CURVED GLASS

Project Scope and Description – Davie Safeway 24-Story Residential Towers – Vancouver, Canada

Davie Safeway is a mixed-use office, rental and residential development featuring two 24-story towers.

The project was designed by Henriquez Partners Architects, managed by ITC Construction Group and installed into the beautiful East & West Alum Craft Ltd. railings.

The nearly all-glass building utilized a curved glass design on all of the glass balconies creating a unique architectural element throughout the façade of the building.

Although the use of curved glass in this application seems simple at first glance, there was significant engineering and craftsmanship in the fabrication of both the glass and railing system. 

Services: 

Glass 3 Enterprises (G3E) played an essential role in this project and was a great example on how the glass factory supplier, railing fabricator, architect, and general contractor all worked in coordination.  

G3E and factory partners, were one of only a few fabricators who were able to meet the glass specifications for this project. The experience G3E has with bent glass and high-performance glazing systems certainly played a significant role in this project. Some of the critical project requirements included the following: 

Features:

Makeup #1: 5mm Clear Tempered (Heat Soaked) c/w Custom White Gradient Dot Frit Pattern on #2 Surface + 1.78mm Clear Kuraray SGP + 5mm Clear Tempered (Heat Soaked), Flat Polished All Edges

Flat Glass: Approx. 36,000 sq ft 

Bent Glass: Approx. 3,200 sq ft

Makeup #2: 8mm Clear Tempered (Heat Soaked), Flat Polished Edges 

Approx.     27,400 sq ft 

Makeup #3: 4mm Clear Tempered + 060 Diffused White PVB + 4mm Clear Tempered  Flat Polished Edges 

Approx.     2,200 sq ft 

Challenges:

  • Tight Corner Radius to meet architects design (Tightest radius is 9 ½”) at an 80-degree angle
  • Gradient dot frit pattern aligned on side-by-side panels to accomplish architect’s vision 
  • 2 full unit balcony mock-ups were air freighted to Vancouver for approval (Used as show suites to start renting units prior to completion)
  • Physical templates were sent to partner factory located offshore for Quality Control to ensure that glass fit within tight tolerances PRIOR to shipping
  • The glass was shipped in full 20’ or 40’ containers into Vancouver. Stored at the local warehouse for delivery on Flat deck trucks for early morning deliveries to the busy downtown Vancouver job site 

Solutions:

It is worth noting that size and radius present some limitations; incorporating tempered/heat curved glass makes for an excellent alternate option for specific applications. The risk of distortion can be high on a project like Davie Safeway due to the tight radius design of 9.5 inches. Due to the difficulty of fabricating an extremely tight radius, few fabricators would successfully execute this type of glass project without issue. With G3E’s long-time experience in working with curved glass through their network of factories who specialize in curved glass, they successfully provided precisely what the architect and owner had envisioned for the two towers.

Additional Notes

Curved glass can be customized and fabricated in a multitude of ways with various glass options based on the project specifications, including but not limited to; tempered, laminated, patterned, printed, tinted, or color interlayers. Many of these custom options, including tempering, can increase the durability and longevity of the glass, whereas tinting and coloring will give it an indistinctive look to set it apart from the industry standards.