Tall buildings clad almost entirely in glass have some significant advantages. They afford their occupants a spectacular view of the surroundings, and their interiors also tend to be filled with glorious natural light, dawn till dusk.
But, without careful engineering, these benefits can come at a significant cost – especially in locations with extreme or variable climates – and that is maintaining a steady interior temperature throughout the changing seasons.
This was exactly the challenge faced by the designers of The Jade, a new mixed-use development in downtown Nova Scotia, Canada.
On its first two floors, the building maintains its much-loved 1920s art deco façade, behind which commercial shopping units will be housed. Above this, however, is a fully glazed 11-storey tower that rises to take its place in the Halifax skyline.
While winters in Halifax drop well below freezing – the lowest temperature ever recorded was -25°C and winter temperatures often reach -8°C – its summers often reach 30°C, so the glass on the building had its work cut out regulating the internal temperature.
Passive climate control
The architect turned to the Pilkington product portfolio and chose to deploy Pilkington Suncool™ 50/25, a solar-control glass that helps prevent excessive heating during the warmer months.
It works thanks to a cutting-edge multi-layered coating that lets in just 25 per cent of the heat energy in the sunlight, while still permitting 50 per cent of the visible light to enter the building, with no change to its natural colour balance.
The result is an interior that is filled with daylight and unobscured views, but which won’t cost the earth in air conditioning.
The other key part of the glazing’s job is to keep residents warm during the cold winters, which it does well thanks to its excellent low-emissivity performance. This means that rather than allowing heat to radiate away from the interior, the glass reflects it back into the building, helping to save on heating bills and creating a comfortable living space all year round.
Being clad in 1,400 insulating glass units each 1.2m by 2m in size, The Jade stands out among the buildings of down-town Halifax, in which wholly glazed buildings are very unusual.
Michael Carew, north American sales director at CareyGlass said: “While the climate in Halifax is by no means extreme by Canadian standards, it certainly experiences cold winters and warm summers, and the technology in the glass will make a big difference in limiting the cost of keeping the building comfortable for residents throughout the year.
“The project is a real head-turner thanks to the glass. There is nothing like this building downtown and the glass really sets it apart from the existing architecture. Halifax is now starting to build a distinctive skyline, and The Jade has made a significant contribution, which will be admired by locals and visitors alike long into the future.”
Jason Eggerton, specification sales manager Pilkington UK, said: “The architectural aesthetic of The Jade makes it truly standout in its surroundings. However, to make sure it also functions successfully, the right choice of exterior materials was essential.
“Pilkington Suncool™ not only looks great, it also plays a vital role in helping control the internal temperature of the building, ensuring it’s comfortable for residents and energy efficient year-round.”
Project: The Jade, 1595 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Client: 1595 Investments Ltd
Main contractor: Flynn Construction
Glazing processor: CareyGlass