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  • The University of Utah

    College of Architecture + Planning

    375 S. 1530 E., Rm. 332 Arch

    SLC, UT 84112

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    Wind and Windows

    Among many delays and roadblocks during this project one that has been interesting to overcome was the windows. Our original plan was to have one serving window, one floor to ceiling window in the middle of the rammed earth, and clearstory windows surrounding the whole of the kitchen.




    From the first weeks of design development the trying to find cost effective ways to attain insulated glass units and fabricate window frames in order to avoid the price tag of custom windows. We tossed around hypothetical details and tried browsing lumber yards in hopes we would find extra windows or glass that would fit our concept. We came to realize that detailing without an actual window to work with became difficult.


    Once we arrived in bluff we happened upon a large sliding window in the DBB material yard that could be used to serve food out of, but we had still yet to find any glass for our other windows. With other financial difficulties happening in other areas of the project, our plans of a clearstory window were cut in order to alleviate the budget. With only one other window to build we purchased a glass unit and some steel for a frame, and with some extra tweaking of transportation plans got all that was needed on site just one month before the final completion date. All seemed to be looking up.


    After a few days of being on site, a wind storm rocked our window up and down and cracked one of the glass panes straight down the middle. It was back to square one for the rammed earth window.


    We still had the steel for a frame, and we still had 3 weeks to figure something out. We called various glass distributors, and lumber yards for quotes and hopes for another leftover piece of glass, but with little luck for getting the same specifications of glass with the time and budget constraints we were navigating.


    Our saving grace was Rick’s Glass in Moab. While browsing through their boneyard, we found a piece of glass slightly smaller than we had originally planned, but it ended up being the same height of the other serving window we had already installed.


    When we asked for the price, Cindy who so graciously had helped us find the window offered it to us for free!


    With that, we went quick to work to design the new opening and fabricate the frame. The new window will be installed on Monday.

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    We are grateful for these real-world hiccups that cause us to be more aware of time, budget, and fabrication that are necessary lessons we can take to the professional world. We are also so grateful for the altruism of businesses and people that help this program accomplish its goals.


    James & Josh