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Library-Salt Lake City PSB

Salt Lake City's Public Safety Building Achieves LEED® Platinum Certification with the Help of Aluminum Extrusions

Working with and involving the extrusion supplier early was a key element to making Salt Lake City's milestone energy-efficient government building design a reality.

Salt Lake City's Public Safety Building sets a new standard in creating a functional, energy efficient government structure in stunning Modern architecture. It is the first public safety building in the nation to be designed as a net-zero energy building, generating as much energy as it uses. It also is one of the first public safety buildings designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® Platinum certification criteria. Aluminum extrusions are an integral part of the building'a design and helped the architects reach those sustainability goals. Wausau Window and Wall Systems supplied the extruded aluminum unitized curtainwall, windows, light shelves and sun shades for the project.

The building's glass façade was a central element of Salt Lake City-based GSBS Architect's design. The northwest-facing public "face" of the building features a serpentine glass curtainwall that slopes from one wing to the other. The design also called for the curtainwall to cant -- or angle -- in multiple directions.

In addition, the glass exterior needed to meet seismic and ballistic requirements, as well as contribute to the building's LEED and net-zero energy objectives.

To address the complexities of the project's design and engineering needs, general contractor Okland Construction and glazing contractor LCG Facades quickly involved Wausau in the project's discussion.

"LCG Facades was brought in early in the design phase to answer GSBS Architect's number one question: 'Can a curtainwall system segment and cant backward at 15 degrees and then change angle, while maintaining the cant through a reverse S curve?'" explained Ted Derby, business development manager at LCG Facades. "We thought with Wqausau's help, we could make it happen. As soon as we received a wire frame 3-D model, we sent it to Wausau, and they came back with a conditional, but affirmative statement that they could make the design a reality. Shortly afterwards, Wausau and LCG Facades entered into a[n] agreement to work together on the project."

"The care and precision needed to make this complex design a reality was incredible," said Gene Pagel, Wausau's vice president of engineering. "Every piece, dimension and angle of the 135 unique curtainwall units located at the center of this building is different. That meant each component of each trapezoidal unit required design engineering and 3-D layout, along with precise and unique machining, fabrication, glazing and even shipping provisions."

For the Public Safety Building's lobby and main floors, LCG installed more than 32,000 square feet of Wausau's INvision™ Thermal Unitized Curtainwall INvision products combine the benefits of natural light and outside views with the recognized performance and recycled content that may aid buildings seeking LEED certification. The selected INvision systems incorporate polyamide thermal barriers that enhance system thermal performance, condensation resistance and energy efficiency.

Maximizing performance, minimizing field labor and allowing designers to choose the ideal system depth, face width and thermal barrier, these unitized curtainwall systems are fabricated for quick, easy installation and are backed with a standard limited warranty of up to 10 years. The unitized systems' interlocking frame design accommodates seismic, live load and thermal building movements. Structural silicone glazing and sealing are completed in Wausau's LEED-Silver certified manufacturing center for quality assurance.

Along with the curtainwall, LCG Facades installed nearly two dozen Wausau 4250-Z Zero Sightline casement windows on the building's upper floors to support the project's goals for natural ventilation and a connection to the outdoors for occupants. Also contributing to the Public Safety Building's net-zero energy goals, Wausau engineered and installed Clear Story™ interior light shelves and sun shades to allow light to penetrate deeper into the interior spaces.

"A complete daylighting system provides shading from direct sunlight, glare protection and daylight redirection," explains Wausau's government/military market manager, Tom Mifflin, LEED Green Associate. "Lighting accounts for 40% of the energy used in a typical commercial building. Properly executed, daylighting can reduce HVAC peak loads with corresponding reductions in mechanical equipment capacity and carbon footprint."

Wausau's aluminum frames, light shelves and sun shades contain recycled content averaging 70% or greater. Linetec finished these aluminum components in "MC Plantinum" using a two-coat, 70% fluropolymer mica flake paint. As an environmentally conscious finisher, Linetec safely captures and destroys the VOCs present in liquid solvent-based paints at the factory before arrival on the building site. Wausau's finished products comply with indoor environmental quality credits for low-emitting materials with respect to LEED criteria.

Viracon fabricated the high-efficiency, triple insulating glass used in the curtainwall and the low-e, insulated glass installed in the casement windows.

Other elements contributing to Salt Lake City's net-zero and LEED-Platinum goals for the building include:

  • Controllable task lighting to complement daylighting
  • Interior building materials with low-VOC contents for improved air quality
  • Photovoltaic panels within a glass awning that extends from the main entrance onto a newly created outdoor plaza, generating energy to power electrical outlets that are available for public use
  • Rooftop photovoltaic panels to produce power for the building and high-reflectivity roofing materials that deflect heat
  • Planted "green" roof areas that reduce the amount of water that enters the storm drain system and keeps the building and surrounding environment cooler, plus other on-site rain gardens and water-efficient landscape design
  • Bicycle racks for staff and public use, and reserved parking stalls for low-emissions vehicles
  • High-efficiency mechanical systems, including rooftop solar water heating system
  • In-floor radiant tubes to assist in heating and cooling
For more details on this project, visit

Home page photo and photos 2, 3 and 4 courtesy of Wausau Window and Wall Systems and Wayne Gillman Photography.