Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Reflecting on Glass High-Rises

Developer Craig Hall’s new Arts District tower will be the first office building constructed in downtown Dallas in more than five years.
The 16-story Flora Street high-rise will be the new home of accounting firm KPMG’s Dallas office.
The building is creating a buzz for its polished looks.
“Looks like the plan is for reflective glass,” said one commenter who read our story about the project. “The last thing we need is another reflective building in the Arts District.”
The folks at Hall Financial Group promise that they’ve already done studies and their building won’t cause the kind of reflection problems that have made headlines for its neighbor, Museum Tower.
Actually, the two buildings have something in common. Both projects are modern structures designed to be super energy-efficient. To do that, they use glass exteriors that keep out the sun and heat.
Get ready for more reflective glass buildings.
One of the ways that developers can get their prized LEED energy-saving designations is to employ glass skins that deflect or diminish the impact of sunlight.
It’s already having an impact on the appearance of planned buildings, architects say.
“The glass you have to use to meet the requirement of LEED programs is pretty demanding,” said Larry Good, a partner in the Dallas firm of Good Fulton & Farrell. “You have to use more reflective glass or glass that’s particularly dark-tinted.
“That is influencing glass selection.”
Energy savings played a role in the choice of the glass on the much-maligned Museum Tower.
Before the dust-up with the condo high-rise’s neighbors started, developers of the project were making a big deal about how energy-efficient their building is with its high-tech glass.
To cut cooling costs and keep the hot Texas sun out of the tower, it uses the reflective skin to bounce off the rays.
Read more at: Dallas News
Author: Steve Brown