You can’t have enough of it. There are amazing projects out there that are proof of the seemingly limitless design possibilities of glass.
The material is preferred by architects and designers because of its versatility. From interesting colours, endless shapes and designs, glass cladding offers a distinctive look to a building. In fact, it’s a noticeable trend especially in the commercial real estate industry.
What’s more, glass provides a cost-effective alternative to other forms of cladding such as painting and tiling.
What’s Glass Cladding?
Glass cladding is a widely used technique in architecture where glass panes are used on the exterior surface of buildings. Mainly, there are two types: curtain walling and rainscreen cladding.
First, curtain walling is a non-structural cladding system for the exterior of a structure. This type involves a lightweight aluminium frame that’s attached to a building skeleton onto which glass panels can be fixed. Curtain walling is common in large, multi-story developments and prevents any weather from penetrating into the complex.
On the other hand, rainscreen is sometimes referred to as a drained or a pressure-equalised facade. As part of a double-wall arrangement, the outer layer prevents considerable amounts of water from seeping into the wall construction. On the contrary, the inner leaf provides thermal insulation.
And another thing...
What’s The Difference Between Facade and Exterior Cladding?
Sometimes facade and cladding are incorrectly used interchangeably. Yes, they’re connected but they mean different things. And yes, they relate to a building’s exterior.
Facade is any side of a building facing a street or an open space. It’s the principal face and generally it’s the front part of a building’s exterior. In architecture, the facade is one of the most important aspects of design since it sets the tone for the rest of the structure.
In contrast, cladding are the different materials used to cover the exterior of a property. For instance, cladding can be used to protect the exterior and the frame of a structure. Alternatively, it can be used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of an establishment.
Simply, you can have a variety of exterior cladding designs to choose from, but a building can only have one facade.
What’s The Glass Cladding Used For?
● To provide thermal insulation. Helps take some of the load off a HVAC system.
● To provide weather resistance. Protects a building from the elements.
● To improve a structure’s aesthetics. Helps provide a modern look.
● To provide sound insulation. When located in a busy street, it can help keep some of the noise away.
● To create a facade. Enhances the design of a structure.
● For lighting. Allows access to daylight.
And in case you’re wondering...
What Are The Advantages of Glass Cladding?
1. It’s safe
Technological advances in manufacturing such as tempering have increased the ability of glass to survive impact. And even if it breaks, it shatters into blunt granules that reduce the likelihood of injury. Even better, today there’s blast-resistant glass that helps reduce or prevent injuries caused by explosions.
2. It’s an energy saver
By allowing light even when you close your windows and doors, glass reduces the need for artificial lighting. Likewise, during hot months, glass cladding can prevent heat from building up indoors hence lowering your cooling costs.
A glass cladding adds visual appeal and sophistication to a structure. You can have a breathtaking design that makes a building stand out, and then glass complements it with a touch of uniqueness and beauty.
4. It enhances wellbeing
As a transparent material, glass creates a feeling of openness and harmony by allowing users to connect with the outdoors. Also, a glass cladding brightens up a room and enhances the beauty of a space.
5. It’s easy to maintain
A glass cladding is ideal for commercial buildings. The smooth and glossy surface works best in both wet and dry environments without the need for regular maintenance.
6. It’s light and strong
Glass doesn’t increase the dead load of a building the way stone would. This makes it ideal for high rise steel structures.
7. It saves time
Unlike concrete that requires adequate curing time, prefabricated panels can be installed quickly and easily. Consequently, this helps speed up the construction process.
8. It’s weather-resistant
Glass cladding can withstand the effects of sun, rain and wind without losing it’s appearance and integrity.
9. It’s rust-resistant
Unlike steel which is highly prone to rust once exposed to moisture and oxygen, glass is rust-resistant. In other words, glass doesn’t react to weather changes such as rain unlike other materials.
Bringing it All Together
As a fast-evolving material, we will keep seeing more glass uses. And as a designer or architect, you can benefit from these developments.
Whether it’s a commercial or residential project, glass is the perfect material to make your mark. It’s a material that will speak your language.
A breath-taking result that lives up to the expectations of your clients.
Give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.