Tile paving the way for facility’s LEED Silver certification

Tile Council of North America to celebrate National Tile Day by visiting Clemson’s new football operations complex

Thursday, February 23 marked the first-ever National Tile Day, and the staff of Anderson, S.C.-based Tile Council of North America (TCNA) celebrated the occasion with a tour of Clemson’s new 140,000 square-foot football operations building. The $55 million building is currently pending LEED Silver certification, thanks in part to its ubiquitous use of tile.

“As the trade association representing North American manufacturers of ceramic tile, tile installation materials, tile equipment, raw materials and other tile-related products, we’re of course always excited to get a first-hand look at innovative uses of our members’ products,” said Eric Astrachan, executive director, TCNA. “As it happens, we also have very close ties with Clemson University, and not only does our lab — home to the most experienced tile-and-stone-specific team in North America — draw a lot of in-house lab and engineering talent from Clemson, but we also work closely in concert with the materials and science engineering department there when we need outside assistance on different facets of projects.

“To say that we’re all Clemson fans would be a vast understatement, and the day after the Tigers’ National Championship win this year was very nearly a national holiday at TCNA,” he added. “Since we were ‘All In’ with the Tigers on their big day, there’s no place we would rather be on tile’s big day.”

The Clemson Football Operations Complex encompasses 30,000 square feet of tile, along with 4,000 square feet of thin brick. Jeff Thomas, senior account executive, DCO Commercial Floors, said that both the expanse of the project as well as the wide variety of styles used contributed to the complexity of the install. Thomas added that the TCNA Handbook was instrumental in the team’s success, especially considering they had a firm due date: ESPN’s live broadcast on National Signing Day.

“I was fortunate to have the use of the TCNA Handbook to pass along our reasoning on why we recommended certain methods of installation. For example, this project covered numerous types of installation methods — showers, pools, steam rooms and thin brick veneer were all present, and in many cases, focal points of the project,” Thomas said. “With the TCNA Handbook, I was able to easily illustrate to the design team our preferred method of installation while explaining the reasoning behind it. This allowed any RFIs and clarifications to be expedited and continue to meet the fast-paced schedule.”

Bill Griese, director, standards development and sustainability initiatives (Clemson ’06) noted the team’s pride in its contributions — research, industry standards and reference materials — that have been of service to the companies that worked on the Clemson Football Operations Complex project. “Seeing tile playing a key role toward the building attaining LEED Silver certification is even more rewarding,” he said. “Further, we fully anticipate that the energy, environmental, health and lifecycle benefits resulting from the project’s extensive use of tile will serve Clemson and its athletes well, long into the future. It’s neat to see firsthand the beauty and limitless design potential of tile on full display in any high-profile LEED project, but when ‘Clemson orange’ and waterjet-cut ‘tiger paws’ are involved, it’s that much more fulfilling.”

Clemson aims to achieve at least a LEED Silver rating for all newly constructed buildings and large renovations.


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