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Kalwall® in Metea Valley High School | Kalwall®
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Kalwall® in Metea Valley High School | Kalwall®

  • Use

    Translucent structural sandwich panel
  • Applications

  • Characteristics

    Glare-free, thermal performance, energy-efficient, low maintenance, visual privacy, durable, graffiti and vandal resistant, hurricane, explosion venting and blast rated options
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Metea Valley High School, in Aurora, Illinois has a massive, 464,000 ft2, 3,000-student campus that is broken down into smaller teaching spaces and daylit throughout with Kalwall®: classrooms, common areas, the media center, the gymnasium, even stairwells. Some areas use the standard Kalwall® shoji configuration panels whereas, the more dramatic, vertical grid panels (Verti-KalTM) appear in others a third option was even created by Kalwall® for the striking natatorium, made of a combination of several products to create a never-done-before approach to the special requirements of an indoor pool environment.

The impressive facility houses two pools, a diving area, spectator seating, and a wide swath of Kalwall® Translucent Wall on one side, slanting outward in a futuristic departure from more typical, box-shaped school buildings. DLR Group specified Kalwall® 100TM – a 4” thick, thermally broken version of the translucent sandwich panel that gave greater structural strength and superior energy performance.

Traditional natatoriums with glass windows have humid interiors with condensation buildup and issues with mold and mildew and corrosion from the chlorine and chemical-laden air. Glare from the glass can cause distractions as it glances off the water surface. In contrast, for Metea Valley High School, architects DLR Group designed a natatorium that was very different in a number of ways.

Kalwall®’s non-conductive, structural thermal break composite sandwich panel system eliminates condensation (thereby inhibiting mold and mildew) and corrosion. The systems are shatterproof and offer a long life cycle as well as proven performance in every climate. The translucent yet highly insulating panels let light in while significantly reducing HVAC operating expenses.

The Verti-Kal design variation set on standard shoji or rectangular grid configuration of Kalwall® Translucent Systems created visual interest. Internal, continuous supports incorporated into the panels give a vertical emphasis and are available up to 5 ft. wide and 12 ft. high, minimizing the number of joints. Even on cloudy days, Kalwall® systems distribute diffused daylight throughout the natatorium, drastically reducing requirements for artificial lighting, and eliminating shadows and glare as well as stark contrasts of light and shade. The east-facing wall makes the most of available morning light.

Kalwall® Specification

Panel 4" | 100 mm
Grid core Verti-KalTM, shoji
Exterior FRP white
Interior FRP white
System finish bone white #21b
U-Value .08 | 0.45 Wm2K
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient 0.04
Visible Light Transmission 5%

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