The Glass House – Barossa Valley

Glass House Barossa

Looking out over the hills of the Barossa Valley is this unique home affectionately labelled  ‘the Glass House’. Designed by leading Adelaide architect Max Pritchard the house is unusually linear in design – it is 60 metres in length but only a single room wide in the main living areas. To optimise space, a long hallway runs along one side connecting the bedrooms and the bathrooms.

Perched on the highest point of the block and with a lengthy northern elevation, this house naturally takes advantage of the warmth and light provided by the sun, particularly during the winter months, whilst allowing the owners to enjoy sweeping views of the valley below.

The skillion roof of the building makes a striking statement as it is a continuous plane along the length of the entire home. The house itself sits on a number of levels conforming to the slope of the land. These level changes are accommodated by a timber ramp in the connecting hall.

The home featured in the third season of the ‘Grand Designs Australia’ television show late last year.

Details

G.James Glass & Aluminium – Adelaide were contracted to supply and install the approximately 180m² of windows and doors.  All the aluminium joinery was finished in Clear Anodised and glazed with 24mm insulated glass units (IGU’s) with required compliance to a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of 12.5. Given the chilly winters in South Australia and the large area of windows and doors, double glazing was the ideal selection as it helps to minimise heat loss – maintaining a comfortable environment within the home. The clever design of the house allows the sun’s heat to penetrate deep into the home during winter – while large eaves shade the glazing during the hot summer months.

There are a number of large fixed windows in the home.  Due to their size, two of our commercial framing systems were used for these windows – front glazed 451 Series framing and 651 Series double framing.

The southern elevation contains ten windows designed as a trapezoidal shape to fit with the gentle taper of the building. These windows have a casement attached, which is also trapezoidal. It was a challenge to create these unusually shaped windows at exactly the right angle, but this was achieved at the first attempt.

All sliding doors in the home were G.James high performance 445-100 Series, fitted with Crimsafe security screens. There are also a number of louvre windows, using 102mm & 152mm louvre blades.

Find out more

G.James have the expertise to help turn your dream home into reality. Our vast experience enables us to take on unusual or complicated jobs and our Australian manufacturing ensures that all your new home is created with highest quality windows and doors. For more information about what we can do for you, have a chat with the friendly staff at to your local G.James branch.

Project Update – Circa Nundah

Circa Nundah

Circa Nundah is a $270 million urban renewal project from developer Property Solutions. Circa Nundah is located on a 2.5 hectare site in Nundah, Brisbane. Masterplanned by Arkhefield, the site will eventually contain three 9 storey residential buildings and an eight storey commercial building. The commercial building – Circa CT1, was completed towards the end of 2012, and work is drawing to a finish on the first residential building, Circa One.

Circa One comprises 42 one-bedroom and 42 two-bedroom apartments, 490m² of ground-level retail space, a residents’ recreation room, manager’s office and two levels of secure basement parking. Apartments generally range from 63 to 101m², with large corner garden terrace units of up to 133m². Construction on Circa Nundah Village is being carried out by Hutchinson Builders.

G.James’ Role

Circa Nundah required both G.James’ Commercial Contracting and Eagle Farm Residential Divisions to join forces to complete the scope of works.

This project called for the supply and installation of G.James’ 165 Series sliding windows, 265 Series awning windows, 445 sliding doors and 475 Series shopfront / fixed windows.

All aluminium framing was extruded and powder coated in-house and finished in Precious Pewter Pearl.

More to come

G.James have enjoyed a close working relationship with Hutchinson Builders over the course of this project. Plans for the next residential building on the site – Circa Dos, were unveiled last year, and construction is just beginning. For further information about this project or our residential solutions please contact the G.James Eagle Farm Branch on (07) 3877 2844 or via email at hilite@gjames.com.au.

Project Update: Sir Samuel Griffith Centre

Installing the glass screen

The Sir Samuel Griffith Centre (SSGC) is a $40 million world class building currently under construction at Griffith University’s Nathan campus. The building was designed by Cox Architecture and construction is being overseen by Watpac. The facility will have 4000m² of usable floor area across six levels, and will house approximately 60 academic/research staff and a number of support staff. It will also provide a number of lecture theatres, seminar rooms and collaborative areas. The SSGC has been awarded a coveted 6-star green rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), and will be Australia’s first off-grid, self-powering teaching and research facility. The building will cement Griffith University’s reputation as a leader in Environmental Science.

Building FeaturesThe large glazed screen

To achieve its 6 star green rating, the SSGC has a number of energy efficient features. The need for artificial lighting has been reduced by large windows, few internal walls, and glass partitions. The dominant feature of the building is the large glazed screen that makes up one side of the façade. Combined with photovoltaic cells on the roof and a state of the art battery & hydrogen energy storage system the building will be self-powered.

Photovoltaic cells will convert sunlight into electricity for use during the day, as well as providing additional storage in batteries, and also through the electrolytic production of hydrogen. The hydrogen is then stored in a stable form as metal hydrides. Battery storage will be used primarily for overnight cooling of water to run the air conditioning systems and hydrogen to supply fuels cells for electricity production on cloudy days. A digital electronic energy management system will maximise the efficiency of energy usage.

G.James’ Role

G.James were engaged to supply, install and glaze six levels of aluminium windows, doors and louvres, as well as the special glass screen. The windows and doors feature energy-efficient low E coated insulated glass units. Frames on the window and door systems have been finished with commercial bronze and matte gold anodising. Matte gold powdercoat was also used to finish some items such as glass screen brackets.

Glazed Screen

The glazed screen features large panels of special clear heat-strengthened laminated glass. The glass panels are 2171×3280 mm or 2171×3540 mm in size and range in thickness from 17.5-21.5mm. In total the glass screen utilises 166 square metres of glass. The screen is supported by a fabricated “spider” steel frame. G.James designed brackets especially for this project to fix the glass to the steel supports.

ChallengesInstalling glass to the screen.

G.James commenced work on site in November 2012 and expects to be finished in May this year. The installation of the glazed screen has required significant manpower and expertise. The installation of the glass to the screen necessitated two cranes with drivers and dogmen, four booms, two special glass suckers, four abseils, eight glaziers, ropes, slings, glass bremners. The geometry of the screen also required glass panels to be installed at angles – no easy task with the glass panels weighing in at several hundred kilograms apiece. Additionally significant labour was required offsite preparing and organising the materials ready for install.

The wet and unpleasant weather Brisbane has experienced over the last few months has presented additional complications, with wind and rain causing work stoppages. Road closures and equipment failure were also challenges G.James had to overcome during the install. The fixers and crews who worked on this project deserve praise for their great work on a difficult assignment.

Looking Ahead

The building is expected to be completed in June this year, G.James is looking forward to see this exciting building open.

Project Update: Mackay Base Hospital

Mackay Base HospitalThe redevelopment of Mackay Base Hospital is a $405 million project designed to meet the needs of the growing Mackay area. The project was designed by Architects Woods Bagot, in association with Sanders Turner Ellick Architects of Mackay. Construction on the project has been overseen by Baulderstone. The redevelopment project is being undertaken for Queensland Health.

About the project and construction

The redevelopment has been divided into three stages of construction. The first stage commenced in 2009 and mostly consisted of early site works. The second stage was completed towards the end of last year and included works on buildings E,F,G,H,J and Q.Mackay Base Hospital Aerial Photo

G.James’ work on the project so far has encompassed the supply and install of a range of glazing and façade products. Our 651 series windows were used throughout the project – the majority of those used contained jockey sashes and Venetian blinds. We also supplied a large number of fixed louvre systems and acoustic louvres. Around a dozen automatic doors were also supplied and installed. There were a number of factors which affected the choice of products for this project, the most notable were section J energy efficiency requirements, acoustic requirements, and the ability to withstand cyclonic wind loads. In light of these requirements our 651 window system, 415 series fixed louvres, 775 series sunshades, and 150 strip window system were chosen for use.

G.James supplied various types of cladding for the project including Alucobond, Nailstrip and Mini Corry. G.James also supplied feature shrouds, sunshades, batten screens and perforated sunscreens in various colours and finishes – though colour matched powdercoat was used frequently.

Mackay Base HospitalThe Alucobond system was a complete design and install. Many aspects of the Alucobond system, shrouds and perforated screens were designed specifically for use in the hospital redevelopment. The solutions were obtained by co-ordination with other parties involved with the project, as well as using the extensive knowledge base and depth of experience within G.James.

Looking Ahead

The close working relationship between Baulderstone and G.James was critical in helping deliver the project. The final stage of construction is due to start July 2013 which will include the remainder of building Q and the whole of building A.

Taree Courthouse – Glass Airlock

The completed sound reducing airlock structure.

G.James Taree has recently completed a small but complicated project – creating a sound reducing airlock around the entrance to Taree Courthouse.

The Problem

The courthouse was experiencing disturbance to court sessions, due to noise from outside the courtroom. People often congregate in the waiting area of the courthouse, which is directly in front of the courtroom. Every time the timber door of the court was opened, court microphones picked up outside noise, drowning out the court session and disrupting proceedings.

The Solution

G.James were engaged to create a glass airlock around the entrance, to eliminate the direct entry of sound into the courtroom. The existing glass roof and side panels were removed from the door structure, and replaced with larger ones that protruded 700mm further, to allow adequate clearance for operation of a frameless pivot door installed at the other end of the box. In total the airlock is 2700mm high x 2000mm wide x 2100 mm deep. The roof and wall panels are 13.52mm polar white toughened laminate, whilst the front is 12mm clear toughened laminate.

Challenges

A number of factors added to the complexity of this project. Firstly, custom hardware had to be designed for the roof and front of the box, as no off-the-shelf fittings were suitable for this project. Close collaboration with Shearwater Marine resulted in four custom stainless steel brackets to fit the purpose.

Installation of the glass roof panel.

Space limitations in the work area also brought added difficulties. Simply transporting the glass into the building took the co-ordination of 6 men using pump up suckers and a small trolley. A custom brace had to be built with Acrow props and timber to remove the existing roof glass, and lift the new roof glass into place. Sucker machines which would regularly be used for such work were too large to fit into the timber structure.

Court sessions did not cease whilst G.James were onsite, so usual measuring equipment such as dumpy levels were unable to be used. Measurements and calculations for fixing holes in the glass were triple checked to ensure a good fit, however measurement inaccuracies due to the compromised setup meant carpet under the structure needed to be cut away to make the glass fit.

Work on site started smoothly, all existing glass was removed without incident. However when drilling for the installation of new glass began, the hammer drill used was making too much noise. The court session was disrupted, and work had to be halted to allow the court to function uninterrupted. To avoid further disruption, the pace of work was slowed and noisy aspects of the job were re-scheduled to take place in breaks and after-hours.

Working after-hours in the courthouse posed an additional complication, due to the sensitive nature of the court building.. Alarms and smoke detectors had to be disabled, and special permission had to be obtained to get after-hours access cards, as work was being carried out unsupervised.

Completing the structure took two very long days. Day one started at 8.30am and finished at 9.00pm and the second day ran from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.

The end result

The airlock is now in place, and working as designed. Where sound used to flood in, a significant reduction in noise has been achieved, allowing the court to function uninterrupted. G.James Taree were able to take on a complicated job like this, where many others in the area could not, as they were able to draw on the expertise and experience in our Glass Division interstate to assist in this job.

Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre

Visitor Centre, Cairns Botanic Gardens

The new visitor centre at Cairns Botanical Gardens is quite literally a reflection of the tropical beauty of far north Queensland.

A ten minute drive from the centre of Cairns, the Botanic Gardens are a great place to unwind, and the new visitor information centre is the place to start.

Visitor Information Centre

The new visitor information centre is a $4.6 million dollar project to revamp the facility and provide an iconic new gateway into the gardens.

Designed by Charles Wright Architects and constructed by Hansen Yuncken, the building is a mixed use building, divided into two “wings” separated by a breezeway. One wing houses visitor facilities such as a cafe, gift store and auditorium, while the other functions as office space for council staff and includes a meeting room and administrative facilities.

On Friday 16th November 2012 the National MBA Awards were held in Canberra. The Cairns Botanic Garden Visitor Centre was awarded the National Commercial Construction ($5 million to $10 million) National MBA 2012 Award.

Green Building

Visitor Centre, Cairns Botanic Gardens Printed WallOne of the primary goals of the building was to be “green”, in order to complement the gardens. To achieve this a number of technologies and techniques were incorporated into the design.

A big focus was placed on environmentally sustainable design (or ESD). This includes a number of green features such as thermal/solar chimneys which allow convection ventilation and also provide natural light inside the building.

The building also features water collection for reuse in both the building and gardens, and a thermal mass system to passively cool the environment and reduce dependence on active cooling systems such as air conditioners.

In addition, the visitors wing includes glass stacking doors which fold up completely to allow maximum airflow and open the facility directly onto the gardens.

Mirrored Windows & Printed Glass

Visitor Centre, Cairns Botanic Gardens ShopThe most notable aspect of the project is the use of mirrors to reflect images of the lush gardens and blend the facility into its surroundings. This was achieved with a reflective film applied to the glass.

The lower level windows have artwork printed on the glass using a digital ceramic printing process. This complements the mirrored glass and brings an aesthetic quality both indoors and out.

Cairns Botanic Gardens

The Cairns Botanic Gardens area includes the Flecker Gardens, Centenary Lakes, Mt. Whitfield Conservation Park and the Tanks Art Centre. The newly constructed visitor centre offers a great way to explore the area and facilitate community activities, through the auditorium and locally sourced gift shop.

The new visitor centre was completed in late 2011 and is open to the public 7 days a week, excluding public holidays.

Global Change Institute & the Living Building Challenge

The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland researches issues like food security, healthy oceans, sustainable land use, health and clean energy. The new Global Change Institute building at the St. Lucia campus aims to embrace principles of sustainability and offer a place to research and pilot new sustainable building solutions.

Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge is a green building certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions.  Projects that achieve this level of performance can claim to be the ‘greenest’ anywhere, and will serve as role models for others that follow.

The Global Change Institute building will go beyond the 6 Star Green Star rating which means rather than having even a small negative impact on the environment it will overall have a restorative effect through technology and building practises.

Some of these features include

  • Thermal chimneys and solar air conditioning to passively cool the building and promote airflow.
  • Solar and wind power combined with DC power facilities for optimal efficiency.
  • Operable layered facades to control light and air together.

The result is a positive contribution to the climate and ecology, with zero carbon and waste footprints.

Construction

The interior of the building is progressing. Louvres are presently being installed.The building was designed in 2011 when the Global Change Institute commissioned a feasibility study, and construction began on the site in November of that year.

The façade uses motorised louvres and sun blades extensively to control air and heat throughout the building. The sun blades and louvres move independently of each other and follow the sun throughout the day, and operate in concert with the air conditioning in the building.

The louvres are custom designed to conceal any motorised mechanism, the frame incorporates a custom extrusion created for this purpose.  As the concrete slab is pre-cast with a domed shape, loading to the floor must be restricted, and the 2000 clear laminated louvre blades will need to be manually installed on-site to meet tolerances.

Further energy efficient features include a large central foyer which allows natural light through the building, a lift with regenerative braking in a glazed lift shaft, and skylights to bring natural light to the upper levels.

Construction is expected to finish in early 2013. Once completed, it will provide a focal point for the university’s sustainability research. G.James is pleased to help deliver such a cutting edge building.

Project Update: Hamilton Harbour

The third stage of the Hamilton Harbour development is now under construction.

Situated on the north shore of Brisbane River just a few kilometres outside the CBD, Hamilton Harbour is an exciting mixed use development with excellent city views up the river.

The project is designed by Cox Rayner Architects and is a joint venture between developers Devine Limited and Leighton Properties.

The Project

The first stages of the project saw two residential buildings constructed, both of which have been fully completed with residents already moved in. The final stage will see an additional residential tower and up to two commercial buildings built on the site.

The first two residential towers, Harbour One and Harbour Two, are 22 and 19 stories respectively. They were constructed simultaneously and completed in November 2011.

The third stage commenced as these buildings neared completion, when construction of Riverside Hamilton, a twenty storey residential tower began.

The first commercial office building, named “KSD” after the adjacent Kingsford Smith Drive, is 5 levels high and presently under construction.

G.James has been working to supply windows, doors, shop fronts and façade glazing for all four of the present buildings.

Reducing Traffic Noise

While energy efficiency is one of the most important factors in the design of a building, given the close proximity to busy Kingsford Smith Drive careful attention has been taken to achieve a high standard of acoustic performance as well.

To achieve these ends, a number of high performance products have been incorporated into the design.

  1. The 550 Series Balcony is a glass and aluminium balcony, which offers stunning views but also helps protect from the elements.Apartments with sliding doors incorporate the G.James 445 series sliding door system, and are glazed with IGUs for their sound deadening properties. The fixed windows use the 451 and the higher rated 651 series pocket framing systems, also both designed for accommodating IG units.
  2. Alfresco bi-fold doors in the apartments use the 477 series bi-fold door, with a 550 series glass balustrade on the balconies for excellent views.
  3. The ground floors of the residential buildings have been glazed using the 650/850 series shop front glazing system.

Acoustic performance was particularly important for apartments on the road side of Riverside Hamilton.  In these apartments an acoustic door arrangement was used to achieve excellent noise isolation, comprising a 445 series external sliding door with a 245 series internal sliding door.

Construction

The simultaneous construction of Harbour One & Two initially posed some challenges for the G.James Eagle Farm factory, as it was already working on two other high rises at the time. To cope with the demand, the work was spread between the Kingsford Smith Drive and Gold Coast factories to deliver results on time.

At present, construction on Riverside Hamilton is wrapping up and work is well under way on the commercial KSD building. G.James has commenced work installing frames for the ground floor shop front, and will be installing the curtain wall façade in the coming months.

G.James is pleased to have been working very closely with Devine on this project to achieve the desired outcomes, and look forward to further developing our working relationship. Stay tuned for the final article and more photos of the finished project.

5 key points for choosing windows & doors

Choosing Windows and Doors

On average, glass comprises around 25% of a home’s external surface. Along with providing light, ventilation and protection from the elements, this makes choosing the right windows and doors one of the most important decisions when building a home.

These five key points highlight some important aspects to consider when selecting the supplier of windows and doors in your new home.

Australian Window Association

Compliance & Certification

Is your window supplier an Australian Window Association (AWA) member?

The AWA Product Accreditation Program ensures that accredited members manufacture their windows and doors to exacting performance criteria.

AWA members are also required to produce windows and doors which meet the requirements of all relevant Australian Standards are subject to third party annual audits to ensure continuing compliance.

More information on the benefits of dealing with an AWA member can be found on the AWA website.

Colour Selection

Aluminium Colour Range

Choice of frame colour can be an effective tool in either complementing or contrasting your interior and/or exterior colour schemes.

Aluminium windows can be ordered in either powder coated (painted) or anodised finishes offering you a wide selection of colours. An example of typical colours available in anodized and powder coated aluminium can be found in the G.James Colour selector.

Your chosen finish must also be able to withstand exposure to the elements, so a reputable supplier will provide a guarantee against premature weathering of surface finishes.

Glass Selection

The correct glass selection can offer a number of benefits.

  • Reduced external noise.
  • Savings on heating and/or cooling costs.
  • Extending the life of soft furnishings.
  • Reducing glare.
  • Improving security.

The basic type of glass used depends on application – in areas where accidental impacts are a concern, toughened and laminated glass are much stronger and safer than regular annealed glass. Using annealed glass in areas where the extra strength is not of tangible benefit is however more economical.

Climate is another major factor in the selection of glass – in warmer climates toned or coated glass will offer performance benefits, whilst in cooler climates IGUs (double glazing) will improve heat retention.

The most suitable products for a home will vary on a number of factors, so you should speak to a professional to discuss your requirements.

Features and Benefits

Price should not be the only consideration in seletion of windows and doors – value should also be assessed in terms of the extra features and long term benefits offered by the product.

So before deciding on who will supply your windows, ask the following questions:

  • Does the window have a rigid PVC sill insert for weather performance and easy cleaning of the sill? A threshold (cover) in the door sill should also be present.
  • Are the flyscreens easily removed both internally and externally? This is an important feature, particularly for two storey homes.
  • Are window handles located in the centre? Handles located at the jamb (side) can be difficult to access behind curtains or operate when fully opened.
  • Do the window rollers contain stainless steel bearings, important for long term performance?
  • Are the window rollers of sufficient size? Smaller tyres can develop flat spots which causes the roller to skid along the track rather than roll.
  • Are the rollers height adjustable?

After Sales Service

In the event of faults with sliding windows, doors or associated hardware, you must be able to rely upon your supplier to rectify any issues.

A written warranty from a trustworthy and well established company gives you peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be left out of pocket if something does go wrong. It is necessary to read and understand your warranty agreement to know the conditions under which you are covered.

It is also important to choose a supplier who offers a stable product line with standardised features and parts across their products – you don’t want to be left with non-functional windows or doors because the supplier can no longer obtain the right parts. A supplier must also keep sufficient stock/parts on hand in order to rectify faults quickly.

Ask an Expert

Researching your window and door options will help you make an informed choice, but don’t hesitate to consult with an expert for help in selecting the ideal windows and doors.

An experienced local glazing professional will help you tailor a solution to suit both your preferences and local conditions.

Revitalising a classic home with natural light

Our Gold Coast Branch has recently completed the renovation of a large architect designed home situated in the Gold Coast hinterland. The scope of the renovation focused on improving the use of natural light while also creating warmer, more appealing living and entertaining spaces.

The Renovation

The hinterland region has a mild climate in summer, and can get quite cold in winter. With this in mind, Solect® Clear laminated glass was specified on certain elevations. The Solect range of glass products offer high performance qualities in both solar control and light transmission.

Large fixed windows were installed to maximise the amount of natural light allowed into the home. The unusual shape of the building required custom framing to accomodate the rake of the roof.

Frameless Glass balustrading was used on the staircase, and clear laminated glass flooring on the upper landing to further aid the spread of light throughout the home.

Sliding doors were used to expand the living space of the home outside in good conditions, with awning windows above to allow for additional ventilation.

Industry Awarded

This stunning renovation has gained well deserved recognition from industry bodies having received the 2012 Glass & Aluminium Association of Queensland Award for the Best Use of Glass & Glazing – Residential and, more recently, the Australian Window Association’s 2012 award for the Best Use of Windows & Doors in a Residential Renovation.

Who was involved

The Architect responsible for the design of this major makeover was Paul Uhlmann, and the project was managed by Graeme Cameron Constructions.  The windows, doors and specialised glazing was supplied by the team at G.James Gold Coast.

Get In touch

G.James has the product range and experience to ensure your next project is an outstanding success. To find out more please contact your nearest branch.