Structural Glazing Systems for Facades

Glazing Facade of Zorlu Plaza

Structural Glazing Facade of Zorlu Plaza, Istanbul, Turkey

Structural glazing systems can be either two-sided or four-sided, with each design having its own particular advantages. In general, for efficient and energy-saving building management, double glazing is recommended.

1. Four-Sided Structural Glazing: Optimum Transparency

Frameless Appearance

Four-sided structural glazing is impressive first and foremost because of its monolithic frameless appearance. All four sides of the large-format pane element are bonded to an adapter frame with silicone adhesive sealants (e.g Sikasil SG) and have no visible frame. These prefabricated glass modules are subsequently attached to the support structure so that the facade gives the appearance of a flat glass surface.The dynamic loads are transmitted through the silicone adhesive. To support the dead load of the glass, we recommend a mechanical support that is not visible from the outside.

Advantages of Four-Sided Structural Glazing System

  • Attractive appearance without visible frames
  • Thanks to its high elasticity, the silicone sealant can transmit the loads at all four sides more efficiently and uniformly
  • Temperature distribution in the glass is ideal, since there are no cap profiles, which would act as shades. This reduces the risk of glass breakage caused by thermal stresses
  • The facade is more energy-efficient as there are no external metal parts and all joints are sealed
  • Greater self-cleaning from level glass

2. Two-Sided Structural Glazing: Optimum Safety

Mechanical Fixing

In the two-sided structural glazing system, only two mutually opposite glass or panel edges are bonded (horizontally or vertically) to a frame with silicone adhesive (e.g Sikasil SG). The two other mutually opposite sides are fixed mechanically like capped CW systems. Mechanical fixing of the glass element at two sides does not affect the loads on the two bonded sides. Since excessive bending of the glass must be prevented, the minimum dimensions of the joint must not be changed compared to a four-sided system.

Advantages of Two-Sided Structural Glazing System

  • High mechanical safety
  • The silicone adhesive and the mechanical fasteners help distribute the dynamic forces
  • Metal cap profiles can be used as design elements to make the facade seem less severe