New Transportation Terminal Being Built for Famed Furniture Market

Construction is underway on a new multi-canopy transportation terminal to serve the 3.5-million-square-foot International Home Furnishings Center in High Point, N.C. The project includes 53,515 square feet of laminated glass expertly crafted and assembled in a $4.95 million, seven-canopy, point supported glass and space frame structure. The terminal's 1,238 pieces of glass cover 78,406 square feet, and weigh approximately 240 tons, but upon completion the structure will appear to float effortlessly above an entire city block.

The complex houses the world's largest wholesale home furnishings show where 75,000 industry buyers, exhibitors and sales representatives converge twice a year. The terminal will serve as a bus depot for the Furniture Market's yearly visitors. With design professionals from all 50 states and 110 countries visiting the Furnishings Center, architect Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce (WRC&P), Winston-Salem, N.C, wanted the canopies to serve as an architecturally impressive portal to the Furniture Market itself.

Novum Structures, an international firm that creates glazed structures around the world, initially helped WRC&P with the structure's design. WRC&P Architects called on Novum to assist in designing a glazed structural system that could meet the project's budget. Novum then engineered, manufactured/sourced materials and now is constructing the terminal.

"One of the key benefits we brought was the ability to guarantee the budget at the very earliest stages and then design collaboratively with the architect in ensuring that all aesthetic, functional, timeline and budget objectives were met," said Terry C. Peterson, vice president of sales at Novum.

In achieving these objectives, Novum selected its elegant, Point Supported Glass (PSG-System) for glazing and Kugel Knoten (KK-System) system as the support structure.

Novum's PSG-System glazing provides a mullion-less design that minimizes the number of glass-support points, while maximizing the frame's transparency. The company's KK-System is a classic three-dimensional space frame design that provides a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio.

The building team is rounded out by general contractor New Atlantic Contracting, Durham, N.C.

The project broke ground on July 17 and with completion expected in March 2007. The eight-month timeline is about 30 percent faster than the time normally allotted for similar projects.

"Not too long ago, we designed and built a 15,000 square foot glazed structure for the Olympics in seven weeks so we were very confident we could accomplish this timeline," said Scott Knoblock, project engineer for Novum.

Phase One is on track to be completed on September 30. Phase Two construction will then begin December 1 with completion scheduled three months later.

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