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Museum design features curtainwall

Jay Albee, product and pricing specialist at Wausau, Wis.-based Wausau Window and Wall Systems, says his company's 2250i-XLT series window met thermal requirements for the Aspen Art Museum in Denver.

Jay Albee, product and pricing specialist at Wausau, Wis.-based Wausau Window and Wall Systems, says his company's 2250i-XLT series window met thermal requirements for the Aspen Art Museum in Denver. Harmon Inc.'s Denver office, the glazing contractor and curtainwall fabricator for the project, installed Wausau Window and Wall Systems' windows, a 12,000-square foot curtainwall system supplied by Monett, Mo.-based EFCO Corp., and a fire-rated exterior and interior curtainwall from Brisbane, Calif.-based SAFTI FIRST. The curtainwall features Wausau Window and Wall Systems' operable windows and triple-insulated glass units from Owatonna, Minn.-based Viracon Inc.

Additionally, Harmon installed sliding doors from North Las Vegas, Nev.-based Panda Windows and Doors LLC, and skylights from Mequon, Wis.-based Super Sky Products Enterprises LLC in the rooftop sculpture garden and café space on the third level. The skylights include a 36 1/2-foot square, triangular single-pitch unit with a diagonal framing pattern and an L-shaped, single-pitch unit 5 feet wide by 44 feet long on each leg. The skylights have shallow slopes, 1.14 degrees and 3 degrees, to meet the maximum height elevations established by the design team.

Jason Nimmo, senior project manager at Harmon, says his company's solutions met New York City-based Shigeru Ban Architects + Dean Maltz Architect's design criteria for aesthetics and performance with the assistance of several project team members. The architecture firm was assisted by Englewood, Colo.-based LTS Drafting and Engineering; Milwaukee-based Stutzki Engineering; Mosinee, Wis.-based Quast Consulting and Testing; and Aurora, Colo.-based Architectural Aluminum Fabrication Inc. Nimmo says the custom enclosure systems were specific to the design intent. "The installation of these custom systems was quite challenging," he says. "At the same time, the finished product is something we will always take pride in."

Nimmo says the customization of the EFCO 5500X curtainwall system started with Linetec's finishing and ended with custom through-mullion sexbolt connections via 3/8-inch aluminum knife plates. "These knife plates connected the curtainwall system to the inboard structure and the outboard steel grid system that supports the woven panel screenwall," he says. "This particular detail is pronounced at the grand stair, as the curtainwall connection brackets span more than 8 feet overhead-perpendicular to the stairs-before tying into an embed at the post-tension concrete floors. Although, the exterior views of the enclosure systems are masked by the custom, woven panel screenwall system, the views from the interior are definitely appealing."

The Aspen Art Museum, designed by Shigeru Ban Architects + Dean Maltz Architect and Basalt, Colo.-based Cottle Carr Yaw Architects, utilizes what the architectural team referred to as a thermos design in which the most energy-demanding spaces are placed at the center of the building and are surrounded with circulation space. This double-layered building envelope maintains humidity levels in the galleries without expending unnecessary energy to adjust those levels elsewhere. The exterior curtainwall, window and entrance systems' Pure White color finish reflects solar radiation.

Linetec finished the aluminum-framed curtainwall, windows, sliding door and skylight systems in its Pure White color. Using Minneapolis-based Valspar Corp.'s Fluropon, Linetec matched and blended the 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coating in-house to provide a consistent appearance across multiple products and manufacturers.

Rob Seils, Linetec sales manager, says Shigeru Ban Architects + Dean Maltz Architect wanted the finish to be uniform and consistent from one building material to the next. "Coating materials, manufacturing processes and equipment, as well as color measuring standards can vary significantly amongst coating applicators," he says. "The best way to control color consistency is to use one coating manufacturer and applicator whenever possible. Our color-matching experts scanned color samples, analyzed them with our exclusive color management software, and created the recipe of tints and bases to precisely match the color sample."

Linetec and Valspar recommended a three-coat Fluropon finish with a primer, top coat (color coat) and clear coat to meet the architects' visual and performance requirements. Mike Churchill, technical manager for extrusion coatings at Valspar, says clear coats are not typically used with lighter colors. "The resins in the clear coat have a yellowish tint," he says. "When applied at the lower dry film thickness typical of a normal clear coat spray application, this will result in the finish having a slightly orange peeled and blotchy appearance. For this application, we were fortunate that the color choice was a yellowish shade of an off-white color. This enabled a thicker film clear coat to be applied. The thicker films level out better for a more even look and provide added protection against UV at the higher Aspen elevation."

Turner Construction Co., Denver, was the general contractor; Basalt-based Summit Construction Co. was the construction manager; and Basaltbased O'Connor Consulting LLC was the owner's representative and project manager. The $45 million Aspen Art Museum, completed in August 2014, houses 17,500 square feet of exhibition space in all, with more than 12,500 square feet of dedicated interior gallery space. It more than tripled the former museum facility's exhibition capabilities.

EFCO Corp.,


Panda Windows and Doors LLC,


Super Sky Products Enterprises LLC,

Valspar Corp.,

Viracon Inc.,

Wausau Window and Wall Systems,