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  • The Architects of Pickard Chilton and Kendall/Heaton Associates wanted to create a stunning lobby façade along the base of a new high rise in downtown Houston for Hines Development. To provide the most transparent solution, the team decided to use a Novum cable wall solution for the podium facade to achieve their goals. On the simple vertical walls of the lobby façade, a Novum Tension Cable System is used to support the glass. The 36mm diameter stainless steel cables disappear behind the vertical glass joints. The entire wall system is less than 6-3/4” in depth, resulting in more useable lobby space for the owner. The Novum Horizontal Steel Solution was used for the second scope that Novum provided which included a unique geometry. These unique walls are faceted on the west elevation and sloped on the southwest corner of the building. A Novum Architecturally Exposed Steel System combined with Horizontal Steel Members and a Novum Tension Rod System was developed to create the desired transparent appearance. The painted AESS horizontal steel members span across the wall supporting the wind loads. The dead load of the glass and steel is carried to the top of the wall through stainless steel Tension Rods. The horizontal steel members are spaced approximately 11’ apart, and the pairs of tension rods occur every 5’ behind each vertical glass joint. Due to the large size of the 11’ x 5’ panels, the glass required a laminate layer on the inside and outside of the insulated glass makeup.

    For the podium facade, stainless steel cables are used to support the 30’ vertical glass walls. All the glass is low iron in an insulated glazing makeup with a low-e coating. Due to the large size of the panels, and the high wind loads on the building, a laminated layer of glass is used on both the outer and inner layers of the insulated glass makeup. The glass on the cable walls is supported with a Novum Buttonhead Point Support attached to Stainless Steel Cast Spiders.

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    For the horizontal steel walls, supporting the sloped and triangular walls is a combination of Novum AESS tubes used as horizontal steel in conjunction with the Novum Tension Rod System. The Novum AESS tube is a painted HSS 12x4 member that spans the openings to support the wind load on the wall. The tension rods are 16mm in diameter and are used to support the dead load. Due to the large size of the panels and high wind loads, a laminated layer of glass is used on both the outer and inner layers of the insulated glass makeup. The glass is supported with a Novum Buttonhead Point Support System attached to Stainless Steel Cast Spiders.

Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Size: 15,600 sq ft / 1,450 sq m

Systems Used: Architecturally Exposed Steel, Tension Cable, Tension Rod, Point Supported Glass

Architect: Pickard Chilton + Kendall/Heaton Associates

General Contractor: Harvey Builders of Houston

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