Homebuilding & Renovating - - THE BRIEF -

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.

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