Author Archives: CS Editor

Mansfield Center for Performing Arts commands an audience

Mansfield Center for Performing Arts in Texas features oversized entrances matched with large, curving spans of glass and aluminum storefront and curtain wall with sun shades. Photos courtesy Huckabee and Tubelite Inc.

Mansfield Center for Performing Arts in Texas features oversized entrances matched with large, curving spans of glass and aluminum storefront and curtain wall with sun shades. Photos courtesy Huckabee and Tubelite Inc.

by Walt Lutzke

Situated on a hill in a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb, Mansfield Independent School District’s Center for the Performing Arts features oversized entrances matched with large, curving spans of glass and aluminum storefront, as well as a curtain wall with sunshades, drawing attention from the students, staff, and community.

Designed by Huckabee, the 13,099-m2 (141,000-sf) facility also features towering concrete columns that accent the façade for a sense of flow and cascading mass. The high school’s new performing arts center opened for its first event in 2012 with the 5500-seat Cunningham Performance Hall at the heart of the structure. Its multi-use design enables the hall to be divided into three separate event venues—including two 750-capacity lecture halls. Additionally, a professional development center accommodates up to 500 and can be divided into six separate break-out rooms designed for meeting, training, and banquet needs. Adjacent to the space are three state-of-the-art computer laboratories.

The thermally improved curtain wall and sunshades help keep out the Texas heat, and the airfoil blades and tubular fascia direct wind and water away from the building.

The thermally improved curtain wall and sunshades help keep out the Texas heat, and the airfoil blades and tubular fascia direct wind and water away from the building.

Byrne Construction Services managed the nearly two-year building project estimated at more than $40 million. In total, 1036 m (3400 ft) of glazed curtain wall and storefront wrap the structure. A forecourt plaza collects visitors as they approach the facility, and a short set of stairs emphasizes the procession up the covered walkway, leading to the 2.7-m (9-ft) high wide-stile doors at the central lobby tower.

Beyond aesthetics, the thermally improved, 178-mm (7-in.) deep curtain wall and sunshades help keep out the Texas heat. The sunshades’ 127-mm (5-in.) airfoil blades and tubular fascia direct wind and water away from the building. Enhancing the systems’ durability, the aluminum framing and sunshades were finished in clear anodize.

Further supporting the project’s daylighting goals, the curtain wall’s glass offers high levels of visible light transmittance (VLT) and solar control. The glass’ subtly reflective, steel blue-gray appearance magnifies the scale and sweep of the design viewed from the exterior. Grand views and low interior reflectance bring a warmth and sense of place to the interior, with a clear, natural view of the outdoors. The combination of glass and aluminum framing, function, and form, help convey the school district’s desired dramatic impression.

Tubelite_WaltLutzke_PortraitWalt Lutzke, CSI, CDT is Tubelite Inc.’s marketing promotions coordinator. Drawing from more than 30 years of experience in storefront, curtainwall, entrance, and daylight control systems he supports the company’s architectural specification and continuing education, public relations, advertising, sponsorships, and trade show exhibitions, as well as the website and technical manual. Lutzke can be reached at wlutzke@tubeliteinc.com.

Tips for specifying exterior concrete surfaces

IMG_7463

Brooming large-area placements is a much more difficult task than brooming sidewalks or driveways. Controlling the depth of broom marks is just one of the problems faced by finishers. Photo courtesy CECO Concrete Construction

by Ward R. Malisch, PE, PhD, Bruce A. Suprenant, PE, 
and Frank Salzano, PE, PhD

Based on the information presented in the article, “Specifying Broomed Exterior Concrete Surfaces” by Ward R. Malisch, PE, PhD, Bruce A. Suprenant, PE, and Frank Salzano, PE, PhD in the April issue of The Construction Specifier, the following are recommendations for specifying exterior concrete surfaces.

Appearance (broom finish)
The broom finish should be specified to match the appearance in an existing slab or pavement of comparable size. For instance, one should not specify a sidewalk appearance for a parking structure. Also, a mockup or reference sample should be specified for appearance consistent with the placement size. The limitations of a mockup should be understood; when one is used, there should always be a repair portion so the contractor’s means and methods using the specified repair materials and procedures can be evaluated when repair is necessary.

Texture
A limited-range broom finish—such as light, medium, or heavy—should be avoided because it is hard to distinguish between textures to that degree. One should specify a broom finish as light-to-medium or medium-to-heavy. Further, texture depth should not be specified unless a procedure for measuring depth is included in the specifications.

Flatness
For parking lots and other site paving, a 13-mm (½-in.) gap under a 3-m (10-ft) straightedge can be specified. Use ACI 117-10, Standard Specifications for Tolerances for Concrete Materials and Construction, methodology for measuring with a straightedge. For parking structures, one should specify an overall floor flatness (FF) of 17 and a minimum local floor levelness (FL) of 11. (ASTM E1155, Standard Test Method for Determining FF Floor Flatness and FL Floor Levelness Numbers, can be used for its methodology for measuring F-numbers.)

Drainage
Whenever possible, a top-surface one-way slope or a one-way top and bottom surface slope should be specified, with two-way slopes and warps avoided. A two percent slope for water drainage of suspended slabs should be specified. The structural engineer should check short-term and long-term deflections to determine their effect on drainage.

Aluminum design manual available

The 10th edition, and newest installment since 2010, of the Aluminum Design Manual has been released by the Aluminum Association. This resource is important for engineers and other construction professionals using aluminum in load-bearing structure design. Referenced in the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), the resource covers sections including aluminum structures, design, material properties, and design aids. Additionally, more than 30 illustrated design examples are included based on the specification of aluminum structures. Visit www.aluminum.org for ordering information.

AISC design guide published

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) has released AISC Design Guide 29, Vertical Bracing Connections–Analysis and Design, providing information on common bracing systems and structural principles. The lower bound theorem of limit analysis and uniform force method are used to address brace-to-gusset connections, orthogonal and nonorthogonal connections, as well as chevron or K-bracing, eccentric braces, and gusset plate stability. More than 12 complete design examples are included with all applicable state limits identified. To download the guide, visit www.aisc.org/dg.

New 3-D modeling program now available

Model-based design software, Tekla Structural Designer, is now available for architects, engineers, and construction professionals to effectively analyze and design 3-D multi-material buildings. Fully automated design features, as well as high-quality documentation and building information modeling (BIM) allows users to create various project aspects from steel framing to concrete slab design in a single design model. The program provides the ability to compare alternate design schemes, manage changes, and collaborate with other team members. Other features include wind loading and finite element analysis, automatic product documentation, change management, and model synchronization. For more information, visit www.tekla.com.