Glass beams are used on various non-vertical structural glass items to give lateral structural support to the glass installation.
They are produced from various layers of toughened glass panels which are then laminated together to form an extremely robust and strong supporting arm. The depth and thickness of the glass beam is dependent on the load it will be supporting.
Due to the inherent strength of glass and the added durability from the glass laminates, the glass beam can be used to support all manner of glass items from glass roofs to walk on glass floors.
IQ always recommend that Glass Beams be specified as ‘Low Iron Glass’. This is due to the greening effect that occurs naturally in glass products which is much more pronounced on thicker glass items such as glass beams. Also the use of ‘Low Iron Glass’ will remove the ‘greening’ effect from the edges of the glass panels as well, creating a much clearer installation.
The installation and fixing of glass beams depend on the project and opening the associated glass installation is being fitted into. Steel brackets or supports can be used to fix the glass beam to a wall surface. This bracket is then generally hidden by the building finishes internally to create a frameless glass appearance. If the glass beams are meeting a vertical element of glass then glass fins can be used to support the outer edge of the glass beam here.
A glass beam and fin can slot together using interlocking glass laminates and then secured to create a frameless glass connection.
Glass beams are the most well-used example of using glass as a structural building element and can be seen as a supporting member of a frameless glass box at the Courtyard Showroom in Amersham.
Glass beams are made using multiple pieces of toughened glass which are then laminated together. Glass beams are available up to 6000mm long from the UK or IQ Glass can source beams of up to 12,000mm long from outside of the UK depending on the requirements of the project.
All glass beams providing by IQ are made with low iron as this removes the green tint from the edge of the glass which occurs when the edges of the glass panels are exposed.
The glass specification of a glass beam of fin structural will have to be determined on a project by project basis. Our calculations will use the span of glass being supported, as well as the load that the above glass units are designed to take, in order to create a structural glass beam able to support your glass structure.
Glass beams may be required in commercial projects due to the chances of needed larger sized glazing to create glass roofs or rooflights.
Glass beams can be designed to be made bespoke to all projects with large sizes available. Glass beams are created using low iron glass which reduces the green tint that is sometimes visible at the edge of the glass, providing a clear glazed beam perfect for allowing the maximum amount of natural light into a building.
A fully glazed box extension was installed onto a London café. The requirements for this listed building was to provide a completely transparent look from both inside and out to expand the coffee house. IQ Glass used 5m long structural glass beams in low iron glass to remove any green tint that would occur.
Solar control coatings were applied to all glazing, including the glass beams, to regulate solar radiation levels and heat within the space. Using this finish allows for a cool coffee shop in the warmer months whilst still allowing natural light to pass through into the building.
Using glass beams instead of slim steel supports enhances the transparent design and doesn’t reduce any natural light intake or external views of London.
You can view this unique commercial project here
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