View Vol. 2 (2010): Challenging Glass 2

Challenging Glass Conference 2 was held 20 & 21 May 2010 at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. 

The conference was organised by Freek Bos (TU Delft), Christian Louter (TU Delft) and Fred Veer (TU Delft).

The conference proceedings have been post-published by TU Delft Open.

ISBN 978-90-8570-524-6

Published: 2010-07-01

Keynote Contributions

  • Despite having become a ubiquitous material, the nature of glass continues to cause lively scientific discussion. The science is in contrast to the use of glass in the building industry and world of architecture, where, typically, only transparency is considered and any manipulation of the glass is deployed to improve the glass’ performance as a cladding material. Through the discussion of a selection of JCDA’s work, this paper will explore the potential for glass in architecture to be considered in a manner that includes its many undeveloped properties and its powerful potential for...

  • Architectural use of glass dates back from the beginning of our era when it was used to make windows. Its range of chemical composition was close to that of current flat or hollow glass, illustrating early optimization of both production process and material properties. In modern buildings glass is ubiquitous, highly visible as in facades or hidden as fibers for thermal insulation or for high-speed telecommunication. This short review describes the main factors that have made this variety of uses possible. The fundamental point is the amorphous nature of glass, which allows pieces of any...

  • The proliferation of glass elements in building assemblies yields an endless array of fabricated components that are by nature glass-composites, resultants of myriad material techniques and processes. Every component parameter is an opportunity for detailed material definition in the service of a specific Architecture. Front designs and deploys glass technologies through creative and pragmatic collaboration seeking with our partners to opportunistically engage such materials in appropriate and specific ways so as to realize a broad set of Architectural intentions. The following are a...

  • W. Sobek, S. Feierabend, K. Puller

    Today’s demand for highly transparent building envelopes which are also adaptive and sustainable calls for innovative solutions in the glass design.

Joints, Fixings & Adhesives

  • M. Baitinger, M. Feldmann

    For the design of load carrying glazing structures the connection technique plays an important role, as e.g. there are significant stress concentrations in the vicinity of holes that are subject to a point-like support of glass panes. If no further constructional means are provided, the stress peaks cannot be redistributed and thus a sudden brittle failure is likely to occur. In particular this concerns bolts in bearings of drilled glass holes as long as no ductile stress distributing interlayers in the clearance between hole bearing and bolt shank is provided. In the article, a simple...

  • To realize architectural attractive transparent and lightweight constructions bonded hybrid steel-glass beams have been developed, where flanges of steel and webs of glass are assembled to I-shaped profiles using adhesives. The load-bearing capacity of such beams is governed – apart from the mechanical and strength characteristics of the adherent - by ageing, temperature and creeping. By means of small scale push-out-tests the properties of different adhesive geometries, the influence of the manufacturing process and the general load carrying behaviour of bonded hybrid steel-glass-beams...

  • Experiments using material specimen of the Silicone adhesive on the one hand and several point support designs on the other hand provide valuable know-how for favourable layout from engineering point of view. The comparison of uni-axial material tests based on dog-bone specimens, of H-type specimens of ETAG 002 type and of circular and rectangular point supports show different working principles of the adhesive material. Test results on planar point supports and comparison with other point support designs show similarities in terms of applicable limit stresses. For advanced point support...

  • Due to the intensive progress and research on the field of glass structures, possibilities for using glass as a load carrying elements are increasing every day. Different types of hybrid constructions, consisting of glass and another material, are analyzed or even newly developed focusing on an optimal structural interaction between both materials and in respect to architectural, static-structural and fabrication criteria. Glued joint, realized by polymer adhesive is very often the key element of whole composite structure, therefore also the key aspect of research, development and...

Strength & Stability

  • During tempering or other heat treatment processes an uneven temperature field or even an asymmetric temperature field can be created in glass. In an asymmetric case glass can bend depending on the degree of temperature difference. With a known temperature field thermal strains, stress field, and deformations can be calculated. In the paper the theory governing the stress field and deformations is presented. A viscoelastic behavior with the structural relaxation of glass is taken into account.

  • The amount of elastic strain energy that is being released upon initial failure of a structural glass element has profound influence on its post-initial failure load bearing capacity. This paper discusses the relevance of this notion to the evaluation of structural glass testing and the consequences it may have for structural glass design. It means, among others, that post-failure behaviour may be highly geometry dependent as well as strongly related to the cause of the initial failure (as both determine the amount of energy released at failure). The options to limit the consequences of...

  • This paper presents a safety classification of 14 different of glass beam designs based on experimental research, using the Integrated Approach to Structural Glass Safety (introduced by the author, [1], [2]). The design parameters included the number of layers (2 or 3), the level of prestress (annealed, heat strengthened, thermally tempered), and laminate type (PVB or SG). Additionally, steel reinforced glass beams were tested. Three different methods were applied to obtain complete redundancy curves (development of residual strength under increasing levels of damage): 4-point bending...

  • Paulo J.S. Cruz, José Pequeno, Jean-Paul Lebet, Danijel Mocibob

    Glass panes are increasingly being used to the stabilization of one storey buildings by acting as shear walls and thus replacing conventional bracings. This is the case of glass pavilions and some timber or steel frames or facades. The behaviour of such structural systems mainly depends on the stiffness of the connections. This research focuses on the prediction of the in-plane structural behaviour of steel and timber frames with a single pane fixed by circumferentially glued joints or by point support connectors. Mechanical models have been implemented and validated. The results...

  • There is some knowledge on the stability behaviour of glass panes under axial loading, i.e. of their buckling stability. However, only a few investigations have been performed so far in this direction, predominantly at cross-sections with monopanes and sporadically at cross-sections with laminated glass. Thus a research project was initiated by the German Steel Construction Association (DSTV) and the German Ministry of Economics, by which the buckling of pane-like glass columns with mono- and laminated sections was thoroughly investigated. The article focuses on the results for buckling...

  • Heat-strengthened glass with residual surface compressive stresses above those allowed by ASTM C1048 was installed in a curtain wall in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. To address building ownership’s concerns regarding postbreakage glass fallout, fragmentation tests were performed using a protocol adapted from EN 1863. Consistent with previous research, no significant difference in fragmentation was noted between samples with residual surface compressive stresses conforming to ASTM C1048 and those with residual surface compressive stresses well beyond the established ASTM...

  • In this paper, the dynamic properties of a glass structures and glass components will be discussed. A short introduction to dynamic load will be presented as well as the basic principles of calculus used behind the widely understood finite element analysis. A comprehensive review of the various damping concepts, coefficients and physical backgrounds will be summarized. The mathematical model is analyzed by Finite Element Method and by STRAND 7 software system. In this paper, the consideration of various damping concepts using FEM for the harmonic and transient dynamic analysis is...

  • The composite load bearing glass elements have the many advantages as compared with the massive glass structures [1, 2]. The use of high strength, plasticity or viscous behavior of the additional structural elements increases the safety and strength of glass composite. However, the main peculiarities of glass composite mechanical deforming, strength and fracture are remain induced by the primary influence of elastic and brittle nature of glass components on the whole composite structural behavior [1]. The technical approach for the assessment and management of the strength and durability...

  • This paper poses the theory that the fracture resistance of basic float glass is dependent on it physicochemical properties and the surface defects formed under the float glass production, glass processing and handling at the service conditions compose the aggregate basis for structural glass strength assessment. The effect of loading conditions, constructional and technological factors on the engineering strength of glass can be evaluated in certain cases using fracture mechanics with information on the initial surface defects in glass elements. The correlation between the data on glass...

  • Frederic Veer, Yurii Rodichev

    Although soda lime glass is the most common used transparent material in architecture, little is known about the corrosion effects on long term strength and the interaction between corrosion and defects. Extensive testing on soda lime bars under different environmental conditions and different degrees of damage has resulted in a more clear picture of the stress-corrosion mechanisms involved. The effects of these on long term strength are discussed.

  • Frederic Veer, Yurii Rodichev

    The strength of float glass is a necessary engineering parameter. Determining this strength is a complex problem. Earlier results have shown that statistically bending test results are not a homogeneous group. To explain this, a theory of “hidden damage” is proposed. The essence of this theory is that the different sides of float glass are unequal, not only because of the differences between the Tin and nitrogen sides, but because of the difference between the side scored under the sheet glass cutting and the side which has the crack propagation from the scored side in breaking....

  • The response of an architectural glazing panel to dynamic loading, such as that from explosions, is analysed using an explicit dynamic finite element algorithm coded into a computer program. This software allows for the simulation of various glazing types, and is capable of predicting displacements and stresses up to cracking of the glass and the hazard level experienced by occupants. A variety of support conditions are available, along with several methods of specifying the blast load. Details and challenges of the numerical algorithm and coding are presented, together with the...

Laminated Glass & Interlayer Properties

  • D. Delincé, D. Callewaert, J. Belis, R. van Impe, F. Galmart, N. Matthijs

    The assessment of the post-breakage performances of laminated glass elements used in construction need to take into account the sensitivity to the temperature of the mechanical behaviour and properties of the product, in particular of the interlayer material. A general problem statement and an overview of different experimental approaches are firstly presented. Then results of specific orientation tests on pre-cracked laminated glass beams with a stiff interlayer of DuPont carried at three different temperatures (23, 45 and 60°C) are presented and commented. A comparison of the...

  • This paper investigates whether a novel computational sequentially linear analysis (SLA) technique, which is especially developed for modeling brittle material response, is applicable for modeling the structural response of metal reinforced glass beams. To do so, computational SLA results are compared with experimental results of four-point bending tests. The results show similarities in loaddisplacement curves and to some extent also in cracking behaviour. Overall, it is concluded that the SLA scheme is a very promising technique to model the structural response of reinforced glass...

  • C. Louter, C. Leung, H. Kolstein, J. Vambersky

    This paper investigates the possibilities of pultruded glass fibre rods as embedded reinforcement in SentryGlas (SG) laminated glass beams. To do so, a series of pullout tests, to investigate the bond strength of the rods to the laminate, and a series of beam tests, to investigate the post-breakage response of the beams, have been performed. Both test series have been conducted for round E-glass fibre rods and flat S-glass fibre rods. The pull-out tests showed superior pull-out strength of the flat rods, due to their large bond area. Furthermore, the beam tests showed superior...

  • F. Roebroek, B. Snijder, F. van Herwijnen, E Huveners

    The use of in-plane loaded glass panes allows for highly transparent and material efficient structures. This research focuses on the design of a transparent and safe column in glass and steel, in which an extremely slender steel column is laterally supported by in-plane loaded glass panes. Full-scale experiments have been carried out to determine the stability behaviour of the glass-steel column and to obtain valuable data to calibrate a Finite Element model. Most importantly, it is shown that the concept of the glass-steel column is perfectly feasible.

  • Large glass floor plates are usually designed as laminates of three or more glass leaves, bonded together with an interlayer. This means that, in the event of accidental breakage, the entire plate must be replaced, sometimes at considerable cost. In addition, where access is difficult, the costs and the disruption to the owner’s operations are increased. Finally, it is difficult to recycle laminated glass. An alternative is outlined whereby a sacrificial layer is loose laid on top of the structural laminate. In the event of breakage, only this top layer is replaced, with the lower...

  • In this contribution we examine the mechanical behavior of laminated glass and show that improvements in performance may be achieved through the use of a stiff, structural, non-PVB, interlayer. Enhancements in mechanical properties, such as strength, creep, post-glass breakage coupled with enhancements in durability and materials compatibility, are provided with a stiff Ionomere interlayer that extends the performance of laminated glass well beyond the established PVB limits. The use of analysis tools based on finite elements and effective thickness methods is also presented. Such tools...

  • The bending stiffness of insulating glass units can be significantly improved by including an aluminium honeycomb core continuously bonded to both glass panes. This arrangement also offers a number of additional advantages, ranging from an improved post-breakage behaviour to a particular translucent look. This paper provides an overview of the structural, thermal and visual advantages and drawbacks of glass-honeycomb composite panels and also describes its development, testing and fabrication method. Finally, a design method is proposed.

  • Steel-glass beams consisting of steel flanges and a glass web connected by bonding represent a new kind of transparent structural members. This paper deals with the particular structural behaviour of flexible composed hybrid beams regarding specific material characteristics of steel, glass and particularly adhesive, which is decisive for structural behaviour.

  • A research project at the Institute of Building Construction explores composite beams made of glass and transparent polycarbonate. These beams consist of one inner polycarbonate sheet and two outer panes of glass and are bonded by a transparent adhesive. Several experimental tests demonstrated that the glasspolycarbonate beams can behave in a ductile manner when the load-bearing capacity is exceeded. Furthermore, a high residual load-bearing capacity after complete glass-breakage exists. On the contrary, typical laminated glass beams fail in cases of complete glass breakage despite the...

  • Starting with a short summary about chemical and physical fundamentals of different interlayer materials, this article gives an overview about the thermal stability of these analyzed materials. Interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) as well as ionomers like SentryGlas (SG) are subjects of this investigation. Due to the chemical structure, the materials show differences in their thermal stability and their degradation processes. The decomposition behaviour will be characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to analyze and identify...

  • Frameless glass-to-glass PV-modules are exposed to a wide range of weather conditions, depending on their destined place of installation. Numerous aspects affect the mechanical stability as well as the mechanical durability under static and dynamic load conditions. These aspects are presented and discussed in detail. The structure of a glass-to-glass PV-module shows many similar features as a laminated glazing element in façades, which allows adopting knowledge from the structural use of glass in buildings. However, in some aspects, typical PV-modules show characteristic features, which...

  • Glass used in structural applications enables a higher level of transparency in façades. However, attention should be paid to the material specific properties, such as brittleness and its incapability of plastic deformation. Laminated glass beams may improve several properties due to the elastic behaviour of the interlayer material. Contrary to laminated panes, which are subject to plate bending, laminated beams lose all their bearing capacity in case all individual plies are broken. The presented hybrid beams that are composed of glass and steel and bonded together with a transparent...

  • Transparency is one of the significant features of modern architecture. By utilising transparent materials the feeling of lightness can be conveyed. This paper shows the possibility of employing transparent plastic as a load-bearing element. In order to be able to use a new material as part of the building structure it is essential to know its mechanical behaviour under various conditions like different temperatures, environmental impacts or the load duration. Proposals for the design of structural elements that consist of these materials are still rare up to now since plastics are still...

Curved & Bended Glass

  • M. Feldmann, R. Kasper, Ömer Bucak, M. Illguth, M. Bues

    The desire of modern architecture for free form structures opens a large market for curved glass. Compared to flat glass, the production of curved glass is much more difficult because of additional parameters through the bending process. Since there is no standard available for curved glass in construction so far, at present the rules for flat glass are being considered. However, several cases of damage show that the application of curved glass needs own regulations to avoid glass breakage on the construction site. Therefore, the Munich University of Applied Sciences and the RWTH Aachen...

  • A ring-shaped, tubular steel/glass structure resting on 14 columns, diameter 52m, is one main part of the art object ”ARoS Rainbow Panorama” by Olafur Eliasson on top of the ARoS building in Aarhus, Denmark. The inner and outer walls with a total area of nearly 1,000m² are made of colored curved glass only. The glass walls have to carry dead loads, snow and especially wind loads and they have to withstand deformations of the system due to live loads and temperature. The paper at hand concentrates on the considerations of the structural design of this structure - the leading design ideas...

  • K. Haarhuis, F. van Herwijnen, R. Nijsse

    A structural system for segmented barrel-vaulted glass roofs has been developed, aiming at maximum transparency due to structural optimization. This has led to a structural system with small connections, integrated into the glass, as well as clear, transparent joints. Finite element analysis and a full-scale test has been performed, showing PVB-laminated glass, 101010.4, could be sufficient to create spans up to 20 meters with slightly prestressed cables measuring just 3 mm in diameter.

  • An essential part of the structural analysis of insulated glass is, to find values for the inner pressure as a result the so called climatic load and the coupling effect in these curved insulated glass units. An interesting aspect of this analysis is the influence of the edge sealing. The edge sealing allows small movements and rotations of the glass at the edges. Depending on the load situation the distance between glass panes becomes longer or shorter. A range of displacements with a value of 0.1 mm up to 0.2 mm depending on the edge system used is possible. This displacement value is...

Architectural Design, Geometries & Lighting

  • This paper introduces the development of Chinese glass building, discusses the problems in the development, and forecasts the future of glass building in China. There is a short but leap-forward development of Chinese glass buildings. The paper, which uses the methodology of history research, takes Beijing as an example to research the development of Chinese glass buildings. It divides the development into three stages: function stage, aesthetic stage, technology stage, and describes each stage with practical examples. It supports an objective analysis of the development with the context...

  • Kerstin Puller, Pascal Heinz, Björn Frettlöhr, Jürgen Denonville, Werner Sobek

    During two semesters the ILEK (Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design) held an explorative student workshop focusing on new glass design possibilities. Students from the faculties of Civil Engineering and Architecture first gained insight into the theoretical foundations of glass and different fabrication techniques, and then applied these techniques to realize a design theme of their choosing. The range of themes was intentionally left open and the scope of the techniques employed was correspondingly broad. For example, flexible glass-hybrids, pure glass-glass joints...

  • Today’s demand for highly transparent building envelopes calls for innovative solutions. Cable-stayed glass façades make it possible to dematerialize the building envelope so as to make it almost imperceptible. Werner Sobek has designed a great number and variety of cable-stayed façades. The primary structural system carrying most of these façades consists of straight tension members (e.g. tension rods, cables), typically in a parallel arrangement. The tension members transfer the dead load of the glazing very efficiently to the supports. Under wind load the members undergo large...

  • The application of glazing allows the construction of very transparent roofs. To determine a transparent structure the lightness is a measurable factor within the subjective experience of transparency. At the example of transparent space grid structures with axial load-bearing glazing the interaction between measureable transparency, percept transparency and constructive criteria is analyzed. The constructive criteria include different parameters as pre-assembling, stability, member length, knot geometry and joint sealing. The measureable transparency criteria include lightness and...

Glass in Facades

  • Architecture has always been interested in transparency but this characteristic has strong implications for energy performance. For many years architecture has neglected this factor but today, in a time when society has developed an awareness of the carbon footprint, architecture must restructure its approach and process. Transparency is still possible but its implications must be taken into consideration from the very beginning of the process: when façades are designed with respect solar exposure and the advantages of internal natural ventilation, transparency becomes sustainable in...

  • This paper describes a case study for the design of structural glazed IGUs for the New Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland, which is subjected to high local wind loads of approximately 10kN/m2, with a load duration of approximately 0.1s. The paper focuses on how to interpret the current available codes and research to obtain a glass thickness with adequate resistance for the high short duration loads. The paper also focuses on the wind loads to be applied when calculating the fixing system, the structural silicone, the embedded aluminium profiles and the toggles which fix the glass to the...

  • In this paper a case study is presented relating to the redesign of an office building dating from the 1960s. Especially the detailing and the structural complexity of designing the new double skin façade are described. The building consists of a twostorey podium topped by a nine-storey tower, the overall height is 40m above ground level. In order to optimise the building's energy efficiency and present the public a modern appearance the whole building is completely renovated. The existing building envelope which mainly consisted of prefabricated concrete elements was dismantled and is...

  • L. Moonen, J. Lichtenberg

    This paper is focussing on the development and opportunities for new façade concepts. In a survey on the possibilities for energy saving in the supply chain of the Dutch glass industry it appeared that there are major opportunities for applications of glass in the European building stock. The integral application of several glass products was the basis for the development of a new façade concept. Apart from saving energy this concept also solves some major problems in the construction industry and the refurbishment of the European building stock. Therefore this paper also contains...

  • The initial conceptual ‘wild idea’ for the INHolland project by architect Rijk Rietveld, New York, was elaborated through different design brainstorms towards a radical innovative system for ultra-slim glass façades. In this façade system insulated glass panels of a depth of maximum 50 mm are integrated with internal pre-stressed structural composite cables, stabilising the façade against wind forces. Dead weight to be taken over by vertical deadweight rods in between the vertical silicone seams between the panels. The insulated glass panels are sealed by composite spacer frames. Many...

  • Glass as a building material is used in a multitude of new applications like modern glass facades or roof constructions. Important points in these times are a contribution to a positive energy balance. So the application of solar panels becomes more and more important. Until now most applications are standard applications with framed panels on roofs or installations on fields. More and more attractive applications from the architectural point of view are built or are under construction. There are on the one hand side different techniques to combine the photovoltaic element with the glass...

  • Buildings are emerging with an increasing degree of geometrical variation. As yet no scheme categorises data on the basis of non-orthogonal geometries applied. The author proposes an easily accessible morphological scheme which for example, enables data to be retrieved on sustainable performance of glass types as related to the distinctive building shapes. The scheme focuses on high-rises; in a later version buildings with less prominent vertical character will be included. The shaping of most non-orthogonal buildings is related to developments in modeling software. The morphological...

  • The remodelling of the entrance of St. David’s Hall in Cardiff features an array of translucent and partially pigmented structural glass fins with artistic lighting. The fins are composed of 2 x 10 mm toughened glass incorporating a red screen frit and acid etching. The fins are 300 mm deep and up to 5 m long, supported by a stainless steel shoe bracket at the bottom and a fork bracket in the upper zone of the fin. Only by using a stiff Ionoplast interlayer the fins could be designed to suit the load bearing capacity of the existing structure. The robustness and safety of the design was...

Projects & Case studies

  • In 1992 Walter Lockefeer and Mick Eekhout designed an office for the Glass Association in Gouda with a flamboyant glass envelope, which ended as runner-up in an architectural competition. The design was classical in architectural sense and futuristic in technical sense: it contained a pre-stressed glass membrane. In 2002 Octatube introduced the use of twisted tempered glass panels in the realization of the City Hall of Alphen aan den Rijn NL. Since then further research of the structural behaviour of twisted glass panels has been carried out by Dries Staaks, leading to a profound...

  • Modern designs of exhibition stands, especially for motor shows, require more and more transparency. To meet the designers‘ demands, it becomes necessary to use glass not only as an element of design, but also as a load bearing element of the structure. To give an example how the use of glass leads to an impressive result, the structure of the glass façade around the upper floor of the exhibition stand TOYOTA at the IAA 2005 will be described. The façade had a height of 2.8m and was built over a length of 13.5m without any supporting elements. Glass panes at the short side braced the...

  • A new glass-steel roof for an auditorium of the “ex Sala Contrattazioni” in Cuneo (I) was built in 2009, with a design resulted winner of an architectural concourse. The construction, despite the small dimension, is the result of a design process that involved many interdisciplinary professionals, from architectural conception to the construction phase. The main structure has a non-conventional behavior and the steel girders support the curved glass panes with point devices. This article offers an overview of the design criteria, news on technological solutions, and unusual construction...

  • The TKTS booth in Times Square, New York, is a 250m2 all glass public amphitheater, with seating for 500 people. Its all glass load path includes treads, rafters and the 4.9m tall SentryGlas laminated walls. The 9.1m long beams were spliced using the overlap method with pins. The glass walls hold the full weight of the structure above, and in the real world environment of Times Square there are many possible causes of sudden failure including vehicle impact. A redundancy system was developed that accounts for the complete loss of one or two panels. In order to eliminate the need for...

  • The challenge of preserving the 18th century ruin at Menokin, Virginia USA, has inspired a radical scheme to authentically conserve the surviving architecture. The ruined building is in a state of decay and Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners have designed a glass structure to re-establish the protection of the building envelope. The plans presented are not ready for construction. Details for splicing together timber and glass beams are discussed. The conservators plans to recreate the missing elements in glass has led to the development of an all transparent structural system. The paper...

  • This paper focuses on three key areas in the design and use of glass as a structural material, illustrating these areas with the use of Apple Store Upper West Side as a case study: 1. Introduction to the structural principles required to design transparent structures; 2. The design of large glass structures, from concept through design development to final details, from global structural models to local stresses in connections; 3. The variations in structural capacity of glass with changes in load duration, methods of load application and location of high stresses.

  • The 1,350 foot high Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) was looking for a grand attraction for their Skydeck in 2008. Few structures in the world have glass floors (both interior and exterior), and almost all are continuously supported along their edges with steel supports. In order to create a dramatic, unimpeded view of the City of Chicago the Skydeck Owners conceived of a glass platform that would protrude out of the building envelope and enable tourists, guests, and long time residents of the City to walk outside the building and look down the 1,350 foot exterior to the...

  • The Victoria & Albert Museum in London was recently extended with its Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. Designed by MUMA Architects (London), an existing outside courtyard has been transformed by the addition of a glass roof into a light filled exhibition space.Due to the existing geometry of the surrounding buildings, and several boundary conditions set by the architects, the surface of the roof could not be flat. Instead, it had to be twisted into an undevelopable hypar surface. Pre-engineering by Dewhurst Macfarlane (London) indicated the possibility of achieving this surface...

  • The architect Fedde Reeskamp, from the ‘Architectenkamer’ in Haarlem had designed a mosque for the client ‘Islamitische Stichting Nederland Selimiye’ in Haarlem. The design consists of a blockwork mosque with a dome on top, visually apparent in silhouette of the mosque. He came with this enquiry for a dome to Octatube. The contrast between the solid building block-shape and the dome on top led to the suggestion to have the dome made in glass, out of its extreme contrast. Octatube designed a self-supporting dome of solely insulated glass panels, without any frame or structure. Thanks to a...

  • On a square in the old city center of Haarlem (NL) on top of an underground car park garage a glass entrance building was designed by architect Kraayvanger Urbis. ABT/ Rob Nijsse developed the all glass structure for this spectacular building. The fact that the stability was provided by the roof in combination with the four walls of the project makes it something special. Also the application of full glass rods in the structure of the roof is an innovation in the world of making glass structures.

  • Glass has a long tradition as a medium for art and sculptural design. Yet, with a few notable exceptions, these items remain small and studio based. Over the last six years, the author has developed a number of larger scale projects which bridge the gap between architecture and sculpture. These projects incorporate predominantly annealed glass and rely on gravity and mass for stability, yet their simplicity of form belies a complexity of construction. This paper explains the typologies of mass glass structures and explores the geometrical, engineering, manufacturing and installation...

  • The highlight of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library in Chicago is an almost dematerialized glazed steel grid shell spanning over the reading room. The geometrically constructed translational shell is 36.5 m wide, 73 m long and features a mesh size of 2 by 2 m. The building, currently under construction, includes further special structures as a 20 m long, glazed steel bridge connecting the new library with the existing building and a row of glass study rooms, which reach a total transparency by exploiting the structural properties of glass. The present article gives an overview of the...

  • An ultimately transparent glass building in almost cubical form of 30x30x21 m, to function as the future entrance building of the Santander Bancopolis complex southwest of Madrid. Conceptual design by architect Alfonso Millanes and structural design by Octatube. The structure is composed of ultra slender cable stayed tubular columns and trusses placed in a grid of 5m and cladded with insulated glass made from fully tempered outer panels and heat strengthened laminated inner panels. Size of all glass panels is 2.5 x 2.5 m². The insulated glass ensures additional stabilisation of the...

  • In 2004/2005 a design of a theatre extension in Vlaardingen, ‘de Stadsgehoorzaal’ was made by architect Cees Spanjers, Mick Eekhout and Octatube Engineering. This façade contains the lobby at the first floor. The façade had to obtain a characteristic design in the townscape. The structure of roof and floor in steel enabled the façade to be independent. However, the architect required a solution where the visually lightweight structure would be independent and wrapped around both left and right corner. This wrapping caused interesting problems which were solved by a tubular frame...

  • B. Weller, F. Nicklisch, V. Prautzsch, F. Döbbel, S. Rücker

    This case study describes the path to an all glass enclosure that was recently built at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Material Research in Dresden. The idea of a fully transparent structure without distracting metal bolts or clamps was developed from the first idea to final solution in close collaboration between the client, the design team, researchers and industrial partners. Four glass frames, joined by transparent acrylate adhesives at their edges, support the outer walls and the ceiling of the glass enclosure. Regular loading scenarios as well as different failure...

  • F. Wellershoff, M. Sendelbach, F. Schmitt

    In the last years Gartner Steel and Glass has designed, engineered and erected several complex structures with load carrying glass elements. This presentation concentrates on current projects that will be finished in 2010. Glass bridges are under construction for the projects “Eaton Centre” in Calgary and “Ritz-Carlton Hotel” in Toronto. Projects with glass walls are in design and testing phases for the projects “Willy Brandt Platz” in Frankfurt and “Kravis Center, Living Room” in Los Angeles. Besides an overview of the structural systems this presentation concentrates on challenges in...

  • Halcrow Yolles was retained to conceptualize ideas for a glass bridge designed to span across the main lobby of a new hotel. Its defining feature, laminated glass balustrades, span continuously over the entire nine metre opening. Design work for the bridge was completed using a finite element model of the entire bridge allowing for a detailed analysis of stress concentrations in the glass at bearing bolt connections. Special attention was paid to the transportation and erection of the bridge to ensure that the large panels remained intact. This project demonstrates how state of the art...