As Exterior Glass Curtain Wall Goes Up, Project Continues to Bring Jobs, Economic Stimulus to Orange County

COSTA MESA, Calif., April 18, 2013 Hyundai Motor America approached another milestone today on its way to completing a new $200 million U.S. corporate headquarters, as final perimeter panels of exterior glass were undergoing installation on the project’s main office tower. Currently under construction in Fountain Valley, California, the new headquarters project represents the largest investment in an office building ever made in the U.S. by Hyundai Motor Company.

“This milestone brings us one step closer to realizing our vision for the future,” said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik. “Our new national headquarters will be an expressively visual representation of Hyundai’s innovation and creativity.”

Designed by global architectural firm Gensler, the building is sleek and modern, yet classic in its design, with translucent glass office floors floating over a precast concrete base. All exterior perimeter glass panels are now in place, except where temporary construction elevators are needed on the building’s west side. The general contractor for the project is Hyundai Amco America, Inc.

The high-performance exterior glass curtain wall system is comprised of 900 panels and challenges conventional wisdom. Rather than using ordinary reflective glass, Hyundai is using custom-designed large insulated glass (IGU) 5’ x 10’ panels that are specially glazed to provide optimal energy efficiency, as well as exceptional visual clarity from both inside and outside the building.

Each curtain wall glass panel is comprised of a series of glass layers, performance coatings and a ceramic composition “frit,” all of which have been calibrated to provide significant solar, light and acoustic benefits. White frit “speed lines” on the glass reduce heat by providing solar shading. Along with low-iron, clear glass substrates in the panels, this provides building occupants with a clear view and maximizes daylight penetration.

The glass curtain wall’s energy-efficient design is part Hyundai’s broader goal to achieve gold-level LEED-certification for its new headquarters. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification process assessing the sustainability of a building’s design, construction and operations.

The new building will be approximately 500,000 gross sq. ft., including a six-story tower connected to a one-story, technical services facility. A free-standing parking structure will also be part of the campus. In addition to the glass panel exterior, another key focal point of the building will be its impressive two-story high entrance, which leads to an open-to-the sky public courtyard in the building’s center. A two-story lobby will feature Hyundai vehicles and be visible from the 405 Freeway side of the new structure.

Construction of the new building is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. An initial study of the project by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation projected that demolition and construction involved with the new headquarters project would generate 1,530 direct and indirect jobs, and millions of dollars in related economic activity.