OR Point supported glass systems are the most transparent structurally glazed systems available on the market today. They can be custom engineered to fit any opening.
From the exterior, they have silicone sealants between the joints like other structurally glazed systems, but have far less obstructed views looking from the inside out and vice versa due to the elimination of vertical and/or horizontal aluminum mullions. When using glass fins as a vertical back-up structure, the whole façade can appear to be virtually transparent! Glass is held in at specific points using stainless steel fittings to transfer deadload and wind loads back to the structure.
Most glass types are available for point supported glazing, including: insulating glass units, low-e coated glass, laminated glass, monolithic, etc. These glasses can be paired with a host of back-up structures to create vertical walls, roofs and skylights, canopies, elevator enclosures, or windscreens. There are many options available depending on design aesthetics, structure and budget constraints.
Vertical cable tension walls (sometimes also known as cable nets) are the thinnest point supported glass system structures that can make the tallest unsupported spans, but require the largest amount of load on the boundary structure and are usually the most expensive. There are also stainless steel tension structure systems that are deeper, but put less loads on the boundary structure; however, these systems have similar costs to that of vertical cable walls.
There can even be hybrid combinations of horizontal steel and cables/tension rods as well. Glass fin walls and glass on steel systems (steel tubes, plate beams, or pipes) are usually the least expensive option and put far less loading on the boundary structure. They do, however, require greater depth of the vertical members to resist loads. The depths can range from around one to four feet on average depending on spans and module widths. These custom designed systems allow for a lot of artistic creativity and flexibility from the design aspect. They are a great fit for an all glass entrance, lobby, atrium, cafeteria, or any other feature area of a building.
Are you ready to have a discussion about your project? Contact us today to speak with a professional!