Charles LeRette Photography

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s newest 650-bed student residence hall opened in January on its Daytona Beach, Florida campus. The new $25 million, 145,000-square-foot facility designed by PQH Group showcases an ultra-modern look, natural light, campus views, and comfortable living and learning environment. Contributing to these goals, Tubelite Inc. provided window, curtainwall, storefront and entrance systems, and an airfoil fin, to meet the project’s required aesthetic, sustainability and performance specifications.

“The new student residence is the first of two buildings that bend to form the portal to the main pedestrian entrance of the university,” says PQH Design Team Leader and Project Manager Aldo Minozzi, AIA. “The courtyard bordered by these two structures is a starting point for the Embry Riddle campus. Legacy Walk, the central pathway that crosses the campus.”

As an iconic gateway to the university, the new student residence now offers five stories of semi-suite style living to students. Along with the private and semi-private living spaces, each of the building’s wings contains a lounge, study room and laundry room, plus a ground floor with community space.

 Charles LeRette PhotographyFast-Track Schedule, High-Tech Look

PQH’s partner-in-charge Ricardo Quiñones, Minozzi and their colleagues emphasize that collaboration was essential. According to Minozzi, working within the project’s budget and timeline were challenging, and critical. He explains that the university was eager to replace the outdated McKay Hall as part of its master plan.

To match the plan, the new student residential hall broke ground in March 2016 and was fast-tracked for an on time completion in 11 months. The quick-paced schedule allowed McKay Hall’s 420 students to move into the new student residence after their winter break. Once they were in their new home, McKay could begin demolition in Feb. 2017 and make way for another new residential hall.

Helping maintain the project’s schedule, budget and architectural intent, Tab Glass & Window worked closely with PQH, Perry-McCall Construction and Tubelite. Tab’s senior project manager John Koskosky acknowledges, “The speed of installation was brutal, but Tubelite performed for us.”

In total, Tab Glass & Window selected and installed 10,000 square feet of windows; 15,000 square feet of curtainwall; 14 door leaves and an airfoil fin that extends 10 inches from the building. “We incorporated the fins as part of the building’s architectural vocabulary to create a very modern, high-tech look, while maintaining a certain hominess as these are the students’ residences,” says Minozzi.

He continues, “We played with the scale of the glazing systems, too. The majority of the large-scale glass units were installed on the common areas and study rooms where the dominant views are of the airfield, the Daytona Speedway and across the campus. There’s a connection to these from the shared spaces, yet they still have their more private areas. There’s a happy medium that we achieved.”

 Charles LeRette PhotographyCollaborative Approach, Smooth Installation

Contributing to this achievement, Minozzi adds, “John and his team at Tab were very helpful. We contacted them early in the project’s development.”

Koskosky agrees that early involvement and being “part of the team” were key factors to the project’s overall success. Similarly, he credits Tubelite’s collaborative approach.

Tubelite provided Tab with its 400CW and 400SS Series curtainwall systems, 4500 Series storefront systems, and Medium Stile Door leaves. Helping make installation as easy as possible, Tubelite doors’ steel tie-rod construction can be modified, disassembled or resized right in the field. Also contributing to quick, accurate installation, Tubelite’s 400 Series curtainwall systems use exterior screw-applied pressure bars to secure the glass in place and snaps fit with a cover plate to conceal fasteners.

Tubelite’s 400CW Series curtainwall’s durable framework provides exceptional structural performance, reducing the need for steel reinforcing. The curtainwall can withstand winds of up to 90 miles per hour, meeting the specified performance design criteria for the climate and location.

 Charles LeRette PhotographyBalancing Function, Appearance

Along with mitigating the high winds on this new student residence hall, Tubelite’s systems feature Viracon glass to help manage Florida’s sunshine, maximizing the window-to-wall ratio and exceeding current domestic energy code requirements. Viracon VUE-30 low-e glass delivers an industry-leading solar heat-gain coefficient of 0.18. Viracon VE-2M and VRE1-59 also was installed as part of the project’s 25,000 square feet of vision glass. These products contribute to students’ comfort and views, allowing for more natural light and less potential glare, while balancing light with energy savings and low UV transmittance.

“Much of the performance is code-driven, but we designed it holistically to ensure the building envelope, the HVAC and all the systems work well together. Beyond performance, we were very committed to having the blue glass, which matches the university’s school colors and has become a theme for its newer buildings. It’s especially stunning at night,” says Minozzi. “There’s a balance of appearance and function at work.”

Also contributing to the Embry-Riddle’s new student residence’s high-tech look and high-performance functionality, Linetec anodized all of the Tubelite systems’ aluminum framing members to enhance the metallic appearance and durability. Anodized aluminum resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping, with minimal maintenance under Florida’s extreme coastal conditions and the students’ daily use.

With pride in the team’s accomplishment in creating the new residential hall, Koskosky describes the building’s resulting aesthetic as a “high-tech, NASA-inspired appearance to work with the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical brand.”

Embry-Riddle serves nearly 29,000 full-time students at its two residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona, and through its Worldwide Campus of more than 125 locations in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East, plus a virtual presence via online learning covering every continent on the globe. It is recognized as the world’s oldest, largest and most prestigious university specializing in aviation and aerospace, and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2016.


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach campus, New Student Residence Hall; 600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114;
* Owner: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Daytona Beach, Florida;
* Architect: PQH Group Design Inc.; South Jacksonville, Florida;
* General contractor: Perry-McCall Construction, Inc.; Jacksonville, Florida;
* Glazing contractor: Tab Glass & Window Corp.; Clearwater, Florida;
* Glazing systems – manufacturer: Tubelite Inc.; Walker, Michigan;
* Glazing systems – glass manufacturer: Viracon; Owatonna, Minnesota;
* Glazing systems – finishing provider: Linetec; Wausau, Wisconsin;
* Photos by: Charles LeRette Photography
* Video: PQH Group Design’s conceptual design tour,

About Tubelite Inc.

Established in 1945, Tubelite celebrates 70 years of dependable service, fabrication and distribution of architectural aluminum products. Part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., the company is an industry leader in eco-efficient storefront, curtainwall and entrance systems, and recognized for its fast, reliable and consistent delivery. Tubelite’s corporate office, fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations are located in Walker, Michigan. Its Dallas location provides additional fabrication, warehouse and shipping operations, and its facility in Reed City, Michigan, houses the company’s aluminum extrusion operation.

Tubelite and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), the Glass Association of North America (GANA), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).