Glass Supply: Era (Pacific Place Precinct)

EraThe Era project is a $310 million dollar, 42 storey development in Chatswood, Sydney being developed by Mirvac. Era is the fifth and final residential building in Mirvac’s Pacific Place precinct. Era features 295 luxury apartments – most of which sold off the plan within a day of release.

G.James’ Role

G.James has been engaged by 3 separate customers to supply a total of 11,150m² of glass for the project.

G.James is supplying clear laminated and toughened safety glass to be used for windows and doors in the project, as well as Colourlite printed glass for some applications. G.James is also supplying heat strengthened laminated glass and heat soaked toughened glass, which will be used in balustrade for the project. Additionally, some heat strengthened glass is being supplied for use in louvres.

Why use Heat Strengthened glass?

Heat strengthened glass is about twice as strong as ordinary float glass and is used generally as a protection against thermal breakage –  it has higher compressive stresses which resist thermal breakage. Heat strengthened has a surface compression induced by a temperature increase and sudden quenching. The existence of the surface compression means that it must be overcome by load before any surface tensile stress is achieved. Heat strengthened glass breaks into large, safer particles. In laminated glass the inter-layer holds these pieces safely in place in the event of breakage.

Point of failure in a sheet of toughened glass due to NiS inclusion.

Point of failure in toughened glass caused by NiS inclusion.

Why use heat soaked glass?

Although rare, nickel sulphide (NiS) inclusions in toughened glass can lead to “spontaneous” breakage. These inclusions are tiny contaminant particles in the raw materials of glass. During the toughening process these particles are altered to an unstable chemical state. If they revert back to the stable chemical state, the particles increase in volume, which can sometimes lead to breakage in toughened glass. This conversion may take years to occur, if happens at all. Heat soaking is a destructive test which heats the glass to 280˚C for several hours to speed up the transformation of any NiS should it be present. This accelerated testing process reduces the likelihood of breakage of installed glass by a factor of 20. Identifying NiS inclusion prior to on-site installation has distinctive cost, safety and security benefits, and is especially important where the consequence of breakage could result in injury – such as when the glass is to be used in exposed elevated positions.

Nickel sulphide inclusions in heat strengthened glass are much more unlikely to cause breakages due to the lower levels of compressive stress.

Looking Ahead

With the continued support from our laminating facility in Brisbane, this project is running on or ahead of schedule and is approximately 50% complete. Era is set to be completed late this year. For more information, please contact G.James glass sales.

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.