A fully window-clad section of the building facade of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit.

Coleman A. Young Municipal Center Enclosure Consulting

Engineering thermal resilience

Project Facts

Location Detroit, Michigan
Owner Hines


In the heart of Detroit, the iconic Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, a symbol of the city’s governance since 1951, recently faced a puzzling challenge. The Courts Building and the Office Building, linked by a 14-story connector, were grappling with persistent glass breakage on their north and south elevations—a problem that required the expertise of our enclosure diagnostics team.

About the project

Responding to the call from Hines on behalf of the City, our team delved into the intricacies of the original design. The mission: unravel the mystery behind the glass breakage and devise solutions that not only address the immediate concerns but elevate the safety and thermal performance of the structures in the biting Michigan winters.

We began with a meticulous visual assessment, combing through the architectural blueprints, and scrutinizing the glazing assembly and aluminum curtain wall system. As we uncovered potential causes of distress, it became clear that we were not merely fixing broken glass – we were engineering a solution that would withstand the test of time.

We swung into action, literally, conducting close-up examinations from a swing stage to verify the conditions of glass, curtain wall frames, and stone panels. Each crack and every detail told a tale that guided us in crafting not just repairs but a vision for the future.

As we gear up for the next phases – water testing, exploratory openings, curtain wall unit disassembly, and material testing – our focus remains on more than a fix. It’s about transforming the iconic center, considering a full facade re-clad or salvaging element of the current system. And in the process, we’re not just enhancing aesthetics; we’re designing for safety and thermal performance, ensuring these structures will endure the chill of Michigan winters and the test of time.