Fibreglass Architectural Components – Turrets

The presence of 35' high x 35' square fiberglass turrets on top of the Sun Bank Building tower measuring 441 feet in Orlando, Florida, not only provides a sleek and elegant “peak of distinction” to the massive building but also serves a vital and practical purpose.

Advantages of Fiberglass

Lincoln Property Company developed the $130 million tower. The turrets were originally planned as steel and aluminum decorations. However, there was a requirement from the city to install antennae for police and fire communications due to interference of radio signals by the 441-foot high-rise. Since steel will not allow radio signals to pass through, the developer selected fiberglass as it enables the radio signals to pass through.

The fiberglass turrets fabricated of EXTREN structural shapes and FIBREBOLT fiberglass studs and nuts not only housed the 20-foot antennae but also enabled the developer to protect the design and view by hiding the antennae.

According to Julio Maggi, Construction Manager for the high-rise, the design and view of the building would have been affected if the antennae were put on the corners because huge amount was invested to make the towers unique.

The developer has plans for leasing the turret space to firms utilizing mobile telephones. This could be a lucrative venture and model for other cities facing poor radio signal problems and where rooftops littered with satellite dishes. Project architects Owens, Skidmore & Merrill designed the turrets, which were specially engineered to withstand hurricane winds common in Florida.

All-fiberglass structural components were prefabricated and then delivered to the site. Most of the assembly of the structures was done on the ground at the side. The structures were then shifted to the rooftop with the help of a crane. The fiberglass base plates were then bolted with steel base plates on the roof by workers.

Each turret features four windows made of EXTREN Series 525. One side has a 10' high x 5' wide window, while the other three sides feature 27' high x 5' wide windows. Custom molded fiberglass panels covered the fiberglass superstructure.

Technical Data

Product : Fiberglass Turrets
Process : Pultrusion
Materials : EXTREN Series 525 fiberglass reinforced polyester, fire retardant; FIBREBOLT fiberglass studs and nuts with 1", 1-1/2", x 3/8" diameters
Sizes : EXTREN structural shapes used: 12" x 12" x 1/2" wide flange; 10" x 10" x 1/2" wide flange; 1" x 3" x 1/4" I-beam; 12" x 6" x 1/2" I-beam
For : Owens, Skidmore & Merrill Architects

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell Corporation.

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