December 15, 2020

Design Possibilities with Glass Walls

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Frameless Glass Walls

IQ’s approach to entire walls of glass

Walls of frameless glass can be achieved using our in-house developed structural glazing system, Invisio. With no frames or visible fixing details, the only visible details are neat structural silicone joints between panes.

For a minimal, timeless effect frameless glass walls are sure to make a design statement. Either as the primary focus of a build or to frame idyllic views of the surrounding outdoor environment, there are many reasons why glass walls could be right for your project.

Invisio Frameless Structural Glass WallsStructural glass walls are the modern solution to framed curtain walling, with little to no restrictions on size, weight, glass thickness or shape due to the nature of the glazing. The Invisio system is fully thermally broken, ensuring living areas encompassed in these units are highly insulated. Both the head and the base details of the system are able to be fully concealed within the building finishes for a crisp installation.

Project-specific requirements can easily be met when the Invisio system is specified thanks to the bespoke nature of structural glazing of this nature. With years of experience and expertise behind us, IQ are happy to adapt the specification of glass walls to meet any specific performance requirements or unique adaptations. You can find typical CAD details of the Invisio system here before embarking on the bespoke specification process.

Indoor-outdoor living

Internal view of Cotswolds showing the minimal windows sliding track internally.Entire walls of glass are often specified to achieve an indoor-outdoor style of living, with the ability to bridge the gap between the two environments. With biophilic design set to continue as a huge trend throughout 2021, glass walls are a brilliant way to forge a better connection with nature. Both indoor-outdoor living and biophilic design are fueled by the connection to nature and with glass walls, a property will benefit from massive amounts of natural light.

We typically use double glazed units to create these installations, but triple glazing can be specified for increased thermal performances if required. For any walls over 2.4m tall, we include toughened laminated glass to the inner pane of the unit. This guarantees the safety of the inhabitants as if there was a breakage the glass would be held in place.

Oversized glazed walls

New build home with large glass walls Copyright Jim Stephenson 2016

IQ are able and confident in installing oversized glass units, up to 20m long in a single unit. The main considerations when specifying installations of such size are costs and site access. The Invisio system has undergone extensive testing to ensure the modern systems are high performing as well as beautifully designed. The system achieves Uw values from as little as 1.1W/m2K due to the thermal break within the profile, eliminating the risk of thermal bridging. Wind loads of 0.8kN and 1.6kN have also been tested, proving the system can withstand different weather conditions.

Where opening elements are required within a glass wall, IQ’s systematic approach to structural glazing allows this to be as minimal as possible, in keeping with the glass wall. The most minimal way to include an opening is the slim framed sliding door systems by panoramah!. These premium sliding systems boast slim sightlines of just 20mm, which matches the neat silicone joints between the panes in a structural glass wall. The aluminium frames can be powder coated in any RAL colour, to maintain a minimal design.

Bespoke designs

Structural glass facadeOn account of the bespoke nature of structural glass walls, other opening types such as our Invisio floating window can be incorporated into the design of your minimal glass walls. Any structural openings will be discussed in the specification stage. In some cases, where larger casement or pivoting doors are specified, we can include a slim steel or timber supporting post. This detail will create slightly larger sightlines around the opening element but can be designed to blend with the surrounding installation with the use of aluminium pressings or back-painted glass.

There is a range of technical glass solutions that IQ might recommend for your project, including solar control glass to ensure any south facing installations remain a comfortable living temperature all year round. There are optional extras like low iron glass which can be used to achieve super clear, crisp installations or heated glass to act as an invisible heat source in minimalist homes.

If you’re thinking about specifying glass walls as part of the glazing package, speak to a member of the technical team today to learn how our flawless glass wall designs could benefit your project.