Clear Thinking

Our commercial sector manager, Phil Savage, discusses the advent of structural glazing…    Whether it’s a full glass façade or a more modest floor-to-ceiling window, structural glazing systems offer architects and installers the design flexibility to blend the desirable aesthetics of glass with the functionality of other traditional building materials.As well as being a popular choice among architects, structural glazing can also offer building occupiers numerous benefits too.Modern systems, like Pilkington PlanarTM, combine a range of properties, like solar control, self-cleaning and low-emissivity, all while allowing vast amounts of light into the room. This creates a comfortable and spacious environment, without contributing to heightened energy bills or carbon footprint.Fitting the façadeToday’s systems typically work by using stainless steel fittings that are counter sunk into recesses in the corners of the glass to allow strengthened panes to stand otherwise unsupported.

The glass is fixed to the structure of the building itself rather than being fitted with traditional and sometimes view-restricting frames.

Glass-fin (mullion) units are among the most popular structural glazing systems specified where a seamless finish is required. This is because such products eliminate the need for traditional metal mullions, which can restrict the view from inside a building.

Structural glazing in action at Stonehenge visitor centre

Pilkington Planar was used when building the new Stonehenge visitor centre. Installers from Vitrine Systems worked to the brief to create a building that blended unobtrusively into the wide-open Wilshire landscape.

Watch our video about how the project came to life…

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