RJC Engineers Help Bring Complex Glass Designs to Life
Urban Toronto | October 28, 2022
John Kooymans, BSc, P.Eng. | Principal
30 years ago, if you were to look out at the skyline of Downtown Toronto, you would see the hints of what was to come. The high-rises, the bright lights, the density, all of these things that define the perpetually evolving Downtown core we know today were already there, just in an early adolescent state. In 2022, one looks out at the skyline to see a kaleidoscopic medley of textures that shine, reflect, and dance in the light. While concrete, brick, and stone is also there, a revolution has taken place; a revolution in glass engineering.
One of the firms at the forefront of glass engineering in the development context — in Canada and across North America — is RJC Engineers. Earlier this week, UrbanToronto sat down with one of the Principals at RJC, John Kooymans, a Professional Engineer with over 20 years of experience working with engineered glass systems, to learn more about his unique area of expertise. Discussing different projects in the GTA that he has been a part of, especially those that have seen some high engagement on UT, he explained the role RJC plays as consultants for developers and architects, and the possibilities that a project enjoys when working with experts.
One of the primary tasks that Kooymans is presented with as a consultant on development projects is assisting in the design of a glass system that is efficient not only in terms of usage, but in terms of installation as well. “If it’s a facade system for a tower,” he explained, “we’re actually engineering the facade to be the best system that it can be for the building not just aesthetically, but as an efficient system.”
This process is illustrated clearly through Kooymans’s involvement in developing the curtainwall cladding for Mizrahi Developments’ The One, designed by Foster + Partners. “The One is a very challenging high-rise project with a very unique curtainwall system. It’s been quite rewarding, but it did take a lot of time to get to where we are now” Kooymans told us.
The system that was created, working with the design team, is known as a unitized curtainwall system. The entire panel, comprising glass, mullions, and framing, are prefabricated and delivered to the site, significantly reducing the time required for installation — but the cantilevered mullions and setbacks were only part of the challenge.