9 Common Types of Glass and Their Uses in Modern Architecture

Glass has become a part of human fascination since it first appeared in Roman homes many centuries ago. This fascinating material has evolved with dramatic speed that it is now used not only in residential buildings but also in large commercial edifices. At times, glass is even used to replace exterior building materials like bricks, cement and granite. Glass has come to prove that in addition to its beauty and artistic appeal, it can also offer durability as one of its most important uses in modern architecture.

The discovery and implementation of comprehensive glass works in buildings and other structures has made glass a leading construction material for interior and exterior purposes. One of its most important contributions to architecture is its ability to eliminate the visual barrier between the inner and outer parts of a building. Glass helps to conserve energy by allowing light to penetrate through, bringing brightness and warmth to an otherwise dark and cold home or office room.

Here are the most common types of glass that are used in the construction of modern structures:

1. Sheet

This is the type of glass used for mirrors, picture frames, and glazing of floors or walls. It has an average thickness of about two to four millimeters.

2. Float

Float glass has better quality than sheet glass. It is not characterized by bubbles, knots or scratches. Its thickness, which ranges between two and twelve millimeters, is so evenly distributed that waves or distortions are hard to detect. Many people use float glass in window panes because of its optical clarity and quality.

3. Tinted

Tinted glass is a type of glass that absorbs heat load by 12 percent. Its heat-absorbing quality makes tinted glass an effective energy-saving device especially in air-conditioned buildings. Tinted glass is most commonly used in doors and windows.

4. Figured

Figured glass is a decorative glass the outer side of which is etched with artistic design. Its purpose is to allow light to penetrate the structure while preventing visibility at the same time. It is used to provide a decorative touch to houses, buildings and furniture.

5. Wired

Wired Glass is a sheet glass that is embedded with wire mesh during its manufacturing process. The wire reduces the possibility of the glass from shattering when subjected to shock or heat. It is used to cover openings to prevent fires from spreading.

6. Heat Reflective

Heat Reflective glass is coated with layers of metal oxide film to enable it to reflect light and stay transparent at the same time. Heat Reflective Glass is most commonly used in outer walls, doors and window panes of air-conditioned buildings.

7. Tempered

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, is a safety glass that is made more durable by controlled thermal or chemical treatments. It is three times more resistant to wind pressure than ordinary glasses. It is most commonly used on car windows, wind screens, curtain walls, commercial buildings, and showrooms.

8. Laminated Safety

Laminated Safety Glass is produced by bonding together two or more layers of glass and putting between them an inter layer made of polyvinyl butyral. Bonding is done by subjecting the glasses to heat and pressure. This special type of glass is used in aquariums, bullet proof glasses, and wind screens in automobiles and high-rise buildings.

9. Double Glazed Insulated

This is made of two layers of glass that is separated by a spacer and sealed at the edges. The air gap between the glass panes helps to make the room warmer, minimize noise, and provide a good view of the outside. Double Glazed Insulated Glass is used in skyscrapers for its ability to facilitate faster construction and reduce the overall dead weight of the building. Double glazed insulated glass is also quite economical in terms of maintenance cost.

These are some of the most important pieces of information you need to know about glass as a construction material. Should you decide to install glass for your commercial store front, shower enclosure, or any part of your home or office, you should seek the expert advice of a glass installation/repair specialist. Always remember that glass works don’t just add beauty and elegance to your home or office; it also provides comfort and long-term savings on your energy bill.