Glass processing technology has improved in leaps and bounds to accommodate the demands of multiple industries. Laminated glass in architecture has done much to preserve safety and structural integrity. Tempered glass is a staple in many electronics. When choosing between the many glass types for your project — whether you are manufacturing furniture or looking for shop front glass — there are many variables you have to first consider before selecting and buying your glass sheets.
Different glass, different uses
When selecting glass for your construction, you will recognise that different glass types have different physical characteristics. These characteristics should affect their durability and aesthetics, meaning different glass types have different appropriate applications. Safety glass will be more expensive than ornamental glass but far more durable, so it is best used for walls and display shelves. However, if you are not expecting too much use or traffic, ornamental glass might be thinner and easier to shape. Luckily, there are now glass types in the middle ground of affordability, durability, and aesthetics.
What can glass do for you?
The glass you select must reflect the building’s aesthetics and style. This point is critical when selecting shop front glass.
A good shop front should be clean and clear enough to display your wares and products from the street. It should not reflect too much light to avoid glare from obscuring your display. If your shop front opens to the road, it will be more exposed to external factors that might cause it to break, so your shop front glass has to be durable and highly resistant to impact. Shatterproof safety glass will protect both people on the inside and the outside of your store.
It is further essential to design the trimmings of your glass windows, doors, and panels to match your store’s overall aesthetic. The best glass design should help improve your curb appeal.
Let there be light
In the designing phase of constructing a building, the architect and the contractor must consider how the entire structure sits in relation to the sun’s position. It means they must compare where the sun rises and sets to predict how light and heat will enter your building throughout the day. Doing so will determine the orientation of your windows, your transparent partitions, walls, panels and even the location of your doors.
Successfully managing the degree of sun protection required and the flow of heated air can help building owners save on utility bills.
Glass should reflect quality
There are numerous ways to test out your material’s performance. Glass is often measured for the U-factor, the visible light transmission, and the solar heat gain coefficient, all of which can help you determine the quality of your glass.
Architects and contractors should know to test for these performance indicators, so it is best to always hire experts to help you choose the best glass for your project.
Flexible for your needs
Glass used nowadays is no longer purely glass. Laminated glass, for example, is reinforced with Polyvinyl Butyral, or PVB, to make it stronger and more resistant to shattering on impact. It should be more durable, more flexible and offer more optical clarity compared to conventional ‘pure’ glass. Used in architecture and construction, the main application of PVB is to fill in windows and doors. In cars, you can find it in windshields.
In construction, architecture and design, good materials should be your first thought. Avoid losing money on replacements and repairs by being careful about what building materials to purchase. Always remember to prioritise safety, security and durability when working with glass.