Glass Facades

For a Bright, Open and Spacious Home

When thinking of large continuous glass facades, structures like skyscrapers and commercial buildings with their stunning curtain walls often come to mind. However, modern residential homes can just as easily feature a facade of glass to create beautiful open surfaces. They create a bright and friendly atmosphere inside, providing fantastic views and a feeling of openness. Thanks to state-of-the-art manufacturing and craftsmanship, a Neuffer glass facade is also a highly effective solution for your project's security, energy and sound reduction needs. 

Glass Facades: Design Features & Characteristics

Windows and doors have always had many different architectural requirements to meet. With modern advances architecture, frame construction and glazing technology, they can offer a remarkable range of features that can all be tweaked into a remarkable custom product. These include:

  • Energy efficiency / Thermal performance
  • Visible light transmission
  • Sound reduction
  • Security
  • Weather resistance
  • Regulating solar heat gain
  • Fire protection
  • Appearance

The weight each is given will depend on variables such as your local climate, home's orientation to the sun, energy goals, security needs and physical location (urban/suburban/rural). It is important to note that just like curtain walls in large high-rise buildings, residential facades of glass are not structural, that is, they do not bear the weight of the overall structure. They simply form an exterior "curtain" of glass.

Today's multitude of glazing options provide homeowners and architects a variety of solutions for the facade system you choose.

Glazing Types for a Glass Facade

When designing a system of windows spanning a whole wall in your home, energy, security and noise will be your top functional concerns for your new construction project in addition to aesthetic ones. A system of fixed and operable windows is usually chosen to balance ventilation, cost and energy. Fixed windows offer improved security and insulation due to their simpler construction and lack of moving parts. 

Insulation and Regulating Solar Heat

All of our exterior windows come standard with double glazing. A whole window system across the facade creates a very large glass surface in contact with the elements. Insulation at heart, is about preventing energy transfer from one side of a surface to another. Whether you live in a warm area and want to keep cool air inside, or you live in a cold climate and want to retain heat, choosing modern triple glazing, adding warm edge spacers or even argon gas filling between panes will provide an additional insulation boost and improve U-values.

The next important energy issue for any building with a significant amount of glass is regulating solar heat gain. Solar energy is made of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. It is the infrared spectrum that is transmitted as heat and can be regulated via low-e coatings, also known as solar glass. This consists of a microscopically thin transparent coating added to the pane. It can be designed to reflect heat either inwards or outwards. Tropical climates will want to reflect heat outwards and prevent solar heat gain while cold climates will want to encourage it and benefit from free passive home heating.

The Glass Facade - Security and Energy Efficiency combined

Whether spanning from floor to roof or a series of individual glass panels, a system of windows with such a large overall glass surface area must offer reliable energy performance and solar control. Ensuring that energy is not lost via the windows will result in lower energy bills and your interior temperature remaining constant. Next, based on your climate and home's orientation to the sun, you may wish to maximise or minimise solar heat gain. Special coatings on the glass, also known as low-e glass, can reflect heat without affecting visible light in the building. Cold climates may wish to keep this free solar heat and reflect it back inside. Warm climates may wish to reflect it outside, helping to maintain a cool interior temperature.

Regardless of the individual design, windows that are accessible from the ground level should feature additional security measures. Fixed windows are most secure and need only feature special security glazing. Operable windows can benefit from both special glazing as well as further hardware upgrades.

Laminated safety glass is recommended and commonly seen in automobiles, store fronts and curtain walls. It features a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) laminated between two or more glass layers. This keeps the glass bonded even when broken and prevents it from breaking up into dangerous shards. Fittings such as multiple locking points, mushroom cams, lockable handles and more can all be added to boost the security of operable windows.

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