To enable Gensler’s sweeping 360-degree curtainwall design for the University of Texas at Austin’s 15,000+ seat Moody Center arena, the architects selected Solarban® 70 clear glass with smaller portions of Solarban® 70 Solargray® glass from Vitro Architectural Glass.

Delivering solar control, a color-neutral aesthetic and views into and out of the arena, the glass helped contribute to the Center’s LEED® Gold certification and close to 14% energy savings, as compared to similar buildings.

Hosting concerts and the University’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, the design also features a 70,000 square foot wood canopy that cantilevers over the entrance and serves as a shading element and stand-out aesthetic.

The glass modules are tall and thin, ranging between 40 to 50 feet by 105 to 123 feet. The Solarban® 70 clear glass delivers visible light transmittance (VLT) of 64% and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.27, and the varying glass sizes accommodate the unique shape of the three different aluminum-framed captured and structural silicone glazed curtainwall systems that encircle the facility.

“The geometry of the oval façade required precise fabrication and tagging of aluminum frame parts and the glass panels,” Dean VanLith, vice president of the Buda, Texas-based Dynamic Glass, told Vitro. “Fortunately, we had a very detail oriented and thorough project manager, Tristar Glass fabrication manager and superintendent, as well as top notch glaziers.”

To coordinate all these façade elements, the design team created a large visual mock-up that included the wood soffit, curtainwall and light troughs.

Unique aspects of the design include its distinction as the second arena in the country to use under bowl ventilation, and its customized fabric-wrapped aluminum frames that fold into the ceilings and can be brought down to close off the arena’s 5,000-seat upper bowl to help reduce HVAC costs and create a more intimate setting for smaller events.

To learn more about products from Vitro Architectural Glass, visit or call 1-855-VTRO-GLS (887-6457).

The Moody Center boasts a sweeping 360-degree curtainwall design. (Photograph by Tom Kessler)