Frameless commercial glazing fitted to buildings that are not dwellings covers an entire spectrum of products. These all glass constructions are found both inside and outside commercial buildings. Frameless products provide a very contemporary glass facade, glass doors, windows, screens and roof glazing.
Understanding Frameless Commercial Glazing.
Frameless commercial glazing provides durable external and internal cladding and fenestration solutions. Examples are high street shops, office buildings, leisure and transport and other high-traffic buildings.
As with residential frameless doors, windows and glazing, no frameless commercial glazing is entirely without a supporting frame. Steel, aluminium or other supporting structure sits behind the frameless glazing to provide a portal frame and support. Sometimes this structure is part of the aesthetics, and its visibility is deliberate. At other times, and especially with coloured or obscure glass, it is not visible from the outside. The supporting structure of frameless glazing also comprises patch or separate components which each glass elements fix to.
Safety is critical in all types of commercial glazing. As a result of strict regulations and codes of practice, you will find toughened or laminated glass frequently used. Other types of glass is thick float glass, that while not toughened is thick enough to be strong and fit for purpose.
Types of frameless products for commercial buildings.
The range of products used in commercial glazing is diverse, including but not limited to:
- Curtain Walling
- Glass Entrance Porches
- Windows and Doors
- Frameless Glass Balustrades
- Folding Doors
- Lantern roofs and atria
Benefits of frameless commercial glazing.
By far the most significant advantage of frameless glazing is a contemporary appearance. The all glass construction blends with both traditional and modern buildings. Frameless glazing gives a light-filled, open aspect to an entrance lobby, shopfront and building facade. Shops especially benefit from frameless glazing giving a more welcoming appearance to customers and enabling greater use of the shop frontage for window displays. Other benefits include:
- Less wear and tear on aluminium powder coated high-traffic elements such as main entrance doors.
- More natural light entering the building creating more natural environments.
- The right glass creates wider and taller doors than some aluminium systems.
- Ideal for internal environments such as shopping centres and arcades.
- You can automate frameless doors just like regular aluminium doors.
Frameless curtain walling and facade glazing.
Curtain walling always requires specialist and expert installation. However, the effects of a full glass facade are impressive whether as low-rise or high rise glazing. Specialist cladding contractors carry out this type of work with sophisticated modular frameless systems or unitised curtain wall.
One benefit of frameless curtain walling is large uninterrupted areas. The aesthetic of all glass is a consistent facade with the added bonus of effective thermal performance. The design stage determines any solar considerations, but specialist glass such as Pilkington Suncool™ range offers low Ug values and great solar control.
Where frameless curtain walling spans more than one floor, options exist for glass spandrel panels or other coloured glass to mask the floor slabs, viewed from the outside. Finally, safety and impact resistance comes as standard as well as offering security.
Commercial frameless shop doors.
For retail premises and especially cafes, bars and restaurants frameless glazing is ideal. Frameless slide and fold doors are widely used in the restaurant and bar trade, opening up the premises for al-fresco dining in the summer months. Slide and fold doors provide further benefits thanks to their large height capability and come at reduced sizes, making folding windows.
Frameless shop doors meet all the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, available with DDA closers, low thresholds and contrasting colour handles. Shop entrance doors achieve instant compliance by automation with a sensor or button-controlled door opening mechanism. Frameless doors offer security, impact resistance and a minimalist appearance.
Impact resistant glass is imperative, complying with current Building Regulations such as Approved Document N. One important consideration with frameless glass doors is ensuring a closed door or fixed side panel is not mistaken for an open area. One solution for frameless commercial doors is manifestation lines or etching the glass to provide a visible barrier. Manifestation lines help differentiate a door from a screen.
Frameless Structural Glass Systems
Glass technology now creates structural glass systems such as the world-leading Pilkington Planar™ system. Structural glass allows greater architectural freedom to create both high and low rise facades as well as covering an entire building in glass. Systems of this type are also incredibly safe.
Structural glass systems use specialist stainless steel fixings to install the glass back to the building. There is a choice in how visible the fixings are with internal or external fixing making the supporting structure either a hidden or highly visible feature. A sophisticated silicone seal provides protection on the outside.
Who provides frameless commercial glazing.
Specialist Glass processors and providers, as well as dedicated facade engineering companies and systems companies,e provide a range of frameless facade glazing. For frameless commercial doors, windows and screens you will find a range of companies specialising in glass doors, windows, balustrades and other products. Contact us for further information and where to source frameless glass products for commercial, retail, education, healthcare and other commercial premises.