Northwestern University Library

on August 7, 2019
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When it came time to replace the windows in the 60-year-old Northwestern University Library, Northwestern contracted with the Auburn Corporation for solutions to many issues they were having with the building.

The Criteria for replacing the windows included ultraviolet screening protection for the many pieces of artwork and rare books that are housed in the library, increased thermal improvement for interior environment, acoustical enhancement of the offices and study spaces and maintaining sitelines of the original windows.  In the end, it was decided that existing custom wood windows designed by internationally recognized architect Walter Netsch would remain and be renovated and re-glazed with state of the art components.

The existing windows were clad on the exterior with new custom painted, extruded, and bent metal shapes, all by Wausau Window and Wall Systems.  The glass was a critical component in achieving many of the goals set forth by Northwestern University & Wiss, Janney, Elstner Architects Inc. Over 28,000 square feet of glass in a custom insulated unit of laminated gray tint/argon/high performance low-emissivity coating was installed.  Manufactured by PPG, Solarban 70XL was selected as the glass coating because of its industry leading performance and energy efficiency. The laminated glass provided the ultraviolet filter that was critical to the University for keeping sunlight fading the sensitive books and artwork inside the building.  The laminated glass also provided a degree of security to occupants inside the library, and a high level of sound deadening OTIC/STC ratings.

In the end the building was updated, not only giving it a new appearance but also making it one of the most energy efficient buildings on campus.  The replaced glass from the windows was recycled throughout the project. David Grosskopf, the project manager with Northwestern facilities management, was recognized by the University for the success and sustainability of renovation.


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