Working with Clifton Architectural Glass and Metal, the project’s glazing contractor, RbB designed a customized glazing solution to improve the restaurant’s energy efficiency and indoor comfort.
Located on “The Miracle Mile”—the Windy City’s renowned upscale shopping district—the Café featured 3,800 square feet of single-pane plate glass windows that were installed when the building was constructed in 1997.
While the large expanses of glass provided abundant natural daylighting to illuminate the restaurants grandiose décor, the windows lacked the technology found in newer glazing options.
As a result, restaurant managers and patrons had to contend with a range of challenges, including excessive solar heat gain in summer, poor heat retention in winter, reoccurring condensation caused by fluctuating temperatures, and disruptive noise from busy streets.
“The Café had a number of goals in mind with regards to the window retrofit project, but overall, they were looking to improve the dining experience for guests, especially those seated near the windows,” said Ron Chmura, owner of Clifton Architectural Glass and Metal. “We explored different window retrofit strategies and were intrigued by the RENOVATE by Berkowitz™ (Renovate) system.”
Developed as an innovative and cost-effective window retrofit solution for aging commercial buildings, the Renovate system is a factory-made insulating glass unit (IGU), which typically adds two lites of low-e glass to the interior surface of a building’s existing single-pane windows, as well as optional argon gas. The result is a high-performance, triple-pane IGU.
“After talking with our engineers, we initially determined the Renovate system wasn’t going to work for this project,” Chmura added. “We were concerned that the existing window framing would not support the system’s additional weight. Fortunately, we were able to work closely with the team at Renovate by Berkowitz to develop a customized solution.”
Darrell Cherry, project and technical manager for RbB, said the technology behind the Renovate system enables it to accommodate multiple glass configurations. “For the Grand Lux Café project, we were able to adapt the Renovate system and hermetically seal a monolithic lite of heat-treated Pilkington Energy Advantage™ low-e glass to the existing glass, creating a permanent IGU,” he added.
The window retrofit project took 30 days to complete, according to Chmura. “We were able to complete our work after hours so that there was no disruption to the Café’s daily operations,” he said.
“It’s only been a few months since the installation was finished, but the early feedback has been positive. The Café experienced immediate results with better energy and thermal performance, as well as less street noise infiltration. All around, the Renovate system dramatically improved the indoor comfort level and helped produce a better dining experience.”
For more information about how the Renovate system can help cost-effectively improve the energy performance and comfort of aging commercial buildings, visit www.RbBwindow.com.