The award-winning Environmental Science Building (B12N) at Skyline College in San Bruno, California offers one of the most spectacular, expansive views of California’s Pacific Coast with its stunning, 22′ jumbo clear span glass façade. The first building at Skyline College with a view of the Pacific, the space creates a shared locus for educational activity and community events. The main gallery, with its expansive views of the California coastline is intended to support community and enterprise functions, along with student art displays.
Designed for complete transparency and clean lines, this façade was engineered to accommodate coastal California’s unique seismic loads, while ensuring interrupted views of the Pacific.
Designed for complete transparency and clean lines, this stunning façade was engineered to accommodate the seismic loads unique to coastal California, as well as California’s Title 24 stringent energy efficiency requirements….all while ensuring interrupted views of the vast, blue Pacific Ocean. Using Sentech’s VetraSpan clear span façade system and no additional support structure, the full-height glass spans freely between the upper and lower connections, using 22-foot tall insulated glass panels that are seismically isolated at the head to accommodate inter-story drift. This use of insulated glass units required unique perimeter connections that provide tight control of the glass deformation under wind loads.
The key challenge stemmed from the need to manufacture the glass to extremely tight bow tolerances, ensuring alignment between adjacent clear span façade panels. Optical quality was another critical factor in the glass manufacturing process that was imperative to the ultimate success of this 22-foot insulated jumbo glass façade.
The first building at Skyline College with a view of the Pacific Ocean, the B12 Environmental Science Building and its award-winning jumbo glass façade, allows students, faculty and visitors alike to look out onto the horizon and educate for a shared future.
Winner, 2021 Excellence in Architectural Glass USGlass Design Award: Specialty Construction
Architect: DES Architects + Engineers
Glazing Contractor: Capital Glass Company
GC: XL Construction
Photo Credit: Lawrence Anderson