Brattleboro Retreat’s updated, expanded mental health facilities feature Wausau Window and Wall Systems

Vermont’s Brattleboro Retreat, a historic, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center, recently completed an extensive facility remodel that includes psychiatric-grade windows from Wausau Window and Wall Systems.

Founded in 1834, Brattleboro Retreat’s treatment center consists of 58 buildings and sites.The facility treats children, adolescents and adults in their recovery from mental illness, psychological trauma and addiction. To better serve its patients, the Retreat is undergoing broad expansion and renovations across its entire 1,000-acre campus. The upgrades are part of nearly $12 million dollars in improvements slated to take place throughout the facility during the next two years.

The remodel of the Children’s Inpatient Program located in the Retreat’s Osgood Building is among the most recent projects and re-opened in January 2012. Architectural firm Lavallee Brensinger and general contractor Engleberth Construction, Inc., glazing contractor Greenfield Glass worked closely with Wausau Window and Wall Systems from the earliest stages of the project’s development.

Wausau’s staff conducted on-site visits to assess the aging facility’s structural integrity, then presented analysis and recommendations to enhance the whole building envelope. Wausau’s health care market manager, Lisa May, LEED® Green Associate, explains, “There was great concern that existing double-hungs weren’t safe and urgently needed to be retrofitted. While patient safety was the first priority, they also very much wanted to preserve the facility’s historic look.

Providing a home-like and safe, therapeutic environment to help patients heal, Wausau’s 4000i-DT Series windows were manufactured with applied muntin grids to mimic double-hung units and convey a residential-like aesthetic. Wausau also provided the panning and trim to highlight the historic styling. “The facility manager fell in love when she saw the windows with the muntins, panning and trim. It was exactly what she was looking for,” says May.

Greenfield Glass installed a total of 54 units on the first and third floors of the Osgood Building. For each window, the field team would remove the existing unit, prepare the opening, set the panning and trim system to cover any exposed surfaces, then install the new window unit securely in place.

Along with delivering a comforting, historic appearance, these high-performance, psychiatric-grade windows contribute to a comfortable interior, meeting energy-efficiency and condensation-resistance standards. To ensure patient safety, these windows are “drop tested” for interior human impacts up to 2,000 foot/pounds.

May elaborates, “If a patient impacts the window, energy must be transferred sequentially through glazing infill, frames, hardware, anchorage and substrates. Two thousand foot - pounds of energy, as imparted by the human impact drop test apparatus, simulates the shoulder impact of a 200 pound person moving at 25 feet per second.”

The natural light and unrestricted views provided by Wausau’s 4000i-DT series windows also fit the “moral treatment” philosophy of the Brattleboro Retreat, which has remained unchanged since its founding nearly 180 years ago. The first facility for the mentally ill in Vermont, and one of the first 10 psychiatric hospitals in the United States, Brattleboro was patterned on the Quaker concept of moral treatment. Almost unheard of in the 1830s, the Quakers’ approach to caring for the mentally ill included treating patients with dignity and respect in a caring, family-like environment that incorporated meaningful work, cultural activities, healthy nutrition and daily exercise.

“The Brattleboro Retreat’s nearly 200-year-old reputation for high-qualify clinical care has always been accompanied by the comforting, uplifting environment of our campus and buildings,” said Gerri Cote, vice president of operations. “These renovations are in keeping with our commitment to preserve the historic beauty of the Retreat while also offering the very latest in 21st century environment of care.”

To optimize daylight, while managing light and glare and minimizing maintenance, Wausau’s psychiatric-grade windows also feature integral between-glass blinds. Insulated units with glass from Viracon optimize thermal performance to control unwanted heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.

Further contributing to the Brattleboro Retreat’s energy-efficiency and green building goals, the windows’ aluminum frames contain recycled content averaging 70% or greater. The framing and applied muntins were painted by Linetec using a 70 percent Kynar® 500 polyvinylidene fluoride resin-based coating. This finish meets the highest performance criteria of AAMA 2605. The reliability and durability of this painted finish helps reduce maintenance, repair and replacement.

Other improvements to the Children’s Inpatient Program area include colorful walls, curving architectural lines, built-in seating, a four-season porch, a centrally located nurses station, single patient bedrooms, plus an activities and play area.


Osgood Building, Brattleboro Retreat, 75 Linden St, Brattleboro, VT 05301;

* Architect: Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Manchester, N.H.;

* General contractor: Engleberth Construction, Inc.; Colchester, Vt;

* Glazing contractor: Greenfield Glass; Greenfield, Ma.;

* Glazing systems – manufacturer:  Wausau Window and Wall Systems, 4000i-DT Series Psychiatric; Wausau, Wis.;

* Glazing systems - glazing: Viracon; Owatonna, Minn.;

* Glazing systems – finisher: Linetec, Wausau, Wis.;

600450 Brattleboro Retreat’s updated, expanded mental health facilities feature Wausau Window and Wall Systems

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