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  Translucent System Adds Architectural Accent to Resort Renovation

New owners wanted a new look inside and out for the Coral Beach Resort. After 20 years, the 600-room hotel and conference center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, needed major renovations to update the appearance of a boxy, L-shaped building devoid of architectural interest. 

The entrance demanded special attention from Mozingo & Wallace Architects. “We wanted a visually exciting welcome that would enhance the resort atmosphere and create a ‘sense of arrival’ for guests,” says project architect S. Derrick Mozingo Jr., AIA. 

Duo-Gard Series 3000 Window Wall was chosen for the high-profile resort entrance.Today, guests are greeted with fresh, vibrant colors of lime yellow, green and white, accented by a three-story wall of free-floating translucent panels in brilliant blue. Sloped above the main entrance, the 40-ft. high wall of panels provides an architectural aesthetic that complements a row of five flags. During the day, sunlight illuminates the translucent panel wall; at night, backlighting adds a dramatic effect. 

“The owners are very pleased with the way the project turned out,” says Mozingo. 

In creating the accent wall, the architect and his general contractor, Chancel Construction Group, collaborated with Duo-Gard Industries Inc. in Canton, Michigan, a national design/build maker of translucent daylighting systems. 

For the resort’s high-profile entrance, Mozingo chose Duo-Gard’s Series 3000 Window Wall, a highly aesthetic system that integrates 16mm triplewall polycarbonate framed in 6063-T5 aluminum. The system is engineered with a base plate, pressure plate and cap that provides a smooth flowing face with concealed fasteners. It is designed for high structural integrity with light weight for large glazing areas.

Aesthetics and performance were both critical factors. The architect demanded durability along with the ability to withstand high winds and moisture. The bright blue polycarbonate framed in white aluminum, then set into a white steel grid, provides visual appeal. Its performance points to today’s advanced technology in translucent polycarbonates. UV protection is co-extruded into the shatterproof sheet’s surface to prevent discoloration and damage.

The Duo-Gard Series 3000 Window Wall offered flexibility with an economic advantage.A special benefit of this polycarbonate is the energy-efficient prismatic design that reflects the sun’s rays in summer, while allowing penetration in winter. Visible light transmission is 32%. Duo-Gard engineered the system to the architect’s requirement for wind loads up to 125 mph. The vertical base plates run top to bottom, specifically designed to channel condensation and moisture. 

“This system offered us the flexibility for design creativity with an economic advantage,” says Mozingo. “Compared to fiberglass or glass, the Duo-Gard system was much less expensive and much lighter to work with.” 

The architect says he’s “a big fan of today’s polycarbonates” because they offer a whole new range of opportunities for exterior and interior glazing.

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