Out of all the materials out there, glass is already used in most of our homes and
commercial buildings. Glass can come in several forms: glazing for windows and doors,
shower doors and decorative walls for instance. Whether you enjoy using glass to bring in
the morning sun, or a hundred other purposes, there is an important aspect to choosing the
correct glass for its intended purpose. The right glazing choices can help make your space
safer and more comfortable in both hot and cool weather whether you are building or
Know your glass
Annealed glass is the common glass most of us are familiar with, found in houses and
businesses everywhere. This type of glass has limitations: it’s not safe and can shatter into
dangerous shards. Annealed glass breaks readily under flexion and the thinner the
substance, the greater the likelihood of fracture.
Safety glass comes in two types. Laminated safety glass is made from sheets of annealed
glass that are stuck together using polyvinyl butyral interlayer (PVB), an extremely strong
plastic that glues the two sheets of glass together under heat and pressure. The result is
that, when broken, the dangerous glass particles remain attached to the PVB interlayer.
Laminated glass is often used for external building windows, such as display windows for
showrooms, hotels and other large commercial buildings. Laminated and multi-laminated
glass offers both safety and security features for human impact through to bullet resistance,
protection against ultra-violet light transfer and acoustic control. The second type of safety glass is toughened or tempered glass. This is glass which has been
heated in a furnace and rapidly cooled. The resultant changes to the stress values in the
glass make it 5 – 6 times stronger than annealed glass and much more resistant to thermal
shock. Toughened glass can be used structurally in the built environment. All processing
work must be done to the glass prior to toughening, as when broken, toughened glass
shatters into a multitude of blunt edged cubes.
Other than safety, glass also offers other properties that should be considered during the
design phase, such as sound and sun control.
Some might think that these can be addressed after the glass has been installed. But
retroactive treatments of glass, such as adding plastic films to the glass at a later stage, are
often plagued with performance problems.
It is important to remember that the glass should be as permanent as the building itself, so
take the care of thinking how the glass will be used in the project. Do external windows
need sun control? Are there interior windows that should be providing acoustic control,
engraved or otherwise enhanced? Don’t leave these decisions to the last minute, because
they can lead to extra cost and reduced effectiveness.
Don’t forget about the frames
Most glass needs to be in a frame, but this is often forgotten about. Aluglass Bautech refers
to a glass system: the combination of the glass and how it will be held in place. Frameless
glass, fenestration solutions – are also available, but the most popular and versatile systems
often include aluminium frames. The frames are a key reason why planning the glass
systems of a building project is crucial. For instance, to create an acoustic space, the frame
is part of the acoustic solution and therefore needs to match the acoustic properties of the
glass. This is often not considered and sound leaks through frames, therefore not fulfilling
Use a reputable company
With no lack of choice and dozens of companies offering similar products, here are a few
things to look for in a glazing company:
Find a company:
Overall, if the comprehensive glass solution is understood and a trustworthy company is
found, it will save a lot of cost(s) and hassles at a later stage.