Volume 22, Issue 6 - November/December 2008


Architects Gain Glass Education
The Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal, along with Edgetech IG and J.E. Berkowitz, sponsored a half-day Architects’ Educational Program in Schaumburg, Ill. on Tuesday, December 9. During the event, attendees heard three AIA-accredited presentations.

In one of them, Mike Nicklas, architectural sales and marketing manager for J.E. Berkowitz, Pedricktown, N.J., discussed glass fabrication and design issues.

His list of design issues included aesthetics, LEED, energy, safety, wind and snow loads, thermal stress, sound attenuation, constructability, availability and cost. Aesthetics include color, indoor and outdoor reflectance, visible light transmission, the surrounding environment and quality measures. Nicklas recommended doing a full-size mockup to be sure the aesthetics are correct.

He also discussed decorative PVB interlayers, which are designed to give architects and designers more flexibility in fulfilling their design visions.

Nicklas said that sound attenuation is one of the most important factors in design today. He explained how glass functions in controlling sound. “There are a lot of options in design for this,” he said.

“You have to make sure that what you design can actually be built,” Nicklas said in discussing constructability. “Find out what the capabilities are of your suppliers to be certain they can do what you want.” He pointed out that heat soaking is becoming more popular in the U.S. “It has been required in Europe,” he explained. With this process, the glass goes through a ramping up phase, a holding time of two hours at 290 degrees Celsius and a ramping down phase. This reduces the probability of a unit breaking spontaneously. It is being used in a lot of glass rail applications and point-supported curtainwalls, he said.

In discussing energy efficiency, Nicklas explained the role of warm-edge airspacers in insulating glass construction.

This subject was reviewed in more detail by the next speaker, Joe Erb, product manager for Edgetech IG, Cambridge, Ohio.

Erb said his learning objectives were to make attendees understand current spacer product weakness (materials used historically are not as effective in heat transfer), the meaning of warm edge (more energy efficient insulating glass), how warm edge is accomplished (by materials and technology) and its benefits (higher thermal performance).

Currently 90 percent of the market utilizes warm-edge technology, Erb pointed out. This figure was contrasted with 1990 when only 15 percent of the market was warm edge. Window companies have driven this growth in the residential market with the adaptation of Energy Star® ratings. 

Guardian Study Focuses on Glass Specification
Auburn Hills, Mich.-based glass manufacturer Guardian Industries has published a new case study about high-performance coated glass. The study, called “Just what the doctor ordered: New low-E glass reduces heat, increases comfort of occupants and patients,” chronicles how Guardian’s SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 helped the owners of a medical plaza solve a glass problem by using a new coated glass product that exceeded their goals in terms of quality, cost and comfort.

In 2005, construction began on a medical plaza outside of Nashville. Plans called for two identical 45,000-square-foot, three-story commercial buildings, to be built in two phases. Trouble began after building one was completed. Staff and patients experienced discomfort due to heat gain in the building and energy costs were also higher than expected. By 2007, the project architects looked for a better performing glass for phase two of the project.

“Just what the doctor ordered” explains the difference between the two low-Es that were specified for the different project phases, the performance of each, and, ultimately, the advantages and cost savings that were recognized on the phase two building using the higher performing coated glass. Guardian’s SuperNeutral 68 was used to replace two elevations in the first building and for all the glass in the second building. An analysis showed a 43 percent reduction in overall heat load due to the new coated glass. 

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