Glass is the soul of modern architecture. We see it on façades, floors, walls, and windows. Old and dated buildings are also retrofitted with glass wall panels to make them more contemporary and enhance their structural stability.
But no material is perfect. Just like other building materials, glass also has its share of problems. The good news, however, is that there are ways to work around said issues, especially when using glass wall panels.
Internal and external glass panels are all the rage for both homes and offices today, and why not! They look sublime and open up spaces without compromising the safety and security of people around them. When coupled with the right kind of glazing options, they also offer sound insulation and shower in heaps of natural light. Unlike distempered or papered walls, glass panels remain free from dust and do not peel off. However, there are a few concerns associated with installing glass wall panels, which can be fixed, as given below.
Glass Panels are Considered Brittle
Standard glass is a rigid and brittle material that can shatter upon impact. However, this is not entirely true! The fragile nature of glass is countered by manufacturing toughened safety glass. Tempered or toughened surfaces are created through the process of heat tempering.
In this method, a pane of standard annealed or float glass is cut to size and rolled into a 680°C preheated furnace. The heat takes the glass pane beyond its transmission temperature. After applying heat, the glass surface is made to cool down rapidly. Rapid cooling allows the outer layer of glass to lose warmth faster than the inner layer. This process creates “centre tension” and strengthens the glass surface.
A tempered glass surface is at least five times tougher than standard annealed glass. These panes can withstand temperature differentials and are very hard to break. If they deal with a substantial impact, toughened glass panes shatter into blunt and tiny pebble-like pieces that are harmless.
Another type of glass used to counter the problem of brittleness is laminated glass. This type of glass has a Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) layer sandwiched between two layers of standard glass, the special PVB interlayer holding the panes together in place.
Therefore, if you are planning on getting glass wall panels installed inside your home or office, use either toughened or laminated glass. The right glazing option is the ultimate fix for the issue of brittleness.
Glass Panels can Absorb heat
Another common concern with glass wall panels is that of heat. The standard glass does allow for light as well as heat to pass through. If you live in a hot region, this disadvantage will put a lot of stress on your heating and cooling units.
But, this can be easily countered by using energy-efficient glass. This type of glass enhances thermal comfort as it does not let cold internal air to leak out easily. The energy-efficiency of glass is generally achieved by double or triple glazing in modern homes and offices. These glass panes contain a low-emissivity (Low-E) coating that reduces the absorption of heat to a large extent. This benefit also helps you reduce your carbon footprint.
Low-emissivity or Low-E glass not only improves energy-efficiency but also prevents the outside noise from coming inside. Therefore, if you plan on installing several glass wall panels, especially on the exterior walls of your home or office, choose energy-efficient glass.
Glass Panels may Reduce Privacy
Glass has always been touted for its transparency. A myth surrounding this feature of glass is that while it opens up spaces and makes them more accessible, its transparency may be the death of privacy. But this is not true! Today it is possible for you to install glass surfaces that let in tonnes of natural light without compromising on privacy.
Whether you wish to install exterior or interior glass wall panels, get privacy by using frosted glass. Frosted glass is manufactured by the method of sandblasting or chemical etching. A portion of a clear glass surface is stencilled out and blasted with fine sand particles or etched with acid, thus rendering it opaque. These panes provide complete privacy but allow natural light into a room.
Alternatively, you can also use lacquered or back-painted glass for your wall panels to create privacy with a dash of colour and texture. This type of glass is uniformly painted on one side and then installed with the coated side facing inwards. Lacquered glass panels come in a host of colours, provide complete privacy, and last without losing their sheen for years.
Over to You
So you see, the three most common problems that people associate with glass wall panels can be easily fixed with the right glazing option. To get the best out of glass wall panels, reach out to AIS Glasxperts – a full-service offering by Asahi Glass India Limited. Our team of professionals is fully equipped to cater to all your glass-related needs.
Visit www.glasxperts.com to get an expert consultation today!