Issue # 30: Glass & Glazing June 9, 2004

Issue #30 Glass & Glazing

  1. The Basics: Glass & Glazing Terms, History, Production
  2. Glass Types: Flat, Low-E, Smart & Switchable
  3. Sealed Units: Overview, Durability, Cold Stress Cracks
  4. Specialty Products: Film, Glass Blocks, Plastic Sheets
  5. Selecting: Which Benefits, Noise Isolation, Specifying
  6. Installation: On-Site Protection, Installing, Cleaning
  7. Issues: Condensation, Visual Distortion, Find Products
  8. Ken’s Top Pick: If You Have Time To Surf Only One Site

1. Basics – Glass & Glazing Terms, History, Production

Glass Glossary
Does argon mean they are not here anymore? (Groan…) Common terms used in glass manufacturing and designs are easily searchable in this glossary at the Glass On Web site.

Glazing Glossary
You will find terms used in the installation and glazing processes in this Technical Glossary excerpt from the Glazing Manual of the Glass Association of North America.

Glass History
Natural glass has been around since the beginning of time, and its evolution from 5000 BC to modern days is explained in this easy to follow historical timeline at Glass Online.

Production Of Glass
For simple overviews (even I could understand them) of glass production, the Glass On Web site has articles with some drawings. Click on “Sources On Net” on the right side as well.

2. Glass Types: Flat, Low-E, Smart & Switchable

CommonTypes Of Glass
It’s hard to keep up with all the different types of glass available today. Glass On Web helps with these descriptions, pictures, and links to more info on different types of flat glass.

Low-E & Spectrally Selective
Low-emissivity (Low-e) coatings will control thermal radiation and spectrally selective glazing filters out heat producing parts of the solar spectrum, as explained in this Efficient Windows Collaborative report.

New Smart & Switchable Glass
Some new smart products have been developed that change their colour or properties to alter privacy, heat and light transmission and more, as shown here by How Stuff Works.

3. Sealed Units: Overview, Industry Association, Cold Stress Cracks

Overview Of Gas Fills, Spacers & Coatings
The Efficient Windows Collaborative site offers a good overview, with pictures, of the different types of sealed unit gas fills, low conductance spacers, and Low-E coatings.

Industry Association
Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) the worlds leading organization on the engineering and manufacturing of insulating glass was incorporated in 2000 as a result of a merger between the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada (IGMAC) and the Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA).

Stress Cracks & Cold Weather (PDF FILE)
Very cold weather can increase the risk of stress cracks in all types of glass. TruSeal has a technical bulletin outlining some causes that may help you troubleshoot this problem.

4. Specialty Products: Film, Glass Blocks, Plastic Sheets

Window Films
You can get window films that improve energy efficiency, reduce solar gain or block UV, as explained in this Toolbase report offering a good technical review and links to products.

Glass Blocks
Here is an online technical brochure from Pittsburgh Corning that gives you an overview of glass block types and designs, including lots of photos of different applications.

Plastic Sheets (PDF FILE)
For a brief overview of plastic sheet products, manufacturers, properties, sash designs and glazing considerations check out this technical bulletin from TruSeal Technologies.

5. Selecting: Which Benefits, Noise Isolation, Specifying

Which Benefits Serve Your Needs?
To help you or your customer select the best glazing this EWC site offers info on options to address energy, comfort, condensation, light & view, fading and lower HVAC costs.

Noise Isolation Provided By Window Glazing
If you are building in an area where noise is a concern, this brief CMHC research summary on Noise Isolation Provided By Windows could be very helpful in selecting products.

Specifying Windows & Glazing
The Whole Building Design Guide covers the basic window and glazing concepts and walks you through the process of specifying appropriate window and glazing systems.

6. Installation: On-Site Protection, Installing, Cleaning

Construction Site Protection (PDF FILE)
Tips for site delivery and storage, trade awareness, post installation inspection and protection, construction cleanup, and long-term maintenance are offered here by GANA.

Installation Demonstrations
RDH Engineering has a new Web site with excellent 4D slide shows of some best practice installations for buildings with EIFS, curtainwalls, wood siding and more. (See right panel)

Cleaning (PDF FILE)
Glass can be permanently damaged if not cleaned properly, so it may be worth following this checklist from GANA that outlines procedures for cleaning architectural glass.

7. Issues: Condensation, Visual Distortion, Find Products

Customers often think there are problems with their glass if condensation occurs. This Canadian Building Digest explains when temperature, humidity and wind cause condensation.

Visual Distortions
The SAFTI site explains how viewing angle and distances of viewer and objects are critical in quantifying “perceived” distortion in heat treated glass and sealed insulating units.

Find A Product
If you are looking for manufacturers or suppliers of different glass and glazing products the 4Specs Search Engine for Construction Products offers these listings by category.

8. Ken’s Top Pick: The Glass On Web Site

The Glass On Web Site
Not only is this an online meeting place for the glass industry, it has great information that is easy to find. At least check out the Articles (top) and Glass Manual (left side) sections.

Dittie For Today: On Leadership
Leaders are like eagles. They don't flock, you find them one at a time.

 © Copyright 2004               Ken Farrish               All Rights Reserved
ISSN: 1703-5597 - National Library of Canada