Glass Texpo 2012 Notes

Tubelite exhibited at the Glass Texpo 2012 event held in San Antonio, Texas, on May 12 and 13 at the Hotel Tropicano on the historic Riverwalk.

The number of attendees for both days of the show was up from the previous one in 2010, setting new records. Floor space was added after the original plan, but some exhibitors were turned away. Glazing contractors from as far away as Utah, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico were seen at the show.

Tubelite was well represented by Mike Efeney, Todd and Kim Joubert [Sage Architectural Products], Tony Evans, and Terry Robinholt. Our products and services featured in the booth were T14000 Series Storefront, 400 Series Curtainwall and the DFG “Damage Free Guarantee” shipping.

We are very pleased to have been a part of this tradeshow and look forward to participating again in 2014.

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Bernalillo Elementary School Achieves Sustainable Tubelite’s Products

The first new elementary school in New Mexico’s Bernalillo Public Schools district in 30 years features storefront, curtainwall and sun shades from Tubelite, Inc.

Bernalillo Elementary School’s Albuquerque-based team included Fanning Bard Tatum (FBT) Architects AIA, Ltd.; Enterprise Builders Corporation; and Southwest Glass & Glazing, Inc. This new elementary school facility was developed as part of a reorganization plan of two existing school campuses. To create a unified campus, the new 64,500-square-foot educational facility was constructed on a compact site next to the existing middle school. This positioning allows for greater operational efficiency through the shared use of parking, bus zones, game fields and playgrounds.

FBT Architects designed the new, two-story, $10 million elementary as a “High Performance School” with the building materials and system selection promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. “Natural daylighting was very important to the design of the school,” says FBT’s project manager, Jeremy Trumble, LEED® Accredited Professional. “Students and teachers were being relocated from an existing facility that had very small windows making the learning environment dark and stuffy, as well as limiting visual access for safety and security.”

The new elementary school’s teaching classrooms are arranged in three separate wings, corresponding to the three grade levels at the school. The library occupies an important corner at the middle of the second level, providing a central access point for each grade level wing and offering unrestricted views of the adjacent Rio Grande valley and surrounding vistas.

Providing students with natural views and light began with school’s orientation. “The majority of the classrooms faced north or south to help control the direct/indirect sun into each room,” continues Trumble. “Exterior sun shades were added to increase the controllability of the natural light.”

Max/Block™ sun shades by Tubelite® maximize daylighting and minimize solar heat gain. These benefits, coupled with recycled content and outside views, are key criteria for projects pursuing certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Rating Systems.

“Sun shades help significantly lower buildings’ cooling costs and energy use, while still letting natural light fill the workspace,” says Mary Olivier, Tubelite’s marketing manager. “Max/Block sun shades are easy-to-install, aesthetically-and structurally-compatible with Tubelite’s curtainwall and storefront systems.”

Trumble also notes that the Bernalillo Elementary School’s large expanses of glazing “not only enhance safety and security, but reinforce the transparency of the building.”

Optimizing strength and thermal performance on Bernalillo Elementary School, Tubelite’s T14000 Series storefront and 400 Series curtainwall accommodate a wide range of glass options and infills. The curtainwall relies on an exterior screw-applied pressure bar to secure the glass. The storefront system offers the flexibility of glazing the storefront system from either inside or outside helps reduce installation time and associated labor costs.

Linetec finished the storefront and curtainwall systems’ aluminum framing members for Bernalillo Elementary School applying paint on the interior and clear anodize on the exterior. This eco-friendly anodize process sends 90% less waste to landfills than traditional anodizing. Painted finishes also are applied and controlled in an environmentally effective manner to minimize, or even eliminate, volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These architectural-grade finishes help minimize maintenance and further protect the entrance systems’ rigorous operation.

Bernalillo Elementary School serves approximately 450 third- through fifth-grade students and faculty. Previously, these students attended Carroll Elementary, which was built in 1980 as the district’s last “new” elementary. The kindergarten through second-grade students attended Roosevelt Elementary. When the new elementary opened in August 2010, Carroll became the kindergarten through second-grade campus and Roosevelt transitioned to administrative offices.

Today, faculty and students at Bernalillo Elementary School access 21 teaching classrooms along with several special education spaces; areas for music, art and computer labs; plus a cafeteria and kitchen, administrative offices and a multi-purpose room.


Bernalillo Elementary School, 480 Calle del Norte, Bernalillo, N.M.
* Owner: Bernalillo Public Schools; Albuquerque, N.M.
* Architect: Fanning Bard Tatum Architects AIA, Ltd.; Albuquerque, N.M.
* General contractor: Enterprise Builders Corporation; Albuquerque, N.M.
* Glazing contractor: Southwest Glass & Glazing, Inc.; Albuquerque, N.M.
* Entrance systems –  manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Mich.
* Entrance systems –  finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wis.
* Photographer: mattophoto architectural photography; Albuquerque, N.M.


Media contact: Heather West,

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ForceFront Blast Curtainwall and Entry Door Offered

Walker, Mich. — Helping protect low- and mid-rise buildings, Tubelite’s ForceFront™ Blast curtainwall and entry door systems are now available for high-security projects seeking blast hazard mitigation.

ForceFront Blast products are designed for compliance with ASTM International standard F1642-04, the U.S. General Services Administration Interagency Security Committee (GSA/ISC) security design criteria and U.S. Department of Defense Unified Facilities Criteria (DoD UFC) 4-010-01 requirements. The products are tested to meet blast performance of 6 psi peak pressure at 42 psi-msec impulse.

Tubelite’s ForceFront Blast entry doors feature durable tie-rod construction, 6-inch-wide stiles and heavy-duty hardware. A single door measures 3-feet-wide and 7-feet-high. A 5.5-inch back member reinforces the curtainwall system’s structural performance. The systems include nominal 1-inch insulated glazing with a SentryGlas® Plus Interlayer. Dry glazing and sealing can be completed at the jobsite and a variety of anchor options are available to ease installation.

“Complementing our current product offering in performance, aesthetics and environmental attributes, ForceFront Blast is generating interest in geographic areas with a high count of governmental buildings, such as the Virginia/D.C. area, the Carolinas and Texas,” says Tubelite’s marketing manager, Mary Olivier.

In addition to blast-mitigating protection, Tubelite’s ForceFront Blast curtainwall and entry door systems support facilities’ environmental goals. The aluminum used to produce these systems can be extruded by Tubelite using EcoLuminum™, a high recycled-content aluminum billet composition with eco-friendly, durable finishes. These qualities may contribute to projects seeking certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating Systems.

To learn more about Tubelite’s products and specific performance data, please click here.


Media contact: Heather West,

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Shared Learnings: Glazing and Energy Codes

by Tom Minnon, LEED® AP, CDT, Eastern Region Sales Manager for Tubelite Inc.

Architects and building owners face growing challenges in balancing aesthetics and daylighting design needs with increasingly stringent building and energy code requirements. This month’s discussion will focus on ways to reduce heat loss and heat gain to comply with commercial energy codes. Thermal energy performance of glass can be improved several ways; many of them are just now beginning to be incorporated into the commercial segment.


Warm Edge Technology
(Conductive heat loss)

Several products have been introduced that will help reduce conductive heat loss through the edge of insulating glazing units (IGUs). Warm Edge technology will also help reduce condensation that typically occurs around the edge of glass near the frame. Below are some of the different types of IG spacers available.

1. Metal spacers
Made from stainless steel or aluminum. Dessicant consists of tiny beads which absorb any moisture trapped in the unit during manufacturing. Stainless steel offers better performance than steel.

2. Hybrid spacers
Changing metal spacers from a tube to a U-shaped channel reduces the flow of heat through the spacer.

3. Thermal break spacers
Thermal barrier technology creates a warm-edge IGU that reduces thermal conductivity.

4. Foam & Thermoplastic spacers
Non-metal spacers include a foam material that has dessicant entrained within it and thermoplastic spacers consisting of a single-component polyisobutylen with included desiccant material.


Argon and Krypton Gas Fill
(Convective heat loss)

An improvement that can be made to the thermal performance of IGUs is to reduce the movement of air between the panes of glass. Typically, the space is filled with air or flushed with dry nitrogen just prior to sealing. In a sealed IGU, air currents between the two panes of glazing carry heat to the top of the unit and settle into cold pools at the bottom. Filling the space with a less conductive, more viscous, or slow-moving gas minimizes the convection currents within the space, conduction through the gas is reduced, and the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside is reduced.

Argon is inexpensive, nontoxic, nonreactive, clear and odorless. The optimal spacing for an argon-filled unit is the same as for air, about ½-inch (11-13 mm). Krypton is nontoxic, nonreactive, clear, and odorless and has better thermal performance, but is more expensive to produce. A mixture of krypton and argon gases is also used as a compromise.


Low-e Coatings
(Radiant heat loss)

A great deal of winter heat loss (and summer heat gain) is due to radiation. In winter, low-e coatings help “reflect” heat energy back into the building. They also increase the surface temperature of the interior glass. This is very important when considering human comfort levels. People lose body heat in four ways:

  • conductive heat loss between the air and exposed skin,
  • convection heat loss due to air moving across the skin (think wind chill factor),
  • evaporative heat loss due to moisture on the skin evaporating (you feel hotter on a humid day because the skin cannot evaporate as much moisture), and
  • radiant heat loss due to the human body being warmer than the surrounding surfaces. More than 50% of body heat loss is due to radiation. The warmer we can make our surroundings, the less heat we will radiate to those surfaces and the warmer we will feel. This is referred to as “Mean Radiant Temperature.” Increasing the surface temperature of the glass will result in a higher mean radiant temperature and ultimately a greater feeling of human comfort.

In summer, and year round for most commercial buildings, we want to limit the amount of solar radiation entering the building, which increases air conditioning loads. Low-e coatings are very effective at minimizing the amount of solar radiation entering the building. In order to meet the 2012 Energy Code, areas of the southern U.S. in Zones 1, 2 and 3 will need to have a fixed glazing system Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.25 or less. This can best be achieved with IGUs and low-e coatings. The days of ¼-inch single glazing in storefront and curtainwall are pretty much in the past.



Tom Minnon, LEED® AP, CDT, is the eastern region sales manager for Tubelite Inc., serving clients from Maine to Georgia. With nearly four decades of industry experience and many professional accreditations, he regularly provides educational and consultative support to architects, buildings owners and glazing contractors regarding storefront, curtainwall, entrances and daylight control systems.


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