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Architectural Glazing Systems

11 July 2022
Contemporary architecture increasingly features large glass surfaces that not only make interiors feel more spacious and create spectacular external views to be enjoyed but also provide passive solar gain.

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As an architect, you play a crucial role in positioning a property’s architectural glazing when designing or redesigning a residential or commercial building. It’s essential to recommend and source architectural glazing that’s inherently strong and secure enough for domestic and commercial installation, with slim aluminium frames capable of supporting significantly larger glass panes than uPVC and timber alternatives.

This article is designed to raise awareness of the wide variety of architectural glazing systems available to architects and building developers to be incorporated into any redeveloped home or workplace design.

Pros

  • Roof skylights improve natural lighting in dark places in homes and offices.
  • It brightens gloomy areas, particularly those in the centre of the building or without windows, such as toilets.
  • Both for electricity and heating costs, skylights can significantly reduce monthly bills by increasing ventilation and brightness.
  • Illusion of space
    Adding a skylight to any space can give a feeling of openness, brightness and space. In rooms with scarce space, the addition of a rooflight can connect the space outside making the room feel larger.

Cons

  • When choosing what type of skylight to install, be sure to look out for these pitfalls.
    Choosing low-quality materials and untrained installers can cause damage to homes and business buildings.
  • Unplanned placement.
    Placing a skylight is very important to achieve the effect that you want, working with an architect can ensure your skylight offers the best performance for your needs.

Glass canopies

Glass canopies, also known as glass verandas, embrace a traditional style of architectural glazing and can be installed above a patio area or property entrance, creating a walkway or space protected from the elements. A canopy must be strong and aesthetically pleasing, with the ability to easily handle intense wind loads and other extreme weather conditions.

Glass rooflights

Architectural rooflights can maximise the natural light filtering down into any property. They aren’t only capable of delivering abundant daylight, but they can also provide much-needed ventilation with hinged rooflights that open to provide fresh air and even roof access if necessary.

Rooflights are available in various designs too, capable of complementing the aesthetics of any new development. Aside from static rooflights that fit flush to the ceiling, pyramid rooflights can also make the perfect architectural statement – ideal above living spaces such as dining areas or boardrooms and meeting rooms in commercial environments.

We work with architects, developers and self-builders to offer bespoke rooflight configurations that are uniquely suited to any particular project.

Glass box extensions

For designs that require the ultimate ‘wow factor’ with their architectural glazing, a frameless glass box extension could be the ideal choice. Not only is it a fantastic addition to the shape and style of any property, but it also creates abundant natural light and unique external views from the interiors below, connecting it uniquely with its surroundings.

Glass box extensions don’t tend to require planning permission from local authorities and their ability to provide a distinct break between a building’s existing structure and a modern extension makes them an increasing hit with architects and planners alike. Take a look at our project with Spatial Design Architects, who specified that we design and manufacture a unique glass box structure to connect a home’s ground-floor extension with the first-floor living space.

External glass doors

​External glass doors can help frame a property, creating expansive external views with minimal sight lines. Aluminium sliding doors are becoming increasingly popular, with the aluminium framework strong enough to hold floor-to-ceiling panes that result in 360-degree panoramic aspects. Aluminium external glass doors deliver excellent energy performance with thinner profiles resulting in much improved U-values, as well as a highly contemporary architectural aesthetic.

Glass curtain walling

Curtain walling can create glass living and work spaces that are wholly unique, with an uncompromised feeling of light and spaciousness. Seamless curtain walling can integrate with other windows and doors to create a complete architectural glazing system that exceeds Building Regulation guidelines for thermal efficiency, whilst producing a timeless aesthetic that adds tremendous value to any property. These facades offer virtually unlimited design freedom, which is a huge bonus to any architect.

At Sunsquare, we offer around 165 different skylight combinations to choose from. Thanks to our modular designs, we can be extremely flexible, delivering thermally efficient and secure rooflights with laminated inner panes for improved security. We work with architects, developers and self-builders to offer bespoke rooflight configurations that are uniquely suited to any particular project.

If you’re at the planning stage of your project, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your architectural glazing requirements in greater detail. Call our experienced team today or drop us a line using our online contact form.

Download our whitepaper on building regulations. Written to help architects, surveyors and home improvers alike understand every UK building regulation.

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