Performance tops priorities for LAPD administration building

Photos by the Los Angeles Police Department

 “Performance is critical. The project was tested for air, water, structural, floor displacement and seismic movement with repeated air and water tests between each requirement. This included both static and dynamic water tests on the windows, and on the unitized curtain wall. A full, two-story mock-up of the curtain wall, including the pre-cast, was assembled to match the descriptions and conditions, and successfully tested.”—Kurt Beidle, senior project manager, Wausau Window and Wall Systems.

The basics: Considered one of the most expensive buildings of its kind, the $437 million Los Angeles Police Administration Building also is among the greenest, according to a Wausau Window and Wall Systems release. In May 2010, the building earned Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system. Opened in October 2009, the 10-story, 500,000-square-foot structure maximizes daylighting and energy-efficiency. Aiding in this effort, the building features high-performance glass, recycled/recyclable aluminum framing and ornamental details, and environmentally friendly, durable paints. The window and curtain wall systems also were tested to meet stringent performance criteria. Seismic performance was of particular concern as the previous police administration building, constructed 1955, and was not expected to withstand another moderate earthquake, according to the release.

The players: Owner, City of Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works; architects, AECOM, formerly DMJM Design, Los Angeles, in joint venture with Roth + Sheppard, Denver; general contractor, Tutor-Saliba Corp., Sylmar, Calif.; glazing contractor, Metz Enterprises Inc., Anaheim, Calif.; glazing systems manufacturer, Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Wausau, Wis.; glass fabricator, Viracon Inc., Owatonna, Minn.; glazing systems finisher, Linetec, Wausau, Wis.

The glass and systems: 100,000 square feet of windows and curtain wall, mostly shop-glazed and pre-assembled, with VRE1-67 and VE1-2M high-performance, insulating glass. “The unitized curtain wall had a simulated acid etch, as well as two different dot patterns,” Beidle says. “Some locations had white dots; some black dots. It depended on the solar and optical needs of its placement on the building.” The street level features a custom, butt-glazed, knocked-down wall system. The aluminum framing and components were painted by Linetec in a three-coat, Champagne Gold II metallic Duranar coating.