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GLASS AS A

BUILDING
MATERIAL

Glass has become one of the most


popular and complex building materials
used today by offering virtually
unlimited aesthetic options, combined
with outstanding performance.

PROPERTIES OF GLASS
The properties of glass are mainly governed by
factors
such as composition of the constituents, state of
surface, thermal treatment conditions, dimensions of
specimen, etc.
The following are the properties of glass which have
made
glass popular and useful.
(1) It absorbs, refracts or transmits light.
(2) It can take up a high polish and may be used as
substitute for every costly gems.
(3) It has no definite crystalline structure.
(4) It has no sharp melting point.
(5) It is affected by alkalis.

6) It is an excellent electrical insulator at elevated


temperatures due to the fact that glass can be
considered as an ionic liquid.
(8) It behaves more as a solid than most solids in
the sense that it is elastic. But when the elastic
limit is exceeded, it fractures instead of
deforming.
(9) It is capable of being worked on in many ways.
(10) It is extremely brittle.
(11) It is not usually affected by air or water.
(12) It is not easily attacked by ordinary chemical
reagents.
(13) It is possible to intentionally alter some of its
properties such as fusibility, hardness, refractive
power, etc. to suit different purposes.
(14) It is possible to obtain glass with diversified
properties. The glasses may be clear, colorless,

TYPES OF GLASS

A few examples of glass include:


Annealed Glass; this is the most
common architectural glass

Prism glass; it is glass used to provide


lighting to underground spaces and
areas that would otherwise be too
difficult to light.

Glass block; also known as Glass brick


is used in areas where privacy or visual
obscuration is desirable while
admitting light such as; underground

Frosted glass; it is glass which has


been rendered opaque through a
process which roughens or obscures
the clear surface of the glass. It is
produced by the sandblasting or acid
etching of clear sheet glass.

Stained glass; this is glass that is


coloured as a material. As a material, it
is coloured by adding metallic salts
during its manufacture

USES OF GLASS IN CONSTRUCTION


Glass is one of the construction materials
used
in buildings and below are the various
uses:
Glass panes in windows

Curtain walling

Partitioning

Balcony railing

Roof Construction

Doors

Used in bathrooms
Frosted glass is used on bathroom
windows to allow light but not
visibility ,it is also used in steam rooms
and shower cubicles

Disadvantages of glass

As glass is a very costly material, it may increase the budgeted cost


of construction work.
Use of glass also enhances the cost of security.

Glass also comes with the disadvantage of being heavier and more
difficult to handle as it is easily breakable.

Installing glass is labor-intensive because it must be set panel-bypanel.

Melts in high temperatures.

Low strength; so unable to share the stress loads. For


instance, tall, slender glass buildings would break under their
own weight

Transmits radiant heat; so interiors can gain heat from outside


sources (like the Sun) or lose heat when the outside is cold.
Thus, a steady interior temperature is harder to maintain
unless special technologies are invoked (like window blinds).

Difficult to work with if irregular shapes are needed. Glass is


malleable only when heated and treated in special kilns and
by special tools.

Glass in high buildings is a constant threat to people below


who might be underneath a falling glass pane or its shards.
This is a not infrequent happening during earthquakes in a city
with high-rises. Glass is also unsafe for earthquake proven
area.

SOLUTIONS AND CURRENT TRENDS IN GLASS

Thermal insulation

A transparent metallic coating reflects


heat back into the room rather than
allowing it to escape through the
windows. At the same time, it allows
solar heat to pass into a building and
warm the interior.

Solar control
Solar control glass is glass designed to
reduce or prevent solar heating of
buildings. There are two approaches
that can be used:
The glass is either tinted (colored)
throughout the material (called a "body
tint") or it has a microscopically thin
and transparent coating on one side.

Safety and security


To improve its resistance to impact and
breakage, glass can be either
toughened or laminated, depending on
where and how it is being used.
Below is an example of laminated
glass.

Wired glass
Wire mesh glass has a grid or mesh of
thin metalwireembedded within the
glass.
Despite this belief, wired glass is
actually weaker than unwired glass due
to the incursions of the wire into the
structure of the glass.

Wired glass instead is utilized for


itsfire-resistantabilities, and is wellrated to withstand both heat and hose
streams.

Self cleaning glass

Self cleaning glass has been coated with a


special dual function layer that harnesses
the elements to which windows and facades
are exposed - namely the sun and rain - to
break down and wash away dirt. This first
function is photo-catalytic; in other words, it
is activated by light to break down the dirt
that collects on it. The second function is to
spread rain water evenly over the glass.

Noise control

Acoustically insulating glazing can be a major


contributor to comfort levels in buildings and
houses. Its benefits are greatest for people living or
working near busy high streets, urban traffic,
motorways, railway lines and airports, or on a flight
path.
The acoustic glass in a double-glazed unit uses a
special interlayer that acts as a dampening core so
that sound energy is effectively blocked from
passing from the outside to the inside pane of
glass.

CONCLUSION
It can thus be easily appreciated that
glass, though used for thousands of
years, is just beginning to be understood
and it is still possible to get a variety of
glasses with certain chemical additives.
We recommend the use of glass as it
offers a variety of functions and at the
same time its aesthetic value.