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Glass use in residential buildings

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A lot of advancements have been made in the manufacturing techniques of glass products for use in residential buildings. It is no longer the huge energy consuming product it once was with a new generation of products that conserve energy, block UV rays, minimize heat gain or radiate heat and offer privacy with a flick of a switch. 

The use of glass in architecture has increased significantly as it evolved into the high-tech product it is today. Because of its transparent quality, glass will always play a vital role in architecture as people want to be connected with the outside world and prefer natural bright spaces opposed to electronically lit spaces and at the same time save energy. Big windows and open architecture in a home bring the light in, provide the opportunity for a wonderful view and create a special ambience.

Glass bricks

This material is not new to the building industry, but because of its structural properties, together with its transparency but at the same time providing privacy has remained a favourite in residential design. These bricks is not only aesthetically pleasing elements but also diffuses light into the home in such a way that overheating caused by the penetration of sunlight is reduced during the summer months. During the winter the thermal properties of glass bricks are comparable to double glazing. 

Frosted glass

This type of glass is produced by the acid etching of clear sheet glass. This renders the glass translucent, obscuring the view while still passing light 

Laminated safety glass

This type of glass ensures your familiesí safety in the event of an accident and also makes it significantly more difficult for a burglar to gain entry trough such a glass barrier. 

Solar energy control glass

This is a type of laminated safety glass designed to keep out as much of the sunís UV rays and solar radiation through the glass without limiting the amount of natural light into the building. This type of glass is especially useful in the construction of skylights and curtain walls. 

Self-cleaning glass

Ideally used where windows or glass features are not within easy reach with a normal ladder. A titanium oxide coating ensures the break down of organic material when cleaned with warm soapy water and any residue washes away without leaving unsightly spots or streaks.

Written by JB, architect & founder of dreamhouses. Reproductions of this article are encouraged but must include a link pointing to //www.dreamhouses.co.za

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