16 September, 2010
1600 Wall System®1 Curtain Wall, Trifab® VersaGlaze® 451T Framing, 1600 SunShade® and 500 Heavy Wall™ Entrances Enhance Building’s Daylighting, Thermal Efficiency and Performance
NORCROSS, GA – As the start of the 2010 hockey season quickly approaches, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins are making themselves at home in their new state-of-the-art arena: the Consol Energy Center. Featuring a range of high-performance products from Kawneer Company, Inc., an Alcoa business and the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum products for commercial construction, the 735,000-square-foot Consol Energy Center is the first NHL arena to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. This designation signifies the building as among the most environmentally responsible buildings in the world.
Designed by Kansas City, Mo.-based architecture firm Populous (formerly HOK Sport Venue Event) and Pittsburgh-based Astorino architectural firm, the Consol Energy Center incorporates a mix of unique and upscale interior and exterior features that bring pride to the team, its fans and the city of Pittsburgh. The construction team included a joint venture between construction managers PJ Dick and Hunt Construction, as well as project management firm ICON and glazing contractors from D-M Products, Inc. and Universal Glass. All involved were not only challenged to create a modern arena that would meet the needs of the functional and sustainable requirements of the organization, but to do so in time for the start of the 2010-2011 hockey season.
Creating a feeling of openness throughout the facility was a key design element, bolstered by Kawneer’s 1600 Wall System®1 curtain wall which comprises the entire Downtown-facing west side of the facility. Besides providing magnificent views of the city, the serpentine-like glass façade allows daylight to reach deep into the building. Scott Pence, project manager with Kawneer, says there were challenges with the curved nature of the curtain wall’s design. “The wall featured multiple curves and radii, requiring several adjustments to the drawings,” he said, “but we were able to strike a balance between the architects’ visions and the building functions that looked great on the finished product.”
Kawneer’s Trifab® VG (VersaGlaze®) 451T framing, featuring an IsoLock® thermal break, was also utilized on the new arena to help enhance thermal performance and energy efficiency. In addition, 1600 SunShade® was selected for the exterior of the facility to help reduce solar heat gain. With a 30-inch projection, the 1600 SunShade® shades interiors and conserves energy. To match the team colors, the curtain wall and several sunshades were painted Champagne Gold. Throughout the facility no detail was spared in theme and energy conscious design, including the retail shop where racks shaped like hockey sticks were made from bamboo.
The center’s concourses are open to the stadium itself—only the second NHL arena to utilize this design—allowing fans and visitors to leave their seats without missing the action. To handle the wear and tear of the approximately 700,000 people projected to visit the arena annually, Kawneer’s 500 Heavy Wall™ Entrances were incorporated throughout the building. Designed for heavy traffic areas, 500 Heavy Wall™ Entrances feature five-inch vertical stiles and 3/16-inch walls throughout for additional strength and reliability, as well as two framing options to provide a choice for designers.
Of the 42 LEED points the Consol Energy Center received, nine were for indoor environmental quality and seven were for materials and resources; meaning 38 percent of the LEED points were aided by using Kawneer products. “Kawneer is focused on making our products as environmentally responsible as possible,” said Kawneer Territory Sales Manager Andy Zubal. “But we also want to make sure they work within the design, and address the functional aspects of the application. The bar was set high on this project and meeting high standards like this was truly a team effort.”
Tim Mackin, project manager with Pittsburgh, Pa.-based D-M Products said the biggest triumph was that the facility was completed on time and within budget—a feat for such a major undertaking. The Consol Energy Center opened August 18, 2010 with a performance by Paul McCartney. The first Penguins game is scheduled for September 22.