June 29, 2023

Clayworth Cottage | On Site Story

Written by Taylor Hall-Jones

Glass Installation at Clayworth Cottage

Clayworth Cottage is one of IQ’s most famous and acclaimed projects. A feature episode of Grand Designs took this project to the next level and showcased the project from start to finish for thousands of viewers to see.

Clayworth Cottage had a huge focus on wheelchair accessibility due to the wife of the project owner being wheelchair bound. This meant that everything around the home needed to be fully accessible and easy for wheelchair users to navigate. Of course the slim sliding doors had very minimal thresholds to ensure that the merging from inside to outside is seamless.


Access to the site and site conditions during the glass installation.

The access to the rear of the property where the minimal windows were being installed was difficult.

The building's overhang and the site conditions in the back prevented the use of a mobile crane for installation. Instead, we suggested using two glazing robots to help lift and move glass from a stillage to a trolley, then from the trolley to an opening.

At the front of the building, the glass had to be mounted on a trolley, which had to be carefully moved down a temporary track to the rear of the building over the top of churned-up earth.

It was quickly determined that the earth track was too steep and too high for access on the first day of lifting and filming. To minimise the slope and ensure that the glass did not strike the overhang at the end of its joinery, the team had to work with the builders to dig out the slope.

Installation Below the Overhang

The building's layout places its several windows and sliding doors beneath a substantial overhang that wraps around the exterior of the structure.

This overhang's function is to shield the glazing from the sun's rays and the weather. However, it makes installation difficult.  The glass units we were moving under this canopy were only a few centimetres shorter than the height we had to work in because the glass is intended to go floor to ceiling.

The team had to use the Oscar600 glazing robot from GGR to carefully manoeuvre the glass off the trolley once it had descended the slope. Before moving it, they had to angle the glazing to fit underneath the overhang.


Glass Weights and Lifting Equipment

Each of the glass doors leading to the living and kitchen areas weighed nearly 400 kg. Two different glazing robots had to help with the lifting, and a sizable team had to be present.

With another robot stationed inside, one glazing robot helped with glazing from the inside. The team lifted the glass into the track using these tools as well as manual lifting with suction pads.

You must raise the glass into the 50mm head frame and then lower it onto the track below when installing minimal windows. The robots assisted in supporting the weight of the glass while this motion was carried out manually.

The Geko500 robot, which was being used indoors, had technical issues in the middle of a lifting operation. While the GGR team worked rapidly to fix the machinery to enable the glass to go in, the team had to hold the glass in place manually until the machine could operate.

Building Finishes Already in Place

Although this is not common, the builder chose to install the polished concrete flooring prior to the installation of the glass. Since that was irreversible, the team had to work with this built-in building finish when putting the frame together.

The fact that the end user is a wheelchair user made the flush nature of the threshold crucial.

Once the installation was complete the majority of the concrete floor was exactly in line with the threshold. In any circumstances where the floor did not match with the thresholds, a small amount of silicone was used to bring everything level.



Clayworth Cottage as mentioned earlier is one of IQ’s famous glazing projects. The final product came with a long journey of issues and set backs that had to be overcome to finish the home. Thankfully, the fully completed home is the perfect space for wheelchair accessibility and continues to feature in architectural news.