What’s Happening at Harvard University’s Smith Campus Center in Cambridge?

Peter_Davey_HSby Peter J. Davey, President, American Window Film, Inc.

Through a generous donation, the building that marked the beginning of modern architecture on Harvard’s campus is receiving a massive spring spruce up. Newly named after its benefactors, the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center (previously the Holyoke Center) is undergoing a significant facelift. American Window Film, Inc., a 3M Authorized and Certified Prestige Window Film Dealer, is currently involved in Phase One of this extensive multi-phase project – its exterior envelope renovation.

Originally designed and constructed circa 1960, the Smith Campus Center’s contemporary architectural design stood in stark and controversial contrast to Harvard’s traditional, red brick-and-mortar style. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, the times, they were a changin’, and indeed continue to change as controversy turns into profound appreciation.

Jim_Maloof_HSJames Maloof, American Window Film, Inc.’s Vice President Sales, has been collaborating with Harvard University’s project team including their Director of Operations, the General Contractor and the Architect for the Smith Campus Center renovation. “We’ve established a long history with Harvard and have installed 3M™ Window Films on many of their buildings,” states Maloof. “The scope of this project has been years in the making and required extensive site evaluation, analysis and understanding of our client’s goals, needs, and concerns. After the Smith Campus Center team realized the high cost of replacing windows, they came to us for help and advice on meeting their security, safety and energy efficiency requirements with window film, a far less costly retrofit compared to replacement. Paramount to their project was to accomplish all this without compromising the integrity of the building’s original and very distinct architectural design.”

Ultimately, 3M™ Ultra Prestige Series window films offered a solution — an exterior film with high optical clarity and a UV durable hardcoat that holds up to harsh outdoor environments. The selected window film also met Harvard team’s requirements for safety, security and energy efficiency. 3M’s innovative technology led to the manufacture of this film using no metals and, therefor, is less susceptible to corrosion and interference with wireless and cellular signals. Designed for both exterior and interior applications, the film helps hold shattered glass together to help mitigate potential property damages and injuries due to spontaneous glass breakage, seismic events and low-force glass impacts. In addition, a white decorative film was agreed upon to replace approximately 200 white fiberglass panels in poor condition yet stylistically essential to the building’s overall design integrity.

Jim_Davey__HSDecisions have been made and the project begins March 2016. James Davey, American Window Film, Inc.’s Vice President Operations, is now presented with the logistics challenge of installing approximately 90,000 square feet of window film on an occupied building of an extremely dynamic college campus. Undaunted with the task, Davey said, “Projects like these present the kind of challenges that are very much in our wheelhouse. It’s not uncommon, given our customers’ needs for business continuity, to work after hours and on weekends when required. We’re fortunate to have experienced and trained installers who are very skilled, efficient, and always up for the task.” Davey anticipates the project will continue through 2016 and into 2017.

So if you’re driving or walking past Harvard, and you see the American Window Film, Inc. and 3M logos, you’ll know that the American Window Film team is on campus installing 3M Window Film for the security, safety and energy efficiency of the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center. Give them two thumbs up for their contribution to its renovation and efforts invested into maintaining the integrity of its original architectural design.


Peter J. Davey is President of American Window Film, Inc., a 3M Authorized & Certified Prestige Window Film Dealer located in Foxboro and Boston, MA, 800-274-TINT, americanwindowfilm.com. Published in the New England Real Estate Journal, Construction, Design & Engineering, March 18, 2016.

American Window Film, Inc. is your 3M Window Film Dealer serving all of MA, RI and southern NH, including Boston, South Shore, North Shore, Cape Cod & the Islands, Providence, Nashua, Manchester, Worcester, Springfield and surrounding communities.