AIA 2009 Cote Top Ten Award Winner Features Kawneer Products

The Seattle-based Terry Thomas Building was recently recognized as an American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2009 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Winner due to its excellence in sustainability and design quality. In addition, the 64,600 square-foot building achieved LEED Gold certification for its shell and core and cost a total of $11.2M to construct. Surrounded almost completely by glass, the four-story building operates without a lot of expensive technology. By incorporating natural ventilation throughout, as well as daylighting, the building has reduced energy consumption by 50 percent. The project features storefront and entrances from Kawneer Company Inc. in Norcross, Ga. 

For project architects, Weber Thompson, headquartered in Seattle, creating a building with natural ventilation and daylight was an important element. As the design progressed, a courtyard was integrated into the building to create a shaft that would help draw air upward as vented windows let warm air out, creating a chimney effect.

“Because the building was designed without an HVAC system, it was critical that it was constructed in a way that would allow the building to naturally maintain a cool temperature,” says Tim Hensley, project manager for Issaquah Glass located in Issaquah, Wash.

To help create the building’s natural ventilation system, Kawneer’s Trifab® VG 451T storefront with GLASSventTM windows were used on the exterior of the building, including the courtyard. Visually frameless and thermally improved, the GLASSventTM windows incorporated automatic louvers mounted into the window frames allowing the louvers to open automatically when the building reached a certain temperature. Heavy wall mullions were also utilized on the building to help meet wind load and thermal requirements. In addition, 190 Narrow Stile Entrances were integrated throughout the interior of the building. The Trifab® 450 storefront was also used on the interior of the building.

“Kawneer has a longstanding commitment to creating products and solutions that contribute to LEED certification points,” says J.D. “Skip” Dill, architectural sales representative for Kawneer. “In the Terry Thomas building project, the use of thermally broken storefront and thermally improved operable windows contributed to LEED points, helped meet the thermal requirements of the building and ultimately contributed to achieving our goal of creating a sustainable building. We are all proud that the Terry Thomas building was honored with a COTE Top Ten award.”


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