W Austin reopens after glass breakages

Glass Magazine
July 9, 2011
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION

Officials from the W Austin Hotel and Residences announced the facility's reopening on Saturday, July 9. The hotel had been closed since June 28 after the spontaneous breakage of several balcony glass panels. All balcony glass panels—about 1,000 in all—have been removed from the building and replaced with temporary engineered wood panels. The hotel received permission to reopen after city review and approval of inspection reports of the temporary replacement panels by the project's balcony engineer, as well as a third-party independent engineering firm, according to a W Hotel release.

The hotel restaurant and bars will open first, followed by the hotel guest rooms, according to the release.

Officials from Custom Components Co., the supplier of the balcony railing and tempered glass panels, stated that all of the glass panels conformed to the most stringent ANZI Z-97-1-2004UA performance standards. "At this time, no determination has been made as to the cause of the three glass panels breaking, whether it be from construction damage, airborne debris falling and striking the glass, spontaneous breakage or vandalism," they said in a July 1 release.

Custom Components participated with glass removal teams during the removal process. The company, along with glass manufacturer XYG Glass, has started working with an independent testing company to ensure the tempered glass meets all ANZI standards. 

The cause of the glass breakage is still under investigation.