In the Spotlight
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine,
School of Dental Medicine

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 
School of Dental Medicine
Lakewood Ranch, Florida, USA

Fawley Bryant
Bradenton, Florida, USA

Glazing Contractor 
and Installer
Key Glass, LLC
Bradenton, Florida, USA

Kawneer Products
1600 Wall System™1 (IR) Curtain Wall
350 IR Entrances

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Erie, Pennsylvania was chartered in 1992 based on a need to provide services to medically underserved areas in northwestern Pennsylvania. Recognizing similar needs in Florida, the school expanded to the Gulf Coast in 2004, establishing a branch in Bradenton’s Lakewood Ranch community. In 2010, after determining the shortage of dentists had started to undermine oral health, LECOM announced plans to open the School of Dental Medicine at the Florida campus.

Architectural firm Fawley Bryant, who previously designed the building for the College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Pharmacy, began designs for the 100,000-square-foot, $52 million facility. Kawneer customer Key Glass, LLC, part of the development of the original LECOM campus in Florida, joined as an early member of the new project team. They broke ground on the project in June 2010, with the ambitious goal of being student-ready for the next year’s mid-July session.

One challenge for the highly experienced team was to ensure that performance of the exterior specifications, which included large expanses of glass, met strict local building codes for the intense weather conditions and high winds associated with the tropical conditions of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

A part of the project from the early stages, Kawneer worked with Key Glass to meet the stringent timeline and unique engineering requirements for the job. “The project was fast-tracked as the school wanted it in place before the students began their session,” said Key Glass vice president and project manager Justin Burkhart. “We knew the Kawneer 1600 Wall System™1 curtain wall could meet the design, pressure, wind load and span requirements of the project, and the 350 IR Entrances had the impact resistance needed for a project in Florida.”

Precise engineering and high-performance features of the 1600 Wall System™1 curtain wall, including a hurricane impact resistant option of the stick-fabricated, pressure-glazed curtain wall, made it an ideal choice for the mid-rise application. Designed to optimize both aesthetics and performance, 350 IR Entrances are fully tested for large-missile impact resistance and meet the High-Velocity Hurricane Zone requirements of the International Building Code and Florida Building Code. They also meet ASTM E 1886, TAS 201 and TAS 203 for impact and cycle pressure differentials.




To take advantage of the abundant sunshine and year-round summertime atmosphere of the site, the designs included a predominantly glass exterior with tall spans and wide lites of glass. Key Glass implemented solutions to these design challenges with assistance from Kawneer. Key Glass configured a 2" x 4.5" flat bar in the mullions, and with each mullion weighing in at 300 pounds, the job required more than a ton of steel. To manage the added weight and facilitate the expedited construction schedule, frames were preassembled in the shop and then transported to the site. Crane installation was required to facilitate the weight of the reinforced assembly.

“The owners had strict requirements for energy and structural performance of the envelope,” added Jeff Rigot with Viracon® Architectural Glass. Kawneer’s 1600 Wall System™1 curtain wall not only provides resistance to extreme weather conditions, but also maximizes energy performance. The 1600 wall system and 350 IR Entrances were configured with insulating glass and a Viracon film. “This configuration is designed to reflect 75 percent of direct solar transmittance, with a heat-gain coefficient of .26,” Rigot noted.

To meet all the requirements specific to local building codes as well as the requirements of the owners, Kawneer agreed to provide an NFRC rating for the entire assembly.

“This was a team effort,” said Tom Parrish, then sales representative and current architectural services consultant for Kawneer. “The relationship between Fawley Bryant, Key Glass and Kawneer, and the connection between Kawneer and Viracon Architectural Glass, made it possible to address all the engineering needs and meet the compressed schedule.”

The LECOM School of Dental Medicine, one of only three dental schools in Florida, opened as planned and on schedule. “Even with the tight schedule, we were able to finish the project before the deadline,” said Burkhart. The first class of 100 dental students arrived in mid-July.

1600 Wall System™1 curtain wall is a trademark of Kawneer Company, Inc. and Alcoa Inc.