October 2016

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OCTOBER 2016 | 31 Curtain Wall & Window Wall Whether the focus is on esthetics, improving energy efficiency, or simply increas- ing natural light penetration, Noram's curtain wall products also answer the call from architects and designers, no matter how challenging. "Today's construction industry demands more unique and stylized systems for uninterrupted and consistent facades that complement attractive and mod- ern buildings. Our design assist capabilities help ensure the most productive and efficient curtain wall system design to achieve the design statement and desired esthetics for the building," says Ted Redlarski at Noram Enterprises. Performance testing is key for Noram and at its 150,000-square-foot facility, fab- ricators design, fabricate and test project components all under one roof. "Testing occurs at every stage of the process, so that quality is consistent and everything meets our exacting requirements. Simply put, nothing leaves our facility unchecked and our projects are fabricated to the highest industry safety standards and our own Noram quality expectations. Integrity and perfection are two attributes worth striving for, always," says Redlarski. Dedicated to advancement and progress, Noram's installation technicians upgrade their skills regularly to learn new techniques and applications. "It's just one way we are able to stay ahead of industry trends and streamline the installa- tion process," says Redlarski. Starline Architectural Windows is another company committed to staying one step ahead of industry trends. "Changing energy requirements are seeing a call for more triple glazing and the use of higher performance low-e products, depending on project-specific criteria," says Mike Harrison, architectural representative at Starline Windows. "Although clients wish for as much vision glass as possible on their projects, energy codes are causing buildings to require more spandrel and opaque wall areas, affecting cost and design." Harrison adds that energy modelling the building and collaborating with the mechanical contractor has become more crucial than ever in determining the glaz- ing set up on new projects. Starline's 9000 Series SSG Window Wall is a new product that the company sup- plied for a significant portion of the building envelope on the One Pacific project in Vancouver. This new product is also being installed on the 54-storey 3 Civic Plaza in Surrey. "Our SSG window wall features all of the performance benefits of our 9000 Series, but with the vertical SSG it offers the look of curtain wall at a lower cost typi- cally, depending on design," says Harrison. Harrison adds that here in Canada, with the resurgence of the U.S. economy and increased high-rise construction south of the border, he is seeing demand for glass continuing to be a challenge. "We are advising customers to try and keep their vision glass to the most popular and accessible glass products to ensure timely delivery and availability. In terms of price, and again due to the growth we're seeing in the U.S., we do not anticipate glass prices easing anytime soon and could in fact see unannounced increases." While the window wall and curtain wall sector has seen some big changes over the past 12 months, Eric Wood at Seagate Structures says we can expect to see more significant changes over the next year. "For a long time the windows were the weakest link in a wall system, however, with windows becoming more air tight there is more focus on the wall system," says Wood. He adds that the use of prefabricated timber curtain wall will also become more popular for mid- to high-rise buildings due to its benefits, as proven with the recent UBC Brock Commons project – the tallest wood building in the world. "Brock Commons is proof of a concept not yet seen in the industry before, both for unitized size format and performance," says Wood. For Brock Commons Seagate developed a typical eight-metre-wide wood tim- ber wall which met the standard of non combustible construction for the tall wood building. However, as there is no code currently for wood structures of this size, the team had to implement a new code. "The code currently states that timber walls are not applicable to high-rises, but we've proven this is possible, so we can assume we will see changing standards in the very near future," says Wood. Looking ahead, Wood says expect to see more unitized wall with wood buildings, but adds that one challenge currently is having a factory available to provide this type of system as demand increases. "I see the future of the sector moving to mid-rise construction, because structur- ally we need to change the format as well. We can build six storeys out of wood now, the problem of going above that is that wood structures are complicated. In order to simplify that we need to use bigger elements. The tall wood storey buildings like Brock Commons is giving us a greater understanding and teaching us what is necessary." A

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