Manatee Justice Center

About six glass installers were required to install each segment of the suspended wall system of the 223,000-square-foot, $69 million Manatee County Judicial Center in Brandenton, Fla., completed at the end of 2007.

“We faced a big challenge in that it was an inside set system and a suspended wall,” says John Carroll, field superintendent for West Tampa Glass Co., Tampa. “[The façade] wasn’t connected to the floor slabs—they were just frames in space. We had to get really creative, particularly in the stairwells where a beam got in the way. We had to get an installer in there with a special apparatus to get the glass in around the concrete beam.”

The West Tampa Glass team faced additional challenges on the tight construction site, says Joan Hicks, operations manager. “The project sits between two streets on the north and south, and alleys on the east and west,” she says. “There was no staging area. We had to make a trip there every day, because there was no space to store anything.”

The team brought the glass and frames in on a semiflat bed truck to be lifted to the side of building.
The project features heavy, impact-resistant glazing fabricated by Viracon, Owatonna, Minn., and glass manufactured by ACH Glass, Tulsa. The 15⁄16-inch impact, insulating glass units feature a laminated lite and a Versalux green 2000 heat strengthened lite. The unit has a VE-2M low-emissivity coating on the No. 2 surface.

YKK AP America Inc., Austell, Ga., supplied its YHC300IG and YHS50FI hurricane-impact framing systems for the project.

The architects were Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Tampa office, and Fawley Bryant Architects, Brandenton; framing supplier, YKK AP America Inc., Austell, Ga.; glass fabricator, Viracon. Balfour Beatty Construction, Tampa, served as the general contractor.