March 25, 2008
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News to know

Arch adds heat-soaking service
Arch Aluminum & Glass, Tamarac, Fla. is offering heat soaking capability for its heat treated glass products. ... read more

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For all of the week’s stories, click here. Visit for daily headline news updates.

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Product spotlight

Integrated ERP software
Albat + Wirsam North America/Cantor USA of Bellevue, Wash., released Cantor Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, Software for window and door manufacturers. ... read more

It's a fussy business

How to maintain a positive culture and accommodate change day in and day out in an environment of rising customer expectations
and costs. ...
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Security for portable electronic devices

Portable computers are a prime target for thieves, especially in airports, hotels, offices and automobiles. Recent FBI statistics show that one of every 10 laptop computers
is stolen. ...
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Saint-Gobain grants three board seats to investment group
The private French investment group Wendel gained three seats on Saint-Gobain's board despite resistance ... read more

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Glass tower hotel opens in San Francisco
“People are most intrigued by the form of the building and the use of a curtain wall rather than a punch opening, which is more typical of a hotel building. The form and shape of the building allows visual penetration, particularly when inside looking out. Full height windows in all the rooms give stunning, spectacular views.” —Dana Merker, principal in charge, Patri Merker Architects

The basics: The InterContinental San Francisco, the largest hotel to open in the city in nearly 20 years, inaugurated Feb. 28 and features a 32-story glass tower. According to the San Francisco Business Times, it took more than 10 years and $200 million to complete the project. The architects extended the exterior transparency to its interior finishes with a glass-railed, three-story grand stairway, glass panel doors outside the spa, floor-to-ceiling windows in the fitness center and a pool illuminated by skylights. The exterior skin, glass and metal panels cover about 130,000 square feet at a cost of about $15 million.
The players: Design architect, Patri Merker Architects, San Francisco; architect of record, Hornberger + Worstell, San Francisco; glass fabricator, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.; curtain wall design and glazing contractor, Architectural Glass & Aluminum, Alameda, Calif.; curtain wall fabrication, Midwest Curtainwalls Inc., Cleveland; contractor, Webcor Builders, San Francisco; metal panel systems, C/S Erectors, San Ramon, Calif.; metal panel fabrication, Pohl USA Inc., West Valley City, Utah.
The glass and systems: The heat-strengthened, 1-inch insulating glass units result in a series of translucent crystal-quality surfaces faceting along the perimeter wall. The outboard ¼-inch Azure lites are tinted, and the inboard ¼-inch lites are clear. The vertical and horizontal extrusion of reversed crystals is briefly interrupted by metal wind control devices. The design is accomplished through the use of a dual structural support system of concrete core, moment-frame columns and gravity-only columns on the outside edges. Post-tensioned slabs of minimum thickness allow the unitized curtain wall to be largely free of sprandrels. Floor-to-ceiling windows are in every guest and meeting room.

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