Multiple glass types maximize performance at California hospital

"As the capacities of glass have expanded, so have the judicious applications of glass. We are able to create energy-efficient garden hospitals that are also functional and beautiful. Patients and staff enjoy sightlines and natural light, while the workings of the hospital can excel, enhanced by the setting."— Stephen Yundt, principal/medical planner at CO Architects.

Images courtesy CO Architects.

The basics: Architects of the Palomar Medical Center West, Escondido, Calif., specified 22 types of glass on the 736,000-square-foot, $615 million hospital, set for completion this year. The various glass types provide performance, safety, light transmittance and aesthetics, and sometimes a combination of those criteria. Depending on location, the glass: lets in light but not heat; withstands impact; lets light in while maintaining privacy; and provides decorative characteristics while controlling light transmittance.

The players: Architect, CO Architects, Los Angeles; construction manager, DPR, San Diego; contract glazier, Shengxing Glass and Cladding Systems, Corona, Calif.; glass fabricator, Northwestern Industries, Seattle; Solarban glass manufacturer, PPG Industries, Pittsburgh.

The glass and systems: More than 5,000 panes of glass in 22 variations. The façade glass is 1-inch insulating glass with a low-emissivity coating. The south, east and west elevations feature Solarban 70XL high performance glass, and the north elevation, Solarban 60 high performance glass. The spandrels and columns feature a custom color solid frit. The patient bathrooms feature translucent glass with a simulated acid etch, and the corridors, tempered glass with a custom color frit pattern.