Arkansas’ environmental quality headquarters confirms its mission

Wes Thompson Photography, Keller, Texas

“Our concept was to create a narrow building with as much glass as possible. … Using glass, we could introduce daylight and offer views of the nearby river and mountains.” -- Jerry Currence, vice president, Taggart Foster Currence Gray

The basics:

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality headquarters in North Little Rock--the first green state-owned office building in Arkansas, according to a Viracon release--reflects the department’s goals to protect, enhance and restore the environment. Architects specified Viracon’s high-performance VRE coating with neutral exterior color to control sun light and reduce solar heat transmission. With 30 percent light transmission, the coating provides a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.19 and interior reflectance of 21 percent. A green glass substrate increases solar performance while blending with the facility’s natural surroundings. Exterior south-side horizontal sunshades and interior white sloped ceilings bounce light deep into the work space. Glazing for the six-story, 124,310-square-foot project cost about $2.4 million. Completed in July 2007, the building earned U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification, as well as three Green Globes from the Green Building Initiative.

The players:

Architects, Taggart Foster Currence Gray Architects Inc. and Williams and Dean Associated Architects, both of Little Rock, Ark.; general contractor, Nabholz Construction, Conway, Ark.; glazing contractor, Ace Glass Co., Little Rock, Ark.; glass fabricator, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.; curtain wall supplier, Kawneer Co., Norcross, Ga.,

The glass and systems:

Viracon supplied 35,216 square feet of insulating glass with VRE-38 coating on the No. 2 surface of green substrate in both vision and spandrel areas. On each floor, from the main viewing area to the ceiling, the glass is transparent and has VRE coating. On the lower glazed area down to the floor, the glass incorporates a simulated sandblast ceramic frit in combination with VRE coating. Thermally broken, stick built Kawneer curtain wall consists of 1600 Wall System 2, a two-sided silicone glazed system, and 451 Versaglaze, a front set silicone glazed system used for the strip windows in the lower portion of the building. Kawneer also furnished aluminum sunshades attached to the 1600 Wall System 2.