American Society of Civil Engineers


Renovation of a 1970s Glass Curtain Wall


by Bruce S. Kaskel, (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., 10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2600, Chicago, Illinois 60603 E-mail: bkaskel@wje.com), Steven G. Naggatz, (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., 10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2600, Chicago, Illinois 60603 E-mail: snaggatz@wje.com), and Steven J. Helfrich, (Harmon, Inc., 580 West Crossroads Parkway, Bolingbrook, Illinois 60440 E-mail: shelfrich@harmoninc.com)

pp. 1-14, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41002(328)12)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: AEI 2008: Building Integration Solutions
Abstract: A ten-story downtown Chicago office building, built in the early 1970s, had been experiencing insulating glass unit failures, water leakage, and problems with occupant comfort. Several investigations in the 1990s concluded that the entire curtain wall system was deficient and required replacement. However, the office building houses the offices for the Social Security Administration’s Midwest Region, and each month serves over 9 million beneficiaries. Disruptions to this operation would be catastrophic. Based on careful study and analysis of the existing curtain wall aluminum framing elements and connections to the building structure, it was concluded that the framing could be reused and was capable of supporting a supplemental cladding system attached to its exterior face. A pre-glazed unitized curtain wall system was designed which was hung to the original framing after the original glass was removed. This solution reduced the disruption to occupants, enhanced the speed of installation, and reduced the time period between deglazing and new cladding installation to a matter of days. The work was largely performed from the exterior of the building starting in the fall of 2007 and is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2008. The replacement cladding has enhanced insulating glass, condensation control and water management; providing a cost effective solution to the client’s problems.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Glass
Curtain walls
Coating