Transforming an Iconic Building

 In blog

The fall weather has cooperated, and we are now in the final stages of completing our Kalwall installation at the iconic Manhattan Mini Storage building.

Built in 1924, located at 131 Varick Street in NYC, this project required the installation of 750 Kalwall translucent panels by American Architectural Window & Door’s team of certified installers. Kalwall is a composite structural sandwich panel with millions of prismatic glass fibers embedded into the panels translucent face sheet. The fibers refract sunlight to provide a balanced, diffused wash of glare-free, usable light. Additionally, Kalwall is the most highly insulating, diffused-light-transmitting technology available. Its thermal performance can match that of solid wall and solar heat gain coefficients as low are as .04, which significantly lowers HVAC loads and electricity costs.

Though Kalwall delivers excellent diffused light, it is not a glazing panel, but rather a composite structural sandwich panel with outstanding load capacity and structural integrity that polycarbonate systems and insulating glass units cannot match. Typically, you will find Kalwall used on office and manufacturing buildings, gymnasium and recreational facilities, museums, schools, airports, and other structures that require long spans and natural daylighting. With a high strength-to-weight ratio, Kalwall panels are both strong and lightweight. This makes the installation process easier and reduces extraneous structural support framing, saving both time and money.

One of the challenges we faced upon undertaking this project was the meticulous engineering and measurement required to fit each window opening due to existing conditions. This engineering work resulted in a large puzzle of parts and pieces that fit into a grid design and receptor frame system with exterior frame perimeters being covered in black brake metal. As you can imagine, we had to work closely with Kalwall to create a production and logistics schedule that flowed seamlessly between shipments and installation work to transform the appearance of this iconic property.

Stay tuned for more updates on the completion project.

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