In the Press: Sealing the Envelope


Designing high-performance building envelopes with expansive glass spans

“Glass is an amazing material. It is strong, it can be made in very large panels, and it can be curved or formed into complex shapes,” relates Damian Rogan, BSc, MSc, CEng, MIStructE, director of facade engineering, Eckersley O’Callaghan, London. “But its most appealing property is its transparency.”

Similarly, Linda M. McGowan, PE, AIA, BC&E, Littleton, Colorado, sees a desire to bring the outdoors inside as driving interest in “relatively large areas of glazing with relatively small frame sections.”

“Glass walls offer clean, simple lines and are often employed to express transparency and lightness from both visual and daylighting standpoints,” adds Eric Schroter, principal at Simpson Gempertz & Heger, San Francisco. “Glass facades can also give the appearance of physical lightness.”

While expansive glass spans are appealing for their aesthetics, daylighting, views, and modern look, ensuring a tight building enclosure is key to energy performance, environmental air quality, and longevity. It’s All in the Envelope.

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