Soul Apartments, Surfers Paradise

Soul tower, Surfers Paradise - Balustrades, sliding doors and fixed windowsSoul Apartments were constructed at an exclusive location by the water at the heart of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The tower reaches 77 storeys, including 2 levels of commercial premises at the base, one level of leisure facilities for the resident population and the tower above devoted to lifestyle apartments.

The 243m high building was designed by DBI Design PL and built by Grocon, under the direction of the Juniper Group.  The tower is situated at the end of Cavill Avenue – the popular shopping strip at Surfers Paradise. G.James Glass & Aluminium won the contract to supply the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing – including windows, doors, louvres, curtain wall, sun blades and balustrades.

The Residential Tower Facade

The residential tower consists of 288 apartments with a variety of glazing types – a curtain wall face, balconies with sliding doors and windows. The sheer curtain wall façade was produced using the 650 Series glazing system, and fitted between the concrete support columns. Sky blue laminated glass contrasts well with the white columns in the marine setting.  The majority of the project’s extrusions were powder coated (finished) in Eternity Steel – a dark finish that blended into the shadow lines.

The balcony glazing utilizes the 445 Series sliding doors, 450 Series fixed windows and 415 Series louvres. The balustrading for the tower was done with 571 Series. At the top of the building, the shape of the balustrade glass was raked from level 60 and above to support the curved aspect. The raked balustrades required special layouts and bracketry specific to the level they are installed on to make the curve regular.

The tower colour scheme contrasts vivid blue sections with predominantly white areas.  The blue areas were created using sky blue glass, the same as the sheer wall. The white areas use a Cool Grey glass. The Balustrades match the colour coding of the area they fall in, and intensify the look with a reflective coating.

Sun blades are installed on the upper portion of the tower.  The south face at the sub penthouse level has large angular alpolic blades fitted to the Juliet balconies, creating a visual feature and angled to block harsh glare.

Commercial Levels

On the lower commercial levels, 3 floors high, G.James supplied the ceramic printed toughened glass (installed by others) and balustrading. The ceramic printed toughened glass for the awnings has a creeping fern pattern.  The 571 Series balustrades for the first 3 floors were internal and external, and include the the shopping plaza. 

QuickAlly Access

QuickAlly Access Solutions (a G.James business) supplied scaffolding to replace damaged balustrade, recently.  The affected glazing occured on level 6 and level 75.  Both balustrade glazing occur on balconies with limited space to provide a cantilever, so solutions were suggested and engineered to find the best approach. Ladder beams and other Systems Scaffold products were used for a suspended platform to provide safe access to the high risk heights.

The Effect

The glazing on this project makes a stunning impression from inside and out, and could not be accomplished without a high level of design and coordination. It was a great opportunity to contribute to an iconic building.

Capturing Light in an Urban Space

natural light -elev - east This residence has recently been constructed in one of the laneways of Fortitude Valley, just outside the Brisbane CBD in Queensland. Using smart orientation and well designed glazing features, a light and airy modern house has been constructed.

This urban block with an area of about 200m², fits a house with an approximate 90m² footprint. The architect, Andrew Wiley proposed a house that is naturally lit with a spacious feel in this confined perimeter. This was done working with interior designer Benta Wiley, to maximise the effect of light play on the artworks and sculptures intended for the house. The builder, Nick Chatburn & Co, worked in conjunction with G.James Glass & Aluminium to provide the glazing for the project.

Design

There are two façades taking advantage of open areas outside to maximise views and natural sunlight entering the 3 storey building. In particular the east elevation has a glass wall the height of the building.  This wall provides naturally light to an atrium that every room in the house opens into. Glass fins support the expanse of frameless glazing. The effect of this light well gives the house a spacious feel, enhancing the flow and communication between living spaces.

Blue glass intensifies the colouration of the sky outside – used in the atrium and sliding door/windows on the north and east faces. These large windows are made from sliding doors that enable 2100 high windows.  As a safety barrier, glass balustrade is installed to the interior. This maximises the amount of light that flows into these rooms.

Shutters sit on the outside of these windows, promote a modern feel to the houses exterior.  Internally the shutters provide an insulative shade barrier, blocking the harshest rays yet letting light filter through the gaps and cooling air that flows between them. The detailing for these doors was developed at G.James – they sit on a large structural angle that is fixed to the outside of the building to give them the floating appearance.

Natural Light Features

Natural light penetrates from one side of the house to the other with the use of glass internal doors, slit windows strategically positioned to the south and west faces, and glass roof lights. There are two of these with opaque glass on the ground level that give the office and laundry a bright lift.

The third glazed sky light is a glass canopy located at the top of the stairs, leading onto the roof. An opening at the top of a space such as the atrium draws rising hot air up and out, naturally cooling the entire house and enhancing air flow through it. The glass canopy leads to a stunning outdoor area overlooking the neighbourhood, made of self cleaning glass.  Being completely see through, it doesn’t create a visual barrier in the centre of this space, but divides the different areas up for their individual uses.

Bringing the Best of the Outdoors Inside

The entire house incorporates the enjoyment of being able to make the most of the Queensland outdoors and lifestyle – starting as you enter the house.  The front door to the property is through a wide frameless glass door.  This electronically operated pivot door opens into what seems like a courtyard complete with a well planted pond. Over the pond is another frameless sliding door operated automatically, allowing lush green plant life outside to become part of the welcoming committee. This space is in fact the inside of the atrium.

Interior Inspiration

The house is an inspiration, and a beautiful example of what can be achieved with limited space in a medium density urban area.

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Products by G.James

  • Entry – toughened clear glass into 475 series surround framing with frameless pivot door
  • Atrium – Structurally glazed laminated blue glass with fins into 450 series surround framing. (External blind by builder)
  • Hinged Internal and Back Doors – Toughened glass frameless doors into 475 series framing and glass channel hydraulic hinges.
  • Auto Sliding over fish pond – Toughened glass frameless door with 475 series glass channel surround frame.
  • Dining Window – 131 series offset sliding window, 3.6m long with a 1.2m sash.
  • Sliding window / doors – 245 series commercial sliders with blue laminated glass. Sliding shutters are made from G.James extrusions by a third party, and incorporated into the 245 sliding track. The glazing sits on large angle bracketry on the external face of the building to give it the seamless appearance.
  • Down stairs sky lights – white translucent glass structurally glazed to stainless steel pressings.
  • Glass roof / canopy – Sides are Low E  heat strengthened laminate on Stainless steel stand off.  Roof top glazing is self cleaning, Low E heat strengthened  laminate with polished SS pressings.
  • Fixed glazing – white translucent glass in 450 series framing.
  • 3 Shower screens – frameless shower glazing – one of each style -bay window, single shower screen panel and square base.
  • Extrusions finished in a stone grey powder coat.

Guest Post: Comparing the energy efficiency of ‘Esky’ buildings to passively designed buildings

Breezway Louvres

This month’s guest post is by Clinton Dickens of Breezway, and discusses energy efficiency of passively designed buildings.

Years ago I attended a week long training course in the conference centre of a large hotel right on the beachfront. The food was pretty good but the conference room felt a bit like a dungeon! There were no windows at all and one of the presenters had this cruel theory that making the air conditioning extra cold would ensure that no-one fell asleep during the after-lunch sessions.A few years later I attended another conference at a different venue that was also only 100m from the ocean. In contrast, this venue had windows looking out to the ocean and we could enjoy the fresh ocean breezes.

These two different conference venues do a pretty good job of illustrating two of the main schools of thought regarding the best way to design energy efficient buildings. The first school of thought is sometimes called the ‘Esky’ approach where buildings are tightly sealed and well insulated to improve the efficiency of the air conditioning systems (just like ice boxes seal tightly and are well insulated to keep the ice frozen). Because windows are generally small, or of a type that does not open, these buildings generally require the air conditioning systems to run whenever the building is occupied. Situations where the ‘Esky’ approach is the most sensible building design includes city centres and industrial areas where the combination of noise and air pollution make natural ventilation impractical.

The other approach is known as ‘passive design’ and includes close attention being paid to things like shading, adjusting the building’s orientation and maximising natural ventilation so that the building is naturally comfortable. Passive design can still incorporate air conditioning systems for use during extreme weather but good design can minimise the frequency of air conditioning being required. Passive design is well suited to schools, homes, resorts, suburban offices and apartments.

Breezway Louvres

The openable windows required to maximise natural ventilation in passively designed buildings generally do not seal quite as tightly as the fixed windows generally used in ‘Esky’ style buildings. Therefore the air conditioning systems in passively designed buildings will generally run less efficiently than the air conditioning systems in ‘Esky’ style buildings. The big question then is whether a system that runs efficiently, but for many hours per day uses more or less total electricity than a system which runs less efficiently, but for few hours per day.

In an attempt to answer this question, Breezway commissioned a study to compare the annual electricity required for the cooling and heating of two identical buildings, one of which had fixed windows to maximise air conditioning efficiency, and the other had Altair Louvre Windows to allow some of the cooling requirements of the building to be met using natural ventilation at the expense of reduced efficiency when the air conditioning system was used.

The modelling showed that the benefits of the great ventilation through the open Altair Louvre Windows far outweighed the reductions in air conditioning efficiency and the building with Altair Louvre Windows used almost a quarter less electricity over the course of a year to cool and heat the building.

The Breezway Technical Bulletin “The Impact of Air Infiltration And Natural Ventilation On Annual Air Conditioning Load” contains more details on the modelling study.

References

All texts, pictures and tables by Breezway unless stated differently.

Clinton Dickens is a Product Manager for Breezway. This article was originally published at Breezway.

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Bushfire Risk, Assessment and Glazing Solutions

Australia has a love hate relationship with bushfires. It has been so much a part of the natural history here it has become an endemic part of existence; without bushfire certain plants wont propagate, although the rest of anything living, fears it. It’s just one of the many parts of the Australian lifestyle that needs to be taken in a serious light – and be prepared for.

Assessing Bushfire Risk

There have been major developments in ways to protect in the case of bushfire – from household escape plans, to continuing technology in fire fighting strategies and more recently since dramatic fire events, building design. Australian Standards have developed AS 3959, and as part of that, a system that determines your Bushfire Attack Level or BAL. In the BAL, it gives a provision for products in the building industry to be rated according to their resistance to bushfire attack.

The BAL rating for your situation can be determined by referring to AS3959 or guides provided by your local services. NSW Rural Fire Service has a comprehensive user guide as an Application Kit to the BAL for reference. You will attain one of six rated categories. Your risk is assessed by looking at type and proximity of vegetation, and the slope of the land your property is on. Your calculated BAL rating is used to select building products. Products will be rated with the same figures, offering protection for that level of BAL rating.

BAL Rated Glazing Options

G.James Glass & Aluminium has developed a BAL manual to guide people through making the right decision when looking at glazing products. It outlines the G.James glazing suites that should be used for buildings in the following high risk categories:

  • BAL 19
  • BAL 29
  • BAL 40

The G.James BAL manual outline the glazing system, glass type, hardware, gaskets and mesh requirements for the individual systems according to your BAL rating. As an example, if you have a rating of BAL 29, and need a double hung window, we will suggest you use the following:

The 136 Series Double Hung Window with a minimum of 5mm toughened glass, standard mohair, glazing vinyls and other hardware, and external screens require a fire retardant spline with aluminium or steel mesh with an aperture of less than 2mm. This is an example only, and you need to confirm details with G.James staff that can ensure these are the products you need for your individual situation.

Your selection of glazing should not be limited. G.James have BAL glazing solutions for sliding doors, louvres, double hung windows, fixed windows, hinged doors, bifold doors, awning windows, casement windows and sliding windows. When you talk to G.James personnel, they can guide you through the options.

Requirement for Buildings

There is no requirement to alter existing building materials, but if you plan on building or renovating, you will need to implement the recommendations of the the BAL report. It is a wise idea to be aware of the rating your property would get even if you aren’t looking at building in the near future. Finding out the weak points, you can make minor adaptions to the building materials or surrounding vegetation to give yourself a better chance in case fire ever threatens your neighbourhood.

Be aware of the different ways you can keep knowledgeable about risks in your area. Know your local brigade and SES, having their contact details on hand. Check your states fire services for more information.

During recent fire incidents when the heat was on, communication became difficult due to cut lines, and websites being bombarded and going down. The NSW Rural Fire Service had a great system of reporting regular updates on their face book feed. Know where to keep up to date on the latest details and leave emergency lines free for those that require it.

Be prepared and stay safe.

Glazing 918 Darwin Apartments in a Single LEAP

G.James Glass and Aluminium - Transport DivisionStage 2 of the Australian Defence Force’s accommodation upgrade to their Single Living Environment and Accommodation Precinct (LEAP) in Darwin saw the construction of 918 new apartments. It was a highly organised development that had strict protocols and required innovative task management to accomplish the project.

This upgrade will improve and better integrate the living standards and communities where single defence personnel reside. The project is being managed by the Plenary Group, recognised as international specialists in providing whole community concepts, with Woods Bagot as the architect.

G.James Role

G.James Glass and Aluminium’s Darwin office successfully negotiated the contract to supply and fit glazed windows, door frames, security doors and louvres to the various planned concepts in two locations – Larrakeyah (in the city) and Robertson (rural). Each site had individual acoustic, thermal (energy efficiency), wind loading, water penetration and bushfire requirements which formed part of the specification. To ensure compliance, G.James undertook  product modifications, the development of new systems and conducted testing for the intended suites. The contract is to be achieved in two phases of supply and installation that span over 1 ½ years.

G.James is organised to take on projects of this scope. Divisions including business support services and transport are combined with a large workforce and the latest technology to fulfil the resource requirements of larger ventures. For the Darwin project, initial discussions internally located potential branches with facilities and personnel available. Once the project was awarded, managers designated the resources available to meet the commitments.

Design

Darwin comes with stringent water and wind pressure requirements.  Product testing was needed for the new 472 Series door framing system and the 246 Series sliding door for Darwin’s conditions.

Energy efficiency was addressed using IGU’s.  This also helped resolve the acoustics issue at the Robertson location, as there was a flight path located overhead.

BAL Rating

Bushfire ratings are addressed at the Robertson location due to the proximity to bushland in its rural setting.  A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating is given to an area or facade to determine the requirements of the materials used.  Glass and gaskets are selected that comply with these conditions from the G.James BAL Manual.

The BAL ratings applied to G.James materials have been determined from AS3959 as “Deemed to satisfy” or the prescriptive method.  The prerequisite for the physical properties of glazing materials in bushfire prone areas is to resist ember attack and radiant heat transfer.  Your local branch or G.James representative can give you further information on BAL compliant products available.

Implementation

The work was divided up in accordance with the capabilities and current workloads of various branches. Some were accustomed to this volume of work, and others were introduced to it.  The branches involved are outlined as follows, with a brief summary of the who they are, and a quote about what this project entailed for them:

Head Office

Initially, the Business Support Service division at G.James’ Head Office assisted the Darwin branch with project specific engineering, product design, contract administration and material / production coordination.

“This included a review of the products to create efficiencies in product manufacture and installation. Because of the distance that products were to travel by road, we also orchestrated the design of several specific packing crates.” – John Staunton (Manager of Business Support Service).

G.James’ Head Office is charged with the role of being the central point of direction for the branches with regards to technical advice, administrative services and major project logistics & coordination. This responsibility is assisted in the fact that the Head Office is in close proximity to the Group’s major manufacturing facilities at Eagle Farm.

Maroochydore Branch

Maroochydore supplied the entry door frame, highlights and sidelights made with the new 472 Series, as well as Crimsafe screens.

“For 12 months, the Darwin Defence Accomodation has been keeping our commercial and Crimsafe departments with a constant flow of work. The Emmegi CNC machine has been vital part of the processing for the doors required on this project” – Darren Mahoney (Branch Manager)

Bundaberg Branch

Bundaberg worked on 475 Series fixed louvre grill and top hung sliders, Crimsafe screens for the 246 Series sliding doors, and 475 Series hinged Doors.

“It has been amazing to see the various number of branches working together to have all items made, packaged and then transported to Darwin (without damage) ready for installation all within the tight time frames. “ – Damian Perry (Estimator)

KDC

KDC (or the Knock Down Components factory in Brisbane) cut and processed assembly kits for the 246 Series sliding doors.

“We have only had to replace two door frames due to transit damage which demonstrates our attention to detail and ability to supply component parts to the correct specification on time to allow for efficient project management ongoing.” Jason Claridge (Branch Manager)

KDC typically make standard glazing packages for nationwide distribution.

Riverview

Riverview provided framing for the 472 Series fixed glazing and hinged doors.

“Riverview are accustomed to national distribution, being the only manufacturers of double hung windows, so coordinating this project was not out of character.  It did allow us to contribute our other skills and it was fantastic to be a part of such a combined effort.” – Ben Driessen (Branch Manager)

Along with Double Hung Windows, Riverview have a stock of unusual glass types and patterns that are invaluable to replacing period style glass.

Woodridge

Woodridge took care of the 048 Series fixed and awning windows.

“The scale of work for this job saw our manufacturing processes streamlined. It is good to know just how much work we are capable of doing.” – Garry Fulton (Branch Manager)

Woodridge produces almost all products made by G.James products (except double hung), and services the area from south of the Brisbane river to the top of the Gold Coast and out to Manly and Redland bay. They also make a lot of commercial products for Western Australia, and supply 048 series hopper windows to other branches and departments.

Glass Department

The Glass Department in Brisbane manufactured all the glass for the project.

“Our glass department is built to take mass orders of this size, so implementing it was not a problem.  It is good to work on this scale of project, knowing we are contributing to such a large G.James effort.  It is what makes G.James the company we are – we have the ability to take on this kind of work as we have the most sophisticated and modern technology available to us.” – Tony Evans (Operations Manager)

The sizeable glass operations produce many different types of glass – from sizing annealed, coated and tinted, to manufacture of laminated, toughened, printed, patterned as well as IGU’s.

Mechanical and Transport Division

Mechanical and transport departments provided transport for all the components to be brought to Brisbane for coordination and shipping to site.

“We coordinate this type of work all the time – the volume of this job was quite large, however, and meant strict management of delivery – the right products at the right time.” – John Erskine (Transport Manager)

Transport run a fleet of trucks up and down the East Coast of Australia (Sydney to Cairns) to service delivery of the full range of G.James products.

Darwin

Darwin – project coordination and implementation.

” We would never have been able to pull it off without the support of all the other branches that got involved and helped us make this job a reality. To everyone – thanks, it was greatly appreciated.” – Scott Harris (Branch Manager)

On Site

The products, when ready, were transported to Darwin, and fixers were sub contracted to carry out the vast workload at installation.   Attention to detail was essential as all the glass for this project was site fitted because of additional fixings in the glazing pocket required to meet the high local wind loads.

Project status

The project is in its final stages, and is projected to be complete by the end of this year (2013).  Coordinating our resources to achieve higher rates of product supply is not a new service performed by G.James.  We are capable of performing this kind of logisitical coordination to make this scale of projects feasible. G.James welcomes discussion to assess how we can provide solutions for any similar large projects.

IGUs. A sound acoustic solution?

sound and noise acoustic control with IGUsInsulating Glass Units (IGUs) or double glazing, have been a popular solution to control noise, but they aren’t the only, or even the best solution in many cases. The aim of this article is to explain how acoustic problems are identified, assessed and provide solutions to properly address them.

Acoustics

The acoustic performance of façades is becoming more important in building design, and not surprisingly is included as part of the Green Star rating process. Although it is a small part, it’s raising the profile of sound reduction and the need to find better solutions to the increasingly worsening noise problems in today’s society.

To better understand how to mitigate sound, it is beneficial to have an awareness of a few key ideas; how sound is transferred, the way different noises are measured, know about the principles to minimise the variety of sources and coordinating appropriate solutions. Prior knowledge makes finding a solution a lot quicker and easier when you are consulting a professional.  Using advice to compare test results, it is imperative to know the difference between glass only and window system results if you want sound acoustic solutions.

Determining sound factors

Noise sources in the vicinity of a project need to be identified to best determine the most efficient glazing solutions. Look for risk sources, some examples of which are below;

  • Traffic noise from vehicles – cars and/or trucks
  • Trains
  • Planes and flight paths
  • Trams
  • Boats
  • Entertainment venues
  • Industry – a warehouse, factory plant, a truck depot up the road

For each source, be aware of the proximity and direction it will be coming from.  Future changes that will affect sound transfer must also be considered – empty or older blocks that will be used for building development, planned roads and motorways to be constructed, or a feature that may be removed to expose the project to heightened noise distribution. This information will be assessed by an acoustic engineer or glazing contractor looking at the requirements of the project.

The two main properties that contribute to disturbance from noise are the frequency and intensity level at various frequencies, or volume. Both influence the selection of appropriate glazing systems for a project.

Frequency

Sound travels as sound waves (variations in pressure) that have different frequencies. When the sound wave hits an object, this will be absorbed, transferred or reflected dependant on the properties of the object and the frequency of the sound. Below is a table that describes the frequencies associated with different noises;

Frequency distribution

Volume

The inherent volume or loudness of noise is measured in decibels (dB). Following is a table that gives you an idea of how loud different noises are;

comparison of sound

 Acoustic fact:

The human ear cannot distinguish a change in noise level of 3dB or less.

Different types of glass will assist deadening the various frequency and sound levels. To decide what the best solutions are, the window systems need to be comparable.

Measuring how much a glazing system suppresses noise

The current standard unit that is used to nominate the amount of acoustic insulation achievable is the Rw. An Rw rating is applied to many products to compare its capability to reduce sound against similar products. However, the nature of glazing systems means that frequency plays a large part in the transference of sound. So correction factors are applied to the Rw and expressed as Rw(C, Ctr).

Using Rw Data results:

When looking at results, ensure you understand what the Rw rating applies to.  Glass only data will give you just that – a figure for the glass.  It will not be comparable with a whole of system framing. Glass only data has a higher figure, and misrepresents the effectiveness of the desired glazing solution.

Rw

The Rw, or weighted sound reduction index, is a material or system’s ability to reduce sound transferring through to the other side, of a window or wall. As a rough guide, an increase of 1Rw reduces the sound perceived on the other side by about 1dB.

Rw(C, Ctr)

The correction factor for the Rw takes frequency into account. Medium to high frequency noise like conversation, and faster traffic (travelling more than 80kmh) are nominated as the C number. Low to medium frequency sound like urban traffic and planes flying overhead are the Ctr figure.
If a project has a requirement of Rw = 32(-1,-4), then the Rw = 32, the Rw+C = 31 and the Rw+Ctr = 28. The noise frequency distribution determines the correction factor figure to be used. If the predominant noise source affecting a project is traffic noise, being a low frequency problem, the Rw+Ctr figure is used. In this case, the figure to achieve is 28. If a window system is rated at Rw30(-2,-2), the Rw+Ctr = 28, therefore achieving the above requirement. The Rw number should always be used with correction factors.

Testing the Acoustic Performance of Glazing Systems

Testing is done by accredited organisations in an acoustic laboratory. The testing space consists of two rooms of known acoustic properties separated by a wall with a high sound insulation. The rooms are constructed of thick block work with the entire laboratory sitting on airbags to isolate it from ground vibration. An opening is made in the wall for the glazing system. One of the rooms is set up as a source room, and one is the receiving room. The difference in noise level measured between the rooms is used to calculate Rw, C and Ctr figures that are attributed to the system tested.

Acoustic Solutions

There are several acoustic principles that are applied to the design of glazing systems to obtain the best performance to guide you in choosing the optimal glazing products.

Glazing design

Keeping sound out is like keeping water out – any gaps provide a path by which the acoustic efficiency of a system is reduced. Even the smallest crevice or notch out of a system makes a difference. Glazing systems can be riddled with gaps – good systems minimise these as much as possible. Testing is the only way to know how any system will perform.

Product selection

Restricting sound penetration is only as good as the barrier’s weakest point. Opening or operable parts of a façade are the hardest places to control sound, but improvements in technology are minimising the issue. With changes in door design to allow for access according to AS 1428, it is good to be aware these points are made weaker, acoustically.  With glazing developments, there are solutions to help minimise this issue.

Window systems with a positive closing force are more effective at blocking out sound. Awning windows and hinged doors generally perform better than sliding windows and doors.

Acoustic seals can be used to improve glazing performance and achieve a better Rw rating. The only way this can be accurately assessed and used for compliance, is if the glazing system is tested with the acoustic seals.

An air gap between the glass panels in a glazing system can provide a degree of sound reduction dependant on the size of the air gap. Typical IGUs with an 8, 10 or 12mm air gap, the improvement is marginal. Larger double glazed air gaps are much more effective, with 50mm being the “sweet spot” with only marginal improvement beyond this. These large air gap systems are generally the best performing of any glazing system.  Jockey sash systems can also be used to create large air gaps but have size restrictions and may cause internal condensation issues.

Laminated glass can provide equivalent or better performance than a standard air gap IGU. Typically the thicker the laminate, the better the acoustic performance. Specifically designed acoustic interlayers are now available that provide an increase in performance in standard interlayers

Looking for assistance with acoustic design

Window fabricators can help you understand the acoustic performance that their products provide. If you are aware of the nature of noise pollution in the vicinity of your project, then it’s a matter of matching the correct products to minimise this problem. Look for new technology becoming available to better deal with the increasing noise issues in today’s society.

When using window acoustic data, ensure you are discussing whole of window system data. There is a lot of glass only data available, but it’s the frame that is typically the weakest acoustic point of a glazing system. The glass only data will not give you a proper representation of noise control.

5 Points to Remember

  1. Understanding Rw(C,Ctr).
  2. Gaps in Systems = sound transfer. Minimise these weak points, especially in operable glazing.
  3. Larger air gaps in between glazing layers helps acoustically.
  4. Familiarity with latest technology in sound reducing products like acoustic seals and interlayers.
  5. Test results need to be comparable. Look at whole glazing systems, not glass only test results.

Helpful Links

For further information on the subject, please refer to the suggested following resources:

Generic and Custom Plastic Extrusions, Gaskets and Seals

PVC extruded plastic gasketThe G.James Glass and Aluminium Plastics department has been operating since 1995, and started out manufacturing just 2 products for in house use. Type and quantity of manufacturing has been growing steadily ever since. Commercial sale of products initiated 5 years ago, and now supports several industries.

G.James Extrusions

The industries that G.James manufactures PVC plastic extrusion for include – building and construction, automotive, commercial refrigeration, marine, shop front, internal fit outs and railways to name a few. They come in a range of colours and PVC types, from rigid, semi rigid and flexible, including nitrile or rubber modified and TPV (Thermo Plastic Vulcanite) or Santoprene equivalent (this has the same properties, characteristics and function, but without the Santoprene brand name) as well as Santoprene, if its specifically required. Co extrusions (extrusions made from two different materials) and bushfire (BAL) rated extruded gaskets are also available.

The G.James facilities are capable of large scale commercial production. The production lines can produce up to approximately 2000m of plastic extrusion an hour – depending on the size and shape of the profile. Products are designed up to 100mm in Circumscribing Circle Diameter (CCD). At peak times, it will use up to 40 ton of material a month – and that’s not at full capacity.

Extrusion design

After initial contact, the design process involves an in depth look at what is required – the use, appropriate material for the conditions – sun and weathering, heat and chemical exposure. Identifying potential issues and mitigating them, or troubleshooting issues that may have occurred previously. Assessing die design and making a more effective proposal are all looked at prior to signing off drawings for a die to be made. Die trials are run and the resulting profile measured up for quality assurance purposes before commercial runs begin.

This process can take up to a couple of months if there is a lot of design involved, but is usually less. Ordering plastic extrusion has a two week lead time, but standard runs or more urgent requests can be processed to cater to customer needs.

Quality

During the design process

Efforts are made to ensure the die design is as beneficial and cost effective to the customer as possible. For example, a recent job started out with a profile design from a customer that required considerably expensive tooling and production costs.  Working with the customer and making a few die modifications, these costs were brought down by 60% . No impact was had on the effectiveness of the extrusion.

As an initial saving, G.James can arrange to have the tooling price amortised into the production price per metre to offset the lump sum.

Use in situ

18 years of experience by the PVC extrusion manager, Jason Clarke, ensures personal service from someone who knows how to make it work. Trouble shooting feeding problems, stopping gaskets from “popping” out of position, gasket “wave” problems and better shape design are among other issues that are addressed.

Point of manufacture

A length from every roll of extruded plastic is tested to ensure a quality product. Measurements are taken and information is recorded and stored so it can be tracked back to when and how it was made. Materials that work into other G.James products are also trialled for a suitable fit on completion to ensure a whole of system customer service.

Back end quality control

G.James conduct investigations into existing scenarios that are having problems. Extrusion and glass checks, incorrect use and out dated design issues can be looked at to assess the cause of any issues. Advice is given on the findings, whether it is a change in plastics die design, or other members that are found to be out of tolerance.

Manufacturing Process

It’s a short but interesting manufacturing process. The material comes in pellet form that is control fed through a hopper into a spiralling screw or ram. The pellets are heated, mixed and compressed as they are fed through the spiralling screw, and finally forced through the die into its final shape. After the gasket is extruded, it is immediately cooled in chilled water, and then dried before being cut into designated lengths and boxed, or rolled onto a spool.

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Recycling

All off cuts of plastic extrusion are recycled on site. They are shredded and prepared to go through the same hopper feed and production process. As a quality control issue, recycled material is only used on non-structural gaskets, such as fly screen splines.

Brisbane designed and made, supply is distributed Australia wide, with much of our standard range available off the shelf at any G.James branch. For more information on product and supply, call the PVC manager, Jason Clarke, on 0403 352 703 or 07 3815 4908. Keep up to date by looking up the PVC page on the G.James website.

Capitol Apartments

The Capitol ApartmentsCapitol Apartments has been recently constructed at 35 Peel St, South Bank, Brisbane, QLD. It is a 10 storey building designed by Kowalski and built by TMF. This project is situated in the busy west side of South Bank, along some major traffic routes – one being Queensland Rail train tracks and rail bridge.  It is an ambitious project considering its location, and had very stringent guidelines to achieve before it was allowed to be constructed.

Strict Design Criteria

The main aspect of design took into account the proximity to the adjacent train line. Acoustics is an obvious problem, but the location of the railway tracks are within a stones throw, literally. As such, protection of the railway tracks from litter being thrown onto the lines is of critical importance. Accompanying this, the architects designed a building with many differing glazing requirements to achieve a cohesive up market residential property. This building is to be used as furnished apartments for long or short term accommodation for people in the South Bank area. With venues like Rydges and other large hotel names in the vicinity, a boutique, stylish result needed to be achieved. The Capitol Apartments The initial design phase required the windows to comply with acoustic standards, or the apartment would not get approval to be built. G.James were the only glaziers that could beat all the ratings required, and provide evidence via testing that these results were guaranteed. The design initially specified opening sizes to be built to, but to ensure quality, it was actually done as a measure and fit job. As such, the lead times were brought down dramatically in the manufacture and installation scheduling required to meet the builders time line, which G.James achieved.

Design Resolution

To accommodate the requirements to protect the tracks from litter, all windows to the railways (northern) elevation were fitted with fixed Crimsafe screens. The balconies are set up as an Alfresco area, and the Lismore designed version of the 445 sliding door system was used for the operable windows overlooking the tracks and the city, with a fixed light beneath. The Lismore design, allows the sliding door to be operated from the inside, allowing the Crimsafe screen to be fitted and fixed externally. This alfresco area also helps protect the interior from noise pollution. The Capitol Apartments Bedrooms were fitted with jockey sashes to provide an adequate acoustic barrier, and living spaces had IGUs (as well as the alfresco area) to protect it from railway traffic noise. Both use the 451 system. Some balconies also have 136 Double Hung IGUs incorporated into their design. Other areas use differing glazing suites including the 165 slider vents to wet areas, 265 awning windows, 651 shop front with IGUs in the gym on level 1 with a 476 hinged door.  The main entry was a 475 auto sliding door, and the 477-300 bi-fold system with a lowlight under in  650 framing are a suitable finish in the restaurant. All framing not done on the railway elevation used various types of SGUs to suit the look required. The Capitol Apartments We have released a project map to provide the location and a summary of works.  Keep an eye out for the Capitol Apartments on this map…

Interactive Map: Building Brisbane

Brisbane construction projects by G.James Glass & Aluminium

Brisbane, being the location of our Head Office, sees many fine examples of G.James workmanship.   Here, we outline some of the biggest and best projects undertaken to showcase our capabilities in recent times.

The interactive map is designed so you can take a tour of some of our most recent and notable works.  Either at your desk looking out a CBD window, taking a stroll around town, and driving past a building or through an area you have always wanted to know more about.

Brisbane

G.James has contributed widely to what Brisbane looks like today.   There are buildings that have added to Brisbane’s sky line and to the diversity of looks and uses that are designed for the various parts of this fair city.  On some buildings, there are unique features that make them distinctive.  For example –

  • the ribbons of M&A,
  • the splash of red across the Australian Federal Police building,
  • the glass wall of Sir Samuel Griffith Centre,
  • the towering Aurora and Riparian plaza.

There are many buildings that have achieved the coveted green star energy efficient design,  some interesting artwork on glass designed by local artists – its worth a visit to the Anthropology Museum at UQ to see the ceramic printed window alone. Some of the buildings have specialised glass systems to suit the works being done, like the Translational Research Institute and the ABC headquarters.

There are projects that have altered the face of a tired old façade, so if you look at an old image of QIMR, you won’t recognize it.  And then theres the Suncorp Stadium which gives you a glimpse inside a place where state pride and competition is on the line.

The Interactive Map

The map is aimed to give you a glimpse into the depth the G.James knowledge base and provide an overview of the types of works that G.James is capable of.  It highlights projects done by various departments in the company, including:

  • Commercial departments
  • Residential departments
  • Gossi park and street furniture
  • Glass department

You can have a look at the map and plan out a scenic drive, or target specific jobs, or just get an idea of what we have produced, in your area.  As you can imagine, there are too many jobs to make this an all-inclusive list, but we aimed to include a range of jobs reflecting different styles and features.

A brief dossier on the project is included – a photo of what to look for, basic job data and links to further information on the project.  G.James can help you with any further information required for the jobs represented.

Explore Here…

Enjoy the exploration, and keep an eye on this space. Other areas will be released as our database of projects rolls out – Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, as well as other areas to be where you can find G.James fingerprints…

Until then, enjoy this insight into the River City.

Key:

 G.James Projects

 Gossi Designs

A printed curtain for the Infiniti Showroom

Nissan's Infiniti Showroom

Nissan’s brand new Inifiniti Showroom at 5 James St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, offers a new option of luxury car, provided at the level of traditional European car manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz.  The concept is to mimick the service offered to this level of customer but aiming at a new audience.

To accomplish this, Infiniti’s IREDI (Infiniti Retail Environment Design Initiative) developed a world class facility that will catch the eye of a newly emerging, discerning audience. Utilising Japanese notion of “Omotenashi”, or the heart of hospitality, a high level customer experience was developed from presentation to purchase.  The Brisbane showroom is the largest in Australia to date – the 2000m² complex comprises of a lobby, a lounge and the showroom, framed stylishly in printed glass showroom window.

Designed by the architectural firm, Brisbane based McKerral Architects , the curtain pattern was supplied as part of the global Infiniti corporate image. The original pattern needed to be refined and approved internationally prior to manufacture.  G.James worked in conjunction with the design team to finalise the artwork.

The printed glass produces a privacy shadow screen by day, but at night with lights behind it, the printing disappears. The print work and positioning lend itself to the overall highly polished finish presented to prospective clients.