As glazing becomes higher performing it’s becoming easier to specify large expanses of glass. In particular, full elevations of feature glazing are very popular, not to mention a great way to bring the outside in and can completely transform a space.
We’ve all walked into an office building with a double-height atrium with floor-to-ceiling glazing and been amazed by the scale and light — this is called curtain walling, and is usually made from aluminium frames, designed for the commercial market, and can be very expensive. These systems can be used in residential projects, however the relative small-scale order can make this method cost-prohibitive.
But there is a way to get the same ‘wow’ feature at a fraction of the cost, by using standard alu-clad timber windows stacked on top of each other. Windows need to be secured at all four corners to stop them falling out. If you are stacking normal windows on top of each other you may be able to just secure down through the cill into the head of the other windows. If you are stacking multiple windows over a larger opening then you will need to introduce a piece of structure — this can be as simple as a small metal plate called a flitch plate, which is cost-effective and easily installed. This approach can be used to create large atrium spaces or glazed gables and will create a stunning wow feature.
As long as you involve your engineer and the window company in the design then there shouldn’t be any issues.