DuPont Home
Safety Glass

Balustrades made with SentryGlas® help give baseball stadium fans a wonderful view

Safety glass with SentryGlas® high strength interlayer Open-edged balcony balustrades maximize the field of view; SentryGlas® helped meet performance requirements without a top rail.

New laminated glass balustrades with DuPont™ SentryGlas® structural interlayer have given San Diego baseball team fans the unobstructed views they wanted.

The owners of the new Petco Park Ballpark in San Diego, California (USA), home to the San Diego Padres baseball team, moved fast when fans seated in the upper concourse of the Ballpark complained about obstructed sightlines to the field, due to both a metal cap rail and metal hand rails attached to the 76 and 107 cm- (30 and 42 in)-high, 152 cm- (60 in)-wide glass guard rails in front of these seats.

Architects Hellmuth, Obata + Kassbaum Inc. (HOK Sport) working with engineering consultant A. William ("Bill") Lingnell, designed a replacement for the old 12 mm (0.5 in) glass guard rails incorporating 1, 858 m2 (20,000 ft2) of new laminated glass guardrails with DuPont™ SentryGlas® structural interlayer.

This solution obviated the need for both the metal cap and the metal hand rail attached to the field side of the guard rail because of the inherent structural strength of the interlayer, and also meant that the tops of the balustrades could have neat, polished exposed glass edges. This resulted in greatly improved viewing clarity for the fans. The architects' goals of safety, clarity, visibility and all-around unobstructed sightlines were met, to the satisfaction of fans and owners, and the new laminated glass guard rails were installed in time for the beginning of the new season in March, 2005.

Andy Stallings of Petco Park's Development Manager, Hines, explained: "Fans in the front row of the upper concourse had complained vociferously about the metal caps along the top edge of the impact-resistant laminated glass guard rails as well as the hand rails attached on the outside of the guard rail. These visual obstructions meant that fans had to move their necks this way and that in order to follow the action during a game. The original handrails had been required by Building Department Officials for to provide an extra safety margin solution to answer code officials' concerns about fall protection."

Engineering consultant Bill Lingnell, who is based in Rockwall, Texas, said: "The original glass balustrades were code-compliant and designed with the ballpark officials' approval. However, the architectural objective for HOK was to eliminate a horizontal top rail strengthening system for these balustrades, which was causing visual obstruction.

"The new laminated glass balustrades with SentryGlas® and exposed edges passed three important testing criteria: the general building code; the special codes of practice that are applied to the use of glass balustrades (ASTM testing protocol) and overload conditions for demonstration to the San Diego code officials."

Steve Petitt, vice president of Sunset Glazing, confirmed that the construction of the new balustrades for Petco Park Stadium was achieved with 10 mm + 10 mm (0.4 in + 0.4 in) clear, fully tempered glass with a 1.52 mm (60 mil) interlayer of SentryGlas®.

Speaking in March 2005 to the Washington Post about his firm's win of a USD 18.6 million contract for a new D.C. baseball stadium, HOK Sport's lead architectural designer, Joseph Spear, said the new stadium will use laminated glass as a predominant material to underline "the transparency of democracy". The new balustrades at Petco Park are just another example of how laminated glass with SentryGlas® is helping sports complexes worldwide to enjoy "the transparency of democracy" from the lowest-priced seating to VIP boxes.