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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BD+C features Tubelite’s durable doors for high-traffic entryways

Projects built for high traffic and longevity in mind depend on Tubelite’s tie-rod doors.
Building Design+Construction features two successful and enduring project examples:
* Indiana State Fairgrounds’ Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion
* Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s gift shop
“Considering that entry doors are among the most frequently used moving parts of a building, it is impressive how long aluminum doors last and how well they perform. The door of a high-traffic entry such as at a retail facility could see literally hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of openings and closings every year,” begins the article.
Click here to continuing reading this online story.

Please contact us if we can answer any additional questions for you regarding aluminum entrance systems, and let us know how we help you select the most dependable products for your next project.

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Seguin Public Library in Texas earns LEED Gold and awards, features Tubelite’s curtainwall and entrance systems

When the City of Seguin, Texas, decided to tear down its old library and build a new one, the priority was to leverage the natural beauty of its site along the banks of Walnut Creek. In Nov. 2017, the project earned LEED® Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. Bringing the outdoors inside of this two-story facility, Tubelite’s curtainwall and storefront frames these natural views and leverages natural light. In addition, cantilevered decks overlook the creek and a popular walking and biking trail.

Designed by PGAL of Los Angeles and 720 design inc. of Dallas, the 43,000-square-foot library is three times the size of the original building, providing more area for books, technology and spaces to sit, read and enjoy the natural surroundings. Thanks to Tubelite’s curtainwall with high-performance glass, a quiet room extends into the branches of a pecan tree letting visitors feel as if they are sitting in a transparent tree house.

Representing Tubelite, Sage Architectural Products, LLC provided glazing contractor Bulverde Glass, Inc. of San Antonio with 16,300 square feet of Tubelite’s 400 Series Curtainwall and T14000 I/O storefront, plus four Wide Stile doors and frames. Along with Tubelite’s curtainwall, Sage also supplied Bulverde with champagne-colored aluminum sun screens from Industrial Louvers to shade library patrons from the Texas heat. In addition, the library incorporates metal accent panels, local limestone and brick with exposed wood roof decking for the exterior.

Todd Joubert with Sage notes, “Tubelite was selected for its service and value.” Commercial building teams have depended on Tubelite’s 400 Series since the 1980s. Throughout the decades, the curtainwall continues to prove its aesthetic flexibility and reliable structural performance. Contributing to this reliability, Linetec finished the aluminum framing members in a dark brown anodize.

Providing one the most durable finishes for architectural aluminum products, Linetec’s eco-friendly anodize process also supports environmentally responsible practices and design-forward thinking. It creates a frosty matte appearance, hides small defects common in recycled aluminum, contains no VOCs and meets or exceeds all AAMA 611 specifications. When it is time for the installed architectural product to be removed, anodized aluminum is 100 percent recyclable, lending itself to post-consumer recycled content during demolition or restoration of the building.

Tubelite’s products are manufactured to meet the aesthetic, performance and environmental goals of each project, as well as for easy fabrication and installation. Demonstrating its dependability and partnership, Tubelite’s Damage Free Guaranteed ensures orders are delivered undamaged, complete and on time.

Byrne Construction Services began construction on the new Seguin Public Library in 2014 and competed it on scheduled. Tyler Messer of Bulverde Glass notes, “It came together pretty well and went up fairly easy. We hit the target dates. We’re happy and everybody else seems happy with it, too.”

The building celebrated its grand opening in September 2016. This year’s LEED Gold certification is one of many accolades the project has received. Additional awards include the TEXO Distinguished Building Award-$10 to $30 Million, the Best of Texas presented by Engineering News Record and the Project of the Year Between $10-$25 Million by the American Subcontractors Association, San Antonio Chapter.

“It’s no surprise to us that our gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Seguin Public Library is receiving these kinds of accolades. It is without a doubt a masterpiece of architecture and construction,” said Library Director Jacki Gross.

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Seguin Public Library, 313 W Nolte St. Seguin, TX 78155, http://www.seguintexas.gov/landing_library.php
* Owner: City of Seguin; Seguin, Texas; http://www.seguintexas.gov
* Lead architect: PGAL; Los Angeles; https://www.pgal.com
* Additional architect: 720 design inc.; Dallas; http://www.720design.net
* General contractor: Byrne Construction Services; San Antonio, Texas; http://www.tsbyrne.com
* Glazing contractor: Bulverde Glass, Inc.; San Antonio; Texas; http://www.bulverdeglass.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall and sun shade manufacturers’ representative: Sage Architectural Products, LLC; Austin, Texas; http://sage-ap.com
* Glazing systems – sun shade manufacturer: Industrial Louvers, Inc.; Delano, Minnesota; http://www.industriallouvers.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall, doors and frames manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall, doors and frames finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; http://linetec.com
* Glazing systems – glass supplier: Columbia Commercial Building Products; Rockwall, Texas; http://ccbpwin.com
* Glazing systems – glass fabricator: Vitro Architectural Glass, Solarban® 70XL; Cheswick, Pennsylvania; http://www.vitroglazings.com
* Photos courtesy of Seguin Gazette

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 and 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 Glass Association of North America (GANA), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Dramatic design for Chicago theater created with Tubelite curtainwall

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare brings a new trend in theater architecture to the city and completes part of the grand plan to transform Navy Pier into a global destination. The new theater features captivating views of the skyline and Lake Michigan through curving curtainwall, sweeping storefront and entrance systems from Tubelite Inc.

Designed by Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with the British theater consulting firm Charcoalblue, the new, 33,000-square-foot expansion connects to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s (CST’s) existing building through a two-level, 170-foot-long glass lobby. The lobby’s curtainwall showcases one of Chicago’s first electrochromic (EC) glazing installations.

Complex Curtainwall

Chicago-based glazing contractor Northern Glass Inc. installed 5,000 square feet of Tubelite’s 400SS Series four-side, structurally glazed, aluminum curtainwall. In addition, they used Tubelite’s 400 Series standard curtainwall on the main entrance, and 14000 I/O Series storefront on the vestibule and second floor balcony terrace. The curtainwall and storefront systems were finished by Linetec in Class I clear anodize. Bone White painted finishes were applied to Tubelite’s Narrow Stile Standard Doors and Medium Stile Therml=Block® Doors.

Eric Martinson of Northern Glass notes that the crescent-shaped lobby “is the building’s main feature” composed of Tubelite’s four-side, structurally glazed curtainwall. He explains, “Each segment of the curtainwall’s horizontal members had to be cut to a different degree; with some down to just a half of a degree difference.”

He acknowledges the project “was a tough challenge.” Within the curtainwall’s aluminum framing members are concealed the wires for the EC glazing from SageGlass, plus 2-by-4 steel reinforcing.

Martinson continues, “We ran it all in our shop and then brought it to the job site. Getting the material there was extremely tricky, as we couldn’t drive down the south side of the pier to the site. Instead, we went down the north side, unloaded, carted it all the way around and through the building, and then used a scissor lift to set in place. Not only did we have to tie into the existing structure, but we had to be careful not to disrupt the occupants in the space beneath the construction zone.”

High Performance

Beyond installation challenges, Martinson notes that Lake Michigan presented special performance requirements. “As it’s a four-side, structurally glazed curtainwall, air and water aren’t much of an issue, but the wind was a big concern. That’s why there’s so much steel inside it.”

Keeping The Yard’s patrons comfortable in every season, optimizing thermal performance for cold winters and hot summers also contributes to the building’s energy efficiency and condensation resistance. The computer-controlled dynamic EC glass adjusts the opacity depending upon the level of sunlight. This maintains the view, while managing unwanted heat gain and glare.

“Not only did the SageGlass solve the thermal issues, but it also offered the opportunity to create numerous façade expressions, creating a ‘technological veil’ for the lobby that the client can manipulate as required,” said architect Gordon Gill. “The result is a beautiful and diverse experience consistent with the concept for The Yard.”

Adaptable and Sustainable

When planning the expansion, CST’s leadership took both an economically and environmentally sustainable approach by deciding to repurpose elements of the underutilized former Skyline Stage on Navy Pier. Beneath the existing, signature, white tent, The Yard emerged as a fully enclosed, indoor theater.

The decision to employ adaptive reuse in The Yard’s architectural design reduced building costs dramatically, bringing the total cost to $35 million. CST estimates this is far less than half of the projected estimates for entirely new construction. General contractor Bulley & Andrews not only managed the project within budget, but also within schedule.

The Yard’s resulting versatility includes an adjustable auditorium that can be reconfigured from a proscenium house to thrust, traverse and in-the-round configurations. Nine four-story-tall moveable seating towers enable the creation of 12 different stage formats seating between 150 and 850 patrons.

“Nothing is more thrilling to theater-makers than flexibility,” noted CST’s artistic director Barbara Gaines. “The adaptable platform of The Yard gives artists a theatrical ‘blank slate’ in which to shape their work without the physical constraints of a fixed footprint—and gives audiences an exciting, new perspective from their seats for each production.”

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s founding partner, Gordon Gill, noted, “At the foundation of my philosophy is the idea that ‘Form Follows Performance’ – and nowhere is that more clear than in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. Its ability to adjust and adapt to the needs of the art is genuinely innovative… and we’ve accomplished it in a sustainable, cost-conscious way, which I believe will make it a model for theaters to come.”

“The Yard is forward-thinking and responsive – and a fitting expression of the theater that Chicago Shakespeare has become,” said Criss Henderson, CST’s executive director. “The versatility of the space means that it is perfectly suited to the widest range of our work: from large-scale musicals and new commissioned works, to international imports and programs for young audiences, and, of course, bold imaginings of Shakespeare’s plays and the classics.”

The theater debuted in Sept. 2017 in its proscenium configuration to accommodate the largest possible audience.

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The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 East Grand Avenue on Navy Pier, Chicago, IL 60611
* Owner: Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Chicago; https://www.chicagoshakes.com
* Architect: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Chicago; http://smithgill.com
* Associate Architect: Charcoalblue; London; http://www.charcoalblue.com
* General Contractor: Bulley & Andrews, LLC; Chicago; http://www.bulley.com
* Glazing Contractor: Northern Glass Inc.; Elk Grove Village, Illinois; http://www.nglass.com
* Glazing Systems – electrochromic glass manufacturer: SageGlass; Faribault, Minnesota; https://www.sageglass.com
* Glazing Systems – thermal improvement and finishing services: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; http://www.linetec.com
* Glazing Systems – window and entrance systems: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan; https://www.tubeliteinc.com
* Photos by: Michael Lipman
* Videos and photo slideshow: https://www.chicagoshakes.com/yard

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 and 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 Glass Association of North America (GANA), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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University of Washington’s NanoES featured in Architect’s Newspaper

hotos by: Aaron Leitz Photography, courtesy of ZGFThe University of Washington’s newly opened Nano Engineering and Sciences Building (UW NanoES) relies on Tubelite’s Therml=Block® entrances with thermal strut, customized electric security and automatic hardware. Demonstrating its energy-efficiency and daylight-focused design, the project is pursuing LEED® Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Seattle offices of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP (ZGF) designed the NanoES as the second phase of a 168,000-square-foot complex located at the center of the UW Seattle-based campus. The first phase, the 90,000-square-foot Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building, was completed in 2012.

Read more about this project success story in The Architect’s Newspaper.

Photos by Aaron Leitz Photography, courtesy of ZGF

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