Originally published by Glass Magazine

The basics: The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio recently completed the first stage of a $135 million renovation/conversion project, including 400,000 square feet of renovated space and 12,000 square feet of new construction. The massive facelift resulted in a ceramic fritted channel glass façade with one-thousand multi-colored glass panels on two sides of the hospital.

The main challenge for the façade was to create extra-tall, lightweight, quick-assembly units in a range of custom colors that can be seen at long distances day and night. Visible from inside the hospital as well outside, the colors brighten the building, as well as the patient and family experience of the space, and match the hospital’s 8-story-tall mosaic mural, “The Spirit of Healing,” by local artist Jesse Treviño.

The players: Architect, Overland Partners; general contractor, Barrett Cocke General Contractors; contract glazier, Sharp Glass; glass manufacturer, Glasfabrik Lamberts; glass and metal systems supplier, Bendheim Architectural Glass.

The glass and systems: CHSA features a new Lamberts Linit channel glass façade by Bendheim Wall Systems Inc. on two sides of the building’s 10 stories and on a two-story-tall cupola. The colored fritted channel glass from Bendheim is the first installation of vertically-unitized, multi-colored ceramic-fritted channel glass in North America, according to Bendheim company officials.

One of the main design challenges for CHSA was creating tall and light façade units that sustain high wind loads. The channel glass achieves continuous vertical spans of 10 to 16 feet in relatively lightweight ¼-inch glass thickness, weighing only 4.5 pounds per square foot.

Working with Overland Partners and the installer, Sharp Glass, Bendheim developed a custom vertical unitized channel glass system using  its SF60S Single Glazed Store Front System to permit the three-wide channel units to be pre-assembled by the glazier in their facility. Bendheim also developed mounting elements and hoisting procedures to allow the pre-assembled units to be saddled onto the slab wing substructure and adjusted up and down for alignment. The adjustable unitized system enabled the glazier to install, on average, an entire floor per day, without the need for scaffolding.

The original story can be found here.