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Glass & Metal Systems

Embracing Adaptive Reuse and Renovation

Adaptive reuse involves repurposing existing structures for new functions while preserving their potential historic or architectural significance. This type of project, along with renovation, offers significant opportunities for glazing products and systems.

Architect’s Guide to Glass Sustainability

A closer look at embodied carbon, performance considerations, retrofits and recyclability.

Building Efficiency

Metal companies adapt their systems for less labor and greater sustainability.

Museum Honors Native Worldview

Glass companies collaborated on the unique design of the First Americans Museum.

Spec the edge. High performance begins on the edge.

The frame and edge of glass are critical to creating a high-performance window system. Regardless of what is done with the number of panes, coatings and gases, if the frame and edge of glass are not well-insulated, heat and cold will find a way through. 

What to know about finished flat sheet aluminum: high quality, high performance and available

Perimeter trim surrounding windows is often formed from flat sheets of aluminum. Here is some advice on choosing the right manufacturer, avoiding pitfalls (like rack marks on anodize) and getting product for accelerated delivery in small quantities.

How and Why Sunshades Can Make Your Project Attractive to a GC

While sunshades used to be considered mostly decorative, they have evolved and are recognized as a critical part of a glass and metal system, with respect to energy performance and design. Here's a review of trends to know and understand in sunshades right now.

The Importance of Making an Entrance

Commercial entrance systems present an opportunity to enhance a building’s aesthetic and energy-saving properties when the design and installation is carefully considered. Those selecting systems should consider thermal performance, the best aesthetics for the amount of foot traffic, and ensuring…

Mindful considerations for mica and metallic coatings

Metallic and mica coatings offer a striking, shining appearance to finished aluminum products. To get the look you want, it's important to know what both coatings offer, how you can ensure optimal appearance and match the colors you need.

Rethinking the Norm: 3 Ways to Specify the Right Facade System

Most of us have preconceived notions about which facades category is appropriate for our project, and if I’m really being honest, we all share what I like to call “tribal knowledge” that dictates our criteria for selection, be it the most economical option, a certain aesthetic, or even the basic…

Next-Level Performance

The latest technology from the glass industry: thermal products, including improved IGUs, vacuum insulating glass and thin-glass solutions; dynamic glass and building-integrated photovoltaics, which can provide on-site energy generation. Part of the series All About Glass & Metals.

What You Need to Know About Corrosion and Aluminum

Warranties for architectural aluminum products will mention factors related to the finish, but not the potential for the metal to corrode. It's important to understand how aluminum can corrode, how to prevent it, and what to think about when selecting a finish.

As Unitization Expands, Architects Specify New Infill Materials

Unitization and shop-glazing allows suppliers to ensure quality while providing shorter lead times. Recent trends in unitization have seen greater application on different size projects, as well as the incorporation of different systems, and building materials.

Moving Forward | Trends in Metals

Glass and metal systems suppliers focused on customers in 2022 as markets continue to shift.

Making an Entrance

By looking at industry trends in glass door design, architects and glaziers can better select and install systems that effectively balance looks, performance and durability.

A toast to champagne and light-tone anodize finishes

When we talk about anodized aluminum framing for curtainwall, storefronts, windows, doors and skylights, most people imagine a clear anodize that highlights the natural metallic appearance. A few may think of trending black and dark bronze tones, or the unique rich copper and earthy bordeaux colors…

Everything’s Better with Daylight

Everything is better with daylight. While that may sound cliché, according to the Department of Energy, daylighting is a key building strategy that can save money for businesses. Many factors go into creating the right daylighting—the type of window, window placement, and interior design all help…

All About Glass & Metals: Maximize Daylight, Minimize Discomfort and Glare

Views through windows can stimulate the well-being and productivity of building occupants. With careful design and daylighting controls, daylighting can also substantially reduce lighting energy use.

All About Glass & Metals: New IGU Technologies for Carbon Reduction and Zero Net Energy

The last year has witnessed increasingly ambitious plans to meet carbon-neutral, net-zero goals in the next several decades. To reduce carbon emissions and meet these benchmarks, the building sector must be addressed.

All About Glass & Metals: The High-Performance Façade Equation

Glass Magazine’s 2022 All About Glass & Metals: Guide for Architects takes a closer look at three essential elements to the high-performance façade equation.

Restoring life and value with on-site repair of finished aluminum

Economists and commercial developers like to say that taking care of the assets you have, generally, will provide the greatest return on investment. Historic preservationists and environmental experts will add that the most sustainable property is the one that isn’t built. Coupling these reminders…

Skylight, Finished with Linetec Anodize, Brings Light to Cancer Treatment Facility

The new Sentara Brock Cancer Center began treating patients on June 1, 2020. This new patient-centered facility transforms cancer care in Hampton Roads, Virginia, by bringing together expert care teams, community organizations and holistic cancer treatment services within one location. The $93.5…

Don’t forget the frame

Today’s commercial curtain wall, storefront and other fenestration systems can help protect us from extreme temperatures and conserve natural resources. While high-performance glass often is the first component we see, it’s essential to remember the role of the frame itself.

Let’s Talk About the Importance of Daylight

Controversy arose recently around the submitted plans for a largely windowless at UC Santa Barbara, with plans submitted by non-architect and Berkshire Hathaway executive, Charles Munger. Andrew Haring of the National Glass Association reminds readers about the importance of daylighting for…

The Future of Metal Systems

Whether it’s part of a new build or a thoughtful retrofit, we’re seeing a few common themes in the metal systems of today: aesthetic variety, unitized and thermally broken solutions, and wellness-centered design.

All that Glass Can Do | 3 building performance cost-benefit questions

The primary roadblock in adopting a high-performing glass product is cost. However, the price tag for high-performance systems should be considered alongside the holistic costs of building construction and operations. Sources point to three primary areas to consider when weighing costs. 

All that Glass Can Do | Next-gen technology

In addition to incremental improvements, the industry is also seeing the introduction of technologies that mark a larger step forward in performance.

All that Glass Can Do | Beyond energy & thermal performance

This part of All that Glass Can Do looks beyond energy and thermal performance to the other wide-ranging capabilities of glass, such as security glass, large sizes, curved assemblies, decorative glasses and more. 

Architect's Guide to Glass & Metals | All that Glass Can Do

An in-depth look at specification and design for glass and glazing, including glasses that achieve the thermal performance of an opaque wall, glasses that can hold up a roof without the need for metal supports, glasses that can generate electricity, stand up to hurricanes, protect against the…

All That Glass Can Do

A conversation with Urmilla Sowell, technical and advocacy director, National Glass Association about the versatility of glass.

Here Comes the Sun

Mitigate the adverse effects of direct sunlight on the building envelope with sunshade systems.

Begin with the Finish

5 Resilient finishing trends in architectural aluminum products

Unitized Railing Systems

Saving time, improving installation quality, and reducing field labor costs, unitized curtain walls, window walls and storefronts are innovative solutions that pave the way to more effective project delivery. The latest entry into the prefabrication market is unitized glass railing systems. 

2020 Industry Trends | Part 4 | Metals & Hardware

2020 has challenged glass companies across all segments of the industry, but it hasn’t stopped the pace of innovation and evolution across the industry. This six-part series presents Glass Magazine’s complete Industry Trends report.

2020 Industry Trends | Part 2 | Architectural Glass

2020 has challenged glass companies across all segments of the industry, but it hasn’t stopped the pace of innovation and evolution across the industry. This six-part series presents Glass Magazine’s complete Industry Trends report.

Clear Performance Solutions

High-performance building is no longer optional. Building codes require it. Owners and occupants increasingly demand it. And our global sustainability depends on it.

Mock-Up Testing

Verify the performance of the design and the installation method of fenestration systems before costly and time-consuming problems surface. Tests conducted on mockups of representative sections are often the best approach to validating finished performance.

Heavy Glass Doors

In the last two decades, the heavy glass door trend has continued its upward trajectory. To address this market demand, the National Glass Association published an update to its Heavy Glass Door Design Guide, replacing the previous 1999 edition.   

Go Unitized

A unitized glass curtain wall system with vertical aluminum fins being installed on a commercial office building in Rockville, Maryland. Pivoting a façade business from one that stick-builds to one that prefabricates offers financial and strategic advantages that could benefit any size company.…

Curtain Wall Design Loads

Butler Plaza, a Gold LEED building in Jacksonville, Florida, is an innovative example of a curtain wall used in an energy efficient design. Photo by Keymark. Key Curtain Wall Design Loads to Consider More information AAMA 508-14, Voluntary Test Method and Specification for Pressure Equalized…

Top 10 Curtain Wall Trends

The exterior wall defines the look of the building. It’s often complex. It’s dynamic. It protects occupants from the outside environment. Tracking façade trends is critical for everyone in our industry.  Every year, hundreds of projects come across my desk and into our firm. We win some and we…

International Code Requirements 2017 For Commercial Glazing Systems

The family of I-codes published by the International Code Council (ICC) is the most widely used in the history of U.S. construction codes. Townhouses, condominiums more than four stories high, and apartment buildings, hotels and motels are considered commercial buildings in these codes. The…

Frameless vs. Framed

A framed interior glass office enclosure, Dorma’s Interior Pure Enclose Office Front with a wood door. The rising costs of renting and maintaining office space, the decreased need for room to store paper files and documents, a surge of telecommuting opportunities, and other technological and…

Unitized Curtain Walls and Their Limitations

Unitized curtain walls have become the preferred method for enclosing buildings, as more building owners, architects and contractors see the benefits of this type of construction. Unitized systems allow buildings to be enclosed quickly, which can help to speed up the construction process leading…

Curtain Wall Fundamentals

The CRL-U.S. Aluminum Series 3250 Curtain Wall System encloses the entrance of a Crate & Barrel retail store. Understanding the basic concepts of curtain walls, the important considerations of the varying curtain wall types, and the performance specifications for curtain wall systems is…

The Art of Measuring, Fabricating and Installing Storefront

CRL-U.S. Aluminum IT451 thermal storefront system with Series 400-T thermal entrance doors. Photo by Derek Lepper. Storefront systems can drastically enhance commercial and retail environments by improving brand identity and visibility for various types of businesses. They provide architects…

Putting up curtain walls

The installation of a curtain wall system begins long before the glazier ever gets to the job site. The general contractor has selected your company to install the wall. The arrangements have been made for the materials to be delivered to the job site and the wall components have been shipped.…

Curtain wall problems

Third in a series Glass-and-metal curtain walls can provide an attractive, durable and cost-effective cladding solution, but in many buildings, they are plagued with problems ranging from air and water leakage to falling trim covers. The first two articles in this series—on Page 82 of April Glass…

Curtain-wall designs

Second in a series Glass-and-metal curtain walls can provide an attractive, durable and cost-effective cladding solution, but in many buildings, these wall systems are plagued with problems ranging from air and water leakage to falling trim covers. The first article on page 82 of April Glass…