Glass Selection – A Guide

Standard clear glass was once the only choice available to homeowners and developers. This is no longer that case with a wealth of rated and specialist glazing and framing systems available to suit any project type.

Careful and considered selection of your glass goes a long way to improving the comfort, liveability and energy-efficiency of your home or commercial space. It can also save you money in the longer term, where energy-efficient glazing options and appropriate aluminium framed window and door systems are installed. We can help to customise these systems to the individual needs of the project and/or property.   

The glazing systems mentioned below are some of the more common options, with insight provided as to their individual thermal properties. The decision in glass selection is usually one of balance; balancing light, heat and fading control (from UV – Ultraviolet radiation). The greater the light transmission through the glass, the less control you have over heat transmission and fading.

Double-glazing offers sound reduction and dampening qualities; however, the performance of these systems is vitally dependant on the width of the air or gas space in between the panes. More important here are the thermal properties of these systems in keeping your home or commercial space cool in summer and retaining warmth in winter. The summertime sees double-glazed units reducing heat transmission and UV entry, whilst in winter it maintains optimal light levels, whilst reducing external heat loss.

Solar radiation – even transmitted through a double-glazed unit – can still cause unwanted heat to enter penetrate your windows, particularly for exposed West or North facing elevations. Our Low E (Low Emissivity) aluminium systems and advanced glazing options can provide a reflective metallic film, which is permanently bonded to the surface of the glass, and is often used for single glazed applications, or within double-glazed units to combat this effect, and save on your energy costs.

Double Glazing

These commonly used Insulated Glass Units (IGU’s) use separate panels of standard clear glass, fabricated with a gap of air or gas sandwiched between the two panes.

Low-E or Reflective Glass

This looks somewhat akin to mirrored glass when viewed externally, resulting from a process whereby a metallic coating is permanently added during manufacture. Reflective glass is more commonly used in commercial applications, and is highly effective in reducing solar heat gain.

Tinted Glass

Putting aside it’s aesthetic appeal, tinted or coloured glass is mostly employed to reduce solar heat transmission and prevent glare. It provides a good level of heat and UV protection, without the need for the reflective, mirror-like appearance of Low-E or reflective glass.

Our team of glass experts can help you with selecting the ideal glass to suit your needs and project.