Glass and glazing products continued to be an important focus in the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) virtual Conference on Architecture. Some of the latest sessions offered viewers an opportunity to learn more about ways they can bring glass into their commercial projects. Demountable glass walls and glass doors, for example, provide an opportunity for architects, designers and specifiers to meet a variety of performance and aesthetic needs. An important takeaway from both discussions was the value of natural daylight, which can reduce energy costs and have also been studied to increase employee productivity and long-term health.

One session during the virtual event was hosted by Jen DelMonico, the central region sales manager for Muraflex. She discussed the importance of reducing reliance on light fixtures, improving the distribution of daylight and views within buildings, and improving the acoustic qualities of spaces.

Attaining access to daylight in a specific area has been focused on heavily in the industry in recent times. According to DelMonico, the industry has moved from having offices separated by drywall to incorporating more glass to offer employees more daylight to increase productivity. Choosing the correct glass and accessories and understanding the differences between surfaces can drastically change the acoustics and sound transmission class (STC).

Adding soft surfaces, for example, such as acoustical ceilings, carpet, furniture upholstery and tapestries, can better absorb sound than hard surfaces.

“A glass system is only as strong as its door and how that is sealed off,” she said. Often, companies measure the STC of a space without factoring the door in the measurement, which can be a fault because doors can cause sound leakage.

Assa Abloy architectural hardware consultant Steve Tongco also discussed the impacts glass can have on the sustainability of a space and the wellbeing of occupants. Offices, universities and retail spaces all take advantage of different glass partitions to attain certain environmental qualities. Tongco offered an overview of swinging doors and architectural hardware for glass openings and the additional benefits for occupants.

Tongco briefly reviewed the difference between annealed and tempered glass and different types of thicknesses that can be used. He then went into detail on various glass door types, systems and rails before heavily covering the realm of glass door hardware. Different types of glass doors require different pieces of hardware, such as patch fittings, pivots and rails.

He explained how other parts of the doors and openings may not always comply with ADA guidelines so identifying basic components and understanding the various options is crucial. Different door rails accomplish different goals. For example, “wedge” types can accommodate several glass thicknesses and offer fast and easy installation, according to Tongco.

Aesthetics come into consideration at seemingly every stage of glass door designs, manufacturing and installations. Accessories are just one piece to that puzzle. Patch fittings, floor and overhead closures, sidelight rails, U-channels and door pulls all require meeting different classifications and qualifications.

The AIA Conference on Architecture concludes this week on August 19. Stay tuned to USGNN for the latest updates.


1 Comment

  1. Far too often the sustainability impacts of glass from an embodied carbon perspective are ignored. I’m curious if sessions like this ever address the huge environmental impact that the manufacture, distribution, installation, and maintenance of glass/glazing products have on global GHG emissions?

    This is a core focus at NEXT Energy Tech. With a transparent BIPV glass solution we can increase the value proposition of glass by improving its GHG emissions profile with renewable energy production as an offset, and an elegant alternative to fossil fuels.

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