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glass and glazing briefing

Glass In Building. Button & Pye, Butterworths. An excellent guide on glass. It includes details of the base material, its manufacture and raw properties. The book launches into detail of thermal and solar performance and also covers structural considerations. It explains how glass behaves, how it transmits sound and light and what the limitations are. No architect should be without a copy!

Glass In Modern Construction: Its Place In Architectural Design And Decoration. Charles Scribners & Sons, New York & London,1937. The book contains a broader look at architectural glass and its applications.

Glass In Architecture & Decoration. Raymond McGrath & A C Frost, Architectural Press, 1961. Another architectural review of glass applications in buildings and construction.

Glass In Architecture Michael Wigginton. Phaidon, 1996. Another good guide with beautiful illustrations giving excellent examples on the use of glass. It also contains many good case studies with detailed construction drawings.

Structural Glass. Rice & Dutton. E& FN Spon. A good guide for bolted applications. It explains very clearly the structural principles of many of the hung glass walls designed by rfr. It also gives guidance on designing cable trusses for bolted glass facades.

The New Science of Strong Materials. J Gordon, Penguin.

A good engineering guide that explains the structural properties of glass, glass fibres and how to apply them in designing glass facades.

Glasses & Their Applications. H Rawson. Institute of Materials. 1991

A good general guide to glass types and their properties that make them suitable for given applications in buildings.

Intelligent glass facades - materials, practice and design. Andrea Compagno, Birkhauser. 1995. A good facade planning guide that looks at building environment aspects and discusses examples of multi-layer glass facades.


uk standards on the use of glass in construction are somewhat non-definitive and lag behind some of the European, North American and Australian standards. In the uk we have been in 'anticipation' for years now of the arrival of the new standards from the European Standards Committee cen/tc129. I have no doubt that when Euronorm pren13474 is finally published it will be a tremendous improvement on what is currently available:

BS6206: 1981: Impact Performance Requirements; BS6262: 1982: Code of Practice for Glass in Buildings; BS952: 1980 and 1995: Glass for Glazing; BS5516: 1991: Sloping & Vertical Patent Glazing; BS5713: 1979: Hermetically Sealed Glazing; and BS8000: 1990: Site Workmanship - Glazing

CAN/CGSB - 12.20 - 1789 : Structural Design of Glass for Buildings. Canadian standard that is a useful document on structural design data and detailing guidance.

AAMA 501-83 : Methods of Testing for Curtain Walling. American guide for performance testing of facades

cwct : Standard & Guide for Curtain Walling. The Centre for Window and Cladding Technology's own standard for curtain walling, which has in the past few years become the UK's foremost guide.

AS1288 : 1994 : Glass In Buildings. The Australian standard is an extremely useful standard for designing glass facades and windows. It gives guidance on allowable design stresses and detailing recommendation.


For advice on the use of glass, especially in unusual applications, the following may be consulted. However, they will generally be reluctant to give detailed recommendations:

Pilkington Glass Advisory Service. Prescot Road, St Helens, Merseyside WA10 3TT, tel 01744 692000, fax 01744 692882

Laminated Glass Information Centre. 299 Oxford Street, London W1R 1LA, tel 0171 499 1720, fax 020 7495 1106

British Gas Manufacturers Confederation. Northumberland Road, Sheffield S10 2UA, tel 0114 268 6201, fax 0114 268 1073

Glass & Glazing Federation. 44 Borough High Street, London SE1 1XB, tel 020 7403 7177, fax 020 7357 7458.

Centre for Window & Cladding Technology. Bath University, Bath BAZ 7AY, tel 01225 826541, fax 01225 826556

Other manufacturers' information appears in Glazing Handbook (from Nippon Sheet Glass)


'Glass Processing Days 1999' is a bi-annual conference organised by Tamglass. Last proceedings from sessions held 13-16 June 1999. Possibly the most informative international forum.

'ICBEST 1997'. International conference on building envelope systems and technology, last held in Bath 1997.

'Glass in Buildings 1999'. A cwct organised conference held 31.03.99 to 01.04.99. Proceedings available from cwct.

'Exterior Claddings On High-Rise Buildings'. The Chicago Committee on High-Rise Buildings. Various reports and proceedings.

Also: CWCT regularly runs seminars and day courses on various aspects of facades and glazing. Contact the cwct for information.


The cwct holds an extensive library for use by members of cwct:

Handbook of Building Enclosure. Maritz Vandenberg, Architectural Press, 1974. Out-of-print and becoming elderly in places, but still probably the best guide on the subject - the principles have not changed.

The two series of publications below are useful background reading for general information:

Wall Technology Special Publication No. SP87, CIRIA, 1992.

Vol A: Performance Requirements; Vol B: Loadbearing Small Units; Vol C: Small Units on Framed Buildings; Vol D: Large Lightweight Units on Framed Buildings; Vol E: Large Heavy Units on Framed Buildings and In-situ Concrete; Vol F: Glazing, Curtain Walls and Overcladding; Vol G: Applied Finished

'Wall cladding defects and their diagnosis'. bre Digest 217. Available from crc, tel 020 7505 6622.

'Wall Cladding: Designing to Minimise Defects Due to Inaccuracies and Movements'. BRE Digest 223.

Criteria for The Structural Design of Glazing. GR Walker. James Cook University, North Queensland, Australia. An excellent paper on structural glass design guidance based on experimental work.

Windows That Work. RP Couper. CSIRO, Division of Building Research, Melbourne, Australia. A tour-de-force on the subject of problem and leaky windows. If offers good 'rule-of- thumb' guidance.

Stephen Tanno, Group Manager, Buro Happold Facade Engineering

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