curtain wall and the low-E, insulating glass installed in the casement windows. In some curtain wall units, three different thicknesses of glass were needed to provide the security required for the project.