05.24.10 Client News

Graham Construction Services begins Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Advanced Traffic Improvements Project

One of several transit projects for the company

Graham Construction Services, Inc. is working on several transit projects that will transform Minnesota’s commuter landscape. These include Graham’s activities on the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) Advanced Traffic Improvements project and on the 4th Street Advanced Utility Construction project. In addition, the company has completed the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line extension to Target Field.

Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Advanced Traffic Improvements Project, Minneapolis
This month, Graham began work on the recently-awarded CCLRT Advanced Traffic Improvements project. This early-stage portion of the Metropolitan Council project is valued at $4 million and encompasses the East Bank area of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.

Graham will prepare the roadways that will carry additional traffic during the CCLRT construction. The company’s involvement also will include underground utilities, traffic control equipment and interconnections, bituminous roadway pavement, curb and gutter work, demolition and rebuilding of retaining walls, earthwork and landscaping.

This phase of the project is expected to be completed in August 2010. Service on the 11-mile Central Corridor is anticipated to begin in 2014. When it opens, the CCLRT project will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University Avenues via the state Capitol and University of Minnesota. The line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at the new Target Field Station.

The Metropolitan Council is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. The project’s leaders estimated 800 direct construction and management jobs will be provided annually during the CCLRT construction. For details, please see www.centralcorridor.org.

4th Street Advanced Utility Construction Project, St. Paul
Graham is providing construction services for another of the Metropolitan Council’s CCLRT projects. As part of the 4th Street Advanced Utility Construction project team, Graham is helping relocate underground utilities — such as sanitary and storm sewer, hot and chilled water lines, and water main — from beneath the footprint of a new CCLRT track in downtown St. Paul. Graham also is preparing the project’s foundation for the rail’s overhead catenary system.

Work on the project began in September 2009 and is scheduled for completion in November 2010. Bolander Construction is the general contractor for the project and is responsible for the full, finished project and for managing a total, estimated budget of $12.5 million.

Hiawatha Light Rail Transit Line Extension Project, Minneapolis
Among Graham’s transit project experience, the company recently completed the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension. With a contract value of $29 million, this project connects the LRT with the new Northstar Corridor commuter rail line.

Graham’s efforts included the construction of the new Downtown Intermodal Commuter Rail Station, construction of six steel and glass station buildings located along the rail line, and a 6,300-linear-foot track system. One of the platform stations now serves the new Minnesota Twins Ballpark, Target Field.

As general contractor on the project, Graham’s work also included reconstructing two bridges to support the LRT: The 5th Street bridges over I-394 and the BNSF railroad bridge, which were completed without vehicular or rail traffic interruption. The demolition and reconstruction work was accomplished while maintaining traffic on I-394 and without interruption to BNSF rail traffic.

For more photos, please see the Metropolitan Council’s “Central Corridor LRT’s photostream” on Flickr.


01.18.10 Client News

Kolbe’s online Press Room presents the latest news, photos

To meet in-person with a Kolbe representative and learn more about the products, tools and custom capabilities showcased at the International Builders’ Show 2010, please visit Booth #N2645.

Kolbe continually updates the Media section of its Web site to keep journalists and others informed of the company’s new and enhanced products, online tools and updated literature, and individual’s accolades and project team’s success stories.

No registration is required for editors and reporters to preview text and images, then download Word documents and high-resolution images.

During IBS 2010, Kolbe has added the following to its online Press Room:

Beyond shapes and sizes, Kolbe’s custom window and door designs create spaces as imaginative and individual as the people inside.

Kolbe launches Latitude™ Series

Kolbe launches Latitude™ Series

Kolbe launches Latitude™ Series windows and doors offering high-performance, high style and a high level of customization. What once was known as Inspiration® Series, Foundation® Series and Resolution® Series is now unified as Kolbe’s new Latitude™ Series.

Kolbe's new ThermaPlus LoE glass

Kolbe’s new Windquest EP windows provide top tier energy performance.

Kolbe’s new ThermaPlus LoE glass expands window choices to meet federal tax credit requirements for home energy efficiency improvements.

Old Sacramento’s the Orleans recaptures the city’s history, while expanding to invest in its future. Contributing to this replica exterior, Kolbe provided the 10-foot-high, wood, double doors that open onto the boardwalk and large windows with true divided lites.


01.07.10 Client News

Old Sacramento’s the Orleans recaptures the city’s history, while expanding to invest in its future

The Orleans, once known as the Gold Rush-era hotel where California’s early state politics took form, once again takes its place as an iconic building in Old Sacramento. monighandesign in Sacramento, Calif., fastidiously re-created the three-story street-front to match the 1865 original architectural proportions and details.

The Orleans, Old Sacramento, CA

The three-story street-front was fastidiously re-created to match the 1865 original architectural proportions and details.

Contributing to this replica exterior, Kolbe provided the 10-foot-high, wood, double doors that open onto the boardwalk and large windows with performance divided lites. Kolbe’s double hung and casement windows also were chosen for the two-story addition, which was designed using perspective analysis to carefully conceal the expansion from direct view and preserve the historic façade.

No longer a hotel, the building re-opened in late 2008 as a mixed-use space including 24 lofts with ground-floor retail and a high-end restaurant. Its neighboring buildings – the Union Hotel and the Adams Express – are more than 150-years-old and were essential in calculating the Orleans’ restored scale and style.

“Usually, you’d have lots of historic photos and lithographs available for reference, but the only reliable print we had was a fairly small lithographic that showed the Orleans and the adjacent buildings,” explains monighandesign‘s principal, Bruce Monighan, AIA.

He and his team digitally enhanced and enlarged the available image to capture the lithograph’s depiction. “We did it old school and used rulers and calipers to measure the image’s details and compared them to the existing structures. From this, we were able to determine the height of a balcony, the size of a window, the symmetry and proportion of the configurations, and even the thickness of the walls.”

Monighan started his architectural career working on historic preservation projects in Old Sacramento. “I cut my teeth in this business directly across the street from the Orleans. From 1972-80, I contributed to many of the area’s historic projects, which were funded by the federal historic preservation tax credits. When those went away in the late ’70s, there were three lots left empty and the Orleans was one of them. When the project came up three years ago, I jumped at the chance to return to my roots, revisiting my own personal and professional history.”

The developer, Harvego Enterprises, selected Monighan to conduct a feasibility study. Later, they hired the firm to recreate the historic building suitable to its origins, coupled with an appropriately designed, functional structure suitable to modern life.

According to Monighan’s research and experience, “Old Sacramento was designated as the first historic district in the U.S., even ahead of Jamestown. Typically, a place is determined to be historic because of its look, its time, its material or the things that happened in that building. The Orleans was the centerpiece of California politics and where the decision was made to establish Sacramento as the state capitol.”

With respect to the area’s heritage, the architectural team managed the extensive approval process involving many local, state and federal agencies. “Frankly, the development team needed more square-footage to make this a leasable space,” says Monighan. “But building up is not historically correct. Addressing this, we set the expansion back 20-feet from the street’s main entrance. We provided perspective rendering to show that you can’t see the two additional floors from this view. Most people have no idea how large of a building it really is.”

The Orleans' expansion

The Orleans' two-story addition is invisible from the streetscape.

Putting it bluntly, Monighan says, “The back is fake and the front is real, but we often get more compliments on the back because it features exposed brick. Today, we have a romantic attachment to brick and wood. During the 1850s, people didn’t want to see natural wood or exposed brick. These were considered building materials that should be covered with decoration – painted and plastered.”

Constructed of pine wood with custom, the interior trim on Kolbe’s windows and doors were shipped pre-painted with brickmould detached for field installation. The exteriors were finished in a K-KRON II Truffle color. Burnett & Sons Millwork in Sacramento, Calif., served as the distributor connecting the design and building team with Kolbe.

“I assumed that we’d need all custom millwork to get the look we wanted,” admits Monighan. “In the ’70s, Burnett built most of the historic-looking windows and doors from scratch. When we started discussing the Orleans, they recommended Kolbe. At first, I was skeptical, but we got exactly what we wanted at a much better price point than building from scratch. I think Kolbe is one of the only manufacturers of this size that really understands historic work. They got it emotionally and were a real partner in trying to put this project together.”

Dave Coffin of Burnett agrees, “Kolbe makes that history pop right out of the building. Everyone loves it,” says Coffin. Proving this point, he proudly adds that due to Burnett’s successful involvement with the Orleans, the company will be working on another Old Sacramento hotel featuring Kolbe’s windows and doors.

“The Orleans has returned to be part of this historic fabric. People who don’t know that it’s a re-creation have no idea that it wasn’t there for the past 150 years,” says Monighan. “It’s been very satisfying to fill the historic district in a way that hadn’t been accomplished for 30 years.”

High-resolution photos and a Word document of the project success story are available in Kolbe’s online newsroom.

Client News 12/15/09

Seeking LEED Gold, 901 K St.’s new, D.C. office building attracts attention, while conserving resources

Designed and built to achieve LEED® Gold Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council, the 260,000-square-foot property, 901 K Street, fills a unique, triangular-shaped space in Washington, D.C.’s office landscape, both in its design and location.

The 12-story, $60 million dollar development designed by SmithGroup met its daylighting and energy-efficiency objectives, aided by Wausau Window and Wall Systems. The project and its team were recognized on December 11, as part of Mid-Atlantic Construction magazine’s “Best of 2009” office building awards. Occupants began moving in this autumn, less than a year after the building’s curtainwall installation began.

Award-winning 901 K Street, DC

901 K Street, D.C.

“In a tough economy, property owners are doing all they can to attract and retain occupants. In a world of diminishing natural resources and global climate change, building owners also are constructing and managing their properties with environmentally-friendly practices,” says Kevin Robbins, Wausau’s regional sales manager. “Carr Properties has addressed all of these issues with 901 K Street.”

Bob Carr, the managing partner of the company’s development affiliate, was quoted in the Washington Business Journal as saying: “901 K Street represents our firm’s serious commitment to LEED construction and energy conservation. Our world needs it. The momentum towards sustainability in our industry is growing exponentially, and we’re excited to be part of it.”

Also excited to be a part of the project, Robbins adds, “Green office buildings are not a new trend. They are becoming the new standard. Like property owners, occupants also are more sophisticated about their wants and needs in an office space.”

Wausau's custom sun shades

Wausau's custom sun shades

With its goals clearly in mind, Carr Properties developed this prominent office and retail space in a desirable location in D.C. The sustainable attributes of 901 K Street include green roofs to minimize the urban heat-island effect, water-conserving plumbing fixtures and low-emitting interior materials, and low-VOC finishes. In addition, the building’s energy-efficient lighting system and high-performance, non-CFC HVAC system are complemented by curtainwall systems and sun shades provided by Wausau. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow 60% of the building’s interior space to receive natural light.

Wausau worked closely with D.C-based contractors at Clark Construction Group, specialty contractors at Icon Exterior Building Solutions and architects at SmithGroup. Together, they sought to meet all of 901 K Street’s requirements. Beyond the LEED Gold criteria, the project also needed to address security with consideration of the neighboring government buildings and the surrounding community.

“We’re not only familiar with how to address the property’s goals, but also in working in this area. We have two other projects literally across the street from 901 K Street development: Embassy Suites and 1050 K Street. 1050 K Street also is under development and pursuing LEED Gold certification,” says Mark Gedney, Wausau’s manufacturer’s representative and president of Advanced Building Concepts, Inc.

The south side of the building faces K Street, affording occupants expansive views of the historic neighborhood and downtown Washington. With respect to the nearby community, 901 K Street’s northeast elevation on Massachusetts Avenue was designed with a softer façade of terracotta paneling and ornamental accents. “We designed a curved terracotta rain screen façade facing Massachusetts Avenue that relates to the context of the adjacent smaller scale masonry buildings,” said Christopher Woody, project architect with SmithGroup. “This represents one of the first uses of this type of cladding system in the District of Columbia.”

Woody continued, “One of the major project challenges was coordinating the design and installation of the terracotta and the curtainwall façade. Wausau’s team collaborated with us from the beginning to reach a successful solution that integrated the façade’s diverse materials. The system we chose fit well within the design intent while keeping within the budget. ”

Blending the building’s style and systems, the exposed aluminum framing was painted by Linetec to match the terracotta. Aside from the terracotta rain screen, the three-side support, glass sun shades were a first for Wausau, according to Wausau’s project manager, Carl Wanta. “These are both decorative and functional, helping contribute to the building’s solar control for energy management and related LEED requirements.”

“Wausau was instrumental in coordinating all the LEED submission information for us. Utilizing post-consumer content for the aluminum extrusions, the reduction of VOC emissions during the painting process at Linetec, and Wausau’s expertise and experience helped us achieve our LEED goals,” says Curt Johnson, partner with Icon Exterior Building Solutions.

“Given the amount of glass on the building, we were able to use Viracon‘s high-performance, radiant low-e line of VRE glass, which helped us achieve the heating and cooling loads we needed for the building,” says Woody.

“Large southern exposures require thoughtful planning to maximize daylighting and views, while managing energy costs,” explains Wanta. “Effectively-engineered, modern curtainwall systems not only keep energy costs down by managing unwanted solar heat gain, which reduces the load on the HVAC systems, they keep people more comfortable, which means they’re more productive in an office setting.”

“Wausau has extensive experience with LEED projects that must find this balance, including its own LEED Silver-certified manufacturing center,” says Gedney. “It’s fitting that the high-performance products fabricated for hundreds of building projects each year come from a green facility.”

He adds, “Meeting LEED building criteria does not mean compromising on materials and finishes. Green does not have to mean dull and utilitarian.” As evidence, Gedney points to the terracotta rain screen, the custom glass, sun shades from Wausau, and the dramatic, east lobby’s five-story atrium containing Ambarino marble, Peribonka granite and maple paneling.

Wausau's glazing systems help connect visually, physically with surroundings

visually, physically connects with surroundings

Relying on Wausau’s high-performance systems and Viracon’s glass, the lobby’s finishes are protected from fading, while its occupants enjoy a comfortable interior climate. The transparency of 901 K Street’s curtainwall system also keeps guests connected with their surrounding environment. The building also physically connects 901 K to the neighboring Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church. The 1917 neoclassical church plays a prominent part of the historic neighborhood.

“We know that the neighborhood is pleased with the building. It’s nice to be acknowledged by our peers, too,” says Robbins, referring to 901 K Street’s Mid-Atlantic Construction magazine’s Best of 2009 Award of Merit in the Office category. An independent jury selected winners based on the building teams’ established goals, challenges overcome, innovative approaches, exceptional design and craftsmanship and teamwork. “The 901 K Street property is an exceptional project, a trophy building, and many people’s effort came together to make it happen.”

Photos by Anne Gummerson, courtesy of Icon Exterior Building Systems.

Download a PDF of the full success story by clicking here and see Wausau’s online Green Building section for more project examples and resources.

Client News 11/23/09

Made in Minnesota: Anchor celebrates centennial anniversary

Minneapolis — Anchor Block Company celebrates 100 years in business as a Midwest manufacturer of concrete construction and landscape materials. Founded in the Twin Cities, the company began in 1909 at a time when homebuilders dug foundations by hand and used horses to haul Anchor’s standard gray, concrete basement blocks. Today, Anchor is recognized worldwide for its extensive line of innovative products and inspired applications.

Anchor historic photo

Anchor historic photo

In the Midwest, Anchor Block Company is well-respected for its industry leadership and long-standing partnerships with contractors, architects, engineers, dealers and retailers. Anchor produces traditional concrete masonry blocks, architectural masonry blocks and veneers, retaining wall blocks, pavers and other landscape products. Two of the most recent, notable, local building projects featuring Anchor’s products include Target Field, the Twins’ new ballpark, and TCF Bank Stadium, home to Gophers’ football. Other metro-area icons include Mall of America, Metrodome, Target Center, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and several other campus buildings, plus thousands of Minnesota community spaces, private homes and commercial businesses.

“The fact is that a lot of people don’t think concrete is beautiful, but that’s before they see the color, textures and shapes available for them to create inviting, outdoor, private retreats and public destinations,” says Glenn Bolles, CEO of Anchor.

He recalls a time before such options, “Until the ’80s, color choices were non-existent; everything was gray. In the mid-’80s, integral-colored concrete changed the industry overnight. We incorporated this into our retaining wall products, pavers and masonry products. Soon, we were seeing colorful walls and paths in all directions. Until the early ’90s, you hardly ever saw a driveway made of colorful, paving stones in Minnesota. Now, they are everywhere. People are building something beautiful with our products all over the Twin Cities.”

“Today, we have more than 100 dedicated, committed and terrific employees,” says Bolles. “We’re financially solid and plan to be in it for the long run. We’re investing in new equipment and technologies that will help us continue to lead the industry. We’re listening to our customers, and working really hard to come up with even more attractive products and solutions. We want to deliver what the customer is asking for, and anticipate what they will ask for. Sometimes, they need to see what we have to offer before they know they want it.”

Solid Reputation
“We’ve used Anchor from the beginning, so it’s at least 40 years,” says Michael J. Gresser, president of specialty contractor Gresser Company. Based in Eagan, Minn., Gresser is one of many Twin Cities companies that share an intertwined heritage with Anchor. “We’re known for our quality standards and quality work. We can’t maintain that reputation if we’re not installing quality product.”

Gresser and Anchor both worked on the TCF Stadium. Highlighting another project example, Gresser praises Anchor’s involvement with BMW of the Twin Cities. “We’re working in Minnetonka on BMW’s second major Twin Cities dealership. The first was in Bloomington. For both, the owner was very specific about wanting a white, white block. We knew we could count on Anchor to meet these requirements. …Anchor is, without a doubt, our most-valued block supplier. They have a lot more consistency in the quality of their product. We appreciate the quality and consistency in their people, and in their delivery. They’re great to work with, a first-class company and our vendor of choice.”

Anchor Block Co archive image

Anchor Block Co archive image

Tim McGough, executive vice president of McGough Companies, Inc. in St.  Paul, Minn. agrees, “As long as we’ve been in business, Anchor has been there for us. Throughout our 55-year history, Anchor has been a great business partner. Like us, they take pride in building long-term customer relationships. …Today, they are our primary supplier of concrete block and related products. Their customer service is incredible. Their delivery is always prompt. Their product is always high quality. And, their quality control is outstanding.”

Innovation by Design
Anchor staff engineer Bruce Baumann credits Bolles for Anchor’s ability to achieve this reputation and preserve this status in a down economy. He says, “Glenn’s passion to be the leader is matched by his willingness to invest in the research and testing to maintain this position. It may be tough now, but we’re using this time to work on new products and applications. We’re exploring new materials and continually searching for new looks, colors, textures, shapes and sizes.”

Both Baumann and Bolles cite Windsor Stone® blocks as a “grand-slam homerun” in their history. “Designed for garden walls, planting containers and small retaining walls, the Windsor Stone product has a traditional, beveled face style. And the rear lip design makes installation easy—you just stack and align the blocks,” describes Baumann.

Baumann’s enthusiasm for Anchor’s product developments is obvious as he describes the proprietary technology that creates the Old World look and rock face texture of its Highland Stone® Retaining Wall System, or Anchor’s Sculpsit™ technology that earned it “Top Innovator of the Year” awards from The Home Depot two years in a row.

“At the moment, we’re having a lot of fun simulating stone-like colors and textures,” says Bolles. “The industry is changing as I speak: our Sculpsit technology will help everybody who wants the look of natural stone, but not the expense. There’s very little difference in appearance and a significant price savings for the installed Anchor™ product.”

This year, Anchor has introduced several new products in retaining walls, pavers, patio stones and edgers. The company has new designs and product enhancements already planned for 2010 and beyond. According to Bolles, most companies in the industry “might launch one new product a year, or maybe one every several years. Of course, if you don’t have new, state-of-the-art equipment, you have a hard time delivering new products.”

Tested for Success
Long-term performance is another area of Anchor’s study. “Freeze/thaw durability is critical to the northern two-thirds of our country and particularly with segmental retaining walls,” says Baumann. “Having one of the industry’s largest, in-house quality control laboratories, we can more readily test products. This allows us to optimize them, continually improving upon our past and directing future quality.”

Anchor's Holland Plus Pavers

Anchor's Holland Plus™ Pavers

“Our Plus™ series of pavers is the first in the Midwest to provide concentrated, premium material on the surface of the pavers so that it produces a richer color, distinctive, fine texture and wear-resistant surface,” says Bolles.

The durability and green attributes of Anchor’s products are generating greater interest among the architectural and landscape design community. Anchor’s landscape and masonry products contain as much as 20% recycled content, which can help buildings qualify for certification under green building programs like LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Anchor’s product attributes also can meet green building qualifications for stormwater design and control, heat island reduction, energy performance optimization and regionally sourced materials. The products’ sound-dampening, mold-resistant, and durable qualities also may be recognized for sustainable application and innovation.

Shared Paths
According to Bolles, the introduction of landscape products in the late 1980s changed the direction of the company. The signature breakthrough came in 1988 when Anchor invented and patented a pinless, mortarless segmental retaining wall (SRW) block. The success of this design made Anchor a pioneer in the SRW industry. In 1989, Anchor Wall Systems, Inc. was formed to capitalize on the growing national and international demand for SRW systems.

Anchor archive image

Anchor archive image

“We have a shared ancestry. Anchor Block Company is a manufacturer and Anchor Wall Systems is a licensor of technology,” explains Linda Luksan, director of marketing for Anchor Wall Systems. “We license the rights to produce and sell our products to Anchor Block and other manufacturers. Anchor Wall Systems works with more than 50 companies in 21 countries to bring our retaining and freestanding wall systems to their markets.”

Natural Response
Anchor Block’s masonry and landscape products are sold through dealers and home centers throughout the state and in Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska. “Anchor Block’s Midwest territory serves as a pilot facility testing new concepts, installations and our first place to roll out new products. These products are sold to everyone from small, residential do-it-yourselfers to contractors hired by the homeowner to create elaborate, outdoor living spaces,” adds Sandy Stoffel, director of marketing for Anchor Block Company. “With the economy being what it is, people are staying close to home. As they’re home more, they want to make it nice and are justifying home improvements that beautify their backyards.”

Anchor's Bravissi products

Anchor's Bravissi products

According to Stoffel, “Inspired by European roadways, Anchor entered into the paver market in 1999 and has continued to develop new products, colors and textures to bring consumers multiple choices that provide aesthetics and quality to walkways, driveways, and patio settings.” Drawing additional inspiration from classic, hand-chiseled masonry, Anchor recently developed Bravissi™ Sculpted Masonry Veneer products, a line of cost-effective, highly realistic stone-look veneers.

To complement the simulated look of natural stone, Anchor Block offers a burnished block that is popular with its customers. Masonry sales manager Mark Severson observes, “A highly polished, beautifully exposed aggregate finish for a distinctive look, burnished block offers stunning coloration effects. With advancements in our color capabilities, we have some exciting new looks ahead.” Anchor’s full product line offers more than 7,000 color, shape and texture combinations.

Faster, Safer, Better
Severson continues, “As we’re moving away from the common block look, we’re also moving more and more to larger sizes. Contractors want to save time. Typically, you’d see them installing an 8″x16″ face, but we have sizes that range from 8″x24″ to 12″x24″, up to 16″x24″. At 24 inches, structural block can help shorten development schedules by covering more space with fewer blocks.”

Anchor's Tufut products

Anchor's Tufut products

Pronounced “Two Foot,” Tufut™ Structural Concrete Masonry Units were introduced earlier this summer in a variety of solid and variegated colors. Helping to meet tight construction timelines, Tufut blocks install up to 30% faster and require less grout than smaller units. Each two-foot-long unit covers 50% more wall area per unit than conventional blocks.

Anchor Celebrates
Anchor is celebrating its centennial year with events and picnics throughout the company. Bolles reiterates his appreciation, saying, “Anchor values its employees and their contributions to our success over the years.”

Client News 11/18/09

Unistak AOne Wall System made its debute at AIA Minnesota 2009 Convention last week.

Responding to building project teams seeking energy-efficient, quick-to-install exterior cladding systems, A-1 Glass Inc. introduces Unistak(TM) AOne Wall System(TM). This new, unitized rain screen wall system is optimized for mid- to high-rise wall applications in cold climates and high-humidity interiors.

Unistak AOne Wall System

Unistak AOne Wall System

The unitized system consists of a sturdy, steel chassis that integrates aluminum, thermally-improved windows with dual- or triple-glazed insulating glazing units with pre-fabricated, R15-R22 insulated, factory-painted, galvanized steel or aluminum panels; air, water and vapor barriers; and an interior drywall framing sub-system. The patented, interlocking track system also allows for sun shades, louvers, terracotta tiles, stone, brick, stucco, and custom finishes, as well as recycled metals and sustainable building materials. Standard infill choices include Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) architectural glass and panels, earning points for building projects seeking LEED® Green Building Rating System™.

Not only does the Unistak system support green design and construction goals, it delivers exceptional thermal performance and resists condensation, according to A-1’s vice president and lead designer Craig Carson. He explains, “When condensation seeps into exterior building systems, mold can develop and affect occupants’ health. Condominium and homeowner associations are fully aware of the litigation that can result from so-called ‘sick building syndrome.’ Such considerations also are especially important to hospitals, health care facilities, senior residences, schools and daycare centers, where people may have immune system sensitivities.”

Carson adds, “With the high-performance Unistak system, owners and occupants can be confident they have an exterior that contributes to their well-being, providing a comfortable interior, filled with natural light, while saving on heating and cooling costs.”

new, unitized rain screen wall system

new, unitized rain screen wall system

Under controlled, factory conditions, the Unistak system is fabricated into large units, customized to meet the specific project needs. These are sequenced and shipped to the job site. Working directly off the truck, the contractors take the pre-assembled unit and install it directly onto the building. Depending on the size of the units, and the job site’s space constraints, a crane can be used to lift oversized sections into place. (See video.)

“With fewer than 10 people, a contractor should expect to enclose an average floor in less than half the time it would take them to assemble a similar system in the field,” says Greg Reedy, A-1’s architectural representative. “A seven-person crew using our system takes less than three days to fully complete a weather-tight floor, averaging 32 panels. In less than two months, the ground floor occupants could be moving in while the top floors are being finished.”

Along with saving time and labor, Unistak AOne Wall System supports customers with special requirements, such as working in seismic zones and for those seeking certification under Green Globes or LEED. Addressing areas prone to earthquakes, the wall system’s proprietary track and panels accommodate design building movement. It accomplishes this without relying on unattractive, exterior caulk joints, while resisting water and air infiltration. Further assisting with green building goals, the Unistak system interface features contiguous, pressure equalized chambers joining a highly efficient, multi-point thermal barrier. This construction achieves a center of glass U-value of 0.248 (R value = 4.03).

To learn more about the Unistak AOne Wall System, please visit the Web site or call 303-761-6300


Client News 8/10/09

Anchor Block Company’s Bravissi™ Sculpted Masonry Veneer products

Anchor Block Company’s Bravissi™ Sculpted Masonry Veneer products

Anchor’s Bravissi Sculpted Masonry Veneer product mimics real stone look, without the cost

Professional contractors, engineers, designers and architects seeking a cost-effective way to build with the beautiful look of natural stone are turning to Anchor Block Company’s Bravissi™ Sculpted Masonry Veneer products.

Designed as inspired by classic, hand-chiseled masonry, this highly realistic stone-look veneer suits buildings’ interior and exterior applications. “Bravissi veneers add warmth, character and personality to any structure,” says Mark Severson, sales manager. “Its traditional stone-look, versatility and affordability make these veneers a great option for budget-conscious projects, while presenting a distinctive, lasting impression.”

Offered in eight popular color choices, Bravissi Sculpted Masonry Veneer’s range of shapes, sizes and colors for nearly unlimited design and pattern options.

The products are sold direct or through Anchor Block authorized masonry distributors throughout the upper Midwest. For supplier information and product details, please visit www.anchorblock.com.

Anchor produces traditional concrete masonry blocks, retaining wall blocks, pavers and other masonry products, using more than 7,000 color, shape and texture combinations to add color, design and versatility to homes, businesses and public green spaces. With an in-house quality control laboratory, Anchor ensures its products are durable and consistent for projects that will stand the test of time.

Celebrating 100 years of leadership in the landscape and construction materials industry and in the Midwest, Anchor Block Company designs and manufactures concrete landscape and masonry materials. From the standard gray blocks of the early 1900s to the innovative, diverse line of products available today, the company has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of contractors, architects, homeowners, engineers and retailers. Anchor’s masonry and landscape products are sold in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

See www.anchorblock.com for more information.