Alcoa Scores on Renovated University of Michigan Stadium

November 15, 2010

Alcoa Kawneer’s High-Performing Curtain Wall and Framing Systems, Entrances and Windows Help Enhance Game Experience for More Than 108,000 Fans at “The Big House”

NORCROSS, Ga.--Fans of the University of Michigan’s Wolverines were welcomed into the 2010 Football Season with a newly renovated stadium featuring several high-performance products from Kawneer Company, Inc., an Alcoa business and the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum building products and systems for commercial construction. The stadium, known as “The Big House,” seats more than 108,000 people and is currently the largest college-owned stadium in the United States.

The 400,000-square-foot project includes the addition of two 530-foot-long multi-story structures on both the east and west sides of the stadium. These additions include fan amenities, restrooms and concessions, guest suites, club seats and press facilities. To improve access and safety, one new concourse was added on both sides of the stadium. Other renovations included widening aisles and seats for comfort and safety, adding handrails and impaired mobility fan seating.

“As people approach the stadium from the exterior they will see that it has been transformed to what most would interpret as a coliseum feel. The placement of our 1600 Wall System®1 curtain wall units in the brick punched openings around the perimeter was key to the design strategy,” said Gerry Portelli, Kawneer territory sales manager. “On the field side, the segmented and inverted sloping 1600 Wall System®2 curtain wall helps to update the stadium with a fresh new look and modern appeal as it provides a clean glass façade for the owners’ added floor space.“

To enhance the expansive feeling of the stadium, Kawneer’s StadiaView single hung windows were placed in the suites, providing unobstructed views of the action on the field. For increased durability and to stand up to the wear and tear caused by the heavy traffic in the Big House, Kawneer’s 500 Tuffline® Entrances were installed. In addition, the stadium featured Kawneer’s Trifab® VG (Versa Glaze®) 451 framing on the interior as suite partitions, 260 Insulclad® Entrances and 2000T Terrace Doors. Kawneer’s visually frameless windows, GLASSvent® for curtain wall, were also utilized to increase airflow during warmer months. Several of the Kawneer products featured throughout the stadium were painted a custom blue to match the University’s colors and enhance team spirit.

Michigan-based glazing contractors, Curtis Glass Co. and Lansing Glass Co. were selected to glaze the project. “With such a large undertaking it was crucial for everyone on the team – from the architects and contractor to product representatives – to have good communication,” said Ron Van Horn, Vice President of Lansing Glass Co. of Lansing, Michigan. “Having worked with Kawneer before, we knew they would be helpful at the building site when we needed it most.”

For the team whose fans often break NCAA records for home game attendance, it was important not to interrupt the season with construction. The work was phased over two football seasons during times when traffic was minimal. The $226 million project was funded through private donations, athletic department resources and revenue generated by the new seat additions.

To learn more about Kawneer’s range of products and systems, visit

About Alcoa
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

About Kawneer
With more than 100 years of innovation and experience, Kawneer North America is headquartered in Norcross, GA, and is the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum products and systems for the commercial construction industry. Kawneer is part of Alcoa’s global Building and Construction Systems (BCS) business unit. Alcoa BCS manufactures and markets architectural systems and products in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Alcoa is the world’s leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. For more information on Kawneer or its products, please visit

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