Glass engineering and design is increasingly taking center stage in office building design as owners and tenants search out security, energy-efficiency and attractive views. This article notes that glass is becoming a greater structural element, shouldering more of the stress and strains than ever before. New engineering strategies and technology are discussed, including:
- Tennis racket-like systems of cables holding glass panels;
- Structural steel tube frameworks using finger-like elements to grab glass panels at the corners;
- Triple-coated panels that reflect infrared light and reduce the level of heat entering a building; and
- The use of a laminate to transform a glass curtainwall panel into a photovoltaic cell.
Source: Paul Rosta, Commercial Property News; Sep 28, 2007