Transforming Spaces with Resilient Reinforced Glass Walls

Transforming Spaces with Resilient Reinforced Glass Walls

Reinforced glass walls allow a higher degree of transparency, sustainability and more slender structures. They also offer stability to steel structures. This is achieved by transferring lateral forces to the glass elements.

To achieve this, the forces must be balanced between bolt connections. This requires detailed consideration of buckling behaviour. Additionally, initial local glass imperfections must be accounted for.

Square glass walls

Glass block walls are a stylish solution to divide spaces while allowing light to flow through. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and finishes. Some even have built-in patterns for added dimensionality.

Aside from being visually opulent, glass blocks are also incredibly strong. This means they can withstand the stresses of movement and weather. However, if your glass wall is large or moves a lot, you’ll need to reinforce it. This can be done with puttied lead came or flat metal reinforcing strips.

Most glass block walls are laid with a Portland cement-based mortar. Typically, they are reinforced at 16 inches on center with joint reinforcement consisting of two W1.7 side rods and a welded W1.7 cross bar. These bars are usually hidden by a casing molding. Some manufacturers have developed methods of incorporating fire resistance into glass block walls without the use of reinforcement bars. They incorporate argon gas into the hollow block during production, and require special construction techniques.

Rectangular glass walls

Rectangular glass walls can be reinforced in a number of ways. They can be anchored to concrete or steel. They can also be bolted or bonded to the structure. Depending on the application, some of these solutions are more appropriate than others.

This particular project by Foster & Partners required the use of large glass walls with a circular roof, which needed to be able to resist bending due to wind and seismic forces. The solution was to use a grid of small setting blocks to transfer the loads from the steel frame to the glass wall panels. These were positioned a slight distance away from the glass corners, so peak stresses in these weaker areas could be avoided.

The setting blocks were positioned against steel T-sections that were welded to the main frame. This meant that all lateral forces could be transferred to the glass by these elements without having to introduce additional out of plane edge restraints or additional stiffeners.

Round glass walls

Curved glass walls are a beautiful addition to any space, from homes to commercial buildings. They provide privacy and elegance, while letting in natural light. They can be used to create a focal point in your home or business, or they can be a curved door allowing access to a patio or balcony.

To reinforce a round stained glass window, there are several different methods. One option is to use saddle bars, which are round metal rods that are drilled and fixed into the frame. Copper ties are soldered around them to keep them in place. Another option is to use flat rebar, which is braided copper reinforcement. This method is more time-consuming but provides stronger results than Strong Line.

A structural glass wall system is an important consideration in any design, but the lead times for individual components and materials need to be considered carefully. The longer these materials are on the job site, the more they will impact the project schedule.

Custom glass wall design

Glass walls can add a sense of transparency to your workspace or create a beautiful separation between spaces. These walls can be made with toughened glass, and are durable enough to withstand heavy loads. They can also be clad in a range of finishes, including metals, to complement the design of your space.

Until recently, the complexity of balancing forces between mechanical fixings has limited the use of glass as a structural support. However, knowledge of the capacity of slender glass and appropriate detailing has made it possible to transfer in-plane lateral forces through the edges of the glass.

This has resulted in two buildings that are fully supported by slender glass walls, avoiding the need for steel braces. This development is a great step towards more sustainability and slender structures.