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Woolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow Reiach and Hall Architects

A curved glass double wall

A curved glass double wall encloses three upper floors of an open-plan study landscape on the south side of the medical school.The wall acts as a thermal flue, about 900mm deep, which manages solar heat gain while controlling view, glare, reflection and noise levels.

The structure is a steel frame with composite steel/concrete floors.A row of 219mm diameter CHS columns and 300 x 200mm RHS beams runs at the perimeter of the south wall.

The south wall consists of three elements: an inner curtain wall of double-glazed units (6/12/6mm glass with Low E coating) in polyester powder coated aluminium frames; a layer of untreated western red cedar louvre screens, operated by the Building Management System (BMS); and, an outer wall of frameless glass panels.

The outer glass wall is supported at each floor by triple-laminated glass outriggers at 3m centres.

They cantilever from steel 'shoes' fixed to the CHS columns through intermediate angles, with slotted holes to allow 25mm adjustment in any direction.

Vertical fins of 15mm toughened glass support stainless steel fittings which in turn hold the outer glass panels; the bolts only penetrate the inner pane of the laminate, producing an uncluttered outer facade.

Each fin is bonded to the end of an outrigger; part of the centre pane of the laminate is removed and the fin is slotted into the space in a 'mortice and tenon'siliconebonded arrangement.

A 31.5mm laminated and toughened glass walkway runs at each floor level between the inner and outer layers of glass, resting on the glass outriggers, giving access for maintenance.

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