NewsAnalysis:STRUCTURAL GLAZING  
Looming Large: Big Sizes Mean  
Big Focus on Structural Engganticnonceeptes onrtihenmgarket to fix  
he architectural community is design phase of projects. If the engi-  
pushing the limits of what can be neers are not involved in the architec- point-supported glass if spider fittings  
T
done with glass, as applications tural design stage, it’s very important aren’t in the architectural design.  
grow beyond what many thought was for the glazing contractors to have an “You can fix the glass with patch fit-  
possible even just a few years ago. experienced engineer on their team as tings, you can glue the glass to the sub-  
The glass and glazing industry is early as possible.” structure with structural silicon…  
happy to accommodate, having made Architectural demands for maintain- sedak laminates titanium embeds with  
monumental strides in fabrication ca- ing minimum sightlines while using thread into the glass as a structural  
pabilities. German fabricator sedak,for larger structural glazing applications point for connection with fins or other  
example, has introduced to the United has also opened up opportunities for parts of the building,” he says.  
States lites of glass spanning 49-by-10- innovations in sealants and adhesives.  
and-a-half feet in size. Other North Jon Kimberlain, senior application in inquiries regarding the use of high  
American fabricators are also investing specialist at Dow Corning Corp., says strength adhesives in point-supported.  
in larger product offerings. his company has been increasingly in- “That’s another avenue in innovation,”  
Kimberlain says he’s seen an increase  
With the ever-increasing dimensions volved in the early design phases of he says.“If you think about the cost of  
of architectural glass comes a respon- projects,as architects seek engineering this huge piece of glass in a point-sup-  
sibility in the building community to data. He says Dow Corning has a po- ported application… and then drilling  
ensure that it doesn’t over extend the tential patent on how to use finite ele- through the glass,is that going to create  
material.  
ment analysis (FEA) to reduce the some potential for breakage? I don’t  
that the client requests,” says sedak “super-high windloads.”  
North America vice president Maic “Through this process, it has taught  
As a supplier, we provide the glass sightline for bigger glass lites and know, but these are the things we’re  
starting to think about.”  
These larger glass installations across  
Pannwitz.“… The responsibility for the us more than we ever knew about how a variety of applications has resulted in  
structural concept work is with the fa- our sealant performs under these a need among the architectural com-  
cade contractor.”He says a special glass unique design situations,” he says.“It’s munity for specialized engineering.  
engineer should be involved from when driving the industry to think about what Jeske has seen an uptick in requests  
a building development begins. we can do beyond the convention.” from architects for engineering support  
They have to check story drifts, Jeske points out that, for point-sup- in the design phase regarding the ca-  
deadloads and building movements,”he ported glazing, the key factor is the pacity of large glass lites.  
says.“Glass can accommodate a lot,but stress limits around the holes in the  
“We’re pushing the limits of the  
older empirical test-based load capaci-  
“This requires finite element analy- ties that have typically defined maxi-  
it’s still glass,and if it gets overloaded,it glass.  
breaks.Designing the correct interfaces  
between the building structure and the sis, and special programs are used to mum glass sizes in the past,” he says.  
glass is the key.” make sure we stay within code-al- “… Our engineers are more in de-  
This attention to detail is particularly lowed stress limits,” he says. “Larger mand because we focus solely on glaz-  
important when dealing with structural glass sizes need more support fittings ing systems’ structural engineering.  
glazing and point-supported glass.  
to limit deflection and stress, which This focus keeps us sharp on all of the  
“Building codes determine how requires more rigorous engineering latest code requirements, methods and  
much glass can handle. The engineer’s analysis. Providing FEA with glass is construction trends so our clients save  
job is to protect architects and glazing very specialized because of the unique time and money. Because of the de-  
contractors from unknowingly exceed- material of glass and its limiting prop- mand and the specialized engineering  
ing those boundaries,” says Stewart erties. It is very different than steel, for glass, more training time is needed  
Jeske, president of JEI Structural Engi- concrete or wood taught in engineer- to bring new hires up to speed. This is  
neering Glazing Systems. “Engineers ing curriculums.”  
need to be involved in the beginning Pannwitz says “there are more ele-  
something not taught in school.”  
His company has developed propri-  
40  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | May 2016  
www.usglassmag.com  
etary software specialized toward the  
glazing industry for fast and accurate  
engineering solutions. It also uses new  
FEA software specific to glass. That  
technology combined with fabrication  
developments, such as strong interlay-  
ers, will continue to drive things for-  
ward, he says.  
“We anticipate more and more inno-  
vative technology in every area of the  
glass industry as architects, manufac-  
tures, glazing contractors and engi-  
neers continue to push the boundaries sedak featured its oversized glass at the most recent glasstec event in  
in glass use,” says Jeske.  
Germany. As these large lites make their way their way into structural and  
Nick St. Denis s point-supported applications, a bigger focus is being placed on engineering.  
Q: Why Choose JLM for Door Hardware Solutions?  
A: aJnLdMexispaergtirseeaint haalurmdwinaurme sduopopr lhiearrd; twhaerirekisnboweyloedngde  
compare. Their customer service and prompt turn-  
around on quote requests helps us better serve our  
general contractors. They are a force to be reckoned  
with, and we’re glad to be partnered with JLM on  
some of our current projects - and, hopefully, many  
more in the future.”  
JLM Wholesale Customer Quote  
Michigan: 800.522.2940  
North Carolina: 800.768.6050  
Texas: 877.347.5117  
jlmwholesale.com  
VISIT US AT GLASS EXPO PACIFIC NORTHWEST  
www.usglassmag.com  
May 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
41