Glazed and confused

by Tania Wannenburg
Glazed and confused

Q&A with fenestration expert, Dylan Miller from Swartland.


Glass is a magical material, transformed from silica sand to liquid and then to the transparent smooth solid surface that we love to have. Glass openings make a home feel bright, warm and welcoming. Not only does it let light in and keep the weather out, but it also allows us to enjoy the surrounding views.

Dylan Miller, a representative from wooden window and door manufacturer, Swartland, gives the lowdown on all things glazed.

Q: What exactly is glazing?
A: Glazing is the technical term for fixing sheet glass into a frame, whether it is a window, door or skylight. “If correctly installed into a frame, glass can be extremely durable and strong,” Dylan notes.

Q: What are the different types of glazing options available?
A: Apart from its transparency, glass offers many other desirable qualities including protection, safety, security, solar and sound control, ultraviolet (UV) protection, decoration and insulation.

Look at these factors when window-shopping:
• Security: In order to keep us safe, there are various ranges of laminated glass products that can play a vital role in deterring criminals. Heavy-duty laminate glass, for example, is a multiple laminate that offers excellent resistance.
• Solar control: Due to its transparency and high conductivity, glass is the weakest element in any building when it comes to direct solar energy transmission and conducted heat gain and loss. However, this can be combated with a range of glass products that incorporate things such as heat-absorbing tints, tinted PVB interlayers, low-E and solar control coatings, screen-printed designs and double glazing.
• Sound control: For buildings located in noisy areas, special glazing designed to enhance acoustic insulation can be used. These include monolithic glass, laminate glass and sealed insulated glass units.
• UV protection: Goods exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light through windows will become cracked and faded over time. To negate this issue, you can install laminate glass, with PVB inter-layers, which is virtually opaque to UV radiation and provides optimum protection against potentially damaging sunlight.
• Decoration and aesthetics: There is a wide array of transparent, translucent and opaque architectural glass for the most imaginative end-results.

Q: What is double glazing?
A: This is where two panes of glass are sandwiched together with an air pocket in-between, and then secured into a rubber-sealed frame. Double glazing offers the best thermal and acoustic insulation on the market, making it the perfect solution for combating extreme temperatures, as well as noise pollution. It is also very difficult to break through, making it a security feature in your home as well.

Q: What is safety glass?
A: This glass has gone through a process that ensures it’s less likely to break or is less harmful when it does break. “Typical materials include toughened glass and laminated safety glass, conforming to SANS 1263,” Dylan explains. When broken, toughened glass breaks up into small chunks, while laminate glass keeps the pieces of glass together and intact in the frame.

“Safety glass is a prerequisite for all doors and windows situated next to a ramp or stairs, as well as floor-to-ceiling casement windows. All skylights, overhead and sloped glazing also need to be made from safety glazing materials. These will always be permanently marked or you can ask your developer for a SAGGA certificate of conformance to ensure safety glazing authenticity,” he adds.

Q: What are the latest glazing trends to hit the market?
A: More and more people are looking for glazing that is energy-efficient. There is a wide range of glass that ensures optimum indoor comfort levels in terms of solar control, thermal insulation, good daylight factors, reduction of glare and the preservation of outdoor views – all elements that are consistent with going green.

Q: What hints and tips do you have for homeowners wanting to take the glass window and door route?
A: Consider the position of the glazed item and how people are going to behave around it. Be vigilant about maintenance to ensure that there is no deterioration due to water penetration, general wear and tear, and other similar factors.

Lastly, call in the experts, making sure that your builder conforms to the safety regulations contained in the SANS 10137 Code of Practice, and that the toughened safety glass and safety glass you purchase conform to the guidelines contained in SANS 1263.

Tel: 011 671 0400
Website: www.swartland.co.za

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