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Willis Tower

Commercial Window Shield wraps job at tallest building in U.S.

NATURE OF PROJECT
Blast mitigation and solar protection
Window sealing

SCOPE OF PROJECT:
Square feet of glass protected – 38,643
Number of windows protected - more than 1,020 panes
SilPruf silicone attachment system – 25,850 lineal feet

TYPE OF FILM INSTALLED:
4-mil solar/security film

PROJECT CHALLENGES
Installing window film in the country’s tallest building - a national landmark - called for precise planning and precision work.  Before the new film could be installed, old film had to be removed from the windows. It was an arduous process made easier by the expertise of the Commercial Window Shield installation team.

Initially, the building’s managers wanted to use a basic, 4-sided mechanical system that was unsightly and hard to work with. The plan was for Commercial Window Shield to remove the old film and prep the window installation with building management’s carpenters handling the final installation process.  However, once on-site, the Commercial Window Shield team demonstrated how its method of using silicone as an attachment system was a superior idea, which the building’s management ended up endorsing.  

Since the tower’s offices were occupied during the day, installers worked after hours and through the night to complete the project on time.

PROJECT DETAILS:
In June, 2010, two windows were blown out and two others cracked when winds reaching nearly 80 mph struck the 108-story building, formerly known as the Sears Tower.  To protect against high winds, the building’s owners, U.S. Equities Asset Management, realized that some of the building’s windows needed to be secured and protected. Additionally, there was an issue with cracked window seals, causing a number of the windows to leak. At the same time, the owners recognized they could benefit from the energy savings provided by a window film that contained both solar protection and security properties.

Competing companies offered various solutions to the unique problem at the Willis Tower. But, in the end, the building owner’s engineers, who examined all the proposals, felt Commercial Window Shield’s specifications and project plan were right for the job.

The project, which began in late February, 2011, involved floors 4-27.  Installers first removed old film from the 1,020 window panes, a difficult, time-consuming process. Utilizing a SilPruf silicone attachment system, they then installed 4-mil solar/security film, which protected the windows and, with the film’s solar component, created energy savings for the building.  The silicone also made for a more attractive installation, and since it was applied as a liquid, it filled voids for added benefits of sealing of air infiltration and stopping water leaks.