Project Profile: Campbell Employee Center



Firm name: KlingStubbins

Project building name and location: Campbell Employee Center, Camden, N.J.

Type of building and type of project: Employee Center, New Construction

Project completion date and project duration: February 2010 

 

Engineering challenges and solutions:

 

KlingStubbins recently completed the Campbell Employee Center, the main entry building and a LEED Silver Certified project, at Campbell Soup Company’s headquarters campus in Camden, New Jersey. A feature element of the design was a highly transparent glass wall forming the long linear atrium. Through this glass wall, Campbell’s iconographic logo is immediately visible to anyone entering the campus.


Solutions to Challenges:

The success of this design feature was dependent upon both its transparency and the ability of the glass enclosure to maintain a conditioned-environment. Our solution was to glaze the wall with monolithic “low-iron” glass, in horizontal framing system. This type of glazing provides the highest transparency possible, and the horizontal steel framing system allows for the vertical joints to be butt glazed with a clear silicone joint. The solution combined the cost effectiveness of a more traditional framing system while the achieving degree of transparency necessary for visibility of the logo.


However, the drawback of single glazing is that the thermal conductivity is extremely poor. Adding to this challenge was the need to prevent the formation of condensation while maintaining the humidity levels that Campbell Soup wished for occupant comfort during the winter months. To meet these challenging requirements a unique solution was called for that provided the resistance to the formation of condensation on the glass and frame as well as providing an energy efficient solution to addressing the excessive heat loss through the glass. In the initial stages of design, our explorations considered convective radiation, integrally heated glass panels and washing the wall with a continuous curtain of warm air. CFD modeling of the thermal characteristics of the wall indicated that the most effective solution was to wash the wall with a warm air curtain, but how to accomplish this with a 24-foot high wall of glass interrupted with horizontal mullions at eight-foot centers presented a daunting obstacle. Our inspired engineering solution was to deliver that curtain of air using the steel tube curtainwall framing as the supply duct work and supply air grills.


Warm, dry air is delivered to the hollow circular steel tube columns in the ceiling above the atrium in conventional ductwork. The air is forced down through the columns and is fed into the rectangular horizontal steel tubes that support the glazing channel. To uniformly wash the glass, the air is released at a high velocity out of ¾ inch diameter ports at six inch centers, which were punched into the tube during fabrication. Finally, to mitigate any possible harmonic effects that these ports might generate, a plastic escutcheon with a serrated edge was inserted to disrupt the resonant air flow patterns at the openings.


Our solution was derived by using a virtual model, sophisticated analytical software, and a scaled physical mock-up to evaluate the performance characteristics. These tools proved invaluable in the development of the wall and the demonstrating the efficacy of the solution. Our management delivered a successful project by the way in which we incorporated the client into the mock-up process to resolve our design dilemma. Our management team structured multiple reviews of the available design solutions to assist our client in determining which solution met their goals and offered a means to overcome any hurdles along the way.


The management team was quick to respond to any concerns and kept our engineering team at the ready during commissioning of the air system. These factors ultimately contributed to the success of the project.

 

 

 


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