A custom-engineered channel glass system by Bendheim creates the parking façade of the high-profile Frost Tower in San Antonio, Texas, by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The system accommodates the substantial floor movement caused by the hourly changes to the loading of the decks, as vehicles enter and exit the 1,000-space parking structure.

The project includes approximately 28,000 square feet of Bendheim’s single-glazed Lamberts® channel glass, captured at the top and bottom in the company’s customized SF60S frame system. It also includes a special faux frame for the large non-glazed openings, creating a visual continuation to the channel glass frame.

The translucent glass channels admit over 70 percent of daylight into the parking structure, while their privacy-friendly texture obscures outside-in views of the parked cars. The pattern of alternating glazed and open sections becomes a design element on the façade and provides natural ventilation.

Channel glass is ideal for parking facilities because of its versatility. It can be manufactured in lengths up to 23 feet, and – at just ¼” thick – is a remarkably strong yet lightweight solution. The U-shaped channels can be oriented vertically or horizontally, and their flanges can face inward or outward to create different aesthetics. Glass coatings can be applied for aesthetic purposes, while also improving the solar shading performance of the facade. Hundreds of translucent or opaque channel glass colors are also available to add a level of privacy and shading or brand the parking structure. The joints between the glass channels can be sealed with silicone or left open for added natural ventilation.

Haley-Greer, Inc., installed the channel glass for the project, while Clark Construction Group LLC served as the general contractor. Kendall/Heaton Associates was the architect of record. Bendheim closely coordinated on-site logistics and staging with Haley-Greer, tackling the challenge of installing a large quantity of glass on a very large structure. It ensured the material arrived as it was needed for each construction stage, meticulously packing the glass channels in the proper order to expedite installation.

Frost Tower is the first tower in San Antonio in nearly 30 years. It includes 450,000 square feet of Class A office space and 10,000 square feet of retail and dining. The 23-story octagonal form utilizes shimmering glass facets to reduce the bulk of massing, while implying a helical upward movement.

Bendheim’s channel glass is installed in parking structures worldwide, including projects in Spain and Germany, as well as the United States. Channel glass made its debut in the United States in 2001, and is getting specified more frequently for parking projects due to its striking aesthetics, ability to deliver daylight and natural ventilation, as well as its ease of installation.

Bendheim offers a variety of fully customizable, engineered glass solutions for parking projects. For more information, please visit https://bendheim.com/campaign/jewel-glass-parking-facade.