Wausau Engineers Blast-Resistant Window Wall System for Zorinsky Federal Building

Wausau Window and Wall Systems has engineered a high-performance, blast-resistant curtainwall system for the $50-million renovation to the Zorinsky Federal Building in Omaha.

The 415,000-square-foot interior and exterior renovation was overseen by the General Services Administration (GSA) Public Buildings Services Heartland Region with a specially formed team of experts including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Leo A. Daly's architectural office in Omaha, general contractor Caddell Construction of Birmingham, Ala., and glazing contractor Aluminum Wall Systems Inc. of Kent, Wash., along with Terracon Consulting Engineers.

Renovation of the existing 12-story building, built in the 1960s, began in 2003. Wausau says it worked with the GSA and Aluminum Wall Systems early in the design process to meet the building's requirements for structural safety and energy-efficiency. The company engineered and fabricated 49,305-square-feet of blast-mitigating curtainwall plus an additional 18,970-square-feet of interior curtainwall.

The courthouse's glass exterior features Wausau's four-sided factory-glazed, unitized system and its SuperWall system, which was field-glazed by Aluminum Wall Systems. Both systems incorporate 1.25-inch protective glass. For the building's interior curtainwall, Wausau supplied its SuperWall system with quarter-inch glass. All of the systems' aluminum framing and exterior sunshades were finished by Linetec in a clear anodize.

Total completion of the project is expected this fall. Five years prior, the multi-phased project was initiated with a "green" demolition consisting of site preparation, asbestos abatement, materials recycling and reuse, site restoration and monitoring of other environmental factors. During the process, 23.75 tons of salvageable materials, including solid oak benches, were saved for reuse in the local community 95 percent of the doors, and 100 percent of the carpet squares, plumbing fixtures and wood and metal cabinetry were reused in local schools. In all, 37,500 tons, (80 percent) of concrete and other materials were diverted from landfills, representing an $8 million savings to the taxpayers.


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