Glass use in Architecture – part 1
Glass is undoubtedly one of the main materials, portrayed in contemporary architectural practice. From windows of shops, reception areas and residences to world symbol buildings is visible the trend for bigger, higher, more complex and transparent glass surfaces. The glass architecture serves the needs of symbolism – the transparency of the shell eliminates the boundaries between the interior of the building and the urban fabric, in nature or in sky – natural light, visual comfort, solar heat gain etc.- and aesthetics.
It is obvious that the wide application of glass surfaces led to the rapid development of technology and manufacturing glass processing, especially in the last 20 years. Researches and the corresponding technological achievements related to the optimization of the material properties, enhancing strength and security, the process of creating multilayer glass, improving their energy behavior, the way of support and flexibility of their form. Through these developments solutions to problems or limitations of glass structures and new perspectives were given.
The latest advances in glass technology enable the creation of complex curved geometric glass. In conjunction with the development of appropriate software, able to describe the complex geometry of curved surfaces is now possible to manufacture original glass buildings and facades in free, organic and flowing forms.
From the latest developments on the structural glazing is the production of an inner layer of poly ionoplastic lamellar glass which increases durability while allowing the use of thinner and lighter glass. The ionoplastic (ionomer – based polymer) membranes although originally developed for areas with an increased risk of hurricanes they began to be widely used in glass due to structural systems of sophisticated technical features compared to the recently used materials (e.g., PVB). Not affected by the use of silicone or moisture is completely transparent, creates stronger bonds with the glass, are rigid and turn the glass to a monolithic construction. In case of breakage the substrate remains in place, holding the fragments of glass.
This article is for www.speedfab.com