The structural integrity of the Apple Store in Hingham, Mass., remains intact, despite being smashed by a vehicle, says Plymouth County district attorney Tim Cruz.
The driver of an SUV smashed into the Apple Store in the Hingham shopping plaza at around 10:45 a.m. (See https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/11/21/metro/vehicle-crashes-into-hingham-apple-store/). Authorities report that one person died, and dozens were injured. The Plymouth County district attorney’s office charged Bradley Rein, 53, on Monday night with reckless homicide by motor vehicle.
Images of the store show that the SUV impacted the store’s glass front just to the right of the entrance doors. Other than the impact site, the glass remains undisturbed.
“It looks like a good design with laminated glass that was well able to withstand ‘normal’ impact loads,” says glass consultant Chris Barry of the glass storefront. “The load in this case seems to be ‘abnormal.’”
Most laminated glass is made by bonding multiple layers of glass with layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). These interlayers hold the glass layers together, even when the glass breaks or is impacted by a strong force, such as an SUV. Barry says that structural glazing is “often, but not necessarily, laminated.”
Apple stores are known worldwide for their use of large, structural glass applications. As an added protection measure, some Apple stores are installing barriers in front of their signature glass façades to prevent vandalism and vehicles from crashing into the glass.
One of the company’s newest stores, which opened on November 12 in Bridgeport Village in Portland, Ore., features protective benches while another Portland storefront is currently undergoing renovations to make the store more resistant to vandalism. This includes installing a storefront security enclosure that consists of dozens of clear, polycarbonate panels that form a barrier in front of the store’s glass walls.