Low-e glass helps maximize performance of unitized curtain wall system. From the outside-in and inside-out, Slate, a new LEED®-certified mid-rise tower in Portland, Oregon, featuring Solarban® 60 glass by Vitro Architectural Glass, is designed to please the eye and harmonize with the environment.
Capturing the look of multiple stacked glass-and-metal boxes, the orchestrated randomness of the building’s stylish, modern façade belies the sophistication and cohesiveness of its unitized curtain wall system.
Working with Salem, Oregon-based glazing contractor Dallas Glass, Works Progress Architecture and Wausau Window and Wall Systems did extensive digital modeling to optimize the placement of Slate’s glass and metal panels for looks and performance, and to design, fabricate and install its highly energy-efficient building envelope.
The unitized curtain wall, combined with the exceptional solar control performance of Solarban®60 glass, facilitated the use of expansive window walls and glass terrace and patio doors without sacrificing energy performance or occupant comfort.
As a result, the residents and workers who occupy Slate enjoy floor-to-ceiling views of downtown Portland, Mount Hood and the Willamette River. Meanwhile, the glass’s low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and high insulating values (U-Factor) enable it to integrate seamlessly with the curtain wall to create a robust thermal barrier that lowers their heating and air-conditioning bills.
In addition to earning LEED® certification at the Gold level from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Slate received accolades from the City of Portland’s Design Commission. The seven-member committee praised the building’s floor-to-ceiling curtain wall design, saying it “aids in the success of the space by fostering a visually seamless relationship between the building’s interior and exterior environment.”
One of the industry’s most proven and trusted solar control low-e glasses, Solarban® 60 glass has VLT of 70 percent and an SHGC of 0.39 in a standard 1-inch clear insulating glass unit (IGU). It has been specified by architects for thousands of buildings in virtually every type of climate to limit the need for interior lighting and air-conditioning, two of the largest consumers of energy in commercial buildings.
More on the Project
Slate represents a cornerstone in the City’s efforts to revitalize the Burnside Bridgehead area with workspace and residential apartments close to the Central City. The 147,000sf building, has 75 residential apartment units on the upper six floors, 31,140sf of creative offices on floors 2, 3 and 4, and 8,335sf of retail space at street level.
The site forms the north corner of the east side industrial district and is part of the Burnside Bridgehead redevelopment effort. It situates itself at the eastern foot of the Burnside Bridge at the geographic center of Portland. The Couch street approach and MLK Boulevard meet at the southeast corner of the site and impose overlapping, sweeping easements on the site boundary.
The Burnside Bridge has long been seen as the central cross hairs of the city. It is the literal divide between the north and the south neighborhoods of the city. The Bridgehead site has recently been modified to accommodate a new traffic pattern of the Burnside-Couch couplet. This new pattern creates a curved and flowing force on the regular Portland street grid as it sweeps traffic up onto the Burnside Bridge heading west. The site is affected by this force and is rounded along its edge as a result.
A modern re-conceptualization of not only the historic warehouse buildings that make up the Industrial Eastside sanctuary, but also the district itself—which has experienced an organized transformation from old industry to new.
With its collection of historic warehouse that have been adapted to house industrial creative workspace, the Eastside is the hot bed for Portland’s maker market. The gritty nature of the Eastside remains a major identifying element. Slate expresses the notion that there is presently no difference in the types of spaces or the locations where one lives or works.
The program inflects the needs for light and air to become more porous towards the top as the residential units filter in. The result is a building that is particular and universal at the same time, the embodiment of a progressively adaptive and evolving district. From both the west view from the city, or the east approach, the facades create a framework of activities — episodic views that collage to form a hive of activity.
Sited on a 100’ x 200’ half block, the post-tensioned concrete building is LEED Gold designed to incorporate high efficiency HVAC systems and a robust building envelope. Clad in composite metal panel and unitized curtain wall, the building provides many elevated outdoor spaces and responds materially to its industrial context.
The design team worked closely with the cladding manufacturers to achieve 2 distinct façade systems. The North and South facades represent themselves as a contiguous slate with the glass color closely matched to that of the metal panels, while the East and West orientations provide a remarkable contrast with a wide range of depths and rigorously studied faceting.
To learn more about Solarban® 60 glass, visit www.vitroglazings.com
|Architects||Works Progress Architecture|
|Landscape Architect||Lango Hansen|
|Interior Architect||Weedman Design Partners|
|General Contractor||Yorke and Curtis|
|Structural Engineer||DCI Engineers|
|Mechanical Engineer||BEA Consulting|
|Photography||Joshua Jay Elliott|