Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Attending seminar : Building with Glass 2016 : Aesthetics and Functions

With glass as one of the most popular trend in architecture, it has become one of the most sought after material in the construction industry in the modern era.

Having attended the glass seminar for 3 consecutive years (I recorded last year’s seminar as well in this blog), similarly this year I took the opportunity to attend a seminar entitled “Building with Glass : Aesthetics and Functions” organized by Singapore Safety Glass Pte Ltd.
Participating companies include NSG Group, Bystronic Glass, Singapore Safety Glass Pte Ltd, Pleotint and Kuraray.

Each participating company has a representative who presented interesting topics relating to glass as building materials, of which I would be penning down the summary of the talks.

Talk No.1 : Contemporary Façade Architecture
by Stephen Weidner (Vice President and Global Coatings Director of NSG Group)

Some interesting points & summary of the talk :

Evolution of glass façade :

1850 years – started with Crystal palace, which was a cast iron and plate-glass structure originally built in London. At that time, the only glass available was clear glass, and they were limited by small size but strong glass. The use of glass in Crystal Palace created a structure amazed visitors with its clear walls and ceilings that did not require interior lights.
Crystal Palace
1951 year – existence of tinted glass in modern glass curtain wall, with the intention to protect interior environment from heat by either transmit, absorbs or emit light energy. Tinted glass was produced by adding iron that gives rise to greenish and bluish glass colour. One of the example mentioned was Lever House. Lever house building replaced the heavy masonry walls of the modern skyscrapers with mere green-tinted glass curtains and stainless steel spandrel.
Lever House
2010 year – Glass pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art (Bronze Glass). Architect involved are Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA). This building utilised 150, 000 sq ft of low-iron clear float glass Pilkington Opti White on building perimeter. Glass applied in this building has low content of iron, maximising transparency. 
Glass Pavillion 
- New Apple HQ has facades with large windows. 
Apple HQ
- ARC 380 Jalan Besar, Singapore 
ARC 380 Jalan Besar, Singapore

Evolution of Facades :

Previously, façade act as “static” protective barrier against nature.

Facades are now beginning to require additional functionality beyond protection from the weather :

1. BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics)
– used to generate electricity

NSG Planar structural wall w/ BIPV in copenhagen, Denmark using Pilkington Planar (provides flush glass surface by utilising stainless steel fittings housed in countersunk holes to fix the glass façade back to the structure instead of using conventional framed system, giving rise to maximum visual clarity. Silicone seal between adjacent panels provides waterproofing)

2. Electrochromic – change light transmission properties, allowing control over amount of light and heat passing through in a flick of switch
There is a flat transparent wire across glass
-eliminate blinds and shades
-preserve daytime and nightime views
-allow people enjoy shading on-demand
-minimize glare
-reduce heating and cooling requirements
-maximize daylighting
-protect interior furnishing and artwork from fading
Eg. Century Link Monroe LA
Century Link, Monroe

3. Thermochromic & Photochromic
4. Shielding (EMI/FRI) – protects from data theft, provides transparency but protects data from electronic eavesdropping and wifi protection for government organization. 

5. Displays
6. Lighting
7. Heated Glazing
“Dynamic” facades (smart walls) designed to react to various environmental needs as opposed to “static” elements.
PDF of slides available here for reference purposes.

Talk No.2   Insulated Glass
by Mak Kwae Hoong (Managing Director of Bystronic Asia)

What is insulated glass ?  

Energy concepts for insulating glass?

How does glass insulated ?
-Glass is conductive, the insulation is the air that clings to the surface of the glass.
-refer to slides for infographic

Components of insulated glass
a. Glass panels – Glass kind  (annealed, heat treated (heat strengthened or tempered) , chemically strengthened)
Generally, low E location – closer to warmer side.
Hard coat low E for cold climate.
Soft coat low E for warm climate.
b. Air/Inert Gas (Air, Argon, Krypton)
-commonly used to reduce heat transfer
c.    Dessicant
d.   Butyl (seal)
e.   Spacer (width & type)
f.    sealant

Talk No.3   Trending Glass Types to Use in Your Projects
by Gary Lee (Business Develpment Manager by Singapore Safety Glass)

How to choose right glass in your projects ?
1.       Applications       – sky light (laminated)
                                -doors (laminated tempered door)
                                -facades (not allowed to have reflectant of > 20%
                                -Glass floors

2.       Colours available – clear glass, blue, green, gray, low iron glass
-visible light transmittance – basic colour that is readily available.
3.       SC Value & U Value – simple guide –the thicker the glass and the more component the glass has, U value will be going down.
4.       Special requirement
a.       Security (bullet resistance) – depends on type of bullets
b.      Blast shield – primary cause of shock/blast wave
-Flying debris form composition of the bombs
c.     Sound insulation  - laminated glass (better)
                                         - double glazed unit – good for sound proofing
                                         - laminated + double glazed glass unit – best sound proofing
d.    condensation – heated glass
                                    -  double glazed unit
e.    glass that provides heat – heat food, melt snow
f.    design – luminescent glass
                  - LED glass
                  - digital printing
g.   thermochromic
h.   GIPV

Glass trends for interiors
# heated glass (food industry, marine)
#digital printing on glass (kitchen backsplash) – there are many cases where cheap solution like the paint behind backpainted glass melted when placed near to the cooking stove
#flexible privacy
#one way mirror 

Talk No.4  Dynamic Thermochromics Windows – Energy Saving Windows Made Simple
by Dr. Harland Byker (Co-Founder of Pleotint)

Window energy transfer 101
Heat transfer via 

Usage of shades and blinds due to heat and glare problem by glass windows

Dynamic windows - sunlight responsive glass which adapts naturally with heat load reduction, comfort and always have a view. 

Solar heat gain coefficient - fraction of incident solar radiation admitted through a window, both directly transmitted and absobed and subsequent released inward. 
-expressed as a number between 0 and 1 
- the lower a window's solar heat gain coefficient , the less solar heat it transmits.  

Example use of dynamic thermochromics windows : 

Talk No.5   Advances in in Laminated glass
By Christoph Traska (Global Architecture Segment Manager of Kuraray)

Laminated safety glass is a sandwich of glass-PVM-glass, where the PVB interlayer ensures that in case of glass breaks, the cullets stick to the interlayer. 

How PVB influence the performance of laminated safety glass ? 

Structural glazing (balustrades, overhead canopies, floors, stairs, large windows, curtain walls) 

Some photos of product taken at the exhibition during the seminar. 
Uncoated glass, glass with texture

Coated glass
Glass integrated Photovoltaic Glass - GPV
Characteristic :
1. Uses UV, visible and infra-red light for electrical power
2. Taps on renewable energy
3. Cost-savings
4. Directly integrated as a structure of the building

1. Roofs and roof garden
2. Windows and skylights
3. Facade

Self tinting glass - Varishield
Characteristic :
1. The window uses heat (thermo) to cause a  "change in tint" (Chromic)
2. When not receiving heat from direct sunlight, the window will be in its clear, natural state
3. When receiving heat from direct sunlight, the heat will cause the window to tint.

1. Residential balconies
2. Commercial buildings
3. Facades
4. Windows.
5. Skylights and sunroofs

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