January 10, 2019

High Quality, Not High Cost: Glass Design @ SMNC

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The vestibule to the Knobloch Family Farmhouse Education Center was envisioned to be a portal, allowing views through to the overlook deck and pastures beyond.  The glass needed to be as glassy as possible – the design minimized mullions, fittings or appurtenances that would distract from the transparent purity of the material. 

Glass is typically installed with aluminum mullions to support against wind loading.  For the Farmhouse, the glass manufacturer engineered a thicker, laminated glass panel, each weighing 750lbs that were able to withstand wind loads due to their own strength.  To avoid the greenish tint common in glass and because the glass is thick, the design featured a super clear low-iron glass.  The cost of this glass was higher than the conventional glass system however installation was shorter and avoided the expense of aluminum. The glass did require 6 men to pick up one piece! Overall the net cost of the design was equal to the conventional way of installation with a higher quality end product.

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