The design and installation process for the double height structural glass wall at the newly renovated IQ Glass showroom.
Structural glass walls are an excellent addition to any high-end residential project. The minimal design offers panoramic views of the outdoors whilst simultaneously allowing in a vast amount of natural light.
Highly glazed home designs and the incorporation of structural glazing into homes have grown massively over the last few years, especially with modern glazing technologies allowing large double height glass walls to offer high thermal performance values.
To showcase the possibilities when specifying an Invisio Structural Glass Wall, we now have a double height glass wall construction at the front and centre of the newly renovated IQ Glass showroom in Amersham.
The structural glass wall design used our in-house developed Invisio structural glazing systems which use fully thermally broken aluminium profiles and connections and tested scenarios to create high-performance structural glazing solutions that can enhance the functionality and design of any building.
For more information about the structural glass wall construction, read below.
Concept Design for Invisio Glass Wall
To highlight the innovative ways that structural glass walls and our Invisio glazing solutions can be used in building design, IQ constructed a double height glass wall, and the construction of the double height glass wall involved a complex design and installation process, especially as most of the panes reach a staggering 6.5m tall.
IQ are always looking for ways to push the boundaries of modern architectural glazing, not only seen in this unique Invisio structural glass wall installation but also in the bespoke floating glass box that sits in the new showroom space, cantilevered off the new mezzanine floor level.
Read about the construction of the floating glass box here.
Structural glazing is one of our favourite solutions to work with as there are little to no limitations and with a skilled design team and innovative suppliers who work with us on these types of projects, the possibilities are endless.
Planning And Design of The Double Height Structural Glass Wall
The double height glass wall had to be designed to fill the whole aperture of the new reception area, meaning the system had to be nearly 6.5m tall and span across 11.5m.
This meant that when planning the structural glass wall construction transport, lifting equipment and all need careful consideration. IQ worked alongside external structural engineers to calculate the wind load the installation would need to be able to take alongside the required thermal performance.
Achieving a wind load of 1.4 kN/m2, this impressive double height glass wall solution took around 3-4 months to design completely.
When evaluating the entrance door options to incorporate into this massive structural glass wall construction, many of our high performance glass door solutions were considered. A slim framed aluminium pivot door with fixed sidelights was chosen as an access point.
The Invisio structural glass wall can be specified with a wide range of opening elements including slim framed sliding glass doors, pivot doors or high specification window solutions.
As this structural glass elevation is one of the first things clients see when they enter the car park of the IQ showroom, it was important for the design to be breathtaking.
Structural Glazing Manufacturing for Invisio Glass Wall
Specialist glass suppliers had to be used when manufacturing the double height glass walls as glass panes in the UK only tend to reach around 6m tall. This was no issue for IQ as our strong relationship with suppliers around Europe meant that the 6.5m height could be achieved.
Working alongside glass manufacturers Q4 and Guardian Glass, the oversized structural glass panes were manufactured, toughened, heat soak tested and had the low e coating applied.
As these large panes would be difficult to replace if broken, both in terms of cost for ordering and transporting the glass as well as replacing the glass, they were all heat soak tested.
This extra step in the glass manufacturing process reduces the risk of nickel sulphide inclusion breakages significantly from 1m2 in every 10,000m2 to just 1m2 in every 1 million m2, and would always be recommended for glazing solutions like this.
Once the panes were manufactured into insulated structural glass units, they were transported to the UK and installed to create an oversized structural glass wall installation at the front and centre of the new IQ showroom space.
Steelwork Structure for Oversized Structural Glass Wall
The structural glass wall construction involved the double height glass wall being installed into a completely new part of the building. This renovation and extension at the front of the IQ showroom included bespoke steelwork designed by structural engineers Westshore Engineering.
With some of the beams reaching almost 13m, naturally, there were many challenges faced. This was an extremely complex installation including unlevel ground due to part of the steelwork being installed outside and some within the building.
Installation of the Invisio Glass Wall
Once the new part of the building had been created and the large structural opening had been prepped and the steelwork had been completed, the Invisio structural glass wall construciton could begin.
First was the outer perimeter using the specialist Invisio thermally broken aluminium connection details, developed in-house by IQ.
Once this had been fixed into place, the 6.5m tall mullions were installed as well as bespoke transom details in the centre when the aluminium pivot door was incorporated.
When working with such large panes of glazing, with the large panes weighing up to 1.4 tonnes, and a specific installation design to get all the panels into place together so they could be silicone jointed.
Due to the weight of the glass panes, a standard Hiab crane lift could not be used, and a specialist crane had to be brought in, capable of lifting up to 2 tonnes.
Using a mix of men on the ground and installers positioned up in cherry pickers, our team were able to smoothly guide these massive panes of structural glazing into place, allowing them to be fixed.
The installation of this double height structural glass wall was complex, although this was no challenge for our experienced installation team.
When constructing double height glass walls for residential projects, there will be different performance requirements and factors like access can often be more difficult than for this installation. This is no issue for IQ as we have designed and installed glass walls in a wide variety of residential projects.
The End Result
After the weeks of challenging work, careful planning and facing and overcoming challenges along with this complex installation, the end result of this glass wall construction shows it was all worth it.
The large panes of frameless structural glazing create a double height glass wall at the front of the new IQ architectural and structural glazing showroom, allowing a vast amount of natural light into the new internal spaces and giving the interior areas a strong connection with the outdoors.
This is a true testament to what is possible when you use advanced glazing solutions and modern glazing technology and combine them with expert design and installation teams.
“From the moment you arrive at Sky House, the Design Centre will blow you away. The recent renovations showcase IQ Glass and their expertise in creating something that is truly spectacular. Having something like this on our doorstep in Amersham is a secret that has been well kept for too long and we are excited to tell more people about this amazing design hub.” – Becca Cranfield, Director of Athena Stonecase
For more information on structural glass walls or to discuss a similar installation for your next project, contact the team at IQ today.
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