Case Study: Fiberglass Spire – High Point on Atlanta Skyline

0533-NationsBank-SpireA 37' tall, all-fiberglass spire installed atop the 55-story NationsBank building is the golden high point on the Atlanta skyline. The fiberglass spire is transparent to electromagnetic waves and houses communications antennae. Architects believe the fiberglass spire aesthetically enhances Atlanta’s tallest building, making it the city’s landmark skyscraper. In addition, the spire is extremely valuable real estate — prime antennae rental space is scarce and expensive. The tip of the spire houses an FAA warning light, retractable on a screw jack to facilitate light maintenance.

Product: Fiberglass Spire
Process: Pultrusion

  • DURASHIELD® 1" foam core panels
  • EXTREN® Series 525 fiberglass reinforced polyester, fire retardant
Sizes: EXTREN® structural shapes:

  • 1/2" Plate
  • 6" x 1/2" Angle
  • 6" x 3/8" Wide flange beam
For: CSC Associates, L. P.
User: NationsBank

The spire sits approximately 1,025 feet above ground level and is designed to sustain wind pressures of 80 PSF. The spire, which is 6' square at the base, rises 26' then gradually tapers to a gold leaf point. It is supported on a 50' tall steel structural frame, 12' square at the base and 6' square at the top, covered in 1" DURASHIELD® fiberglass foam core panels. All fiberglass materials were pultruded in a special “Atlanta Rouge” molded in color. The sloping surfaces of the spire and sloping panels on the supporting steel structure are gold leaf clad.

The spire was fabricated complete and shipped to the job site just days before the building construction crane was dismantled. Maintaining this very tight fabrication and delivery schedule allowed the steel erector to use this crane for erection and save the owner the significant expense of hiring a helicopter crane as originally planned.

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