PGC symposium wraps up with emphasis on green security design

Sahely Mukerji
November 13, 2008
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Speakers at the PGC International Annual Symposium, Nov. 11-13, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Va., ended the program with multiple presentations on sustainable design and market trends, and a panel discussion.

Harvey Bernstein, vice president, Industry Analytics, Alliances & Strategic Initiative, McGraw-Hill Construction, spoke about The View Ahead: Construction Outlook, Green Market Trends & Business Opportunities. “Green is growing around the world,” he said. “Office and government sectors have traditionally led green building activity, but residential is expected to show most growth, surpassing government in 2013.

“Changing ethics are driving demand for green,” Bernstein said. “We are waking up to Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth.’” In 2007, the U.S. green building market was $19 billion; in 2013 it is projected to be $60-100 billion. “Education and offices are expected to be the most active green building sectors,” he said. “In addition, existing buildings have become one of the biggest sectors for green building around the world—45 percent of the market—in line with overall construction market growth trend.”

Globally, in anticipated use of solar energy, sub-Saharan Africa leads the world with an 84 percent use by 2013, with North America right behind at 80 percent.

Back home in the United States, the construction market is a mixed bag, with single family housing still falling, commercial buildings heading down, institutional buildings healthy for now and public works slipping, Bernstein said. Manufacturing building construction will drop from 69 percent to negative 32 percent from 2008 to 2009, he said.

Specification rates are rising, Bernstein said. Impact-resistant glass specification saw little more than 50 percent increase from 2005 to 2007, he said. In public buildings, impact-resistant glass is being specified at double the rate of any other sector. In the next five years, hurricane/impact resistant glass will see an average increase of 12 percent in usage, bullet/blast resistant glass will see an average increase of 6 percent in usage, and energy-efficient glass will see an increase of 25 percent in usage. LEED in project specifications will grow more in bigger projects, 41 percent from 2006-07. In 2007, dormitories had the highest rate of LEED specifications, about 65 percent, he said.

David Varner, vice president, SmithGroup, Washington, D.C., presented a case study of the Constitution Center, the largest private office building in Washington, D.C. Built in 1970, the building was covered with white marble, “which doesn’t do well in the exterior, and in time looks like a bad piece of deckwood,” Varner said. “We redesigned it with impact-resistant glazing. Viracon, Owatonna, Minn., offered a statistical heat-soak testing for the tempered glass to rule out nickel-sulfides.” The building features basic laminated, reflective glass with a .26 shading coefficient and coatings on the No. 2 side. A curtain wall mock-up at Architectural Testing, York, Pa., passed with flying colors, he said. The curtain wall anchors have four bolts on the roadside and two bolts on the court side. “The curtain wall is not allowed to fall out during a blast or on the rebound, which is 75 percent to 80 percent of the original energy. It’s supposed to act like a spring.” There were 36 wind and water tests scheduled. Roller wave and optical distortions were not a factor. The building should be open late in 2010. “It’s a landmark project,” Varner said.

Richard R. Paradis, senior engineer, Steven Winter Associates, Washington, D.C., discussed Balancing Security & Sustainability Goals to Achieve High Performance Buildings. “Conflicting requirements for sustainability and security lead to compromises and trade-offs,” he said. “Synergies can be found when considered early in the project development process.” Landscaping elements such as retention ponds and earth berms can be used to control erosion, manage storm water and reduce heat islands, while also serving as physical barriers, he said. For instance, the new IMF building on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., uses benches and bus stops as security barriers. Tiger traps, ha-has and nogos—security measures that stop intruders—can protect without creating a visually overwhelming presence. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is a strategy that uses natural access control.

“Whole building design is the result of an integrated design approach and an integrated team process,” Paradis said. “Avoid conflict of choosing between sustainable and security goals. Employ a single design strategy to accomplish multiple goals.” Use the Whole Building Design Guide.

Marc LaFrance, technology development manager, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy presented U.S. DOE Window R&D Activities and Relationship with Protective Glazings. He highlighted key research and development areas that the DOE is working on to achieve net zero buildings, such as highly insulating and dynamic next generation windows and integrated commercial façade systems. The DOE’s goal is to have net zero energy buildings by 2025, he said, “[the] primary focus has to be energy efficiency, other issues are secondary.” Windows can play a major role to achieve ZEB, he said.

Seventy-two percent of total electrical energy produced in the U.S. and 55 percent of natural gas energy are consumed in buildings, he said. “Renewable energy, building technologies and transportation can become fully integrated with ZEBs,” he said. For instance, “the building sector can free up electricity capacity for electric cars. Building envelopes can play a major role in A/C reduction. Saving energy in building envelope also can provide natural gas capacity for transportation.

“Protective glazings can be very energy efficient and probably a better opportunity to build efficiency into the higher price premium products,” LaFrance said. The DOE has a Protective Glazing Optical Performance software that calculates solar heat gain coefficient and visual transmittance when different kinds of glass and interlayers are plugged in to it, he said.