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Home-Run Resistant Windows Make Debut Near Wrigley Field
Saving windows one home run at a time.
As the last residential ballpark in America, Wrigley Field‘s home plate sits 450 feet away from some of Chicago’s most historic buildings. While this makes for a unique stadium setting, it also puts many windows and residents in the line of fire from flying baseballs.
To help prevent future windows from breaking, a team of Pella engineers and certified contractors was assembled to come up with a sturdy solution to be installed at 1032 Waveland Ave. We sat down with Pella Engineering Specialist Matt Waldren to learn more about the testing, design and installation process.
Pella: Tell us about the engineering/design that went into the development of these windows. What makes them different from other windows?
Matt: Here at the Pella Testing Lab, we have hurricane impact testing facilities, and we use our hurricane cannon to shoot 2x4s at windows. We modified this cannon to shoot baseballs as we tested the windows to determine what type of glass was needed to withstand baseball hits.
To people familiar with glass, it is common knowledge that tempered glass is approximately 2X to 4X stronger than annealed glass. The windows installed at 1032 Waveland Ave are the Architect Series® Reserve™ windows that have a glazing option upgrade to tempered glass.
What design elements make these windows unique?
I like the traditional look and feel of the Architect Series Reserve windows. I also like the extruded sash cladding.
What did you most enjoy about working on this project?
During the installation process, I was impressed with how efficient the Pella Certified Contractors® were in removing the old windows and installing the new ones.
Also, I personally think it is amazing the number of variables that must be met in order for a baseball to hit a window at this address (exit velocity, horizontal launch angle, vertical launch angle, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, horizontal distance, vertical distance). The good news is, with these home run resistant windows in place, we are confident how the newly installed Pella product will resist home runs at Wrigley.
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