How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Project

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Robison Wells
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With such rapid advances in technology, the options for something as basic as glass are no longer simple. There are extensive selections to choose from when building your project, and your purpose, geography, and usage play an essential role.

The first thing to consider are the realistic needs of your project. While there are a plethora of options, not everyone is needed for every job, and knowing exactly what you need can significantly cut down on your costs. For example, a window may need to face high winds, but won’t see significant cold, or a piece of glass may require impact resistance, but not exposure to ultraviolet radiation. So, you must look at the predominant environmental conditions.

In regards to solar protection, it’s important to let enough light in your windows to illuminate the building, but you may not want much heat to transfer. It’s three times more expensive to cool than to heat a building, according to an article in ArchDaily, so you want to be careful how much energy you’re allowing to filter in. Double-paned glass is crucial in these conversations, as the space between the glass increases the R value of the window’s insulation. Having a double-paned window can cut as much as 50% of the heat conductivity, and Low-E glass can reduce costs as much as 80%.

Another important factor is sound. Polyvinyl panes have a membrane between the panes that can significantly reduce acoustic transmission (which can be important for boardrooms, but essential for airports).

Laminated glass can be an important factor if you’re worried about crime or vandalism. This includes laminate—sometimes many layers between the glass, and can be used in windows, skylights, and even glass floors.

There are many more factors to consider when choosing your glass for a project, such as mechanical resistance, solar control, fire resistance, and norms and regulations. For more information, including diagrams of each type of specialized glass, visit ArchDaily.

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