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Isometric view of the required upstand dimensions for a walk on glass skylight

Upstand Dimensions
(Intermediate Frameword Omitted)

 

Isometric view of interface details on a walk on glass skylight

Perimeter Interfaces
(Intermediate Framework Omitted)

 

Typical section through a walk on structural glazing system

(Structural Glazing (walk on))

 

Bespoke Glass Walk On Rooflights, Skylights and Floors

 
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Walk on glass rooflights, skylights and floors are becoming more common place with the high end residential and commercial markets. Walk on glass rooflights are great accompaniment to terrace areas and basement rooms, when natural light or transparency is required. Walk on glass floors are also often utilsed to allow naturally light to travel between multiple floors and to close of existing light wells. Circular, triangular, bespoke shapes and raked edge walk on glass rooflights, skylights and floors can all be provided.

 

Walk on glass specifications may also be integrated within bespoke design geometries and/or in conjunction with other glass products to provide a unique architecturally glazed area. We have previously been asked to design a walk on glass specification roof to be bespoke conservatory structure with perimeter structural glass balustrade. All to provide both a conservatory and accessibly walk on glass terrace area.

 

Isometric view of a skylight using walk on glass

 

Walk On Glass Bridge with Frameless Glass Balustrade

 

Bespoke Structurally Glazed Glass Walk On Rooflight

 

Internal View on Shallow Pitched External Walk on Glass

 

Structurally Glazed 2m Square Walk On Glass Skylight

 

Structural Glass Walk On Rooflight within Decked Roof

 

Bespoke Mild Steel Walk On Glass Rooflight

 

Structural Glass Walk On Terrace

 

Structural Glass Walk On Floor with Anti Slip Finish

 

Internal Structural Glass Floor with Anti Slip Finish

 
Bespoke Glass WALK ON Rooflights, Skylights and Floors - Technical Information

 

DESIGN GUIDE - Walk On Glass Rooflights, Skylights and Floors

The following information has been provided as a general guide on the typically requested products and options within the walk on glass rooflight, skylight and floor range. It is important to note that due to the nature of our bespoke design and build service. You should contact our offices regarding any bespoke requirements outside of those listed and in order to ensure compatibility with the full specification. This section of our site has been developed purely for typical mono pitched walk on glass rooflight, skylight and atrium applications. Other requested walk on glass specification products include walk on glass bridges, walk on glass balconies and walk on glass staircases.

 

Most of the glass rooflight and atrium options detailed below may also be selected within our standard online budget quote generator (see tab below), which may be accessed by login into an online trade account.

Min / Max Dimensions & Rooflight Pitch

 

Walk on glass rooflights, skylights and floors can be provided at almost any dimensions. Glass rooflight and skylight sizes tend to start at 700mm x 700mm due to supporting upstand dimensions and the level difference typically witnessed between the walk on glass skylight and the ceiling below. Walk on glass rooflights and skylights and atriums can be provided up to 5m spans before additional supporting steelwork/splices will need to be considered. Whilst much larger extents are feasible, the design will need to be developed to incorporate a suitable water management system. Walk on glass floor dimensions tend to start at 500mm x 500mm and have no maximum dimensions on the basis suitable structural support has been developed.

 

Walk on glass skylights, rooflights and atriums are typically designed at a 1 degree pitch to allow rain water to discharge the glass. However it is worth noting that regardless of rooflight pitch you will normally experience some form of water retention on the glass (e.g. the small water beads that you will find ‘clinging’ to your steep pitch car windows after a downpour). It is therefore highly recommended that an anti slip ceramic frit finish be reviewed on external walk on glass rooflight and skylight applications as standard glass becomes incredibly slippery when wet. The same does apply to internal glass walk on floors (after spillage or cleaning).   

Typical Perimeter Interfaces

 

Weathered Upstands

 

Weathered upstand interfaces are most common in walk on glass rooflight, skylight and atrium designs. The detail consists of the walk on glass rooflight framework flashing over a weather upstand, wall or guttering detail and this detail therefore always applies to the leading edge of a glass rooflight (for rain water drainage). As most walk on glass rooflights and skylights are applied to flat roof areas, 150mm upstands are typical (to BS standards). External walk on glass rooflights and skylights are often completed with decking, paving or roof gardens to the surrounding roof. Should the roofing details position these flush in level with the walk on roof glazing, care should be taken to ensure sufficient water management over the roof (i.e. no saturated or restricted drainage areas about the weathered upstands).

 

Wall Abutment Details

 

Walk on glass rooflight, skylight and atrium designs may also utilise wall abutment details. In this instance the walk on glass rooflight frame produces a soaker detail (an upstand) above the walk on glass level for flashing over by others (typically in lead). Internal walk on glass floors will simply have a supporting member about the wall detail and will be completed with a silicone joint.

 

Floor Abutment Details

 

As weathering and associated rain water management is not a consideration with internal glass walk on floors, no weather upstand detail is required. An internal glass walk on floor may be designed to be located within a structural opening or may consist of a minimal perimeter angle frame, recessed over the structure to lay flush with the adjoining floor finishes.   

Systems Available

 

Frameless Glazing

 

Frameless Glazing (or near frameless glazing) may be utilsed within bespoke walk on glass rooflight, skylight and floor designs. Such designs will always consist of a perimeter frame to complete or weather the glazed area, however such frames can easily be concealed by the internal and external finishes. Should your walk on glass rooflight, skylight or floor application be relatively small, the rooflight may be able to be supplied in just 1 No. glass unit (no intermediate sightlines). Technically walk on glass panes should be 4 edge supported, resulting in the requirement for rafter/beam support once a walk on glass rooflight or floor application requires multiple walk on glass units. In frameless glazing this is provided by means of 48mm(w) structural glass fins. Care should be taken when reviewing this systems aesthetical suitability within a design as glass fins by there nature do need to be quite deep (approx. 200mm to 400mm - even over small span applications). All frameless walk on glass rooflight and floor designs will produce a complete flush silicone jointed external finish.

 

Structural Glazing

 

Structural Glazing (or structurally adhered applications) may be utilsed within bespoke walk on glass rooflight, skylight and floor designs. Such designs will always consist of a perimeter frame to complete and weather the rooflight; however such frames can easily be concealed by the internal finishes below. Should your walk on glass rooflight/skylight application be relatively small, the rooflight may be able to be supplied in just 1 No. glass unit (no intermediate sightlines). Technically walk on glass panes should be 4 edge supported, resulting in the requirement for rafter/beam support once a walk on glass rooflight or floor application requires multiple walk on glass units. In structural glazing this is provided by means of 50mm(min w) aluminium or steel section rafters. More frequently walk on glass rooflights/floors are supplied with box section rafters. All structural walk on glass rooflight and floor designs will produce a complete flush silicone jointed external finish.

 

Framed (Patent) Glazing

 

Framed Glazing or Patent Glazing can not be utilsed within walk on glass applications. Design engagements of the glass onto the frame are not sufficient enough to comply with BS standards and a walk on glass application with caps will clearly produce a tripping hazard.

System Materials and Finishes

 

Our company specialises in the utilisation of architectural metals and glass. The required walk on glass rooflight, skylight or atrium glazing system selected may have some bearing on the system finishes available. We are typically requested to provide:-

 

 

Polyester Powder Coated Walk On Glass Rooflights, Skylights and Floors

 

Anodised Aluminium Walk On Glass Rooflights, Skylights and Floors

 

Brushed Stainless Steel Walk On Glass Rooflights, Skylights and Floors

 

 

Bespoke walk on glass rooflight/floor system finishes may be reviewed in conjunction with the entire design specification.

 

Our company also provides structural steelwork when required as an integrated component to the walk on glass rooflight, skylights and floor designs we provide.

Glass Specifications

 

Glass walk on rooflights, skylights and floors always consist of a laminated glass outer (load bearing) pane. Our company is able to supply most of the walk on glass specifications available within today’s market. Typically requested walk on rooflight, skylight and floor glass specifications include:-

 

 

Single Glazed and Double Glazed Specifications

 

Anti Slip Ceramic Frit Glass

 

Standard Low E Specifications (on Double Glazed as standard)

 

Body Tinted Glass

 

Low Iron Glass (omitting the natural green tint)

 

Sandblasted and Acid Etched Glass

 

Coloured (typically white) Laminates

 

Ceramic Screen Printed Glass

 

 

If you have any queries regarding the utilisation of any walk on glass specification within a specific application, then please do not hesitate to contact our offices with your enquiry.

Glass Unit Dimensions

 

There are many considerations when reviewing the glass unit dimensions being supplied to a given walk on glass rooflight, skylight or floor application. Typically the required glass thickness will increase exponentially with its size, resulting in weight increasing exponentially also. An applications site logistics and the glass handling must also be reviewed and will form part of a glass rooflight/floor’s overall cost. Larger glass unit rooflight/floor applications will require suitable plant equipment (typically a crane) to manoeuvre the glass directly into location.

 

Due to the nature of walk on glass rooflight and floor designs, all large glass requirements must therefore be reviewed by our offices. Typical glass walk on skylights and floors contain intermediate rafters at approx. 1,000mm to 1,500mm centres.

Glass & System U-Values

 

Architectural walk on glass rooflight, skylight and atrium suppliers will typically provide you with mid pane (or mid unit) U Values. When reviewing a double glazed walk on application with a 16mm (optimum) cavity...

 

Low E coatings tend to provide a mid pane U Value of 1.7 W/m sq K or 1.6 W/m sq K with an argon filled cavity.

 

High performance solar control coatings tend to provide a mid pane U Value of 1.2 W/m sq K or 1.1W/m sq K with an argon filled cavity.

 

Triple glazed applications may achieve a mid pane U Value of 0.6 W/m sq K.

 

The overall U Value of a glass rooflight, skylight and atrium application is very much determined by the system details utilised. Well engineered rooflight details that mitigate the extent of the framework retain relatively low U Values. Double glazed walk on rooflight, skylight and atrium designs tend to produce an o/all U Value of 1.6 to 2.2 W/m sq K.

Design Loadings

 

Dead loads, wind loadings, snow loadings, pedestrian loadings and uplift forces are all considerations when designing a walk on glass rooflight, skylight or atrium. All site specific forces (especially in adverse locations/conditions) should be provided. Walk on glass rooflight wind loadings, snow loadings and uplift forces are all site specific and unless provided at sales stage the averages figures below will be utilised.

 

UK wind loadings tend to vary from 0.53 KN/m sq to 3.4 KN/m with a typical average of approx. 1.0 KN/m sq to 1.5 KN/m sq.

 

Snow loadings will also vary depending on your walk on glass rooflight application. Applications with surrounding walls and roofs above will have much higher potential loadings. UK snow loadings tend to range between 0.6 KN/m sq to 2.0 KN/m sq with a typical average of 0.75 KN/m sq.

 

Walk on glass residential rooflights and glass floors tend to have a designed Uniformly Distributed Load (UDL) of 1.8 KN/m sq and designed concentrated point load of 1.4 KN. Such loadings should always be run past the contracts engineer. Commercial walk on glass rooflights and floors can vary and both the required UDL and concentrated point load should be provided at sales stage.

 

Uplift is rarely an issue (due to it acting against the dead load of the glass rooflight or floor), however should always be considered. Some applications such as glass rooflights/floors above large stair wells may have very high uplift requirements.

Typically Requested Inclusions

 

Typically requested walk on glass rooflight, skylight and floor inclusions are:-

 

 

Anti Slip Ceramic Fritting

 

Sandblasted / Feature Borders

 

Integrated Blinds

 

Stepped Edge Glass Units

 

Shaped Rooflights to suit Existing Openings

 

Perimeter Framework Support for Roof/Floor Finishes

 

Edge Lighting for Featured Effect

 

Fire Rated Designs

Contract Programming

 

It is imperative that contract programmes are confirmed via formal quotation issue and/or at the time of order placement. Walk on glass rooflight, skylight and floor programmes vary depending upon size and production requirements. However are typically on an o/all programme (prior to site installation) of 8 to 16 weeks. This programme includes for the preparation of bespoke general arrangement drawings, however does not include for the associated approval period of such.

 

Due to the nature and cost of glass as a material, it is important that every effort is made to ensure that any architectural walk on glass rooflight, skylight and floor design is right. Now would therefore be an excellent time to contact our sales team, who are looking forward to casting some light over your requirements.

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