Portland Courthouse Delivers Crisp Views and Unrivaled Transparency with Solarban® 72 Starphire® Glass

Portland Courthouse Delivers Crisp Views and Unrivaled Transparency with Solarban® 72 Starphire® Glass
Photo source
By Tom Kessler

Date: 12 July 2022

Strips of Spanish limestone and curtainwall alternate to create a visually interesting façade for Portland’s new 17-story Multnomah Courthouse.

Designed with Solarban 72® Starphire® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass), the floor-to-ceiling windows welcome in daylighting and deliver beautiful vistas of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River.

As Bjorn Clouten, AIA, LEED® AP, Assoc. DBIA, a principal with the project’s architect SRG Partnership told KPTV FOX 12 Oregon, the envelope design is meant to convey a sense of safety, openness and transparency.

Building occupants enter inside a spacious, light-filled and decorative lobby, reminiscent of an upscale hotel. “On each of the court floors, as you come up the elevator, you’re drawn to the view of the river,” said Clouten.

To deliver these crisp views, Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass was selected for its high visible light transmittance, exceptional clarity and superior solar control performance. In a standard one-inch insulating glass unit, Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass delivers visible light transmittance of 68% and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.28.

Portland Courthouse Delivers Crisp Views and Unrivaled Transparency with Solarban® 72 Starphire® Glass
Photography by Tom Kessler

The glazing played a key role in the architect’s four-layered symbolic presentation of a courthouse. The building’s interior displays the activity and energy taking place in the public spaces next to the courtrooms and the second layer of façade glass reinforces the transparent nature of justice. The third level is the structural, seismic design that represents stability and order, and the final layer showcases the irregularly-spaced glass and limestone panels symbolizing the people of the county.

An integrated project delivery model helped the team fine-tune the design and capture project efficiencies by onboarding key subcontractors early on. Working in partnership with Hoffman Construction Company, façade consultant RDH, glazing contractor Washington Window & Door and fabricator Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope – Schofield, the building team was able to produce BIM designs and build full-scale mock-ups for early owner and stakeholder review.

The LEED® Gold-certified 460,000 sq.-ft. building achieved Architecture 2030 carbon reduction targets with a carefully calculated window-to-wall ratio, high-performance building envelope, radiant heating and cooling, displacement ventilation and rooftop solar panels.

The design team engineered the façade together with a structural thermal mass. This enables the structure to capture the solar heat gain through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the building’s east side. A radiant hydronic loop embedded in the concrete floor then absorbs the energy in the slab and redistributes it to the public spaces, thereby reducing heating loads on a clear winter morning by up to 20%.

For more information about Solarban 72® Starphire® glass and the rest of Vitro Glass’s full line of architectural glasses, visit www.vitroglazings.com.

600450 Portland Courthouse Delivers Crisp Views and Unrivaled Transparency with Solarban® 72 Starphire® Glass glassonweb.com

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