Flying light

Kalwall® translucent cladding has transformed the newly completed 4,200 square metre extension at Indiana’s South Bend Regional Airport.

Designed by architects Ken Herceg and Associates, the new terminal comprises five gates, restaurants, gift shops and break-out areas all housed under an architecturally exposed, steel-framed barrel vault structure that simulates the structure of an aircraft wing. This is covered with a curved Kalwall Skyroof® 10 metres wide and 180 metres long.

As passengers exit the dark and windowless TSA screening area, they are bathed in welcoming and natural daylight with unimpeded views across the runways. Kalwall eliminates shadows and glare and the stark contrasts of light and shade. The system also enhances simplicity by doing away with the need for blinds, curtains or solar control. Even on cloudy days, the interior is flooded with natural daylight, which means less artificial lighting and, because Kalwall is highly insulating, energy costs are reduced. The standard Kalwall 70mm thick panel offers insulation up to 0.28W/m2K – equivalent to a cavity filled brick wall, whilst still allowing for up to 15% visible light transmittance.

The architects made good use of Kalwall’s free daylight modelling service on this project. Daylight Modelling is the way to calculate the most effective daylighting for any type of building. It is calculated using five years’ worth of real world weather files at the exact location of the building together with information on day, time, position and weather patterns. This generates an in-depth report on interior lux levels, a glare pattern analysis and radiance Illuminance – a snapshot of the ambient lux level (light) at any given time on daylight penetration at any time of the day or on any day in the year.

Kalwall is frequently specified for this type of prestige project where high-end performance and quality need to be coupled with aesthetics, practicality and a long life cycle. Not only does Kalwall provide a neat and cost-effective solution but it also offers complete line-of-sight protection and is highly vandal and impact resistant. It is also ideal for areas considered as a high value target not only because is it FM (Factory Mutual) approved but also because its unique fabrication means that any blast is mitigated. Unlike glass, splintering and serious injury are greatly reduced in the event of an explosion as Kalwall is shatterproof.

Case studies and technical information are available from Structura UK Ltd on tel: 01233 501 504 or by visiting

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