SAN FRANCISCO, CA and AUBURN, WA / ACCESSWIRE / June 26, 2020 / When travelers start their journey at the Salesforce Transit Center, the new central hub of public transportation in San Francisco, the first thing they will notice is Contraflam® Liteflam XT-120, developed by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain and Greenlite Glass Systems, Inc.
Award-winning Pelli Clark Pelli Architects designed the Salesforce Transit Center with 'soaring light-filled spaces' to give 'San Francisco a grand entrance that befits its status as one of the world's great cities.' Inside the airy and spacious Grand Hall, sunshine is filtered more than 100 feet below the center's above-street-level park by the Contraflam Liteflam XT-120 walkable fire-rated glass floor and skylight. More than 4,000 sheets of glass make up almost 300 panels, providing daylight for the Grand Hall. A second installation brings natural light down below street level.
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain, Greenlite Glass Provide Key Element to Salesforce Transit Center
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain was recently featured on the cover of Architect Blueprint™ Magazine. Image Credit: ArchitectBlueprint.com / James Z. Wu
'When ground broke on this project, this technology didn't exist,' says Kevin Norcross, General Manager, Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America. 'It has extremely specific specifications that have never been incorporated into a single project, ever. The fire rating combined with the loading requirements and seismic resistance make it an engineering feat. It's a testament to the innovation of our team.'
Pelli Clarke Pelli specified the most demanding requirements for a fire-rated glass floor and skylight to date for this project, and Contraflam Liteflam XT 120 is the only exterior multi-panel system to meet some of the world's most stringent specifications and pass all tests, including two-hour fire rating, seismic resistance, live loading for foot traffic and waterproofing.
Experts came together and used the combined decades of experience to produce and rigorously test an innovative, multifunctional solution involving horizontal fire-rated glass, structural glass, and spacers with airgaps to avoid replacing glass due to dirt and condensation issues that would develop with foot traffic and the outdoor environment.
'Architectural design is, in some ways, about imagining the unimaginable and bringing it to life,' said Darin Cook, senior associate principal with Pelli Clarke Pelli. 'It became clear to us early on that the floor/skylight wasn't going to be an off-the-shelf solution that just anyone could bid, price and build. We're incredibly happy with what Vetrotech and Greenlight came up with-it helps push the limits of opportunity in our industry.'
Each panel of the floor was designed to fit a specific area and fit in concert with the unique function of the building-including special seismic protections that allow certain areas to move independently of others in case of earthquakes.
'I knew the project specifications and new challenges were going to be a feat of modern glass technology that only Vetrotech could help us solve,' said Ryan Dennett, Greenlight Glass Systems Inc., Canada. 'I could not have asked for a better project team to collaborate within the Vetrotech group. We are all enormously proud of our group accomplishments.'
Once the floor panels were manufactured, each was specially assembled in a packing crate and shipped in a configuration that allowed construction crews on site to quickly fit each piece to its individual frame in the building with minimal handling.
'Since Salesforce Transit Center opened, the daylight filled Grand Hall has been a feature photographed and shared across social media by San Francisco residents and visitors alike,' Norcross said. 'We're proud of it and can't wait to overcome the next architectural challenge that comes our way.'
Salesforce Transit Center Quick Facts
• 1,400 square feet of glass flooring/skylight, about 2.5 football fields in length
• 298 individual glass panels
• More than 4,000 individual pieces of glass
• Nearly twice as heavy as a blue whale at 222 tons of glass
• Only two-hour fire rated horizontal glass floor of its size in the United States
Salesforce Transit Center's $110 Million Naming-Rights Investment
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America is part of the Saint-Gobain group. Vetrotech specializes in the development, manufacture, and sales of high-performance safety glass for the building and marine sectors, with a focus on providing multi-functional security, comfort, and design features for safe and seamless building integration.
Verotech's parent company Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A. (SGO) is headquartered in France and employs more than 180,000 worldwide with revenues of over $41 billion annually. Saint-Gobain manufactures glass products, high-performance materials, and construction and building materials under dozens of brands, including Certainteed products.
By offering a broad selection of high-security glass and framing products, including resistance to the threats of fire, impact, attack, bullet, blast, pressure, and hurricanes, Vetrotech can provide innovative solutions for even the most demanding of applications. Vetrotech has eight main production sites, situated on three continents, ensure reliable supply to more than 60 countries over regional sales offices capable of providing global coverage. Vetrotech Saint-Gobain protects life and property in great living places. Visit https://www.vetrotech.com for more information about Vetrotech Saint-Gobain.
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