BROUGHT TO YOU WITH SUPPORT FROMArchitectural precast panels are durable, factory-made for quality, and offer an unlimited vocabulary for the architect’s expression. However, they can sometimes produce challenges to a construction project due to their weight. SlenderWall is a relatively new product designed to simplify architectural precast construction. It incorporates the design flexibility of precast into a lighter-weight assembly that also includes a vapor barrier, insulation, and interior framing studs. Chris Grogan, a representative with Smith-Midland Corp., a licensed manufacturer of SlenderWall panels, said that since the assembly is essentially an architectural finish concrete product, the aesthetics of the panels can be fully customizable just as with typical precast panel construction. "There's an infinite number of mix designs and the forming process is very similar to standard precast. The only difference is the framework which incorporates interior framing studs. The way we finish the panels is the same as well." SlenderWall is technically a lightweight curtain wall assembly that is thermal and fire code compliant. It is an entire envelope system packaged into a monolithic, panelized unit. This equates to fewer trades in the field who deal with the assembly of a building's facade. Grogan refers to SlenderWall as a “turnkey” approach to construction: "The product eliminates a lot of time and effort and potential risk for the contractor in the field. Now he has to worry about one trade, rather than four or five." The system’s two-inch exterior precast panel is composed of architectural concrete and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers with welded-wire reinforcement. Stainless-steel fasteners attach this exterior concrete face to 14- and 16-gauge, G90 galvanized steel studs in a way that creates a thermal air gap filled with factory-applied, closed-cell foam insulation. The product is marketed as a lighter-weight version of traditional six-inch precast—at only a third of the weight—and was initially produced to replace typical precast systems. This is exactly what happened at the Holiday Inn on the Cleveland Clinic campus in Ohio, where a decision was made to convert the designed facade from traditional precast to an integrated wall assembly due to the cost of craning heavier panels eight stories into the area. The decision to adopt SlenderWall into the design resulted in a design-build delivery format for the entire building envelope. The nine-story, 276-room hotel, designed by Kaczmar Architects, Inc. (KAI) integrated Cleveland Clinic's architectural guidelines, which called for a minimal palette with specific wood trim detailing and modern detailing. Traditional precast detailing at the base of the building, also manufactured by Smith-Midland, was able to produce a compatible aesthetic. Typical jobs that use the SlenderWall product involve high levels of coordination among the contractor, the architect, and licensed manufacturers like Smith-Midland, which ultimately lays out the panels to meet project-specific structural and aesthetic requirements. This is the lengthiest part of the process, according to Grogan, but results in a highly efficient factory-controlled fabrication process, and a fast-tracked construction process in the field. Cost savings are maximized when highly repetitive high-rise designs are able to incorporate larger format panels, and a single set of plans and details will take care of the entire building envelope. Contractors eliminate the scheduling and warranty issues that arise when multiple insulation and interior framing crews are required—and, in high-rises, the challenges of bringing in the oversized cranes necessary to lift significantly heavier architectural precast panels into place (as was the case for the Holiday Inn) are eliminated. Aside from the Cleveland Clinic Holiday Inn, other projects include ETS Montreal, a student-housing complex with three-color panels in 32 different window configurations and factory-applied R-21 closed-cell foam and factory-installed windows. And, due to its light weight, SlenderWall is easily installed on job sites with reduced access such as with Hyatt House, a $90-million 13-story hotel on Jersey City's waterfront. The re-cladding of a nine-story building on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Baltimore Campus also benefited from the lightweight SlenderWall system. Its 30 pounds-per-square-foot specification and unique composite construction allowed for re-cladding to take place without the removal of the old fascia. There was also no need for additional superstructure or foundation costs and the facility was able to stay operational during the exterior renovation.
Posts tagged with "Holiday Inn":
The 467 foot tower is organized around the clean lines of a 4 mm thick aluminum composite material (ACM) panel system.Tourists in Manhattan might now be overheard saying something to the effect of: “Did you go to the observation deck at the Empire State building!?” "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn." Rightfully so, as there is a new way to experience the Big Apple: 50 stories in the air, in a bed, at the “world’s tallest” Holiday Inn just three blocks south of the World Trade Center. The 490-room, full-service hotel was designed by Gene Kaufman Architect (GKA) in collaboration with Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects (GSKA), who created the façade. When asked about the “world’s tallest” designation, Kaufman recounts, “The building was originally 42 stories and after development rights were obtained for an additional seven stories, we figured out how to make it an even 50. Only then did someone suggest finding out if that would make it the tallest Holiday Inn.” The 176,600-square-foot Holiday Inn has a low-rise base that complements the surrounding streetscape. Atop the plinth is a dramatic tower with graduated setbacks, from which striking views of the city, the harbor and the Hudson River can be seen from a large number of rooms. A preliminary building shell design incorporating modular bricks presented both geometric and weight issues. Because the site has limited space for construction staging and is constrained by irregular property lines, Kaufman and his team sought out a more lightweight, flexible system that allowed for an angular floor plate. “Although we like brick and use it for most of our projects, we looked for and found a very slender metal panel system that could accommodate all of these conditions and all of the issues related to the building's height.” According to PG Drywall, installing the Reynobond material going up 467 feet with perfectly aligned metal panel joints running from the bottom to the top of the building was presented a unique challenge. The setbacks required frequent reworking and moving of swing scaffolding and mast climbers in a limited staging area. The project was completed in just 10 months. The installation was aided by the use of Allied Metal’s patented Dry-Seal Gasket System, an open V-joint system with snap-in silicone gasket (110 PSF) and locking progress that exceeds the New York City Building Code requirements and is compatible with the attachment and panel in the 1.5-inch space mandated by the limited space air rights. Another advantage to selecting a metal panel system was contextual, says Kaufman: “People refer to the streets in this area as ‘canyons’ because they are so narrow and the buildings so tall that the streets can be very dark. We chose a very light color with a metallic finish that would reflect light down into the streets. We also created a setback tower on a base. These decisions, and taking advantage of being only one block from the river, help light the streetscape.” The jewel-like, multifaceted facade, with its silver cladding that captures and reflects the light, creates a striking image while brightening the street-level pedestrian landscape.
We heard rumblings, but now it’s official—a 400-room, 50-story high Holiday Inn will be joining the ranks of downtown hotels at 99 Washington Street near the World Trade Center. It will be the world’s tallest Holiday Inn and the go-to architect for New York hotels, Gene Kaufman of Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects, will be doing the honors. Kaufman’s other high-profile hotel projects, the Chelsea Hotel renovation and the new Hyatt near Union Square, seem to be moving full steam ahead, despite legal wrangling at the Chelsea. The Holiday Inn will likely open to guests by the end of this year.