Achieving Energy-efficient Buildings: Los Angeles Public Library’s Silver Lake Branch

Photos courtesy Jim Watkins
Photos courtesy Jim Watkins

Channel glass has the ability to deliver thermal performance over an extensive wall area and can transmit large amounts of natural light into building environments. Many projects have intermixed channel widths, surface textures, insulations, and coatings with areas of clear insulated vision glazing in the same wall to produce striking and efficient light-transmitting effects.

The Los Angeles Public Library’s Silver Lake Branch has an exceptionally high-performing channel glass system application that was a key element to the building achieving U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. The assembly includes a low-e coating on the interior channel (Surface 3) to enhance the U-value, a blue-gray solar reflective coating (Surface 2), to enhance the solar heat gain co-efficient (SHGC), and thermal insulation material to further enhance the U-value in the textured channels. MA2 Architects also used clear (i.e. without texture) channels interspersed with the thermally insulated channels to provide ‘vision’ panels without needing to introduce separate window units. ‘Vision panels’ feature smooth, clear finish for maximum visibility and daylighting and would be used in place of integrated windows.

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