Glass has evolved over hundreds of years and is now used more prominently as an architectural and structural material. Not only do glass buildings have plenty of benefits, they are also visually appealing. Glass is one of the most versatile materials in the building industry, so it’s no secret why a structural engineering company will use it whenever possible. The combination of glass and steel has transformed the industry and created many luxurious buildings along the way.
Glass has historically been used as mostly an architectural material. It’s commonly used for windows, doors, roofs, skylights and more. With so many types of glass available, and the ability to manufacture glass with different strengths, structural engineers are becoming more creative with their building designs.
When used as an architectural material, glass is also known and employed for developing green buildings. More natural light can enter a building through glass windows, walls and roofs, so it is friendlier for the environment in this capacity. Not to mention glass buildings look much sleeker and more contemporary over traditional concrete buildings.
When glass is used as a structural material, the manufacturing process must be intense and precise. Glass can be strengthened through tempering, which lessens the risk of cracking. When used in structural design, glass must be strengthened more to prevent cracks and other forms of damage. When glass is manufactured it immediately weakens as soon as it cools. However, tempered glass is much stronger and is used by any structural engineering company in building materials.
Future of Glass Buildings
Glass has been around for hundreds of years and it will continue to be around for hundreds or thousands more. As the structural design of glass evolves, you can expect structural engineers’ use of glass to become more innovative. The main concern with glass now is the tendency to crack and break, creating safety hazards.
However, as manufacturing processes continue to evolve, glass could eventually become as strong and reliable as steel. No matter whether glass is utilized as an architectural or structural material, it is here to stay.
If you’re in the process of designing your home or building and thinking of using glass as a primary material, be sure to contact us. At BE Structural, we have used glass as both an architectural and structural material and our structural engineers are experienced with designing any kind of glass building.