Project update: Icon Ipswich

Aerial view of Icon IpswichThe Ipswich City Heart building is the first stage of developer Leighton Properties‘ $1 billion Icon Ipswich project. Designed by Cox Architecture, it is a 42m high, nine-storey office tower which comprises 15,000 square metres (sqm) of commercial space together with 750sqm of ground floor retail and 200 car parks. The building is an A-Grade commercial development, and is targeting a 5 Star Green Star and a 4.5 Star NABERS rating. Nearly all of the office space in the building has been leased to the Queensland government for a term of 15 years. Construction on the project is being overseen by Hutchinson Builders

G.James’ Role

G.James has been engaged to supply and install window wall and curtain wall along the height of the building. G.James is also providing structural glazing to the basement, ground and upper ground floors, as well as a structurally glazed roof-lite to level 1.

Visual Mockup

Prior to starting on site, G.James constructed a visual mockup to provide a full-scale representation of the colour selection as designed for the building. The mockup allowed colour selections to be seen in proper context, under natural lighting, to ensure the building gives the desired visual effect.

The Façade

G.James is using the 546 series system with black anodised framing for the window wall on the western façade with independent vertical sunshades installed between structural slabs. These vertical fins are in 5 special anodised colours (listed below) which are selectively positioned on each floor to create a pattern.

  • Sapphire Matte Tornado Red
  • G.James Residential Bronze
  • AAF Maroochy Sand
  • G.James Champagne Bronze
  • G.James Matte Gold

G.James is using our 546 series system with black anodised framing for the curtain wall to the eastern façade, incorporating gold metallic Alpolic projections and black anodised horizontal sunblades.

The southern and northern faces of the building are a mixture of both window wall and curtain wall fully encapsulating the floors.

The vision glass used in the building is made up of Solarplus DLE55 Low-E glass on green, configured in argon filled IG Units.

The shadow boxes are made up of 6mm green heat-strengthened glass, using 5 different colours (listed below) of backing sheet selectively positioned on each floor to create a pattern.

  • Dulux PVF2 Mars Red
  • Dulux PVF2 Gold Dust
  • Dulux PVF2 Brassed Off
  • Dulux PVF2 Wax Way
  • Dulux PVF2 Blonde Girl

PVF2 paints have an excellent service life and are highly resistant to fading. These properties make PVF2 finishes a low maintenance finish of choice for large projects.

Current Status

G.James started site installation in late January, and will continue until approximately May. Overall, construction on the building is progressing well, the concrete structure of the building has been completed and  practical completion is expected to be third quarter of 2013.

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.

UTS Broadway – Visual Mockup & Prototype Testing

UTS Facade Mockup - differente angle

This stunning building juts across the skyline.

Image courtesy of Architects:
Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd.

About UTS Broadway

G.James has been working towards readiness to install the facade since winning the job last year. Recently G.James has been conducting tests using full scale mockups of sections of the façade to test both the appearance and function of the façade.

Visual Mockup

The visual mockup stands 7.6 metres tall and 6.8m metres wide, each panel is 3.8 x 1.4 metres &  weighs approximately 290kg. The aluminium screens for each panel weigh an additional ~90kg. The completed façade will be somewhat larger than our mockup – standing a full 14 stories tall. The visual mockup is for testing the appearance only – the actual facade (as well as the prototype for engineering tests) uses extrusions purpose made for the UTS project – around 30 new extrusion dies have been made to produce the extrusions for the this project.

What do we do with the mockup after we’re finished?

The visual mockup will remain on site until the mockup rig is needed for a few project. G.James typically creates a similar mockup for a new project every couple of months.

Engineering Tests

G.James has also created a prototype on our engineering test rig to carry out a range of engineering tests. The test setup is a sealed chamber, with the external side of the facade mockup covering the ‘open’ side. The chamber contains jets to spray water, and pumps in/out air to increase or decrease the pressure in the chamber. The tests conducted measure the performance of the facade under both positive and negative pressures, as well as against the penetration of water.

Positive pressure vs. Neutral pressure

Static Pressure Structural Testing

This test measures deflection at various points of the facade using potentiometers fixed to a frame parallel to the internal face of the facade. The deflection is measured under both positive and negative static pressures, across a range up to the test maximums. These pressures simulate the loading the facade will receive from wind. The pressures used for the test differ from project to project, and are determined with a site analysis by engineers. Deflection must stay within certain bounds to meet Australian standards – though these vary on the exact makeup of the facade. In the photograph to the right the deflection of the glass in a structural test results in distortion of the reflection in the glass (comparison against neutral pressure below).

Static Pressure – Air Infiltration

Air infiltration rate measures the amount of air penetrating the facade at a given pressure. This is necessary to determine air conditioning requirements for the building – the amount of air infiltration has a large effect on the efficiency of the building.  The amount of air infiltration is measured by pressurizing the chamber, whilst a plate with a hole of known size is fitted in the chamber. The rate of air flow out of the pressurized chamber is then measured. The facade face is then completely sealed off with plastic, and the flow of air is  re-measured. The difference between the two measurements is the amount of air that was penetrating the facade.  This test carried out with both negative and positive pressures. The rate of air infiltration must be within certain bounds to meet Australian standards.

Water Penetration

Water penetration tests spray water onto the surface of the facade at a rate of 3L/m2/minute. Tests are conducted with a range of constant pressures applied to the chamber, and also with a range cyclic pressures as the water is sprayed. Water penetration is not quantitatively measured, the cause of any leaks found must be rectified.

Façade installation commencing soon

G.James is anticipating starting on site at UTS Broadway in the first quarter of 2013.

Newington College – Sesquicentenary Building Project

The new curtain wall at Newington College

G.James has recently finished work on the Sesquicentenary Building Project at Newington College in Bankstown, Sydney. The bulk of this project comprises two new combined buildings – The Lawrence Pyke Science Centre and The Tony Rae Resources Centre Library. The project was designed by Budden Nangle Michael & Hudson Architects, and builder A W Edwards was contracted to construct it.

Foyer to the building.G.James’ work on the project comprised the design, supply and installation of windows, doors, curtain walls, glass walls, glass canopies, a glass greenhouse, aluminium cappings and soffits– utilising our 850-500, 651, 451, 475 and 476 Series frames. Jockey sashes from our 150 Series were required for most windows, and some windows also featured curved heads. G.James’ Sydney Commercial Façades division carried out the work on this project.

Noise Reduction

Acoustic laminate was used extensively throughout the project to minimise disruption to classes from external noise. Typically 12.76mm acoustic laminated glass was used externally and 10.76mm clear Low E coated ccoustic laminated glass was used internally in jockey sashes and internal skins. This was an important consideration as Newington College sits directly below the approach flight path into Sydney Airport with approaching aircraft flying very low directly above the school.

Curtain Wall Glazing

Curtain wall glazing.Four “curtain wall” sections were defined by the Architect and included in G.James’ scope of work. Two of these were fabricated as 850-500 Series structural glazed curtain walls. The Stair glazing used the 850-500 Series structural glazed frame as a window wall fitted between steel horizontal supports. Coloured back glass was used to infill between the frames and hide the steel. Jockey sashes and secondary frames were used behind these frames to create large cavities for acoustics. On one curtain wall an additional 850 Series frame was used as an internal frame to provide the nominated 400mm airspace.

Dual skinned Curtain Wall

The most prominent feature of the building is the final curtain wall  – pictured at the top of this post. This is a dual skinned arrangement with the outer skin built out from the building by a metre with three horizontal steel trusses. The glazed height of this wall is approximately 9.4m and is glazed with pieces of glass each approximately 4.7 m high by 2m wide – weighing a hefty 300Kg. This glass is supported by glazing channels top and bottom, and also by 15mm annealed glass fins vertically. The internal glazing skin comprises G.James’ 450 Series frame fitted with the flush face to the inside and incorporating jockey sashes fitted in-line with the fixed glass for access and maintenance. The metre wide cavity between the glass is ventilated and includes 600 mm wide horizontal and vertical automated tracking sun shades installed into this space by another contractor.

G.James has also supplied and installed soffit linings below this glazing, metre wide cappings over the cavity, and also to the other curtain walls. Several glazed awnings and a glazed greenhouse were also completed.

Official Opening

The buildings will be officially opened in July as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations at Newington College.

Project Update: KSD – Hamilton Harbour

Hamilton Harbour - KSD building

We first mentioned Hamilton Harbour – a joint venture between developers Devine Limited and Leighton Properties, designed by Cox Rayner Architects on our blog several months ago. Back then, we were putting finishing touches on the third residential building of the mixed use development. Now, a little bit further down the line, we have nearly completed the façade on KSD – a 5 floor commercial building on the site.

ConstructionPartially installed Façade

The KSD building makes use of a range of G.James façade products. Our 546 series curtain wall system with IG units was used to create the façade. LE40 coated ‘Evergreen’ glass was selected to meet required performance criteria. Our 775 series sunshades and sunblades have also been used to improve the performance of the façade, whilst enhancing the aesthetic value of the building.

From project acceptance to install was a very quick turn around, our nearby Fison Avenue factory was a integral part of achieving the programmed dates. Installation on site also happened over a short timeframe – commencing on the 10th of October, with the main curtain wall completed by 15th November.

Looking Forward

G.James have enjoyed a close working relationship with Devine Constructions, which has ensured tight project deadlines are met on-time. We hope to continue our collaberation in the future.

Our Bundaberg office gets a new façade

Our Bundaberg office has been transformed with the use of our latest colour printing on glass technology. Over the last few months we have covered the topic of digital ceramic glass printing several times on this website. Our Bundaberg office located at  49/51 Enterprise Street, Bundaberg was due for a refurbishment, so G.James decided to put our printing capabilities to use creating a vibrant new façade for the building.

The Bundaberg Branch

The Bundaberg Branch was established in 1972 and is where former branch manager Geoff Thorne started his career with G.James. When Geoff retired in August 2012 he reflected on his time at G.James saying “When I started at G.James, this building was the best looking building in the street. Now that I am retiring, the building is again the best looking in the street”.

The Branch is now managed by Robert Astill and continues to service Bundaberg, Wide Bay & southern sector of central QLD.

The transformation

G.James Bundaberg Branch (Before)

The old office building was in need of refurbishment after many years of use. The new sales office and showroom features a fully glazed façade with glass spandrels ceramic printed with a full colour representation of the lush sugar cane that is common in the Bundaberg region. The façade fits with the character of the area, and puts a striking face on our sales office. Sunshades were also installed above the vision glass around the building, to help keep the north facing building cool.

The process

The first step was to find a suitable image for the building. The Bundaberg staff were involved in selecting an image they would be happy to have on their office building. It was important to include the staff in the decision to make sure we created a building they were happy to tell friends and family about, as well as work in.

We selected the sugar cane image below, to be placed on a blue background.

Sugarcane Image

Source image: 68cm wide X 50cm high @ 300dpi (8024px X 5940px @ 300dpi) at full size

The next step was to modify the image to maximise the printed effect over multiple floors. We created a concept render to ensure the image wouldn’t appear too busy or overbearing.

Bundaberg Building Concept Render

47 panels of artwork in total, 15 of those were corner panels

After the concept was complete, the G.James team scaled the image file to suit the CAD drawing of the Façade. This resulted in a very large image file requiring a couple of powerful PCs to do the processing work.

Bundaberg Building CAD Drawing

Bundaberg Building CAD Drawing – The front of the facade is 16.48m x 6.40m, the sides are 5.11m x 6.40m

Image and CAD drawing combined

Image and CAD drawing combined.

Each panel that required printing was then identified. The vision glass panels were excluded and we printed on a total of 47 spandrel glass panels.

Talk of the town

The façade has already attracted significant attention from those passing by, and has transformed our sales office into an exciting and unique advertisement for our business.

Keep your eyes peeled for another exciting transformation in the new year – G.James Cairns.

Who to contact

To find out more, please visit our glass printing gallery, or contact G.James Glass Sales on  (07) 3877 2866. Our Bundaberg office can be reached on (07) 4155 4888.

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 Focus: Five Lobelia Circle

Lobelia Circle

Five Lobelia Circle is a recently completed five level office building in the International Terminal precinct of Brisbane Airport. The Australian Federal Police are the major tenant, having taken a 15 year lease on three of the five levels.

The building was designed by Cottee Parker Architects and constructed by Matrix Projects for the Brisbane Airport Corporation. The building is an A-grade quality commercial building and has a 4 star Green Star rating with the Green Building Council of Australia, and a 4.5-star NABERS Energy Rating. Construction of the building was completed in September and the building was officially opened early October.

The Façade

G.James were contracted to supply and install the building façade. Our versatile 650-500 glazing system was used extensively throughout the facade of the building.

The fire stairs as well as the western elevation ground-first & third-fourth floors were glazed as curtain wall, with the remainder of the façade glazed as window wall. Vision glass used in the building was 10.38mm grey laminate, with red box/black on clear spandrels.

The horizontal sunblades were predominantly of a black anodised finish, but the sunblades over the lobby area were powdercoated with a precious silver pearl finish. The 475 series was used for automatic entry doors. Fixed louvres (415 series) were used throughout the structure to increase ventilation.

Challenges

A Kingspan facade panel integrates with G.James facade.The façade was installed into structural steel hung off the concrete structure. The window system installed by G.James covers ~75% of the façade face, and an insulated facade panel product called Kingspan was installed around our window system to complete the façade.

As the steel elements for the window install were hung from the structure, tolerance issues were one of the main challenges encountered in the install. To overcome these issues, the install required close coordination between G.James and the Kingspan installer to ensure each floor was within tolerances and the facade was completed successfully.

AFP Building

This building is the first office building in Brisbane’s International Terminal Precinct. G.James is pleased to have worked on this high quality building that showcases our commercial glazing capabilities.

Project Update: Translational Research Institute (TRI)

Situated on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus, TRI is an ambitious new building project nearing complection.

The Translational Research Institute (TRI) is an initiative to bring four of the country’s pinnacle research facilities together with to focus on a range of health and research areas including cervical cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, liver and kidney disease, malaria, HIV, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis and diabetes.

Designed by Wilson Architects and Donovan Hill in conjunction with Aurecon façade consultants, and constructed by Watpac, the TRI building is an ambitious two-year construction project on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus in Brisbane’s southern suburbs.

A Strong Façade

The building has three main façade styles present in the structure, each with unique solar, thermal, and aesthetic properties and was technically demanding with the different systems that were required to be designed.

The north façade integrates a glass sunshade designed to reduce solar transmission while keeping the views of the city. The courtyard, sheltered from the elements, was designed for ultimate visibility and aesthetic appeal, and the panelled aluminium sides were designed to keep out noise and light while retaining a degree of visibility.

Glass sunshade

Looking north from the TRI facility presents a glazed red view of the city.The striking north façade incorporates a red glass sunshade consisting of 1875 individual pieces to protect the interior from excessive heat from the sun.

Due to the sheer scale of the sunshade, assembling the individual pieces of the façade on-site would be too time-consuming. For this reason each façade panel was assembled at the factory, complete with the external cantilevered glass screen.

The resulting panels, each in excess of three tonnes, were lifted into place with a purpose-built lifting frame and used a specially designed hook-on system to make the installation more manageable. Site installation was required for the glass panels over the vision areas, coming to approximately 850 pieces.

Panelled aluminium façade

The aluminium screens are designed to keep excessive sunlight and noise out of sensitive laboratries.

After Screens

Under the aluminium screens are regular windows.

Before screens

Several styles of panelled aluminium screens adorn the west, east, and south sides of the exterior. These screens are designed to allow inhabitants to see out, but keep sunlight and noise out of the laboratories within.

Due to the nature of the hot dipped, galvanised steel support structure in the curtain wall panels, extra care was required in order to meet the extremely tight tolerance of the aluminium screens. Each individual shelf outrigger supporting the secondary steel work and screens for the east and west façades was individually surveyed in order to correctly detail the support steel and ensure over 850 individual panels could be installed to the tolerances required.

The central atrium

The central courtyard is the centrepiece of the entire project, with views of the area from all sides of the building. The courtyard is ringed with large open areas, meeting rooms, cafe spaces and the main auditorium.

The ground floors all open onto the courtyard, with a large glass stairwell at the very centre.

The lower levels of the façade incorporates low-e glass for high visibility, while spandrels consist of external printed glass — said to resemble culture in a Petri dish. The panels for the vision area were structurally sealed to a custom designed opening without any mullions for support, so a bespoke head system was designed specifically for the project in order to secure the façade.

The steel ring beam basically holds the place up.The central staircase sits in the centre of the courtyard, consisting of a shimmering glass exterior structurally sealed to a steel ring beam and suspended from parapet outriggers on the eighth level.

Each steel ring beam in the staircase is made of three pieces consisting of two ‘C’ sections with a straight connecting member. Each level fixed at four locations to the concrete structure and weighs around four and a half tonnes, including three tonnes of glass.

The stairwell façade was built from the top down and utilised a mobile access plant to install the steel and mast climbers on each face.

Completion

The level of technical achievement in this building is impressive. When opened, the facility will house more than 650 researchers, and will have a pilot scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility allowing the research, production, clinically testing, and manufacture of drugs and vaccines under the one roof.

At present the front façade is nearly installed, and the project is on track for completion within the next few months. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter for updates on the project, including photos of the finished structure once it’s opened.