Glass has gotten bigger and bigger in the last decade, not just in popularity but in size as well. Architectural oversized glass is a desired feature because of its aesthetics, energy efficiency, and proven ability to increase moods through longer exposure to natural daylight.
Oversized glass can be found in many profound buildings located across the globe. This minimalistic aesthetic has been growing rapidly. The sizes of the glass units have increased to match the trend—one of the most notable oversized glass pieces measured at 280 square feet.
With many architects bringing large, oversized glass into their projects, there come some unique installation challenges. Glazing Contractors should consider these three critical challenges when working with oversized architectural glass.
# 1: Project Logistics
When working with architectural oversized glass, it’s critical that you understand the project logistics. There is a lot that goes into designing, manufacturing, delivering, installing, and maintaining these behemoth pieces of glass. Every aspect of your project must be thought out and planned for before manufacturing begins. The entire design and construction team must be on the same page.
The contractor must keep in mind all the planning and preparation that goes into ordering oversized glass. Every part of the process must be accounted for, including shipping, handling, receiving, and installation. Large storage areas for the glass must be reserved, machinery that will support the glass’s weight must be accounted for, and any safety issues present at the location must be taken care of beforehand.
Depending on your project’s location, you may be dealing with tight spaces that need proper planning the maneuver around. For example, if your project is located on a narrow street, you will have to work with the city to close the roads during installation. All of these logistical aspects must be identified, communicated, coordinated, and executed.
#2: Team Coordination
As important as project logistics is to the success of the project, team coordination is just as important. Having excellent team coordination is crucial to successfully installing oversized glass. The architects must understand the performance and limitations of the glass. The general contractor must manage the site requirements or limitations, coordinate the installation timing with the glazing contractor, and reserve any cranes or specialty moving equipment that will be needed on the project. And the glazing contractors must be diligent in their scheduling and having experienced glaziers who have experience with oversized glass. It is up to the GC and glazing contractor to coordinate the work together and work hand-in-hand on the entire installation process.
The necessary people outside of the direct installation project should be kept informed of the installation plan as well. City professionals will need to know if this project poses any threat to the general public’s safety so they can inform everyone promptly.
#3: Handling Architectural Oversized Glass
One of the most critical challenges to installing oversized glass is handling it on the job site. Once the general contractor has considered every square inch of the project’s location restrictions or access, then the coordination to execute the installation process can begin.
The right equipment and trained glaziers will need to be used on the project. The most common equipment that glaziers will use in oversized glass installation include automated glass movers, cranes, and hand-held suction cups. Having experienced glaziers onsite and the right equipment to maneuver the glass is critical and can make or break the installation process.
When working with glass of this size, everyone must understand that there is no such thing as a flawless piece of glass—defects are inevitable. This doesn’t mean that the glass’s aesthetic will be ruined, but ensuring all decision-makers on the project have the same realistic expectations is crucial when working with materials of this size and cost.
Sourcing Your Oversized Glass
When ordering your oversized glass, it’s imperative you source it from companies who have experience and technical knowledge in dealing with architectural oversized glass. This is a specialty product that has specific needs and a special understanding of how to purchase, deliver, and coordinate with the project GC and glazing contractor. By working with an experienced supplier of oversized glass it will limit potential risk and unexpected cost.
Glass 3 Enterprises (G3E) has a global network of factories that they partner with, offering innovative glass and fabrication products, versatility, and adaptability. When it comes to glass options, G3E has the experience and relationships to source multiple suppliers to remain competitive and to ensure the highest quality and required performance.
G3E offers oversized glass in both tempered glass and laminated glass measuring up to 617 Square Feet (126” x 706”). G3E has built a strong reputation in the industry for it’s project management and logistics expertise.
If you are interested in including architectural oversized glass in your next project, visit www.glass3ent.com to learn more or call G3E direct at 877.323.2983.