GKD, Experts in Woven Metal Mesh and Daylighting, Received Byline in Environmental Design + Construction

Untangling Daylighting and Mesh 
Environmental Design + Construction
By J. David Carduff
May 2010

“Light every building using the sky.” That’s the vision of the Daylight Collaborative, a program created by the Energy Center of Wisconsin to provide information on daylighting. It sounds implausible, perhaps. But then again, many of the most successful trends and inventions sounded far-fetched at one point. Think flying. Telephones. Cars. The Internet. As with these other endeavors, those who seek to mainstream daylighting need to “find the light,” so to speak. Which is exactly what some architects, designers and product manufacturers are trying to do through the use of innovative products and technologies. One such product is woven metal mesh fabric, which when used for daylighting purposes has proven to save energy by reducing the use of artificial lighting and heat gain. For this reason, woven metal mesh fabrics have been on the cutting edge of daylighting technology throughout the world. That’s forward thinking.

Let’s take a look at the concept of daylighting. It seems simple enough: As buildings are illuminated by the sunlight, they are less dependent on electric lighting. And because sunlight produces less heat per unit of light than electric lights, buildings lit by sunlight have smaller cooling loads and don’t require as much energy fromHVAC systems.

While the concept of daylighting is straightforward, successful implementation of the practice is more challenging. Daylighting requires creativity and expertise. “Good daylighting creates beautiful, appropriately lit spaces while saving energy. A successfully daylit building is the result of a combination of art and science, of architecture and engineering. It is the result of an integrated design process, according to www.daylighting.org. Daylighting is more than simply installing windows; it involves foresight, innovation and ingenuity. Not to mention planning – planning is key.

During the planning process, consider all of the available materials that can help in successfully daylighting a building. As daylighting becomes an increasingly significant component of a building and a successful means of energy efficiency, more architects are integrating it into their designs. In a 2009 survey performed by GKD-USA, architects throughout the United States were asked how big a role daylighting played in the design of their buildings. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they always try to incorporate daylighting into their design, while 22 percent responded that the incorporation of daylighting was dependent upon the type of building. Because of this, building product manufacturers are developing a variety of new products to help the process, including woven metal mesh fabric.

Aside from enhancing the aesthetics of a building, woven metal mesh offers a unique way to control solar heat gain and extreme daylight and is commonly used as a sunshade. Depending on the location of the building and type of heat and light a window is exposed to, different patterns and sizes of mesh can be utilized. When used for sunshading, mesh can help contribute to Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification points.

The first to place flexible mesh on buildings, GKD recently began to explore ways in which their products could be further utilized. Through commissioning several studies and experiments, GKD found that woven metal mesh could indeed be used for daylighting purposes. While mesh can be used to block glare, GKD has also collaborated with ag4, a mediatecture company, to create Illumesh and Mediamesh – high-grade architectural woven stainless steel mesh fabric with interwoven LED profiles. This unique product has been used to replace solid LED boards on buildings, allowing daylight to enter a building without obstructing interior views or exterior architecture.

Using woven metal mesh for daylighting purposes saves energy by reducing the use of artificial lighting as well as heat gain. At the request of GKD, a study of several metal mesh products from GKDwas conducted by ift Rosenheim, an independent party research team. The purpose of the study was to determine the solar characteristics of metal meshes and to calculate solar heat gain of glazing in combination with solar shading devices. The materials tested were each of different thickness and design. Results showed that GKDwoven metal fabric exhibits improved sun protection, which leads to reduction of required cooling loads and allows for smaller cooling generators and HVAC systems.

Daylighting is also valued for its benefits to building occupants. According to www.daylighting.org, recent studies show that daylighting creates a stimulating environment – much better for occupants than the environment created by any type of artificial light. Natural light contributes to increased concentration among occupants and positively affects their emotional well-being and overall mood. Studies reveal that students in rooms lit by an increased amount of daylight consistently progress 20 percent faster in math and 26 percent faster in reading.

Time magazine discussed the way unlikely inventions became reality: “[Flight] did not come about by luck or accident. It was vision, quiet resolve and the application of scientific methodology that enable Orville and Wilbur to carry the human race skyward.” Likewise, a combination of vision, education and application will allow daylighting to become commonplace so that maybe one day, every building will be lit using the sky.

-- J. David Carduff is the product manager for GKD-USA. Having spent the past 28 years in the technical metal weaving and forming business, Carduff is an expert in the benefits of woven metal mesh.
GKD ED+C byline 5.1.2010

It's That Time Again...

Last week I awoke in a panic....IT’S ALREADY THANKGIVING!! I hadn't boarded the dog, the kids were out of school for a whole week....the holiday season was upon is. Really?? Where did the year go?

Once the panic subsided of all I had to do, I started to embrace it all and focus on being thankful. That IS the point of this time of year. It has been a hard year, in many ways, yet a really good one. The economy has really forced us all to look at ourselves and our businesses differently. Things that appeared as struggles also taught us to find new ways to do things. So I thought I'd reflect on what I was grateful to have learned or discovered during these more difficult times. It's always nice to look back so going forward will be so much better.

I am thankful.....

That we are still here and going strong. That says alot.

That the change in marketing budgets has created a change in how we communicate and encouraged us to work in new ways. We've done some really awesome things this year that went way past just sales brochures of years ago.

That I've discovered an incredible range of ways to use social media in conjunction with traditional marketing over the past years. It has been a powerful medium with vast reach.

To have realized that downtime isn't a bad thing. Rather, it is a time to learn new things, or test out those crazy ideas we've been thinking of.

For our ability as a team to change our actions, behaviors and habits to manuever through these times and make Function: a better place. We've all learned to be better more conscious, less wasteful and even more aware.

For Scoutmob. Really, for those of us that can't handle coupons and are looking for a deal, you can't beat this!

That our industry expertise has helped us gain new relationships with some really dynamic companies who are doing some incredible things.

To have been forced to streamline excess spending and waste.

That this time of year gives us a reason to do something creative, unusual, fun. Design a cool card, give back to an organization we love.

That i can really see the efforts of architecture and building products to make better schools and institutions. Being a part of the elementary and 4/5 academy, this really is exciting. I spent alot of time in the cafeterias for Thanksgiving lunches last week looking around - trying not to look at the holiday lunch....

That Thanksgiving is over and there are no more left overs.

That I truly believe 2011 is going to be a great year.

Iconic Ski Jump in Norway, Outfitted with GKD's Woven Metal Mesh, highlighted in Metal Building

New ski jump balances both design appeal and functionality 
Metal Building Developer
May/June 2009

Scope: Norway’s most recognizable mountain, Oslo’s famous Holmenkollen, now boasts a newly rebuilt ski jump, which has already been honored as the chosen site for the Nordic World Ski Championships. Renovated 18 times since its opening in 1892, the old ski jump no longer met the requirements of the Fédération Internationale de Ski. Now, it meets ISF regulations and also stands out as a modern architectural marvel. Designed to withstand harsh winds and symbolize the success of the Norwegian capital, the new Holmenkollen is clad with stainless-steel woven metal mesh fromGKD-USA Inc. GKD is located in Cambridge, Md.

Details: Julien de Smedt with JDS Architects, Oslo, designed the new Holmenkollen as an HS 134 jump hill that balances both design appeal and functionality. A crucial element in the rebuilding process was meeting requirements that protect ski jumpers from harsh winds, the most common cause of ski jumping accidents. Designers used more than 14,000 square feet (1,301 square meters) of Sambesi light andPC-Sambesi mesh from GKD. A total of 315 units of Sambesi light, each measuring approximately 39 by 3 feet (12 by 1 m) were fitted to the exterior of the steel structure with round rods and eye bolts. An additional 130 units of PC-Sambesi rod mesh were tilted laterally and fitted in the steel structure on the inside of the jump platform, which allows for replacement of removal. A mesh size of 5.9 by 7.9 inches (150 by 200 mm) in the area around the lamps facilitates the surface illumination of the mesh. Both the Sambesi Light and PC-Sambesi are designed for extreme wind loads.

In addition to protecting the jumpers, Architects selected GKD’s mesh to protect the ski jump structure from harsh weathering. The durability of stainless-steel woven metal mesh will enable the Holmenkollen ski jump to be long lasting and easily maintained. Additionally, GKD’s mesh was selected for its aesthetic appeal, flexibility and varied application options. The stainless-steel mesh’s characteristic semi-transparency, along with the spotlights place inside and on top of the jump tower, creates a magnificent visual effect. At night, the backlit mesh turns the arena into a hill of sparkling light.

Work on the Holmenkollen began in 209, and the ski jump officially opened in March 2010, in time for the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined World Cup. An additional phase of construction will be completed in fall 2010, adding more than 9,500 square feet (883 square meters) of mesh.

MEDITECH, Constructed with Kawneer Products, Highlighted in Architectural Products

Medical Building Gets Dose of Efficiency 
Architectural Products
November 2009

CHALLENGE: As MEDITECH continued to grow, it needed a facility that would not only accommodate new and future employees, but also provide and opportunity for existing employees to relocate closer to home. The four-story, 122,000-sq.-ft. building, located in Fall River, Mass., includes hundreds of workstations, dozens of private offices, 28 conference rooms and eight training rooms. Situated in the southeastern part of Massachusetts with a panoramic glass façade that capitalizes on water views, the Medical Information Technology Inc. (MEDITECH) Building, also called “Meditech Southcoast,” is a tribute to the community and a major component of the area’s economic revival.

CRITERIA: Thermal performance was paramount to the project. To address Massachusetts’ strict energy code requirements, specifications called for low U-values and enhanced thermal performance.

A design choice needed to be made: Either a new custom system would need to be created specifically for the project, or the designs could incorporate a strategic combination of existing products integrated into an advanced façade. 

Supporting the curtain wall posed a structural challenge. All four stories of curtain wall required suspension from the roof framing to accommodate a central atrium space. The building’s flyby bays (5-ft. wide x 15-ft. tall) cantilevered horizontally beyond the outside wall, making the wall look larger than the building behind it. Special anchoring was needed to address the design.

INFLUENCES: Besides helping advance the economy of the Fall River area, MEDITECH wanted to create a building that would advance the way sustainable structures are created. To carry out the design, Boston-based Payette was selected as the project’s architect; the company worked to incorporate sustainable elements into the building that would capitalize on the natural landscape and scenic location of the site.

To provide advanced energy performance and meet Massachusetts’ stringent thermal requirements, MEDITECH Southcoast features an advanced façade, a synergistic, seamless integration of products designed to provide advanced energy performance and indoor environmental quality. Using a collaborative approach, the advanced façade includes high-performance glass, thermal doors and windows, and motorized sunscreen systems that automatically respond to exterior solar conditions and are integrated into the versatile curtain wall.

SOLUTION: An advanced façade was created using a collaborative approach to achieve optimum results. Kawneer’s capability to combine internal expertise and a vast product line, coupled with the customer’s regional fabrication/installation skills, helped optimize the fenestration solution to meet architect/owner specifications for a high-performance building.

Kawneer’s 1600 Wall System 1 curtain wall, outfitted with automatic solar-tracking motorized shades to provide maximized daylight and views while offering sunshading, was used in the creation of the advanced façade, helping contribute to the overall indoor environmental quality of the building.

Additional combinations of high-performance Kawneer thermal products – 7500 Wall curtain wall, 1600 Wall System 1 curtain wall, 560 Insulclad Thermal Entrances, 8225TL ISOLOCK Windows and 2000T Terrace Doors – reduce thermal transmittance and help optimize energy throughout the facility. To achieve Payette’s vision, glazing contractor Tower Glass, located in Woburn, Mass., partnered with Ontario-based Erie Architectural Products to coordinate and complete the fabrication of the building’s advanced façade, integrating products to optimize performance while controlling installed costs.

Supporting the curtain wall from the roof allowed wind-load supports to be minimized, enhancing views to the pond from the atrium. The flyby bays and adjoining wall that used 1600 Wall System 1 curtain wall utilized a combination of cantilevered horizontal steel supports and dead load anchors at the top of the curtain wall with wind load anchors below.

The advanced building technology made possible with Kawneer products helped to create a beautiful and sustainable design for MEDITECH’s employees as well as set an example of sustainable design for the entire community.

Planning For 2011

Every year about this time I work with our clients in their 2011 marketing budget planning.    I am a strong believer in trying to make sure every dollar is somehow contributing to product sales and specification.  I know that is not always possible but keeping that goal at the forefront of the planning process usually makes for a more effective and less wasteful marketing spend.  Marketing in this economy is not about how many print ads one can afford or Google ad words you can buy.   It is about getting the facts before you allocate your marketing budget.

Here at Function: over the last several weeks we have worked in conjunction with IsqFt, the nation’s largest internet plan room, reaching out to the builder/contractor market and asking important questions relative to product selection and purchase habits.  Due to the constant changes with this audience these habits and thought processes have evolved over the past few years.  After receiving direct feedback from this audience segment, we then have the facts do better planning for our clients.  To see the results of this research, please contact Ted@functionatl.com.

We constantly get asked by building product manufacturers "what are other companies in the industry doing with their budgets or their staffing issues, etc." So we are currently in the middle of a study with the BPM’s to take a top level look at the industry as a whole to determine best marketing practices.  These results will be shared back to the industry and will be valuable information in future planning.

These are just a few ways that Function: does its homework before crunching the budget numbers.

dana castle
principal + director of strategy
404 524 3075 x12

we’re into building things through marketing, and public relations

check us out online:
blog: http://blog.functionatl.com/
twitter: @FunctionAtlanta
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlanta-GA/FUNCTION/59353898297
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IFMA World Workplace 2010 Conference & Expo

IFMA's annual tradeshow, the World Workplace Conference & Expo, celebrated it's 30 year anniversary this year. Held at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta from October 27-29, this is the IFMA's flagship event and one of the biggest conferences around focusing on workplace programs.

The facility manager audience is an increasingly important decision maker/influencer for our clients and
and the last time World Workplace was held in Atlanta was 1988, so it was an easy decision to check out IFMA's trade show to see what it was all about. Not to mention, one of our clients, Johnsonite, needed some press kits delivered to the media room.

Because work environments and workplace programs touch so many different fields, IFMA's World Workplace attracts professionals from not only facility management but also other key segments to the building products industry: architecture, design, engineering and more. As a seasoned veteran to trade shows in the building and construction industry, yet a first timer to this show, I was impressed by the exhibitors and how well it was attended.

The opening of the expo was kicked off in grand fashion with a drum line that marched through the Georgia World Congress Center, down the escalators outside the exhibit hall and eventually marching onto the trade show floor. I captured a brief video of the drum line you can watch on Function:'s YouTube Channel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_X5Eq0ItNU. 

I also took a few images from inside the expo you can see on our Flickr page here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/functionatl/sets/72157625290967410/

For me, one of the most impressive parts of World Workplace was the use of social media to take the show viral and reach a wider audience than just those who attended the show. The IFMA World Workplace website featured a social media section called NETworkplace which embedded feeds from their twitter, youtube and flickr accounts to share real time news, stories, images and video from the trade show: http://www.worldworkplace.org/networkplace/

Those who were not able to attend could keep up with the happenings at World Worksplace as twitter users easily contributed to the show's live twitter feed using the hashtag #ww2010. Video footage from the opening keynote and welcome reception was quickly posted online and IFMA also shared images from the conference sessions and exhibition through Flickr.

I've seen other industry associations attempt to incorporate social media into their trade shows but I haven't seen anybody else pull it off as well as IFMA did. Greenbuild: you're up next. I'm interested to see how the USGBC uses social media to help promote their annual conference and expo.


ted hettick
director of client development
business analyst

FUNCTION: we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations