From flooding open-plan living areas with light to illuminating darker corners like stairwells and porchways, structural glass can make any space more inviting. So, what type of structural glass would suit your home?
Using his 20 years of industry experience, IDSystems’ Sales Manager, Edward Stobart, highlights some of the key features of structural glass that can give your home the ultimate ‘wow’ factor.
What is structural glass?
Structural glass is one or more load-bearing glass panels that are essential to the overall architecture and design of a building or other structure. It is also known as a structural glazing system and comes in a variety of designs – think large, contemporary glass doors, windows with minimal framework and glass roofing. To allow for reduced framework and larger glass panels, structural glass is bonded by a silicone adhesive to give the required support and overall modern finish.
What are the different types of structural glass?
There are many structural glazing options available. At IDSystems, we provide four common types:
Low-E (low-emissivity) glass is coated with metallic oxide, which helps to minimise the level of UV light coming into your home
A coating is placed on the surface of the glass to reflect heat from within the building, which is commonly used in south-facing properties
Reducing the level of iron within glass can amplify the amount of light in a building. This type of glazing is suited to areas that lack natural light, perfect for north-facing rooms.
Laminated glass contains a transparent film within two panes of structural glass. This is typically used for additional security, such as heavy glass roofs or balustrades.
The thickness of structural glazing is dependent on several factors, such as your building type, the size of the opening, the building’s intended use and its overall position – all of which impact the overall design and cost.
It is important to speak to experts who can take time to understand your needs and requirements and help you to choose the right glazing solution for you.
Structural glass products:
If you are considering structural glass for your extension, renovation or new build, you’ll need solutions that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also tick all the boxes for updated Building Regulations.
Since June 2022, structural glass products must provide a higher thermal efficiency than before. These are known as U-values. These figures have been reduced to ensure a more efficient thermal performance.
Bi-fold doors are commonly utilised as patio doors, which lead into the garden and terraced spaces, but sliding doors contain slimmer frames and larger panels of glass that can offer breathtaking views.
Available in a variety of configurations, sliding doors can even be designed to slide into a pocket in the wall to create a completely open corner, perfect for large social gatherings and summer events.
Whether you are creating an open-plan kitchen or wish to increase the light in your home, sliding doors flood your space with light, bringing the bright outdoors into your home and helping your building blend in with its natural surroundings.
Sliding doors case study
Opting for EDGE2.0 sliding doors for their coastal new build in Blakeney, Norfolk, Daniel Broch and his partner, Lisa Lipscomb, looked for a solution that could showcase their outside views and withstand severe weather conditions. Achieving high ratings for watertightness and airtightness, each panel of EDGE2.0 sliding doors are fully rebated, with concealed double nylon brush strips and fin seals (or EPDM gaskets) to ensure enhanced protection from the elements.
“Rooms are a little bit boring, really – it’s all about the view,” explains Lisa. “IDSystems gave us our views, which are spectacular because at the front, we’ve got the sea, and then we’ve got the courtyard. So, rooms? You kind of spend your life staring outside rather than inside.”
Selected by an expert panel of judges at the Build It awards, EDGE2.0 sliding doors were named ‘Best Glazed Doors’ in 2021 and continue to be one of the most thermally-efficient structural glass options on the market.