October 1, 2012

Spotlight on Structural Glass

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Spotlight on: Structural Glass

"‘Structural Glass’ can be as small as a rooflight and as large as a full glass box extension"

Glass as a structural element – design engineering

Structural Glass’ can be as small as a rooflight and as large as a full glass box extension. All of IQ’s structural elements are bespoke, and designed and tailored to suit each project and design intent.

The benefits of a large expanse of glass are easy to see when it comes to design. The large transparent section of wall or ceiling or floor allows undisrupted movement of light through a space. If you are building a rear extension, a link building, digging out a basement, natural light is a main part of any residential project.

Latest Glass Technologies

All of IQ’s high technological Glazing Solutions can be used in our structural glass items such as heated glass and solar control coatings.

"All of IQ’s high technological Glazing Solutions can be used in our structural glass items"

Using heated glass in your glass box extension can negate the need for dated radiators and complex underfloor heating systems. One section of IQ heated glass would be enough to heat the entire extension (dependent on the ratio of glass to floor space).

Introducing a solar control coating to your glazed wall will limit the amount of Solar gain in the property, stopping the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ from astronomically heating your space when the sun is out. Solar control coating should be used on all south facing structural glass items to avoid overheating.

"allow light into the property without the intrusion into your privacy"

SAP calculations

SAP calculations are required for every new build and extension where the glazing elements exceed the Building Regulations glazing guidelines.  Please read about SAP calculations and how you can achieve the design you want whilst adhering to Building Regulations at our Learning Portal.

Security / privacy

Privacy is something you need to think about when installing a large amount of glass into a design. Although you get fantastic views out and allow a huge amount of natural light into your space the same is applicable vice versa.

If part of your structural glazed item overlooks a close neighbour try using translucent glass, allowing light into the property without the intrusion into your privacy.

Or, if you really want to push the boat out, use IQ’s Smart Switchable Privacy Glass. This highly technical glass solution goes from clear to translucent at the flick of a switch allowing you to control the transparency of your glass installation.

"Supporting options vary from system to system"

Support options

Supporting options vary from system to system, depending on the size of the panes, positions, the specification of the glass.

It can range from glass beams, steel beams to silicone joints and will always be detailed and priced accordingly by our estimating department.

Access Opening Options

Your options for opening in structural glass are wide and varied and mostly depend on whether the system needs to be insulated and thermally broken and what type of opening you would like.

"Your options for opening in structural glass are wide and varied"

IQ offer and design a full range of access solutions, all with our Minimal detailing in mind. Whether you want an opening roof vent in a structural glass roof, if you would like to add a set of Minimal Windows into a wall of structural glass or a bespoke IQ flush glazed set of doors. IQ Glass strives to meet every criterion of your design intent and vision.

You can also add in elements of automation into your moveable glass components. Whether this is as simple as a wind or rain sensor on a roof light or an automated sliding access door, as always with IQ Glass the options seem endless.





Anyone who has worked with glass in construction will tell you that the most important part of building a structural glass item is the water tightness. IQ Glass understand this and strive to deliver a truly great service at all stages of our service chain. That is why we employ a full time ‘Mastic Engineer’ on our installation team. His job is solely the water tightness of our installations and is available on call promptly should the need occur.

Design Options in Glass

In one simple double glazed unit lies an abundance of design options, so much so that glass can be used solely as a decorative feature.

Coloured glass is a simple, straightforward example as to how a piece of necessary glazing can become part of the interior design. Or you can go the extra step, adding digital interlayers into the glass, or change the effect of the glass itself.

All decorative glass can be used as external glazing or as an internal glazing solution.

You will never hear the phrase ‘just a window’ again!