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Example of Typical Structural Glazing Details

 
Images (click to enlarge)

Structurally Glazed Modular Framed Walls

 

Structurally Glazed Dual Pitched Ridge Rooflight

 

Structurally Glazed Frameless Glass Box Style Windows

 

Structurally Glazed Barrel Vaulted Rooflight

 

Structural Glass Rooflight with Stepped Edge Eaves

 

Bespoke Structural Glass Link with Integrated Hinged Door

 

Structurally Glazed Conservatory with 4m(h) Framed Doors

 

Structurally Glazed Bespoke Rooflights

 

Structurally Glazed Internal Walk On Floor with Anti Slip Ceramic Frit

 

Structurally Glazed Bespoke External Garden Rooflight

 

Structurally Glazed Pyramid Rooflight

 
Images (click to enlarge)

Structural Glazing Assembly on Site

 

Structurally Glazed Rooflights with Integrated Vents

 

Bespoke Structurally Glazed Circular Rooflight

 
Structural Glazing and Structurally Adhered Glass in Modern Day Architectural Glazing

Structural Glazing systems are a brilliant, cost effective solution for contemporary glass design. Structural Glazing systems consist of a fully or partially framed internal finish, with the glass structurally glazed/adhered to the outside face. All to produce a complete flush silicone jointed external finish. Whilst the framed internal appearance is more traditional, structural glazing provides a high flexibility in regards to the sections utilised and framework finish.

 

From a weathering perspective, Structural Glazing systems are typically reliant on the application of sealant. Therefore once a Structural Glazing system has been installed and initially tested under severe weather conditions (assuming the seals not subsequently damaged/punctured), weather integrity should be maintained for at least 10 years from application (the warranty associated with this product).

 

As structural glazing systems do not rely on internal weep systems and subsequent drainage, they may be installed at as low as 3-5 degrees pitch (subject to application). In fact external walk on glass specifications are often installed as low as 1 degree pitch.

 

Our system comprises of structural glazing tapes, a polyurethane structural adhesive (air cured) and the internal face of the glass black primed locally over all supporting framework. The glass will be provided with a black spacer and silicone seal as standard, providing a complete black reflective appearance, which conceals the internal frame. Technically the glass does not need to be 4 edge supported (unless in conjunction with a walk-on glass design), making it feasible for many applications to contain unsupported glass to glass silicone joints.

 

It is important whilst installing structural glazing that the conditions and environment are correct for he product utilsed. Some adhesive methods involve UV light curing through the glass, which in turn may become less effective over spacer bar details. All vertical structural glazing at height should also be mechanically retained.

 

Most structural glazing structures will require perimeter interfacing framework which may be partially apparent around the structures external aesthetics. Predominantly however, structural glazing produces its own unique flush silicone jointed external finish. 
 
You will find a general appraisal of structural glazing design, in addition to typical applications and considerations in the sections below. If you would like to consult one of our sales team regarding any aspect of architectural glazing design, please do not hesitate to contact us with your enquiry accordingly.

 

 
Structural Glazing and Adhered Glass Appraisal

As a system, structural glazing offers huge potential within architectural glazing design. Structural Glazing is an excellent way of producing a structure which aesthetically suits most external elevations and surrounding environments. Whilst frameless glazing systems are often initially explored within contemporary glass design. Structural glazing is an excellent cost effective solution for obtaining contemporary external finishes.

 

Structural glazing systems are always designed to produce a complete flush silicone jointed external finish. The glass panels are supported by a more tradition internal framed design, however a large variety of alternative sections may be utilsed (i.e. box sections as standard, however ‘T’ sections, angles and bespoke fabricated framework can all be utilised).

 

The adhesive itself has very good structural properties, however the adhesion properties themselves are normally determined by the surface to which it is applied (i.e. the quality of the polyester powder coating or degreasing of mill finish metal work). It is therefore imperative that any vertical or near vertical units at height are also mechanically retained with concealed fittings/clamps.

 

Structural glazing systems differ from typical frameless glazing systems, although a hybrid may often be utilised. Both provide a flush silicone jointed external finish (therefore suitable for shallower pitches). Due to structural glazing providing a framed internal finish. Doors, windows and roof vents can easily be incorporated whilst typically maintaining the flush silicone jointed external finish.

 
Structural Glazing and Adhered Glass Applications

A Structural Glazing System can be utilsed in many of the standard application geometries indicated within our website pages.

 

Typical applications where a structure is reliant or part reliant upon the structural characteristics of the adhesion Include:-

 

Structurally Glazed Rooflights/Skylights

 

Structurally Glazed Walk-On Rooflights/Floors

 

Structurally Glazed Canopies

 

Structurally Glazed Facades

 

Structurally Glazed Conservatories

 

If you are unsure about your application requirements of would like to discuss your design further, then please do not hesitate to contact our sales team accordingly.

 
Structural Glazing and Adhered Glass Considerations

When considering a bespoke design package, it is imperative that a design sales meeting is conducted to ensure that all aspects of a glass structures design is considered. There are huge advantages to a structures aesthetics and performance, when considered and every effort should be made to ensure that the design brief meets the client’s expectations.

 

We have listed many of the main considerations when utilising structural glazing below.

 

Cost/Budget Considerations

Structural Glazing is one of the most cost effective contemporary solutions available. Structural Glazing is typically 17% - 23% more cost effective than that of a Frameless Glazing equivalent and 20% - 25% more expensive than Framed Glass (Curtain Walling/Patent Glazing) solutions.

 

Design Considerations

Structural glazing systems offer a high level of flexibility within design and may be utilsed in most glass design applications. Should the glass design require windows or doors (typically framed), these items may be set back flush with the external glass face. The glass units are provided with a black spacer and silicone seal as standard. It is worth noting that polysulphide sealed glass units are not suitable for structural glazing applications due to the exposure to UV light. Due to the blacked out area applied to the glass units inner pane and subsequent differentials in expansion. Float laminated glass (unless of significant thickness) should not be utilsed in this application and should a laminated inner pane be required, a toughened laminated glass should be utilised. Necessary adhesive engagements and glass clearances must be maintained and these requirements do change in applications such as walk-on glass floors. In vertical or near vertical applications at height, the glass should always be mechanically retained with the use of concealed brackets/clamps. Structural glazing systems may be modified to provide a modular installation design. Where the glass is adhered to a modular designed frame within factory conditions. This method should always be considered, especially when the contracts installation programme falls within months of anticipated heavy downfall and/or extreme cold conditions.

 

As structural glazing systems do not rely on internal weep systems and subsequent drainage, they may be installed at as low as 3-5 degrees pitch (subject to application). In fact external walk on glass specifications are often installed as low as 1 degree pitch. It is worth noting however that the size of the water beads that will retain (‘cling’) to the surface of the glass will increase exponentially to a reduction in pitch.

 

Aesthetical Considerations

In this instance, the size of the internal framework is purely determined by the structural requirements of the design (imposed loads). Many different standard sections may be utilised and should the contract value and programme permit, a bespoke/unique extrusion can be developed. The quality of this system is very much down to the quality of installation and silicone sealing. Therefore, structural glazing should not be applied by unsuitably skilled operatives.

 

Programme Considerations

Unless a structurally glazed design requires additional specialist finishing’s/coatings, there are no additional programme considerations with the structural glazing system. Bespoke design programmes typically start at 10 weeks design and fabrication prior to site commencement (excluding approval periods).

 

 Maintenance Considerations

Maintenance is often a poorly considered area, however represents a continuous cost consideration (cleaning, glass replacement etc.). It is important that all areas of maintenance are considered at length during the design process (a typical requirement under CDM regulations). Structural Glazing designs may contain large and heavy units, where expensive access and lifting equipment may be required during replacement/cleaning. In addition, structural glazing systems will often require access internally to cut away and remove the structural glazing tapes and adhesives. As an ongoing cost, glass maintenance considerations should be paramount and should be reviewed during the planning process. Structurally adhered systems and the adhesion should also be checked on an annual basic. When cleaning, structural glazing systems have the added advantage of a flush external glass finish, resulting in no obstructions or advanced cleaning considerations. When exploring the utilisation of any glazing system and/or design, it is also worth requesting a budget cost for glass replacement so that the risk of breakage and associated cost can be considered. Some companies may suggest that it is actually more cost effective to replace the glass and associated frame. In this instance the design is normally inappropriate and CDM regulations poorly considered.

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