Problem with Glass Panels Delays MSU Art Museum
March 1, 2012
by Sahely Mukerji, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects
The opening of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan
State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Mich., has been delayed
because of ill-fitted glass.
The 46,000-square-foot museum was designed to be constructed of
steel and concrete with a pleated stainless steel and glass exterior.
The glass for the project is being manufactured by Guardian Luxembourg
and fabricated by BGT Bischoff Glastechnik AG of Germany, says Daniel
Bollman, MSU design administrator. The glazing contractor is Calvin
and Co. in Flint, Mich.
"The desire of the architect and the size of the glass made
us go to Germany," Bollman says. "The glass panels weigh as much
as 1,500 pounds and measure 4-feet-by-15-feet. There are no companies
in the U.S. that have such big coating machines. They can cut glass
that's that big, but not coat."
Zaha Hadid of London designed the museum, and construction was
on schedule until a problem occurred with the glass panels, Bollman
says. "Eighty-six percent of the pieces fit, but 43 out of 300 [panels]
didn't fit or broke," he says. "They were fabricated correctly,
but once they got to the site there was just enough deviation that
they didn't fit. There's only 2-millimeter tolerance per side of
each panel, so it's tricky to fit."
All the panels are triple-glazed, argon-filled and low-E-coated
either on the number 2 or 3 surface. Some of the panels are either
vertical, back-tilted or under-slung. Some of the south-facing lites
that don't have stainless-steel louvers to shade have a white frit
on surface number 2. Most are parallelograms that don't have 90-degree
corners, and had to be produced from a bigger sheet.
"It was a 3-D model, and the steel framing on the building wasn't
as it should have been," Bollman says. "So the glass was hard to
fit in the mullions. It was a constructability issue. And some panels
were broken or scratched [in transit] by customs."
Guardian Luxembourg currently is in the process of remanufacturing
"Our first priority is quality and that the building is built to
the highest standard, so we chose to wait as opposed to rushing
the install," Bollman says. "It's a procurement issue and we're
dealing with it."
Gartner in Germany is the contractor for the building envelope,
steel and doors, and the construction manager is Barton Malow Co.
in Southfield, Mich.
The original opening of the museum was scheduled for April 21,
"but now we anticipate it'll be this fall, so we'll have students
in the campus for the opening," Bollman says.
MSU broke ground on the $45 million museum on March 16, 2010. The
Broad Foundation has given $28 million for the museum, $21 million
for construction and $7 million for acquisitions, according to the
Stay tuned to USGNN.com for a follow-up.
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