NEW T-MOBILE ARENA FEATURES COLD-FORMED GLASS BY J.E. BERKOWITZ
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Kansas City–based Populous designed the 650,000-square-foot venue to stand out amongst the glitz and glamour of Sin City, while also melding it into the surrounding desert and mountains. This feat was accomplished by incorporating an outward-sloping, elliptical glass façade with an LED overlay. Complementing the glass elements is a serpentine-like metal skin in a mosaic pattern and several colors to resemble the landscape.
For the project, JEB fabricated Winduo™ IGUs featuring ¼-inch SunGuard® SNX 51/23 low-e glass by Guardian Glass North America, a ½-inch JEB 3Seal™ warm-edge spacer, and ¼-inch clear heat-strengthened glass. The high-performance IGUs were captured in clear anodized aluminum extrusions to minimize thermal heat transfer and reflect the intense heat from the desert sun.
Brent Reynolds, project executive for Crown Corr, the project’s glazing contractor, said the building’s curvy envelope is as unique as it is complex.
“The main curtain wall, about 30,000 square feet, features cold-formed glass,” Reynolds said. “When the IGUs arrived at the jobsite, they were in flat trapezoidal shapes. In order to conform the glass to the sloping and elliptical shape of the arena’s main curtain wall elevation, it was necessary to cold-form each lite into its own unique shape by hand. They’re all different; no two IGUs are the same.
“To cold-form the IGUs, we inserted the base of each unit into the frame, followed by one of the upper corners. We then physically pushed the last corner into its twisted, cold-formed final position. In other words, three corners of each lite are in plane, while one is twisted out of plane.”
Gary McQueen, architectural design manager for JEB, said a considerable amount of planning and testing was completed prior to being awarded the project.
“Typically, curved glass is manufactured from float glass that’s heated and formed in a curved mold,” McQueen explained. “Because cold-formed glass is bent at the jobsite, it saves time, energy, and money.
“We worked with Dow Corning, Quanex, and Guardian to study the long-term impact of cold bending in our IGUs. We also collaborated with Architectural Testing in York, Pennsylvania, in order to understand the loads and stresses applied to the units. Our findings were then sent to an independent engineer to perform a finite element analysis. After all the testing, we were confident in the results and are excited about the potential of cold-formed glass.”
Completed in April 2016, T-Mobile Arena is expected to earn LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 20,000-seat venue will be home to the National Hockey League’s newest franchise, which will begin play in 2017, and host a variety of events, including concerts, award shows, boxing matches, and more.