Papago Gateway Center is a mixed-use 223,000-square-foot corporate facility that includes the city of Tempe's first speculative laboratory space as well as Class A office space.
The center is one of the city of Tempe's first privately developed speculative corporate office buildings that holds the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for a "green" building that is environmentally sensitive and has been built in a manner that respects the environment, the health of its tenants, and is highly efficient in its operations and design.
A major design feature is the double skin louver system that wraps the building on the east, south and west, providing substantial motorized solar shades and ventilation in an environment where shade is highly needed, whilst reducing glare. The client's models demonstrate that air conditioning cooling loads are expected to be reduced by up to 21%.
Along with the Architect, Luis Huertas of Smith Group, Colt designed and supplied this motorized shades and ventilation louvers, which measures almost 50,000 sqft (5,000 m2) in total. Colt built a mock up in its factory for functional and daylight tests prior to client approval.
Special design considerations included allowing for extremes of thermal expansion, and ensuring that dust ingress to the mechanisms was minimised.
An advanced Colt "PIA" mullion integrated mechanism was provided, which was capable not only of catering for the extreme movements of the louvers as they heated and cooled, but which also protected the mechanisms from dust ingress.
Many of the motorized solar shades and ventilation louvers components were pre-assembled in Colt's factory, thereby reducing on-site time.
Colt also provided an "ICS 4-Link" control system, which ensures that the louvers are positioned optimally both to enable natural daylight to enter and to reduce solar heat gain by solar shading, depending on weather conditions and the time of the day. Local manual override switches were also provided to enable the user to exert some control over his own environment, with the system overriding after a time interval or at specific times.
On the south elevation the shading and ventilation louvers are split into 240 independent control banks which enables the user to position them in different positions to create a unique pattern.