Hail Damage of Airport’s Vintage Polycarbonate Panels Forces a Re-skin Solution.
Colorado Springs (COS) Airport is a city-owned public civil-military airport 6 miles southeast of downtown Colorado Springs, CO. It is the second busiest airport in the state. The airport is co-located with Peterson Air Force Base.
The three-level, 275,000 square-foot, 12 gate terminal facility opened in 1994. Numerous skylights and large windows provide panoramic views of Pikes Peak and Colorado’s Front Range.
The July 28, 2016 hailstorm that smashed Colorado Springs was the sixth-most damaging event in Colorado history, triggering $352.8 million in claims for damage to homes and vehicles and damaging the old wide-cell polycarbonate and fiberglass skylights at the airport.
Older Polycarbonate panels with hail damage
Yellowed and hail damaged skylights.
Some of the hail was still present the day after the storm.
The wide cell polycarbonate was punished!
What We Are Doing at the Airport:
The first phase is to replace the old wide-cell polycarbonate product with new Nano-Cell® technology and finally, the second phase is replacing the fiber glass skylights. In both cases we do not need to replace the aluminum framing, just switch out the glazing.
Security Comes First.
This is a very strictly controlled site. To begin with, the staging area we created is surrounded by chain link fencing. A container for materials and one for our tools, a job trailer and our forklift are kept in this area. All debris and trash has to be contained 100% of the time. It cannot escape onto the tarmac where the airplanes are located, for obvious reasons.
All personnel have to be fingerprinted and screened and attend classes about the rules and regulations of operating in a secured environment. They are informed that their actions could cost lives if they do not do their job properly. Additionally, they are taught about security and how to move through the airport properly, without setting off alarms and having security personnel confront them. No one can work on the site without going through these steps.
Safety Is Equally Important.
All debris has to be accounted for and none can leave the rooftop. Down below the skylights, inside the building, each section of skylights that we replace must be separated from the public with orange fencing, cones and signs. Our own people are stationed inside this area 100% of the time to ensure security for the public.
Many work areas are over escalators or main entrances that cannot be shut down, therefore the work is performed at night in these areas to reduce the number of people that are inconvenienced by the closures.
Additionally, many areas have artwork hanging below the skylights which cannot be removed or protected. Extreme care will be required to avoid damaging these unique pieces of art.
Detailed Planning Is a Necessity.
Needless to say, all of these details requires detailed planning and coordination with the airport personnel. Including TSA personnel, who take their job very seriously.
And, the job has to stay on schedule. We have 75 days to secure the materials and to perform the first phase of the work. This includes dealing with afternoon thunderstorms which seem to come at the beginning of every day of scheduled nighttime work! But, that is our job and we do it well. The job is on schedule, and is, in fact, a little ahead of schedule.
Hail Damaged — New Replacements.
- CPI Daylighting translucent, polycarbonate, Pentaglas panels.
THE PENTAGLAS SYSTEM
Pentaglas® panels are specially formulated to suit the demanding performance requirements of the North American architectural market for panel thicknesses, fire performance and co-extruded UV protection.
- Main polycarbonate panels 2’ nominal widths, extruded with Nano-Cell® technology and with standing seam, 5/8” (115mm) upstands protruding 90° to the panel face.
- Grip-lock double tooth design of snap-on and interlocking dryglazed profiles.
- Concealed patented HD stainless steel and aluminum retention clips utilizing continuous top flanges.
- Structural supporting systems.
- Variety of perimeter aluminum engagement profiles