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  Arch's Custom Glazing Provides New Life For Historic Key West Cigar Factory

Curious residents of Key West have peered for decades into the nearly 8,000 sq. ft. of windows on the old Gato Cigar Factory Office Complex along Simonton Avenue. 

As the building's name suggests, this historic structure contained a cigar factory during the 1800s where locals hand rolled the tobacco products. The building now contains the Monroe County Government offices following a renovation, including replacement of the century old windows with an Arch Aluminum and Glass Resistor Impact Series framing and glazing system. 

The renovation to the Gato Complex had to be able to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, Energy-efficient glass was specified that meets the standards in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System™ and the history throughout the structure was preserved. 

"This project required strict adherence to local historic building codes," explained Jeff Ziesche, director of Aluminum Operations for Arch. "Our products and service were a good fit because Arch can fabricate an energy efficient window with hurricane resistant features to a custom size designed over 100 years ago." 

The glazing contractor for the Gato Complex was Wind-Tech Products, Inc. of Braselton, Georgia. "Wind-Tech had to make sure the project was completed to specific standards," according to Ken Campbell of Wind-Tech. 

"With Arch as the aluminum extruder on this project, we gained control of the look we wanted for this historic building," Campbell explained. "We built a wooden mockup of the window and Arch was able to match the specifications exactly." 

Campbell also needed reassurance that Arch could produce a high performance product for hurricane strength wind conditions. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the manufacturer was among the first producer of glazing products to gain Miami-Dade County approval for its window assemblies. 

Arch's 3000 Impact Series Framing was selected for the windows and entrances for the renovation of the Gato Complex in Key West, Florida. Arch's 3000 Impact Series complies with the requirements of High-Velocity Hurricane Zone of the Florida Building Code Standards for Large Missile and Small Missile Impact.Arch's 3000 Impact Series Framing was selected for the windows and entrances because it is designed to comply with the requirements of High-Velocity Hurricane Zone of the Florida Building Code (FBC) standards for Large Missile and Small Missile Impact. 

The windows had custom interior and exterior extruded muntins to duplicate the original casement type sash and to meet the historical codes. The Arch 3000 Impact Series Framing was specified with the 1¼- x 4½-foot mullion and a ¾-inch fin for center glazing with removable stops. 

"When the project has historic significance, the design of the window is just as important as the protection it offers," explained Campbell with confidence in the Arch system. 

The majority of the 200 laminated windows on the Gato Complex were 48-inches wide by 108-inches long by 9/16-inch thick. The Caribia spectrally selective glass product from PPG was specified for the Arch glazing system. As the exterior lite, the ¼-inch Caribia heat strengthened glass provided exceptional visible light transmittance (VLT) at 68%, a good solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.52, and excellent light to solar gain (LSG) ratio of 1.32. 

The Arch 3000 Impact Series Framing was selected for the Gato Cigar Factory office renovation that included 200 laminated windows with custom interior and exterior extruded muntins to duplicate the original casement type sash and also meet historical codes.The high visible light transmittance provides building owners the potential for reducing the number of ambient lighting fixtures needed on the interior and their use during daylight hours, resulting in significant initial lighting fixture cost reductions and ongoing energy cost savings. The low solar heat gain means HVAC units can be reduced, run less frequently and require less scheduled maintenance. 

The SentryGlas®Plus Interlay from DuPont will improve the windows' impact performance. A clear ¼-inch heat strengthened glass pane finished the laminated glazing product fabricated by Arch. The sealant used was Dow-Coring® 995 Structural Silicone. 

The strict historic building guidelines Monroe County wanted for its office complex included the color scheme so Arch provided its Archkote 1000 6049 Hartford Green Powder Coat Finish to match the color scheme. The powder coating was one of many ways the exterior enclosure of the structure provided sustainability to the structure. Powder coating is a very environmentally friendly finish, containing no solvents and it releases trace amounts, if any, of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the atmosphere. 

The manufacturing of powder coatings is also a "green" process. Since there is no drying or flash-off time required, a powder coating production line will move more efficiently than a standard paint line. More parts are able to be coated automatically, with significantly less reject rates. And, with the use of appropriate application equipment, materials, and recovery methods, a 95 percent to 98 percent powder utilization efficiency rate is readily available. 

The powder coating on its 3000 Impact Series window system can potentially contribute points within the Materials & Resources LEED Credit Category. The laminated glass assembly on the Gato Complex can also potentially provide points toward the Environmental Indoor Quality and the Energy & Atmosphere LEED categories. 

The overall energy efficiency of a building with Arch laminated windows can assist project teams in meeting or exceeding the ASHRAE 90.1 energy-efficiency performance benchmark in LEED. Arch laminated products can be reused, contain recycled materials, are available from regional sites, and some contain certified wood, a rapid renewable material in LEED.

Arch's role in the historic renovations to the Gato Complex were instrumental in the overall effort to preserve this building's original architecture and its works of fine art while creating a safe and more environmentally friendly place in which to experience the charm and history of the community. 

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