Over the year the construction and architecture industry has been using a lot of glass in their creation and design. They have transformed the demesne of possibilities of using glass in a building. You can now see glass skyscrapers with glass railing. The use of glass provides transparency to the structure allowing an unobstructed view of the outside environment. It also allows a lot of natural light to enter inside the building. It is no more a luxury item and a lot of use in both exterior and interior applications in architecture. You can even have all-glass stairs, over-the-top glass installations.
The Safety Reform
The unexpected glass failure even for a tiny flaw in construction can occasionally cause unprompted glass breakage. The reason for such failures may also be the impurities present in the glass often referred to as nickel sulfide inclusion. This element makes the glass more vulnerable to pressure changes, movements and other factors. In the summer months tempered glass panes and balconies may shatter and raindown on the streets. The Glazing Industry Code Committee, GICC therefore implemented revisions in the railing section of the International Building Code. It says that instead of monolithic tempered glass the hand rail assemblies, guard sections and rails must use laminated glass.
The Controversy Within
Though the reform is brought with safety factor in mind, it is not without any controversy. It is said that the switch to laminated glass will result in increased cost and affect the aesthetics. However, frameless glass railings are very popular now but the edge quality can be a consistent issue with the laminated glass. The primary reason for such concern is the multiple layers in these types of glasses. The government however has revised the safety requirements ensuring that there is enough room for quality control.