Colorado hospital’s ER renovation and expansion features Tubelite’s storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems

Photographer: Matt Puckett UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, expanded its patient services with the renovation and addition of its emergency room (ER) department. The 185,000-square-foot, three-story ER features Tubelite Inc.’s storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems to create the welcoming exterior and the comfortable, daylit interior.

Originally built in 1925, the original hospital had been renovated and expanded many times. The former ER space was built to treat 25,000 patients per year, but in 2016, approximately 53,000 patients were cared for there. The new ER can accommodate future growth of the community and can care for up to 100,000 patients annually.

Photographer: Matt Puckett At 55,543 square feet, the new ER is more than three times the size of the hospital’s former emergency space and offers up to 64 beds. The new facility also features a clinical laboratory, a retail pharmacy, a rooftop helipad and an orthopedics unit. UCHealth noted that the new orthopedic unit, on the second floor, “has large rooms with natural light and a rehabilitation gym that gives patients an area to improve their mobility and health without the feel of being in a hospital.”

Inviting the natural light and framing the views, Commercial Glass, Inc. installed Tubelite Inc.’s 400 Series curtainwall and T14000 I/O Series storefront. For the entrances, Tubelite’s Wide Stile Doors, with 5-inch-wide stiles and 10-inch bottom rails, were selected for the heavy-use likely to be experienced in the hospital’s ER.

Enhancing the dependable reputation of Tubelite’s architectural aluminum products, Linetec finished all of the materials for Poudre Valley Hospital’s ER in Class I clear anodize. The resulting finish withstands continuous use, cleans easily and requires minimal maintenance. In addition, Linetec provided thermal improvement services to minimize temperature transfer and insulate the exterior surfaces from the interior.

Photographer: Matt Puckett “Our thermally improved storefront systems achieve the specified thermal performance and contribute to condensation resistance, which also minimize the potential for mold and mildew,” said Mary Avery, Tubelite’s vice president of marketing. “These combined attributes support the hospital’s energy savings goals, as well as provide a healthy, comfortable, open space for patients and other people to enjoy.”

General contractor Hensel Phelps described the $59.5 million project as “shoe-horned in the northeast corner of the campus and tied into the existing hospital at a number of locations.” The project is part of a larger $100 million expansion that included new and renovated neonatal intensive care units.

“Because the existing hospital underwent a series of additions over its lifespan, the aggregated structure has multiple levels with differing floor elevations and differing floor-to-floor heights resulting in a challenging design to connect the existing building to the new addition,” explained Hensel Phelps.

Photographer: Matt Puckett In collaboration with architects at H+L Architecture (now TreanorHL) the project team used integrated project delivery principles, virtual design and construction, as well as laser scanning to coordinate the existing conditions with the new design. Working together, the project was completed in 19 months and opened in Feb. 2017.

The new emergency department at Poudre Valley Hospital is part of a 270-bed regional medical center offering a wide array of treatments, surgeries and diagnostic tests in more than three dozen medical specialties. This medical center specializes in orthopedic surgery, neuroscience, cancer, bariatric weight-loss surgery, and women and family services for residents of northern Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. Its team of more than 2,000 health care professionals delivers personal and skilled care that uses the latest medical technologies.

Kevin Unger, CEO and president of Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies, said he is delighted by the design of the new emergency department addition. “The all-private, state-of-the-art rooms designed around pods can be opened and closed depending on patient volume. The waiting room is very small because we want all patients to see a provider immediately after entering the facility, and I also love that the helicopter pad is on the roof above the new emergency department.”

Poudre Valley Hospital, Emergency Room addition, 1024 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80524Photographer: Matt Puckett
* Owner: UCHealth; Denver; https://www.uchealth.org
* Architect: H+L Architecture (now TreanorHL); Denver; https://www.treanorhl.com
* General contractor: Hensel Phelps; Greeley, Colorado; https://www.henselphelps.com
* Glazing contractor: Commercial Glass, Inc.; Loveland, Colorado; http://www.commercial-glass.com
* Glazing system – storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Glazing system – storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems finishing: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; https://linetec.com
* Photographer: Matt Puckett Photography

About Tubelite Inc.

For more than 70 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery.

Tubelite’s corporate office, fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations are located in Walker, Michigan. Its Dallas location provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. Its facility in Reed City, Michigan, houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation. The company also has an office in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Tubelite and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America (NGA/GANA), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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UCHealth Cancer Center renovates lobby with Tubelite’s storefront and entrance systems

Photographer: Matt PuckettUCHealth Cancer Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, recently renovated its Harmony Campus’ lobby and entry to provide a more hospitable welcome for patients, staff and visitors. Designed by CBRE | Heery, Inc., in association with FreemanWhite, the cancer center’s new entrance features natural light and views framed with Tubelite Inc.’s storefront systems.

A service of Poudre Valley Hospital and the region’s leading cancer center, UCHealth expanded its facility to serve the growing number of patients generated by the area’s increasing population, and heightened awareness of cancer prevention and treatment options.

Photographer: Matt PuckettCompared to the estimated costs to build a new facility, the $10.7 million, 44,390-square-foot renovation and expansion to the existing structure offered savings without disrupting patient care. General contractor Adolfson & Peterson Construction managed the expansion in phases to allow the cancer center to remain operational throughout construction. During the main phase of construction, a 32,150-square-foot, two-story addition was built to house a medical infusion area and the interior of the cancer center was renovated with the new lobby and entrance.

To create this warm, welcoming environment, CBRE | Heery, Inc. specified Tubelite’s storefront framing and Medium Stile doors. Installed by Commercial Glass, Inc., the aluminum framing systems are engineered with thermal barriers to minimize temperature transfer and insulate the exterior surfaces from the interior.

Photographer: Matt Puckett“Our thermally improved storefront systems achieve the specified thermal performance and contribute to condensation resistance, which also minimize the potential for mold and mildew,” said Mary Avery, Tubelite’s vice president of marketing. “These combined attributes support the hospital’s energy savings goals, as well as provide a healthy, comfortable, open space for patients and other people to enjoy.”

Tubelite relies on Linetec as its single source solution for thermally improving and finishing of the aluminum framing. Enhancing the storefront system’s appearance and durability, Linetec finished the framing in two colors: a champagne anodize and a custom “Loveland Teal” PVDF resin-based coating. The resulting finish withstands continuous use, cleans easily and requires minimal maintenance.

Photographer: Matt PuckettBeyond the lobby and entry, the UCHealth Cancer Center added a “Main Street” pedestrian corridor to link the lobby with the renovated oncology suite and a new outdoor healing garden. A nutritional center, physical rehabilitation services, alternative medicine therapies and a flexible conference center were among the other additions completed in future construction phases.

UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital also specializes in orthopedic surgery, neuroscience, bariatric weight-loss surgery, as well as women and family services. The Level III trauma center offers a wide array of treatments, surgeries and diagnostic tests in more than three dozen medical specialties. The hospital contains 11 surgical suites, 12 intensive care units and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital employs more than 2,000 health care professionals to deliver personal and skilled care using the latest medical technologies.

UCHealth Cancer Center, a service of Poudre Valley Hospital, Harmony Campus,
2121 East Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, Colorado 80528
Photographer: Matt Puckett* Owner: UCHealth; Denver; https://www.uchealth.org
* Architects: CBRE | Heery, Inc.; Denver; https://www.heery.com
* Architects – healthcare design: FreemanWhite, a Haskell Company; Charlotte, North Carolina; https://freemanwhite.com
* General contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction; Minneapolis; http://www.a-p.com
* Glazing contractor: Commercial Glass, Inc.; Loveland, Colorado; http://www.commercial-glass.com
* Glazing system – storefront and entrance systems manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Glazing system – storefront and entrance systems finishing: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; https://linetec.com
* Photographer: Matt Puckett Photography

About Tubelite Inc.

For more than 70 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery.

Tubelite’s corporate office, fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations are located in Walker, Michigan. Its Dallas location provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. Its facility in Reed City, Michigan, houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation. The company also has an office in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Tubelite and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America (NGA/GANA), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative’s new headquarters features Tubelite’s curtainwall, storefront, entrances and interior framing

photo by Chad Ziemendorf; courtesy of FCI Constructors, Inc. Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), one of the largest power distributor in the Upper Midwest, recently opened its brand new headquarters in Williston, North Dakota, featuring an expansive curtainwall from Tubelite.

The four-story, 85,000-square-foot building was designed by JLG Architects to achieve a LEED® Gold certification with an emphasis on highlighting the efficient use of electricity, while creating a beacon for MWEC on the north side of Williston. The construction manager for the build was the Williston office of FCI Constructors, Inc.  Gage Brothers produced precast concrete products, including the walls to anchor the large expanses of Tubelite’s curtainwall finished in a Class I Clear anodize by Linetec.

“We are very pleased with our building and the ease of which the curtainwall construction was brought to the project. Most of all the beauty and the energy efficiency it brought to our building, we are so proud!” said MWEC’s general manager, Dale Haugen.

“MWEC approached JLG in 2014 about helping look at a new main office building,” remembered JLG’s project manager, Nick Lippert, AIA. “At the time, we were helping them answer a lot of questions about future growth, scale of project and understanding of the major project goals.”

Kirsten Braaten PhotographyThe new building was necessary to accommodate a decade of unprecedented growth at MWEC resulting from the oil boom in the Bakken Region of North Dakota. The cooperative currently has 84 substations in its service area compared to just 19 in 2007. The city of Williston’s population has doubled since 2007. The demand has seen MWEC, a not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution cooperative, nearly tripled its workforce since 2010 to manage a consistent backlog of requests for power.

MWEC’s and JLG’s shared overarching design goal for the new headquarters was focused on “looking to the future,” said Lippert. “The entire design aesthetic is aimed toward employee experience; not just now, but for the future generations MWEC is investing in.” He added that showing commitment to the community and the co-op, plus showing commitment to being leaders in energy conservation were two more key design goals for the project.

As the MWEC building’s defining feature, Tubelite provided 41,000 square feet of 400TU Therml=Block® Series Curtainwall. The transparency of this glass and the aluminum systems frame the active, productive offices and collaborative workspaces within the new, modern, corporate headquarters. Fargo Glass and Paint Co. also worked with Tubelite to integrate MWEC’s name in large metal letters within the façade.

In addition to creating the desired appearance for MWEC’s headquarters, the curtainwall offers high performance to withstand the Dakota wind and seasonal temperature extremes. The curtainwall’s custom 8-inch-deep face covers were designed to help with sun control and to meet or exceed today’s stringent energy codes and current LEED criteria.

Kirsten Braaten PhotographyTubelite’s sales and engineering teams worked closely with JLG Architects and Fargo Glass from the project’s earliest stages. Tubelite’s architectural take-off (ATO) services group then provided further support to Fargo Glass during the bid stage. Tubelite’s local representative, Hillesheim Architectural Products, Inc. (HAP, Inc.) also was involved throughout the project.

Tubelite can provide ATO services for qualified clients on special, larger projects, according to Rick Hillesheim, HAP, Inc.’s president and Tubelite’s territory client development manager. For the MWEC project, the Tubelite ATO services group supplied the shop drawings plus related engineering services.

JLG’s Lippert noted that the Tubelite’s team’s understanding of the project’s energy-efficiency goals was helpful in reaching the performance targets. “Also working with the design team to create a simple, repeatable system that improves the experience of the building from the inside and exterior.”

“Tubelite’s products create a vast majority of the exterior envelope,” said Lippert. Complementing the façade, Tubelite provided 400 Series Curtainwall, E14000 Series Storefront Framing, Narrow Stile Entrances to complement the and Therml=Block Wide Stile Entrances. A total of 96,168 lineal feet, 18.2 miles, of aluminum weighing approximately 141,000 pounds was installed by Fargo Glass. Along with the extensive use of Tubelite’s systems on the building envelope, its curtainwall, storefront framing and Narrow Stile Entrances are used throughout the interior lobby and 97 offices.

Kirsten Braaten PhotographyInsulated, tempered and laminated glass units using low-e coatings for high thermal performance contributed to achieving the project’s requirements. With the nearby highway, the high-performance glazing also helped meet the acoustic specifications. Multiple glass types were selected for the vision and spandrel applications. “Some of these bays are 64 feet tall and made up of 32 separate units,” noted Joe Haider, branch manager at Fargo Glass.

Hillesheim added, “In my 30 years with Tubelite, this is the largest Tubelite metal package we’ve ever supplied in my immediate coverage area.”

Haider agreed and noted, “We had dedicated truckloads because there was so much material.”

The on-site project work by Fargo Glass was managed by FCI Constructors, Inc. from June 2017 to Oct. 2018, including over a cold winter. Three people would fabricate the system in Fargo Glass’ shop in Minot, North Dakota. The pre-assembled framing system would be trucked to the job site in Williston, where a team of eight would install it in the field.

Approximately a dozen people were able to complete this massive project, said Haider. He continued, “We’ve been a Tubelite client for a very long time, since the 60s. It’s our day-to-day stock. We’re very familiar with the material, so it was pretty easy for us to do the job based on the spec’s that Tubelite and JLG provided. Of course, there are always a few hiccups along the way.”

One such hiccup, Hillesheim remembered, was encountered just before a holiday weekend. “Tubelite responded quickly, fixed it over the weekend and communicated all the way through each stage of the process. I’ve never seen something turned around so quickly,” he praised.

photo by Chad Ziemendorf; courtesy of FCI Constructors, Inc.Validating the system’s dependable performance, Haider said that when the field air/water testing was conducted on the installed, four-story 28-by-64-foot bay, “the engineers said it was the best test results they had ever seen.”

“It’s phenomenal to see the whole building now that it’s complete,” echoed Hillesheim.

“The bar was set very high for weather-tightness and everyone on the construction team rose to the challenge,” praised Lippert. “The building serves as a testament to careful planning, detailing and careful craftsmanship by Fargo Glass and FCI to create one of the most efficient buildings in the region.”

The finished project showcases many environmentally responsible and energy-efficient components, which presents MWEC as a leader by its example. The building’s orientation and thoughtful application of Tubelite’s glazing systems maximizes the abundant natural light. MWEC’s facility also incorporates motion and sound sensors for optimizing electric lighting use throughout the building. In addition, 150 geothermal wells on the property, each drilled down to 300 feet, heat and cool the entire building with renewable energy.

Kirsten Braaten PhotographyAnother environmentally friendly design decision included recycling 92 percent of the weight of the old building when constructing the new and expanded headquarters. One visible example is seen on the walls of each conference room, where the old interior wood trim was repurposed for decorative touches, connecting MWEC’s humble beginnings to its burgeoning future.

Today, the new corporate headquarters house all of MWEC’s 79 employees in Williston, as well as employees from Basin Electric Power Cooperative, while allowing extra room for additional employees to come. To promote collaboration, there are “huddle rooms” on each of the four floors, where employees can gather to work together on challenges. Some of the rooms are equipped with video screens and cameras so the co-op’s employees in New Town and Stanley can join meetings.

“It’s good to have everyone under one roof,” Chris Brostuen, MWEC’s manager of public relations and communications told the Williston Herald at the facility’s open house. “It will help with collaboration, which ultimately lets us serve our members and the public better.”

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Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), 218 58th St. W., Williston, ND 58802; https://www.mwec.com
* Owner: MWEC; Williston, North Dakota; https://www.mwec.com
* Architect: JLG Architects; Williston, North Dakota; http://jlgarchitects.com
* General contractor: FCI Constructors, Inc.; Williston, North Dakota; https://www.fciol.com
* Precast concrete: Gage Brothers; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; http://gagebrothers.com
* Glazing contractor: Fargo Glass and Paint Co.; Minot, North Dakota; https://www.fargoglass.com
* Glazing systems – glass: Oldcastle; Albertville, Minnesota; https://obe.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall, entrance and storefront systems manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Glazing systems ­– manufacturer’s representative: Hillesheim Architectural Products, Inc. (HAP, Inc.); Faribault, Minnesota; https://www.hap-inc.net
* Glazing systems – finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; https://linetec.com
* Exterior photos by: Kirsten Braaten Photography
* Additional exterior and interior photos by: Chad Ziemendorf, courtesy of FCI Constructors, Inc.

About Tubelite Inc.

For more than 70 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery.

Tubelite’s corporate office, fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations are located in Walker, Michigan. Its Dallas location provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. Its facility in Reed City, Michigan, houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation. The company also has offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Warwick, Rhode Island.

Tubelite and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America (NGA/GANA), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center in Texas features Tubelite systems inside and out

photo by Chad DavisCelebrating the beginning of its second academic year, the Dan Dipert Career + Technical Center (CTC) serves approximately 2,400 students from across the Arlington Independent School District (AISD) in Texas. Designed by VLK Architects, the CTC incorporates Tubelite Inc.’s storefront, curtainwall, entrances and sun shades – on both the building’s exterior and interior – emphasizing transparency to promote collaboration and connection.

Providing real world experiences and skills for high school juniors and seniors, the CTC’s purpose-built, two-story structure spans 169,800 square feet to accommodate Career Technical Education programs in 18 specialized academies ranging from culinary arts to robotics. The facility is designed for flexibility to evolve and adapt to changing programs and future areas of interests.

photo by Chad Davis“Collaboration at all levels is the driving force behind the design,” described VLK Architects Project Designer Richard Hunt, AIA, LEED® AP. “Expressive and monumental, the architecture is unique to the neighborhood and city as a whole. The expansive curtainwall, featuring diagonal sun shade fins, serves as a subconscious billboard to passersby – visitors and students understand they are entering an institution of higher learning and not just another run-of-the-mill high school building.”

Signature Look, Durable Performance

photo by Chad DavisTubelite worked closely with VLK Architects and glazing contractor Pierce Riverside Glass to achieve the CTC’s architectural vision and meet the project’s performance requirements. Tubelite’s Wide Stile Entrances employ durable tie-rod corner construction to withstand continuous use from students, staff and visitors.

Enhancing the façade’s strength and thermal performance, the Wide Stile Entrances are installed within Tubelite’s T14000 Storefront Framing system. T14000 Storefront is flush-glazed system ideally suited for low-rise applications. Also suited for the Texas heat, the CTC’s storefront and curtainwall systems uses Solarban® 60 Solar Control glass. This high-performance low-e glass blocks unwanted solar heat and allows in visible light for year-round comfort, as well as heating and cooling cost savings.

Further minimizing costs and maintenance, the clear anodize finish on all of Tubelite’s aluminum systems for the CTC meets the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s AAMA 611 specification. Applied by Linetec, anodize protects the structural integrity of the aluminum for lasting durability. In total, Linetec finished nearly 75,000 feet of Tubelite’s extruded aluminum framing systems.

photo by Chad DavisPierce Riverside installed every inch of material from Tubelite, including the 400 Series Curtainwall and custom MaxBlock® sun shades define the CTC’s building envelope. Kevin Haynes, Tubelite’s architectural specification manager, elaborated, “We worked on this project from conception with VLK and engineered a custom 24-inch vertical sun shade detail that runs the length of the of the 9-inch-deep curtainwall. Not only is the sun shade custom, but is on a slant connecting at the bottom of one vertical curtainwall mull and carries across to the top of the next vertical curtainwall mull.”

Tubelite used its 3-D printer to create various sizes and thicknesses of the sun shade detail. “Having the 3-D printed prototypes saves a lot of money and time. These samples let the architect see something and determine the right look before committing to the expense of a bunch of new dies,” said Dan Smith, Tubelite’s client development manager. “Because of all the upfront work Tubelite’s engineering team did, Tubelite was the basis-of-design for the project.”

Transparent and United in Building and Brand

photo by Chad DavisInside the CTC, VLK Architect’s specified Tubelite’s INT45 Interior Flush Glaze Framing system. The system’s perimeter trim members were pre-applied on one side of the frame opening for fast, simple installation by Pierce Riverside.

“All 18 academies surround a central space fronted with glass to maximize transparency,” observed VLK’s Hunt. “Strolling down this main corridor, one can view students engaging in a variety of skills, from aligning the wheels on a Ford F150 or programming and operating CNC machines, to students styling hair or conducting TV Newscasts.”

photo by Chad DavisVLK Architects extended the CTC’s signature look to create all-inclusive, branded facility. Hunt explained, “The brand for the program and the building had to be united, easily recognizable, simple and powerful, symbolizing the opportunities the Center affords students in this large district. It was inspired by the building itself, using the (Tubelite) sun shade fins as the repeating image throughout.

He added, “The image not only works to identify the school, but also provides wayfinding so that academies can be easily located. …Visitors and students can easily identify the Dan Dipert CTC and will remember it long after they experience it.”

An Incredible Accomplishment

photo by Chad DavisLocated on the former site of Hutcheson Junior High, the CTC’s districtwide facility was funded as part of the AISD’s $663.1 million bond program approved by voters in 2014. Construction manager Balfour Betty US broke ground in April 2016 and completed the project on schedule for its opening in August 2017. A dedication ceremony followed in February 2018.

At the dedication event, VLK Architects Partner Sloan Harris, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, stated, “This project is an incredible accomplishment for Arlington ISD. The Center is second to none in the state and will be a tremendous benefit to the AISD students for decades to come. The Center not only represents the educational leadership and innovation that AISD provides, it is symbolic of the diversity and global business leadership of the Arlington community. We are very proud to have been a partner with Arlington ISD in bringing their visions to life.”

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photo by Chad DavisArlington Independent School District, Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center (AISD CTC); 2101 Browning Drive, Arlington, Texas 76010; https://www.aisd.net/career-technical-center/
* Owner: Arlington Independent School District; Arlington, Texas; https://www.aisd.net
* Architect: VLK Architects, Inc.; Fort Worth, Texas; https://vlkarchitects.com
* Construction Manager: Balfour Beatty US; Dallas; https://www.balfourbeattyus.com
* Glazing Contractor: Pierce Riverside Glass; Justin, Texas; http://www.prglass.com
* Glazing systems – glass: Vitro Architectural Glass; Cheswick, Pennsylvania; http://www.vitroglazings.com
* Glazing systems – storefront, curtainwall, entrances, sun shades manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Glazing systems – aluminum finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; http://linetec.com
* Photos: by Chad M. Davis, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
* Video

About Tubelite Inc.

For more than 70 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery.

Tubelite’s corporate office, fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations are located in Walker, Michigan. Its Dallas location provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. Its facility in Reed City, Michigan, houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation. The company also has offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Warwick, Rhode Island.

Tubelite and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America (NGA/GANA), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Little Caesars Arena meets aesthetic, sustainability, security goals with Tubelite’s curtainwall, storefront, entrance systems

Photo by Red ArchieIn May 2018, Little Caesars Arena earned the Sports Facility of the Year Award by Sports Business, based on excellence, growth, creativity, innovation, sound planning, implementation and outcomes. The arena’s “deconstructed” design features numerous buildings composing the whole sports and entertainment destination, and anchoring a 50-block area branded as The District Detroit.

Designed by HOK and owned by Ilitch Holdings, Inc., the $862.9 million arena complex blends historic and modern aesthetics with massively scaled, fan-friendly interiors and modestly scaled, pedestrian-friendly exteriors. Contributing to this exterior, Tubelite Inc.‘s curtainwall, storefront and entrance systems support the project’s aesthetic, sustainability and security goals for completion on time and within budget.

Accepting the recent award, Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., said, “Our vision for what Little Caesars Arena could offer to fans, players, artists and community members drove us to create something very special and highly innovative. Every aspect of Little Caesars Arena was designed to enhance the guest experience, and we appreciate that those efforts continue to be recognized.”

Attractive and Approachable

Photo by Red Archie“One of the main design goals was to make the arena fit into the fabric of downtown and the surrounding neighborhood, rather than being this behemoth arena that dominates the area by its immense height and scale. The arena fits on what was four square city blocks,” explained Senior Project Architect Paul Leskovac, senior associate of HOK’s global Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. “One way we achieved it is that the arena floor is actually 30 feet below street level. If there was no signage, one might think it was a cool urban infill project – which it is!”

This approachable sizing is complemented by a 61,000-square-foot covered concourse and three connected, mid-rise buildings (A, B and C). Their upper floors are office spaces for Google, 313 Presents, Detroit Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment. The street levels offer restaurant and retail services, such as the Detroit Pistons and Red Wings’ team store, Mike’s Pizza Bar, Sports & Social Detroit, Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit and District Market. Detached from the arena and concourse, the parking garage also has a covered walkway bridge to the arena.

Conveying a sense of both contemporary and permanent placement, various configurations of brick, glass, metal and finish colors comprise these buildings’ façades. “Tubelite’s entrances, storefront and curtainwall are used on all façades of the arena. This includes the four main entry entrance systems and curtainwall, as well as curtainwall punched openings in the façade of the arena and Buildings A, B and C,” said Leskovac. “The colors helped make the façades appear like different buildings on a downtown street.”

On these buildings’ exteriors, Tubelite provided 30,100 square feet of 400TU Curtainwall in 7.5- and 10-inch-deep systems, and 186 Standard and Monumental Medium Stile entrance systems in four painted colors and a clear anodize finish. Linetec applied 70 percent PVDF resin-based architectural coatings using Valspar’s Fluropon® in Medium Gray and Black, PPG’s Duranar® in Traffic Gray, and Akzo Nobel’s Trinar® in a custom Detroit Red Wings color. Class I Clear anodize also was used on the exterior curtainwall and doors, and Class II Clear anodize was selected as the interior finish for 11,500 square feet of Tubelite E14000 Storefront systems.

Madison Heights Glass installed Tubelite’s systems on the main arena building’s interior and exterior, on Building C’s team store and Sports & Social Detroit as well as Building A/B’s Mike’s Pizza. Universal Glass & Metals served as the glazing contractor on the parking garage, pedestrian bridge and three connected buildings.

Sustainability and Security

Photo by Red ArchieAll materials and products on the arena were specified to help achieve LEED® standards of the U.S. Green Building Council. Among the benefits recognized by LEED, Tubelite’s systems can contribute to daylighting and views, optimized energy performance, thermal comfort, recyclable materials, and low-emitting (low-e) materials. The large majority of Tubelite’s systems installed on Little Caesars Arena complex rely on 1-inch, insulated Solarban® 60 low-e glass.

The durable finishes also reduced the need for maintenance costs and maximize long lifecycles. Under Linetec’s stringent factory-controlled processes, the finishes meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) 2605 and AAMA 611 industry standards. As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec applies these high-performance painted coatings, and safely captures and destroys the VOCs present in liquid solvent-based paints before the finished products’ arrival on the building site. Anodize finishes do not contain VOCs and process byproducts are recyclable.

Further contributing to sustainability, the aluminum curtainwall, storefront and entrance systems also are 100 percent recyclable. Tubelite’s products also are tested per the AAMA standards for air, water, structural and condensation resistance. In addition, they are tested and modeled for thermal transmittance per the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) procedures.

In addition to sustainability, Tubelite’s curtainwall systems also support the project’s security goals. At the first floor elevation, 1.25-inch, insulated, Solarban 60 low-e with impact-resistant glass was chosen for enhanced security. Other specifics are being kept confidential.

In Nov. 2017, Little Caesars Arena received SAFETY Act Certification, the highest level of protection awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The facility became the first combined National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and entertainment venue, and the only arena in the country, to earn the certification. It also has earned the Sport Event Security Aware (SESA) designation from the National Center for Spector Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).

Collaborative Construction

Photo by Red ArchieDemonstrating its dependability and partnership with the collaborative construction team, Tubelite’s processes ensure orders are delivered undamaged, complete and on time. This also supported construction of Little Caesars Arena in its overall on-time and on-budget project completion.

The project broke ground in Sept. 2014. Construction began in April 2015 as managed by the project’s construction manager Barton Malow-Hunt-White, a joint venture between Barton Malow Company and Hunt Construction Group, in association with White Construction. A combination of traditional, design-assist and design-build delivery methods was used throughout the project schedule.

At the Sept. 2017 ribbon-cutting opening event, Christopher Ilitch praised the project and those who built it: “Today, I am so proud to say that our vision of a Michigan-made, Detroit-built Little Caesars Arena came to life even more powerfully than we had imagined, bringing opportunity into local businesses, local workers, people in need of new careers. …We put our heart and soul into something truly spectacular for the people of this city, state and region.”

Joining Ilitch for the Sept. 2017 groundbreaking were Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and John Perkins, a carpenter apprentice on the project.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the trade construction workers who made this happen, but it also pointed out we need to grow those fields,” Snyder said. “We need to invest in the professional trades. We need to show them greater respect and understanding.”

Adding his compliments for Tubelite’s contribution, Leskovac remarked, “They were both a part of an amazing construction team that participated in building a one-of-a-kind arena that Detroit, Michigan and the entire region can be proud of for a very long time.”

Successful Start

The construction of Little Caesars Arena positioned Detroit as the only city in America that houses all four of its professional sports teams in an urban core — all within walking distance. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions, The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.

As of May 2018, Little Caesars Arena has been the home for more than 150 ticketed events for 2.3 million fans, including a combined 82 Red Wings and Pistons regular season home games, more than 50 concerts and shows, and 15 additional sporting events. The multi-purpose facility also has hosted more than 100 private events, and is on track to be one of the busiest arenas in the world during its first full year of operation.

Little Caesars Arena is one of more than a dozen developments launched by the Ilitch organization in The District Detroit since 2015. More than $1.4 billion in development is underway or planned, setting the stage for additional retail, office and residential projects. Development in The District Detroit already has created more than 20,000 construction and construction-related jobs and more than 3,000 permanent jobs after the opening of Little Caesars Arena, two-thirds of which were filled by Detroiters. These future projects are expected to continue growing the city’s economy and create new opportunities for Detroit and for Michigan.

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Little Caesars Arena; 2645 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan
* Owner: Detroit Downtown Development Authority
* Architect: HOK; Kansas City, Missouri; http://www.hok.com
* General contractor: Barton Malow-Hunt-White; Detroit; https://www.bartonmalow.com
* Glazing contractor – arena: Madison Heights Glass; Ferndale, Michigan; https://www.mhglass.com
* Glazing contractor – connecting buildings, parking deck: Universal Glass & Metals, Inc., part of the Brinker Group MBE; Detroit; http://brinkergroup.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall, glass supplier: Vitro Architectural Glass, Solarban® 60; Cheswick, Pennsylvania; http://www.vitroglazings.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall, storefront doors and frames manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Glazing systems – aluminum finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; http://linetec.com
* Photos by: Red Archie

About Tubelite Inc.

For more than 70 years, glazing contractors have counted on Tubelite’s dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery.

Tubelite’s corporate office, fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations are located in Walker, Michigan. Its Dallas location provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations. Its facility in Reed City, Michigan, houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation. The company also has offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Warwick, Rhode Island.

Tubelite and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America (NGA/GANA), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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