BIG glass


I'd like to incorporate an unusually large single window using typical commercial glass/framing. No divisions. No butt glazing. Just one big window.

Business occupancy. Window would be located at the second story in an "untouchable" spot - that is, no one could mess with it without a ladder.

Beefing up the perimeter frame is not a problem...7"....8"....wider still?...all OK.

Anyone know what the size limit is? Ideas?

May 12, 09 1:32 pm


check with your local commercial glazing installers. limits on size is cause of several factors - transportation limits (gotta fit on a truck), the size of the annealing/tempering ovens, and furnace widths (typically in the 10-12' range). Wind loads will determine thickness of glazing unit, and orientation will determine coatings/solar-shading coefficients/tinting/u-value. Some of the coatings have size limits depending on how they are applied.

typically 10' x 5' is easily sourced, some places can provide 10'x10' or 12'x6'. the better/higher end folks will provide bigger glass (pilkington, schott, ppg etc), while local yokals will be limited to much smaller glass installations.

structural glazing (laminated glass/tempered) with butt glazing can produce an interesting look too, but takes more engineering.

are you ready to spend $$$$ for this window?

May 12, 09 1:45 pm  · 

140 Inches wide by any length you can successfully transport from the mill to the site. I think 140in x 360in was the largest piece of glass ever installed in a building...

May 12, 09 1:46 pm  · 

Treekill and Pocz -- thanks, that's a good start. Mainly I hear from the locals ONLY about what "can't" be done!

140 x 360? That's a hunk o glass.

May 12, 09 4:11 pm  · 
I think 140in x 360in was the largest piece of glass ever installed in a building..

Mies was building stuff 3m x 9m in the 1930s. ANd it retracted into the floor!

May 12, 09 4:21 pm  · 

yeah but look where mies was. czech republic is land of incredible glass making history. that is if you are referring to the house in brno...

May 12, 09 7:39 pm  · 

At the monta ray aquarium there's a glass wall in their main tank that is made of several pieces of glass that are fused together somehow by a japanese company. Apparently they have some proprietary fusing system that they're pretty secretive of (at least at the time of the project). It was a while ago and unfortunately that's all i know about it.

May 13, 09 5:01 pm  · 

Check out the Boston Federal Building. I think it was done by Hugh Stubbins. I think they suspended the glass cause it could not carry its own load. There is also a Native American Museum in British Columbia which was done by Arthur Erickson where he had some wonderful glass walls, but it might not be the look your after, but well worth the effort and research. GO BIG GLASS!

May 13, 09 10:58 pm  · 

We have already installed a peice of glass 124" X 546" in Canada and are available for installations and consulting.

May 24, 12 10:49 am  · 

Kempe Thill have been experimenting with welded acrylic glass (see the Franz Liszt Konserthaus), with sizes up to 18m x 4m (yes, 700" X 160"). I'm not sure if this can be done as double glazing, otherwise heat insulation would be an issue.

May 24, 12 12:28 pm  · 

look at BCJ's Apple Cube

May 24, 12 8:25 pm  · 

A professor told us in a review this past spring that the only country that produces big glass panels (larger than what the typical factory can float) is Germany. I'm pretty sure I remember reading that those panels on the new Apple store on Fifth Ave were shipped from Germany...super expensive.

May 24, 12 9:06 pm  · 

I think China has the capability as well

May 25, 12 1:26 am  · 

Mdler, You're right. The glass pieces Apple used were from China supposedly. I just looked into it and an article said that until recently, Germany was the only country able to do it. I guess the professor who told us that was a little out of date. Anyways...shipping panes from China or Germany would be equally expensive.

May 25, 12 3:26 pm  · 

sounds like the real question is how much $$$ you have to spend on the glass

May 25, 12 7:55 pm  · 

Can anyone let me know if any companies in NA are producing glass 96" by 204" ?

Jun 24, 13 2:40 pm  · 

Insulated? Tempered? Anything is possible of you can afford it. Better calculate the costs before you get in too deep.

Jun 24, 13 6:30 pm  · 

Thecyclist, the glass pieces Apple used were from China exactly. 

Oct 14, 14 11:57 pm  · 

I have a project I'm working on an the owner is nuts about buying everything from China..Solar Panels, MGO Board for exterior siding, and Glass Curtain wall and  Glazing. I'm having a hell of a time keeping up with him on a day to day basis.  Oh ya and split system  HVAC units.  He keeps saying everything is half the cost.

We are looking at doing some large windows in his old industrial building.  I keep hearing,

"No Problem we can get it from China, and it cost a lot less."

Oct 15, 14 4:01 pm  · 
wurdan freo

A lot of products in the states would cost less as well if they came with no warranty. A lot of materials and systems from china are also not tested per typical spec or code requirements.

Oct 15, 14 4:13 pm  · 

snook -- hope your client is willing to indemnify you (and your firm) for all E&O claims arising from the use of shoddy, poorly designed, poorly manufactured Chinese products. 

Remember "Chinese drywall" and all the claims issues that produced ?

Oct 16, 14 8:44 pm  · 

Everyone knows that cost is the only important factor.

Oct 16, 14 9:16 pm  · 

Was in a small glass business after retirement, what you are planning is most likely going to have to be tempered. Just go to the tempering company’s in your area for maximum sizes – the furnace sizes will dictate.

Oct 16, 14 10:35 pm  · 
mightyaa's comment has been hidden

Zombie thread..

Jan 17, 17 10:39 am  · 

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