Vitro Architectural Glass

Health care facility featuring Solarban® 70XL Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass by Vitro Glass wins two awards

UCSD Jacobs Medical Center cited by AIA and ENR for innovative, patient-first design

PITTSBURGH, March 29, 2018 — Solarban® 70XL solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glass on Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) is a key component on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Health Jacobs Medical Center, which received two prestigious architectural awards in 2017.

Designed by CannonDesign, the 509,500-square-foot, 245-bed medical and surgical specialty hospital functions as three discrete medical centers housing inpatient services for high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care, cancer care and advanced surgical care.

The facility, which is part of the UCSD Health System, received a Healthcare Design Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA)/Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH). The organizations said that the building “demonstrates a consistent design vocabulary, inside and out” and that “the innovative use of form for the patient units carries all the way through.”

In addition, ENR (Engineering News-Record) California recognized the facility with a healthcare award of merit in the publication’s “Best Projects” competition, citing its “innovative project delivery method” and the use of a “foam mock-up facility to eliminate costly intermediate room remodeling.”

To achieve the hospital’s vision of patient-first care, all patient rooms are designed as private suites with floor-to-ceiling windows fabricated with ultra-clear Solarban® 70XL glass and a “smart” bed that is oriented for panoramic views of La Jolla.

Many of the facility’s 10 stories feature the vision glass splitting from the spandrel glass, curving wavelike beyond and behind the concrete slabs. Because these “folds” concave two feet into the building’s interior, the freeform curved structure minimizes traditional 90-degree building corners. This unique curvilinear form was driven by the design of the patient units, as well as by advanced modeling to capitalize on views, maximize daylight and minimize solar gain and glare.

Glazing contractor ENCLOS provided more than 205,000 square-feet of curtain wall and a 9,637-square-foot point-supported structural glass wall. Northwestern Industries (NWI) of Seattle, a member of the Vitro Certified Network, was the glass fabricator.

The primary cladding consists of a front-glazed, unitized curtain wall system featuring triple-silver Solarban® 70XL glass coated on Starphire Ultra-Clear® low-iron glass and spandrel shadow-box glazing.

The curvilinear glass and frame system includes more than 40 radiused dimensions, including both concave and convex surfaces. The point-fixed structural glass façade wall incorporates glass fins, nearly 3,900 square-feet of glazed guardrails and more than 5,300 square-feet of column covers and panels.

Construction of Jacobs Medical Center, which opened in November 2016, was part of the expansion of the UCSD Health System’s campus; it was Southern California’s largest ongoing health care project and the second-largest in state history.

With center-of-glass visible light transmittance (VLT) of 64 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.27 in a standard 1-inch insulating glass unit (IGU), Solarban® 70XL glass is one of the industry’s highest performing solar control low-e glasses.

Introduced in 1990, Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass remains the clearest, most transparent commercial float glass available today, with VLT of 91 percent in a standard ¼-inch (6 millimeter) thickness. To learn more about Solarban® 70XL or Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass, visit or call 1-855-VTRO-GLS (887-6457).

About Northwestern Industries

Founded and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Northwestern Industries (NWI) has been proudly serving the glass fabrication needs of architects and contractors since 1975. NWI operates two state-of-the-art production facilities, in Seattle, Washington, and Yuma, Arizona. The Seattle facility comprises four plants with 300,000 square-feet of manufacturing space and is the largest facility of its kind on the West Coast. The Yuma plant contains 100,000 square-feet of manufacturing space. NWI serves customers in 12 states in the Pacific Northwest, West Coast and southwestern United States, and British Columbia and Alberta, Canada.
For more information, visit

About Enclos

Enclos is a leading façade technology firm, providing comprehensive design, engineering and strategic implementation services for custom facades and curtainwall cladding systems. With over 700 people and 15 office locations, the firm self-performs a spectrum of services and manages a sophisticated global supply chain, a strategy that optimizes capacity, quality and economy for its diverse client base. For more information, visit

Solarban®, Starphire® and Starphire Ultra-Clear® are registered trademarks owned by Vitro. Vitro Certified is a trademark owned by Vitro.

About Vitro Architectural Glass

Vitro Architectural Glass, part of Vitro, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: VITROA), is the largest glass producer in the Western Hemisphere, manufacturing a range of industry-leading, energy-efficient, high-performance products such as Solarban®, Sungate® and Starphire Ultra-Clear® glasses. Committed to continually raising the industry standard for sustainability, Vitro was the first U.S. glass manufacturer to have its entire collection of architectural glass products earn Cradle to Cradle Certified® status and the first North American manufacturer to publish third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for flat glass and processed glass products. Additionally, all Vitro architectural glass products meet the Top 20% Low Embodied Carbon (LEC) material category based on standards set by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Vitro operates seven glass production facilities across North America, four residential glass fabrication plants in Canada and one of the world’s largest glass research and development facilities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit

Vitro Architectural Glass

Media Contact:
Robert J. Struble
Vitro Architectural Glass