Renovate by Berkowitz System Helps Transform Historic Buffalo High-Rise

Date: 28 October 2014

The Renovate by Berkowitz (Renovate) window retrofit system was used in the recently completed renovation of 10 Lafayette Square in Buffalo, New York, a $42-million project by The Hamister Group, Inc., that transformed a 20-story office building into a mixed-use complex with a 124-room hotel, 18 market-rate apartments, a restaurant, and The Hamister Group’s corporate headquarters.   Jonathan Morris, AIA, of Carmina Wood Morris, D.P.C., a Buffalo-based architectural firm, said the exterior of the 55-year-old building looks the same as when it first opened in 1959, but the interior was completely rebuilt and repurposed.

To make the building more energy-efficient, the design team had planned to replace the original single-glazed curtainwall with new, insulating glass units (IGUs); however, because the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, the original glass and framing system had to remain in place and be restored.

“Improving the curtainwall’s energy efficiency and thermal performance were critical factors for the success of this renovation,” Morris said. “Knowing that the building was going to be mostly hotel and residential units, we also needed a solution that would reduce noise from the street and light-rail system outside. The Renovate system was essential to not only working within the constraints of the historic preservation criteria, but also accomplishing our other goals.”

In all, 760 windows were retrofitted with the Renovate Platinum Plus II system, adding an IGU with two lites of high-performance, low-e glass to the interior surface of the existing curtainwall.

“It took about three months to complete the window retrofit,” Morris said. “The offices and apartments are occupied and the hotel opened in mid-October. The noise from outside is minimal and I fully expect the Renovate system to perform well through the upcoming winter and help control energy costs.”

Based on the early feedback from this project, Morris said he believes the Renovate system is poised to help other aging properties become more energy efficient, especially those looking to earn historic tax credits.

“The Renovate system is a cost-effective and permanent window upgrade that provides year-round energy, thermal, and acoustic improvements that window film and other alternatives simply can’t offer,” he added. “The New York State Historic Preservation officer we worked with has already referenced this project to a few other architects who are working on similar preservation projects.”

For more information on how the Renovate system can help improve aging commercial buildings, visit www.RbBwindow.com.

About RbB

Renovate by Berkowitz, LLC, (RbB) was established in 2010 by the owners of J.E. Berkowitz, LP (JEB), a leading architectural glass fabricator. JEB manufacturers the RENOVATE by Berkowitz™ window retrofit system at its 253,000-square-foot facility in Pedricktown, N.J. For more information, visit www.RbBwindow.com.

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