July 25, 2019

Extreme Environments Call for Extreme Performance

by Joe Erb

Humans have been building structures in extreme environments, protecting themselves from the worst elements Mother Nature has to offer, for thousands of years. And where extreme weather exists, it takes today’s highest performance building materials to keep occupants comfortable and happy.

At Quanex, we’ve been contributing to those goals for 30 years with Super Spacer® technology. It’s a legacy that we’re proud of, with dependable, proven performance that has delivered enhanced thermal comfort for occupants all over the world.

As we celebrate Super Spacer’s 30th year in 2019, here are a few projects that demonstrate the extreme conditions where Super Spacer thrives:

Thermal Performance for Antarctic Conditions. The harshest cold-weather conditions on Earth exist in Antarctica. It’s the coldest, driest and windiest continent, with temperatures on record dipping as far as -128.6°F (-89.2°C).

It’s also home to thousands of scientists and researchers from around the globe, with numerous facilities dotting the icy landscape. Marambio Base is one of them—a permanent, year-round military and scientific research compound that also includes a large, frequently used airfield sometimes referred to as “Antarctica’s Entrance Door.”

For the people who live and work at Marambio Base for weeks, months and years at a time, indoor comfort is of the utmost importance. Structures here utilize the highest quality insulative materials to maintain livability for the interior spaces. So, when base operators began to undertake significant renovations, including windows and doors throughout the facility, Super Spacer TriSeal was identified as the right fit for the highest possible performance.

The demands for the project were established early: Insulating glass needed to reach a K coefficient of 1.6 kcalh/m2c°. Windows also needed to achieve a high solar factor, allowing the sun’s rays to enter the interior and provide heat—without letting that heat escape.

To meet these needs, the insulating glass configuration included triple-glazed units with two Low-E and tempered glass lites, with 4-millimeter tempered glass in the middle. Two 12-millimeter airspace chambers filled with argon gas were sealed with Super Spacer.

La Casa de los Cristales worked closely with Quanex engineers throughout the development and testing process to ensure the units would perform to specification once installed in their final application.
“Testing is always important, but in this application, the stakes were even higher,” said Quanex Senior Technical Services Engineer Doug Hauck. “Given the extreme temperatures experienced in Antarctica, any compromise on performance or potential for unit failure would be a major challenge to correct.”
Read this full case study in Fenestration Focus Volume 9 Number 2 here.

Keeping Comfortable in Paradise. The Anaha Ward Village in Honolulu is one of Oahu’s most sophisticated and design-forward high-rises, with a striking, multifaceted curved glass façade. The IG units used for the project—including more than 300 curved units—were produced by Pennsylvania’s Standard Bent Glass (SBG), a glass fabrication company that has been in business since 1936. Fabricated in-house and fabricated by hand, each of the curved units provides the necessary structural integrity and outstanding performance, made possible with Super Spacer TriSeal Flex.
“We search for jobs that challenge us, and the Anaha Ward Village was a project we were excited to take on.” said Jake Bowser, sales manager for SBG. “From a manufacturing standpoint, it was a gamechanger, and one thing that helped solidify our success was TriSeal Flex.”

With over 80 years’ experience in glass manufacturing, SBG has made its name in being a single source for architectural glazing. The company’s commitment to craftsmanship and to staying on top of changing glazing trends has helped establish SBG as a trusted supplier of custom flat and bent glass for eye-catching projects all over the country. Each panel of custom glazing is made by hand at SBG’s Pennsylvania manufacturing facility.

“Our business began around simple annealed glass bending,” Bowser said. “We bent monolithic annealed glass, and over time progressed with laminating capabilities, tempering, digital printing. We’ve evolved in many different areas. Once you begin doing those things, your opportunities change.”
With its unique triple-seal design, Super Spacer TriSeal Flex is an ideal choice for the types of architectural and commercial IG needs in some of SBG’s most forward-thinking projects. For the unique demands of the Anaha Ward Village, it was an ideal fit.

Bowser additionally notes that Quanex’s comprehensive support on projects like the Anaha Ward Village is invaluable to achieving technical excellence throughout the project’s entirety. “The support that Quanex provides is great,” Bowser said. “Just in terms of product volume, SBG isn’t Quanex’s biggest customer, but the support we receive makes us feel like we are.”

Read the full case study in Fenestration Focus Volume 8 Number 4 here.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Joe.Erb@Quanex.com.


For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: July 25, 2019 by Joe Erb Filed under: efficient, energy, performance