Supported by tall concrete columns that emerge from a 9-story parking block, Austin’s new 34-story 70 Rainey houses 164 condos feature floor-to-ceiling Solarban® R100 glass from Vitro Architectural Glass.
Located in one of the country’s fastest-growing and most vibrant urban districts, the luxury units sit above a 30,000 sq. ft. amenity deck showcasing lush greenery, two pools, a gym, dog park, fire pit and a yoga deck.
In selecting the right glass for the apartment block, which shifts 14 degrees above the amenity deck, the architect performed an extensive search.
“Glazing selection on tall buildings is one of the most complicated design decisions we face today in needing to navigate both energy codes, aesthetics and environmental performance,” explains Joshua Coleman, AIA, LEED® AP, principal/design, Page Southerland Page, Austin. “After our wide search looking at all products on the market, we arrived at Solarban® R100 glass based on its ability to perform incredibly well in Texas’ strong sun conditions without inducing glare or other negative urban effects.”
While the team was concerned about solar heat gain and looked closely at several combinations of window-to-wall-ratio, glazing types and geometry to best mitigate these negative effects, Coleman explained that too much opacity would have sacrificed views, so it was imperative the glazing be clear and have very high performance.
“Solarban® R100 glass provides one of the best solar heat gain coefficients on the market without aesthetic tradeoffs, such as being overly reflective, too dark or tinted,” Coleman explains.
Solarban® R100 glass conveys an appearance similar to clear glass in both color and reflectance whether viewed from the interior or exterior of a building. When combined in a 1” insulating glass unit with clear glass, it has a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.23 and visible light transmittance of 43%.
Consequently, the architects were able to specify large 5 ft. by 9 ft. glazed panels with some variations in size and proportion. Angling the primary tower also allowed the west façade to take on less direct solar heat.
For the amenity deck levels, Page designed predominantly horizontal proportioned windows as compared to the typical apartment windows with vertical proportions. “This affords better views to the city skyline and lake beyond. Fortunately, the glazing selection was the same for both tower and amenity deck floors allowing us to maintain aesthetic consistency throughout these key areas,” says Coleman.
From the deck levels, occupants are treated to panoramic views of Lady Bird Lake, East Austin and the local Colorado River.
Situated in a dense urban environment, choosing Solarban® R100 glass also meant the design team didn’t need to be concerned 70 Rainey would cast a glare on neighboring buildings. From the outside, Solarban® R100 glass delivers a clean, crisp exterior. In addition, the glass’ reflected color harmonized very well with the building’s overall material palette.
Assisted by the efforts of the project’s glazier, Texas-based Win-Con, the sleek tower earned a gold 2020 Multi-Housing News Excellence Award for the Best Development & Design in the High-Rise category and an Honor award from the Society of American Registered Architects in its 2020 Celebration of Architecture and Design.
For more information about Solarban® R100 glass and the rest of Vitro Glass’s full line of architectural glasses, visit www.vitroglazings.com or call 1-855-VTRO-GLS (887-6457).
About Vitro Glass
Vitro Glass, part of Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV:VITROA), the largest company of its kind in the Americas, manufactures a range of industry-leading, energy-efficient products such as Solarban®, Sungate® and Starphire Ultra-Clear® glasses at U.S. plants in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Fresno, California; Salem, Oregon; and Wichita Falls, Texas. Committed to sustainable manufacturing processes and products, the company also operates one of the world’s largest glass research and development facilities in Pittsburgh and four residential glass fabrication plants in Canada. In celebration of the International Year of Glass in 2022, Vitro upholds the values of “Together, We See Further” across the architectural, automotive and containers markets and strives to realize the power of partnership to ensure that projects meet or exceed ever-evolving sustainability expectations as well as glass requirements. For more information, please visit www.VitroGlass.com.
Solarban®, Sungate® and Starphire Ultra-Clear® are registered trademarks owned by Vitro.
LEED®—an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.