Vitro America receives award for innovative skylight

Super Sky Products, a Vitro America company, has been recognized with the 2010 Crystal Achievement Award for the most innovative commercial skylight. The company designed, manufactured and installed a…

Super Sky Products, a Vitro America company, has been recognized with the 2010 Crystal Achievement Award for the most innovative commercial skylight. The company designed, manufactured and installed a custom skylight on the new 55,000-sq.ft. Center for Athletics, Recreation and Fitness athletic facility, The Centre, at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. To be honoured with this award is highly motivating for us because the projects are selected by a panel of judges representing all segments of the glass industry; the awards recognize the best products and glass applications the commercial, retail and fabrication markets have to offer, stated Arturo Carrillo, Vitro America President. Designed by Cannon Design, the centre earned Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 80-ft. tower measures 50 ft. along each side of the base. The skylight shape is based on a triangular footprint twisted approximately 15 at each level. The resulting geometry creates 17 triangular facets that are glazed with 230 pattern cut lites of glass. Each facet is divided into a 5-by-5 grid aligned with all adjacent facets. According to Curtis Groeschel, project manager Super Sky Products, the tower geometry is the most unique feature of this skylight and that demanded special planning for the installation. Each facet of the tower is aligned with its neighbours and had to be set in place carefully, so that these alignments were maintained as the tower was erected. Our supervisors for the project, Jeff Farley and Cary Beaven, had to take great care to set each frame section correctly without the benefit of grid or reference lines. The array of grid lines and complex faceted geometry required the skylight frame and steel support structure to be coordinated in 3D modelling programmes. Super Sky“s extensive engineering process was a challenging aspect in developing the glazing system for the tower, Groeschel says. The tower consists of 10 separate frames requiring special layout and detailing for each frame member, clip, glass lite and metal cladding panel. This careful layout required hours of three-dimensional CAD modelling, so that each unique component could be fabricated to its exact shape and size. The final CAD model is a complete virtual image of the tower that allowed us to work out all of the complexities before any metal or glass was cut, thus avoiding costly delays on site to rework material. The aluminium is finished with a 70% PVDF Mica paint to match clear anodize, and the glass is a 1 5/16-inch insulating make-up utilizing Solarban 60 low-E and a laminated inboard lite. There is a total area of 5,500 square feet of glass with sizes varying from 10 square feet to 40 sq.ft. Each pattern lite was ordered per the modelled dimensions and delivered to the small work area on site as needed for installation into its unique opening. The 2010 Crystal Achievement Award programme includes 30 categories, several of which are new for 2010: most innovative solar glass product and project, most innovative interior glass product and project, and most innovative commercial retrofit project. Super Sky designs, manufactures and installs the highest quality glass construction systems in the world designed to improve thermal performance and increase resistance to condensation. Vitro America is an acknowledged leader in the fabrication and distribution of architectural glass and aluminium products serving commercial and residential construction markets throughout the US.