Washington University’s Olin Business School’s new buildings feature Super Sky skylights finished by Linetec

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-03Washington University in St. Louis celebrated the 97th anniversary of Olin Business School with the dedication of two new buildings: Knight Hall and Bauer Hall. Creating a welcoming atmosphere and a lasting impression, a five-story glass atrium crowns the two buildings. Linetec finished Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC’s skylight systems’ aluminum framing using a 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based coating. The resulting combination achieves the project’s goals for transparency, durability and sustainability, including LEED® Gold certification.

Olin Business School’s new buildings were designed by California-based Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners as the architect-of-record and Mackey Mitchell Architects of St. Louis serving as the associate architect. General contractor, Tarlton Corporation, oversaw construction of the 177,000-square-foot, $90 million project.

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-01It is the largest single project completed on the Washington University Danforth campus in the shortest span of time, nearly doubling Olin Business School’s footprint on the campus. The aggressive construction schedule began in May 2012 and concluded in March 2014. The buildings’ dedication ceremony took place in May 2014. The inviting space unites the ensemble of buildings housing 11 classrooms, study rooms, a 300-seat auditorium, 75 faculty offices, lounges and other spaces to foster interaction.

“Olin’s student body has more than doubled since we built our first building in 1986, and we have twice as many faculty and degree programs,” said Olin Business School’s dean Mahendra Gupta. “We wanted these buildings to make a statement, to inspire everyone who is going to walk through these corridors, not just today, but for years to come. The world-class facilities give everybody a confidence that the university is committed to create a world-class program.”

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-07Central to this inspirational facility is the Frick Forum, as described by James Kolker, assistant vice chancellor of campus planning and director of capital projects: “The atrium has become a vertical town square, while the open, flexible spaces that surround it invite connection and collaboration.”

Ryan Navis, Super Sky’s project manager, agreed and elaborated, “Tarlton and Washington University are fantastic customers, some of the best we’ve worked with. That’s vital on a challenging project like this where quality and productive collaboration is the key to working out all of the difficult intricacies.”

Super Sky met the project’s challenging goals, and its aesthetic and performance requirements by manufacturing and installing the skylight systems in three sections. The largest section is an 88-by-91-foot custom vault skylight. A single slope skylight caps another section measuring 5 feet by 46 feet 5 inches. The final skylight is a 29-by-20-foot, custom curved, single slope system.

Navis continued, “Super Sky is only a piece of the puzzle though, and it’s a sum of the parts that brings a project like this to fruition. One of those key parts is our finisher, Linetec. As a national and international company, Super Sky is accustomed to seeking out the best from around the country. Luckily, we have the best right in our backyard. Linetec makes the finishing process an automatic.”

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-15Sent in 11 separate shipments over several months, Linetec finished Super Sky’s aluminum-framed, custom vault and curved skylights in Ivory, and the narrow, single slope in Bistro Bronze. These systems were painted using PPG’s Duranar®, a two-coat 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based coating. These high-performance architectural coatings meet the industry’s stringent requirements set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, AAMA 2605. This standard ensures the coatings exhibit outstanding resistance to humidity, color change, chalk, gloss loss and chemicals for long-lasting performance that requires minimal maintenance throughout the buildings’ lifespan.

While the durable, painted aluminum skylight systems offer natural light and views with a connection to the natural world, the low-e insulated, laminated, silkscreened Viracon VUE1-50 glass keeps the occupants comfortable. In total, the skylights’ total glass area is 11,150 square feet, with each of the hundreds of glass lites averaging five feet in length. “This is a building that is all about natural light – we wanted light to penetrate all five floors,” added Kolker.

Viracon’s high-performance glass also assists in lowering energy use by managing the unwanted solar heat gain and glare. Combined with daylight, views and durable finishes, these attributes can contribute to the project’s LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.

As an environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec captures the liquid paints’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content to eliminate the exhaust of potential pollutants. The primary environmental concern with liquid paints is the solvents, which may have VOC content and must be destroyed safely. Linetec uses a 100 percent air capture system and destroys the VOCs with a regenerative thermal oxidizer, so there is no adverse environmental impact. Linetec then re-uses its heat energy byproduct to improve process energy efficiency. This process of re-use is completed before the material exits the paint line.

WA-Univ-Olin-Bus-06Recognizing the project’s green design and construction, LEED-NC Gold certification was awarded to Olin Business School’s Knight Hall and Bauer Hall in November 2014. In addition, Tarlton Corporation’s work on the project earned the Associated General Contractors of America’s 2015 Alliant Build America Award.

Hank Webber, Washington University executive vice chancellor for administration, concluded, “Anytime you work on an iconic university, you face the challenge of how do you meet 21st-century needs in a campus whose physical form was established in the beginning of the 20th century. There is a practical set of needs for classrooms and offices in a modern business school. There is also a fundamental need to create great spaces that build a sense of community.”

Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School, Knight Hall and Bauer Hall; Throop Drive and Snow Way; St. Louis, MO 63130; http://www.olin.wustl.edu

  • Owner: Washington University in St. Louis; www.wustl.edu
  • Architect-of-record: Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners; Santa Monica, California; www.moorerubleyudell.com
  • Associate architect: Mackey Mitchell Architects; St. Louis; www.mackeymitchell.com
  • General contractor: Tarlton Corporation; St. Louis; www.tarltoncorp.com
  • Skylight systems – manufacturer and installer: Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC; Mequon, Wisconsin; www.supersky.com
  • Skylight systems – glass fabricator: Viracon, Inc.; Owatonna, Minnesota; www.viracon.com
  • Skylight systems – finisher: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin; www.linetec.com
  • Skylight systems – coatings manufacturer: PPG Industries; Pittsburgh; www.ppgideascapes.com
  • Photographer: William Lemke, courtesy of Super Sky Products Enterprises, LLC

Linetec’s founder and past president, Scott Platta, retires

Platta-webScott Platta celebrated his retirement on June 25, following a 40-year career that includes founding Linetec in 1983 and serving as its first president. Thanks in part to Platta’s vision and leadership, Linetec is now the nation’s largest independent architectural finisher providing paint and anodize finishing services for such products as windows, curtainwall, entrances, hardware and other components.

“I started my career as a part-time kid, low man on the ladder, and worked my way up to president. I was always given the opportunity to improve and advance in the company. Mistakes were tolerated as long as you were focused and your heart was going in the right direction,” Platta remembers. “I feel very fortunate to have worked for a very competent group of managers and associates. Linetec and Apogee Wausau Group is world-class, and a wonderful company to have spent my career.”

When Platta became president, he oversaw 20 employees and a new aluminum-coating facility in Wausau, Wisconsin. Supported with the financial stability of parent company, Apogee Enterprises, Inc., he helped grow Linetec’s business to the 450 plus employees of today. Platta and Linetec’s team achieved this success by helping manufacturers meet architects’ increasing demand for aluminum windows in a wider variety of colorful, durable finishes.

“He was one of the first in the industry who identified the need for fluoropolymer paint,” praises Linetec’s current president, Rick Marshall. “It was Scott’s initial vision to have Linetec be more than just a finishing company. He added value by expanding services for its customers. Among his many ideas that we continue to build upon are our on-site field service, our in-house paint blending laboratory and capabilities, our Linetec Managed Inventory and our Linetec designated route trucks.”

Understanding customer needs came easily to Platta. Prior to joining Linetec, he worked for its first customer Wausau Window and Wall Systems, then known as Wausau Metals. He continued to grow this and other customer relationships at Linetec. Platta was responsible for acquiring the Polywood Shutter painting business, which for many years, was Linetec’s largest customer. He continued to manage Polywood Shutter’s fabrication facility located in Wausau, in partnership with owners Sunburst Shutters of Las Vegas, and served as its liaison with Linetec.

“Scott’s legacy is more than professional success,” emphasized Marshall. “His accomplishments have benefited thousands of people across our community and our industry. And he has done it along with a great sense humor and humility.”

For more information about Linetec’s history of success and finishing services, please visit http://www.linetec.com.

Located in Wisconsin, Linetec serves customers across the country, finishing such products as aluminum windows, wall systems, doors, hardware and other architectural metal components, as well as automotive, marine and manufactured consumer goods. The company is a subsidiary of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG). Linetec is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).