Kean University’s west entrance welcomes visitors with a bold architectural statement exemplified in the newly completed Green Lane Academic Building on the Union, New Jersey campus. Designed by Gruskin Architecture & Design, P.C., the award-winning 102,275 square-foot building’s geometric glass and aluminum façade was finished by Linetec. The dramatic exterior elements include a six-story sloping glass radius curtainwall on the northeast elevation and a five-story radius curtainwall on the south side, both accented with sun shades.
Opened in January 2014, the new Michael Graves School of Architecture and Robert Busch School of Design are housed within the Green Lane Academic Building, as well as the university’s expanding business program. The public Barnes & Noble bookstore and café with outside seating area reinforces the connection between the university and the surrounding community.
Dobco, Inc. served as the general contractor on the project, which was estimated at $40 million. Beginning in July 2012, Dobco’s team worked closely with the subcontractors and manufacturers to achieve the design by Gruskin Group™. “This is by far the most unique project I have worked on from a design and constructability standpoint,” Gary Snee, Dobco’s project manager acknowledged. “The radius and sloping curtainwall made it a challenge.”
Bringing their vision to reality, the unitized curtainwall, pressure wall, aluminum sun shades, storefronts, entrances and tilted ellipse glass handrails were fabricated and glazed by Graham Architectural Products – Curtain Wall Solutions, and installed by Union County Plate Glass Company. Super Sky Products Enterprises manufactured and installed the skylight system.
Linetec finished all of the aluminum framing of these architectural building products in a silver color using PPG’s 70% PVDF Duranar XL and Duranar Sunstorm™. These 70% PVDF resin-based coatings meet the stringent requirements of AAMA 2605 and exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss and chemicals, which ensures the campus’ intended statement endures.
According to Graham’s manufacturing team, Green Lane Academic Building’s design includes several flat vertical walls, a segmented radius, a 56-degree outside corner, parapets, soffits and a tilted ellipse feature wall. Unlike a traditional inverted radius wall with a slope, the intent of the tilted ellipse was to keep the radius constant, with the center of the radius projecting out 4.5 feet at every floor moving up the building. It “was all very complicated. If you can envision an ice cream cone on the side of an undulating building that’s basically all glass,” described Nick Irwin, Graham’s products sales representative.
The south side of the building also showcases a monumental staircase with bench seating and glass rails. The sixth floor offers a 1,200-square-foot circular meeting room with 18-foot-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a 4,500-square-foot roof terrace with a view of the Manhattan skyline.
While the glazing systems offer large window views and daylight, the nearly 6,000 linear feet of sun shades assist in keeping the occupants comfortable and energy use low by managing the unwanted solar heat gain and glare. These attributes can contribute to projects pursuing certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating Systems.
As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec captures the liquid paints’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content to eliminate the exhaust of potential pollutants and re-uses its heat energy byproduct to improve process energy efficiency. This process of re-use is completed before the material exits the paint line. The resulting finish provides durability and requires minimal maintenance throughout the building’s lifespan.
“We’re all very proud of the job,” concluded Gary Tongco, national sales manager for Graham’s curtainwall solutions. Recognizing the building team’s accomplishments, the project’s honors include the AIA Newark and Suburban Architects Gold Award.
“We are honored that our design for this building has been appreciated by so many,” Kenneth A. Gruskin, AIA, principal and founder of Gruskin Group told NJ.com. “The building is a testament to Kean University, the Kean Board of Trustees, and Dr. Dawood Farahi’s pursuit of providing a world-class education and the facilities to match. Without their vision, this out-of-the-box design would not have been conceivable. The Green Lane building is a good example of where design for higher education is headed – with a greater emphasis on creating a more engaging, experiential and memorable on-campus, multi-faceted student experience.”
Kean University, Green Lane Academic Building, 1000 Morris Ave., Union, New Jersey 07083
* Owner: Kean University; Union, New Jersey; www.kean.edu
* Architect: Gruskin Group™ (Gruskin Architecture & Design, P.C.); Springfield, New Jersey; www.gruskingroup.com
* General contractor: Dobco, Inc.; Wayne, New Jersey; www.dobcogroup.com
* Glazing systems – installer: Union County Plate Glass Company, Inc.; Elizabeth, New Jersey; www.ucpglass.com
* Glazing systems – curtainwall, storefront, entrance, handrail and sun shade systems manufacturer: Graham Architectural Products – Curtain Wall Solutions; Merrill, Wisconsin; www.grahamwindows.com/?casestudy=kean-university-a-glass-icon
* Glazing systems – glass fabricator: J.E. Berkowitz, LP; Pedricktown, New Jersey; www.jeberkowitz.com
* Glazing systems – glass and coatings system manufacturer: PPG Industries; Pittsburgh; www.ppg.com
* Skylight systems – manufacturer and installer: Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC; Mequon, Wisconsin; www.supersky.com
* Finishing – applicator: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; www.linetec.com
* Photographer: photos courtesy of Graham Architectural Products
* Video of the building’s opening: http://youtu.be/-tuFtG2z8uY
* Photos courtesy of Graham Architectural Products – Curtain Wall Solutions
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