Linetec’s painted finish and thermal improvement services boost energy-

efficiency of University of Pennsylvania’s New College House


The University of Pennsylvania’s $127 million New College House opened for the 2016-17 academic year as the first new student residence on campus since 1972. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) in collaboration with the University, the first purpose-built College House brings together undergraduates, faculty, staff and graduate students in a shared suite-style community. The 198,000-square-foot, 350-bed building promotes sustainable, 21st century living and learning, and is pursuing LEED® Silver certification.

Supporting the project’s energy-efficiency goals, Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ curtainwall, windows and sun shades were installed with painted finishes and thermal improvement systems by Linetec, a long-standing leader in environmentally conscious practices, paint finishing and thermal improvement services. These services were key contributors to the window systems’ energy-efficiency, visual appeal and durability

Natural Light and Transparency

The window systems were created to balance natural light and comfortable interiors, while matching the appearance of existing student residences on campus. BCJ ’s SamMcNutt says, “Penn is a well-established campus with many older buildings. New College House is its newest residential hall that represents a step in a new direction, while honoring the fabric of campus. Taking cues from its surroundings, such as Hill House’s brick and the law school’s limestone, it’s heavy on the masonry.”
University of Pennsylvania

McNutt continues, “Unlike many of the older buildings, New College House also incorporates much more glass bringing in natural light and transparency. Used mainly in the common and circulation areas, the glass helps break up the masonry portions and provides connections between the student community within the building and out to the campus and the public.”

Energy-Efficiency and Durability

The project team selected Wausau’s SuperWall™ system, 4250i-OS INvent™ Series fixed and projected windows, and ClearStory™ sun shades. National Glass & Metal installed more than 39,000 square feet of SuperWall in three frame depths – 4.75, 6.25 and 10.25 inches. More than 400 offset INvent windows are installed at angles to the red brick and limestone façade of New College House. These windows include a combination of operable and fixed units with matching sightlines. Adding visual interest, the glass plane is recessed 1.25 inches from its exterior face.


Enhancing the units’ performance, the 4.5-inch aluminum frame is fabricated with a polyamide thermal barrier provided by Linetec. Because aluminum is conducts heat at a high rate, including a thermal break system significantly improves thermal performance , while maintaining the structural durability of the window unit. Linetec’s insulating struts are the optimal choice for maximizing energy efficiency, structural performance and load transfer.

The SuperWall system incorporated Wausau’s 4250-Z zero sightline insert vents, which allow for natural ventilation, providing a seasonal opportunity for fresh air and reduced demand on air conditioning. The 3,950 lineal feet of custom-engineered ClearStory sun shades also optimize energy performance and thermal comfort by controlling solar heat gain, managing visible light transmittance and maximizing natural daylighting, all while preserving outside views.

Sustainability in Products and Processes

In addition to the thermal improvement services, Linetec also provided the painted finishes for Wausau’s systems. On the windows, a Dove Gray color was specified. On the curtainwall and sun shades, a custom Gettysburg Metallic color was used. All of these aluminum components were finished in a three-coat, 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) resin-based liquid paint.

Linetec utilizes a multi-step pretreatment, application and curing process, using advanced techniques and equipment to ensure quality and uniformity in all paint projects. As a recognized environmentally responsible finisher, Linetec captures the liquid paints’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content using a 100 percent air capture system and safely destroys the VOCs with a regenerative thermal oxidizer. Linetec then reuses its heat energy byproduct to improve process energy efficiency. This process of reuse is completed before the material exits the paint line.

Applied under Linetec’s stringent factory-controlled processes, these finishes meet the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) 2605 industry standard, as well as minimize buildings’ maintenance costs and maximize long lifecycles. Further contributing to the project’s sustainability goals, the aluminum used to produce Wausau’s curtainwall and window systems is a high recycled-content aluminum billet composition.


University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania A Student Center for the 21st Century

In addition to its high-performance curtainwall, sun shade and window systems, New College House’s other sustainable design features include its green roofs, low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency lighting fixtures and energy recovery units. Within its interior are comfortable single student rooms collected in three- to six-person suites, with access to study areas, a media center, open communal spaces, seminar rooms, a dining café and an enclosed courtyard.

New College House’s large, vertical transparent towers frame the views of Penn’s surrounding campus community and Center City Philadelphia. Bounded by Woodland Walk and 34th and Chestnut streets, the seven-story building with a publicly accessible, lifted lawn serves as a pedestrian gateway to campus.

“In this city of neighborhoods, we sought to embrace the many scales of community that define the collegiate experience unique to Penn,” says Frank Grauman, design principal from BCJ. “The New College House is, therefore, both inviting and secure, open and private, embodying the comfort of home, and the power to form a campus gateway worthy of this place.”

“The private courtyard in the middle of the building is an important feature. The courtyard is private to residents yet surrounded by glass on all four sides, offering visual connections to the activity in the exterior and interior spaces, including the dining hall. Here, the students come together as a group to eat and share their experiences,” describes BCJ’s McNutt.

University of Pennsylvania “Student life and community connection is represented throughout New College House’s design: on the exterior, the scale of the building is balanced with the surrounding structures, while anchored as an inviting campus gateway. On the interior, common areas offer spaces for large group events while smaller, more intimates spaces allow for private study.”

“The building delights on so many levels,” describes David Hollenberg, University Architect. “Its marvelous integration of public and private open space, its sophisticated approach to fostering communities at multiple levels, its integration with the urban fabric, its deft use of materials, its craftsmanship, and, in particular, its assured manipulation of scale, which breaks down what is actually an enormous building into multiple integrated parts at human scale.”


University of Pennsylvania, New College House, 3335 Woodland Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104; https://new.house.upenn.edu/front


• Owner: University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia; http://www.upenn.edu
• Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Philadelphia; http://bcj.com/projects/nw-college-house
• Construction manager: INTECH Construction; Philadelphia; http://www.intechconstruction.com/projects.php?cat=30§ion=college&id=230&sec=30
• Glazing contractor: National Glass & Metal Co.; Horsham, Pennsylvania; http://www.ngmco.com
• Glazing systems - manufacturer: Wausau Window and Wall Systems; Wausau, Wisconsin; http://www.wausauwindow.com
• Glazing systems - glass fabricator: PPG Solarban® 70XL; http://www.ppgideascapes.com
• Glazing systems - finisher: Linetec, Wausau, Wisconsin; http://www.linetec.com
• Photos provided by: University of Pennsylvania

Learn more about Linetec’s painted finishing and thermal improvement services by clicking here . For personalized assistance in choosing an the right finish for your aluminum building products, please contact Linetec’s regional sales managers , email sales@linetec.com or call 888-717-1472.