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33 Glazing

Floors and Stairs

i B.T. Tower, London • Architect: Team Management

Floor glazing with SGG STADIP

Glass floors and stairs are specifically • BS 5395 : Part 1, 1977:2000, Code of
calculated combinations of glasses Practice for the design of straight
designed to create a walkable structure stairs, makes reference to the danger
in association with structural supports. of slippage and specifies minimum
They are designed for pedestrian use only. coefficients of friction.
Underlighting and individuality of Approved Document K of the Building
design in the production process of the Regulations 1991(1998 Edition), Stairs,
glass allow the interplay of transparency, Ramps and Guards, controls safety
reflection and refraction of light. and design.
Firstly, it is necessary to consider the
location of the floor and whether it
Design criteria spans a dangerous drop. Breakage of
The building use and location define the floor could result in a fall from a
the performance specification. high level, or cause injury to the lower
When considering glass as a flooring leg even when the drop is quite small.
material, reference should be made to The nature of the building and the
two British Standards which will have a likely behaviour of its users must be
bearing on the installation: taken into account, with drops in
excess of 300mm being categorised
• BS 6399 : Part 1, 1996, Code of
as ‘dangerous’.
Practice for dead and imposed loads,
gives guidance to design loads

465 • Floors and Stairs

Floors and Stairs
Other points for consideration are: Glass
• the avoidance of point or
concentrated loadings with hard
objects of small contact area, such In most situations only thick annealed
as castors on furniture glass SGG PLANILUX or thick laminated
annealed glass SGG STADIP should be
• artificial lighting beneath glass floors
considered. SGG SECURIT toughened
can generate significant heat.
glass is not generally considered suitable
Excessive temperatures can cause
due to its breakage characteristics and
delamination or breakage of the glass
subsequent loss of integrity.
• people whose footwear is still wet
A single thickness of glass may be used
may walk on glass floors near
if the floor does not protect a dangerous
entrance areas. Whilst the use of
drop. For example, where it is required
small panels and a slip retardant
for people to view something
surface such as sandblasted glass
immediately below the glass, or for
may be beneficial, the provision of
use as a dance floor.
suitable matting should be considered
If the floor protects a dangerous drop,
• clear glass floors at high levels may
which could result in serious injury, a
cause users to be nervous. Techniques
laminated glass is normally required.
to help overcome this problem, as
well as addressing the issue of If there is no access to the underside a
modesty, include the use of a grill single thickness may be used but with
beneath the glass, a decorated or secondary protection by means of a
obscured upper surface, or the use of suitable grill 10-30mm below the
a tinted or diffused interlayer in the glass. This grill must be designed to
laminated glass withstand the same loading as the
floor together with the weight of the
• fire resistance may be required where
glass. It must be restricted to a grid
the glass is being used to allow light
size which will prevent a foot passing
to pass between different floors of
through, with a maximum size of
a building
100 x 100mm.
• it is recommended that the nosings
If there is a risk of a dangerous drop
of stair treads are protected by a
and there is unrestricted access to the
suitable flange projecting upwards
underside, such as a pedestrian bridge,
from the tread support
laminated solutions must be used.
• the design and maintenance The lower glass of the laminate will
specification for the building must prevent glass fragments falling should
allow for the provision of suitable breakage of the upper glass occur. The
floor protection if heavy pedestrian or use of laminated glass also permits
other traffic will be passing over the larger pane sizes.
area from time to time.

Floors and Stairs • 466

33 Glazing

Floors and Stairs

Support Key criteria when considering glass

structure floors and stairs:
The frame should provide continuous • Overall size and dimensions
support to the perimeter of each • Loading details
individual element of glazing, and • Depth of drop
must be capable of withstanding both
• Glass specification
the design loading and the self weight of
the glass without excessive deflection. • Surface finish
The weight of the glass may be taken • Fixing substrate
as approximately 2.5kg/m2 /mm of
thickness. Therefore 1m2 of 10mm For more information,
thick glass weighs 25kg. contact SOLAGLAS CONTRACTING.
The frame may be of metal, masonry or
wood and the glass must be cushioned
from it by 3mm thick neoprene rubber
or other material similar in hardness.
The clearance between the edge of the
glass and the frame, or between
adjacent glasses, should be 3mm
minimum and infill strips of a material
such as wood, cork or neoprene should
be inserted to finish just below the
upper surface of the glass.
To provide a flush finish a compatible
high grade synthetic rubber, polysulphide
or silicone sealant can be used as a top
pointing. The edges of the glass should
be either flat-ground and arrissed or
water-jet cut. The frame should support
all edges by the overall thickness of the
glass as a minimum.

467 • Floors and Stairs

Floors and Stairs

i 30 Berkeley Square, London

Architect: Whinney Mackay-Lewis Partnership
Laminated floor glazing
Floors and Stairs • 468