Quest Windows provides unique facade solutions for Toronto towers

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The past two decades have brought unprecedented growth to Toronto, with a robust economy and steadily growing population, resulting in a booming tower development boom across the city. Usually, when a significant amount of construction work takes place in a relatively short period of time, buildings mostly feature the material of choice of that era. In Toronto, the late 19th and early 20th centuries were defined by locally sourced red brick, while the post-war period was strongly defined by concrete. Fast forward to today, and there’s one material that has dominated the skyscraper industry and transformed the Toronto skyline in the 21st century: glass.

It’s hard to look anywhere in Toronto and not see a glass-covered tower rising above the horizon. With so many towers being built, there has inevitably been much progress in window wall and curtain wall technology, as the design of these towers becomes more adventurous and their construction more complex. More recently, however, factors such as inflation, supply chain disruption and increasingly arduous delays in the planning approval process have inflated construction budgets, putting more pressure on developers, architects and builders to deliver quality products.

View of Phases 1 and 2 of River City, image by Forum contributor globalexpress

Luckily, window vendors like Quest Windows are well suited to address these issues and are able to produce aesthetically pleasing solutions without breaking the bank. Quest is a Mississauga-based glass window and curtain wall manufacturer with over 20 years of experience in North America. They have worked on many large scale projects in Toronto and abroad and provide services from the beginning of the design process through to construction.

Quest is focused on finding custom solutions that are unique to each project and that maximize affordability, buildability and creativity. They often engage with designers early on in the project, providing design assistance services to identify potential issues in advance to avoid costly delays and changes that can occur during construction. They are well versed in sustainability requirements and work closely with customers to meet all desired performance criteria. Quest’s manufacturing capabilities extend to complete facade systems and include all components of a typical glass facade, such as metal or glass spandrel panels, doors, fins and louvers.

View of River City Phase 3, image by Forum contributor AlbertC

Quest has been involved in several notable Toronto projects where they have developed unique facade systems specific to each building. In the West Don Lands, Quest was engaged to design a custom curtain wall system for Phases 1-4 of River City, working closely with the client and design team to achieve the desired aesthetic while ensuring that the facade can be easily built and fit within the budget. There were several unique aspects to these curtain walls, including the adaptation of a pleat in the Phase 1 façade, as well as the integration of a custom ceramic frit gradient pattern into a unified system used throughout throughout phase 2 and beyond. Quest worked closely with the design team to integrate the HVAC components into the facade to minimize their appearance on the exterior and developed unique all-glass commercial doors on the ground floor. There are also parts of the curtain wall system that extend above the roof slabs to provide wind protection, and retractable roof structures consisting of custom designed window walls.

View of Harris Square, River City Phase 4, image by Forum contributor Rascacielo

Quest was also heavily involved in the design of the elegant glass facade of the Waterworks Building. Working closely with the architects, they developed meticulous detailing and installation methods that achieved the desired depth and shade of the windows, which were deeper than usual to create a more dramatic play. with light and shadow on the facade. The Waterworks Building courtyard also features the largest vertical fins Quest has developed to date, measuring 19 inches deep and designed specifically for this project. Additionally, the building incorporates a historic facade at its base and features custom ceramic frit glass on the YMCA portion.

View of the Waterworks building, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Another landmark Toronto project involving Quest is Eight Cumberland in Yorkville, which represents two notable customizations of Quest’s window wall system. First, a custom one-piece corner window was developed for the ground level podium, which has a silicone glazed corner to make it appear seamless. The corner window has been designed so that it can be easily hoisted into place in one piece by a crane.

Eight Cumberland also features Quest’s first-ever slab-mounted vertical fins. The structural design and anchoring of vertical fins to a window wall or curtain wall system is a hot topic in the engineering community, as they are typically subjected to incredibly high wind loads. In this case, Quest has developed a system specifically for Eight Cumberland that anchors the fins directly to the concrete floor slab, transferring these loads to the building’s concrete structure for the full 60-story height of the tower, and can even accommodate an extension of the fins. above the roof slab. Fins also wrap under the soffit at the tower overhang above the podium and are sleeved together at every joint to provide a smooth transition between floors. Additionally, the fin anchoring system is adaptable and can accept a wide variety of different shapes, allowing for future use on other buildings.

View of Eight Cumberland under construction in August 2022, image by Forum contributor Johnny Au

No matter what specific issues a project faces, Quest has the ability to navigate complex constraints to provide unique solutions that meet all requirements, whether related to design, constructability, performance, durability or affordability of facade components. They encourage clients to engage with them early in the process, as their expertise can provide invaluable insights that avoid schedule delays and cost overruns down the road. And their track record of completed projects speaks to their team’s creativity in finding unique solutions for each project. As the Toronto skyline reaches new heights, Quest provides the windows to make it happen.

Related companies:

architects—Alliance, Bluescape Construction Management, Cecconi Simone, Claude Cormier + Associés, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EQ Building Performance Inc., Great Gulf, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Janet Rosenberg & Studio, Keller Foundations Ltd., LA Inc., LiveRoof Ontario Inc, McIntosh Perry, Milborne Group, Norris Fire Consulting Inc, Ontario Panelization, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., Quest Window Systems, TUCKER HIRISE Construction, Urban Strategies Inc., Vortex Fire Consulting Inc., WND Associates Ltd

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