Open bright spaces which seamlessly pass into the terrace or garden are a feature of modern construction. Modern architectural trends inspire contemporary designers. The creation of large glass façades that bridge the exterior and interior of the building is a task that requires warm and stable solutions. Energy-efficient aluminium framing systems are increasingly used for such ambitious projects. They feature aesthetically narrow profiles with excellent thermal insulation.
The creation of a glass façade in a residential house allows glass to be used in large uninterrupted areas creating consistent attractive surface. Glass panes can be installed in a system based on aluminium or steel profiles or as a point fixed structural glazing system such as Pilkington Planar™ where conventional metal framing is eliminated and the glass is mechanically fixed. The Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system provides a flush glass surface by utilising stainless steel fittings housed in countersunk holes to fix the glass façade back to the structure instead of using the more conventional framed systems.
With a frameless structural glass system, many of the attractions of the great outdoors are brought indoors - such as natural light and sunshine. At the same time, the very same light and heat can be managed via the specification of a wide range of insulating glass units incorporating low emissivity and solar control glass.
Contemporary minimalist architecture is simple shapes and uniform colours. The glass wall and metal accents complement and decorate the simple façade. More and more often these cool arrangements are complemented by natural accents such as wood and stone, in the form of formwork or gabion walls. The frameless facades will give the facility ultra-modern, transparent character. They are resistant to wind loads and air and water penetration.
Glass façades require all-year-round environmental performance. Otherwise, in the summer time, the interior will quickly overheat and in the winter cool down. High performance double glazing and triple glazing units make it easy to maintain a stable, comfortable temperature in rooms with large surface glazing throughout the year. Low-emissivity glass prevents heat loss during the colder months and also allows the interior to be gently heated by passive solar gain, improving the energy balance of the building. Solar control glass reduces overheating during summer time and reduce or even eliminate the need for air-conditioning.
The flexibility in choice of NSG Group products allows the designer to control every aspect of the performance from thermal to solar considerations and ultimately the design statement for the building.
The Pilkington Suncool™ range combines in one coating efficient thermal properties with some of the lowest Ug-values achievable in insulating glass units and a broad range of solar control. With so much glass being used the solar gain can be high unless it is controlled. With the Pilkington glass range we can offer high light transmission with solar control and retain the natural look with neutral appearance glass products. At the other extreme we can restrict light and solar gain in varying proportions and add colour or reflection into the products. For those areas covering floor slabs or office services, there are complimentary Pilkington Spandrel Glass options to either contrast or harmonise with the vision area. Pilkington Spandrel Glass can have the Ug-value enhanced with additional insulation fitted directly to the rear of the panels. Most products are available in impact resistant forms to allow the glass to be used at low levels, as a barrier and for safety and security.