Glass Buildings Reflect Many Benefits

By on March 12, 2019

From Buildings:  The hotel Thompson Nashville is a relatively new addition to the city’s skyline. Located in an area known as the Gulch, the 12-story building presents an intriguing use of glass envelope. The Thompson’s facade is curved to follow the severe curve of 11th Avenue, the street on which the hotel sits.

(Photo: Thompson Hotel, a curved skyscraper, in Nashville, TN. Credit: Albert Vecerka/Esto)

The curved glass window wall isn’t only visually enticing; it’s high performing. The 60,000 square feet of material used on the hotel’s envelope is solar control low-emissivity glass – ideal in a place like Nashville, where air-conditioning costs are often of concern.

“We’re moving toward as high-performance [glass] as possible and highest visible light as possible at the same time,” says Meghan Beach, architectural representative for AGC Glass North America, makers of the glass used at the Thompson Nashville.

This hotel is just one example of how architects, designers and fabricators are using glass to – pardon the pun – push the envelope in their work for exteriors. It’s becoming increasingly common to see large glass envelopes on buildings today. Modern designs, color and energy reduction technology are now infused in a building material that’s been used for centuries.

And today, there are almost endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a glass envelope.

“There is probably an infinite number of options in the glass world, which makes it really difficult and challenging to get the right glass for the building,” says Daniel Shields, vice president of planning and development at IWR North America, a building enclosure subcontractor. “We have several categories that we need to focus on. Performance is one of the bigger ones. … There’s also that visual aspect.”

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