Understanding Glazing Solutions to Meet Design Demands

Posted on by Tremco

Glazing systems able to accommodate multi-directional movement of +/-5% in each direction.  Joints that appear to disappear.   Engineered solutions for connecting glazing systems to the opaque wall and air barrier.   All backed by performance warranties.  Sound pretty impossible?

Essential to meeting the demands of today’s complex architecture and design is the need for Total Glazing Solutions.  Glazing systems are only effective when designed as a complete and unified assembly.

Proper gasketing created in conjunction with the appropriate silicone bite for proper compression and adhesion to pass the stringent testing required and provide optimal performance under the most demanding conditions takes special skill and experience.

Then, not simply looking at the gaskets or the silicone within the glazing system, but taking these components in conjunction with how the system connects to the surrounding wall system is becoming more critical as building envelope design continues to evolve.

An early example of this approach was the expansion of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO.  The Bloch Buildings on the east side of the campus were among the most innovative glazing projects in North America in recent years.  Nothing of this type had ever been constructed before.

Five stunning, translucent and transparent glass structures emerge like blocks of ice from the undulating landscape of the museum’s 17-acre sculpture garden. No vertical mullion is in sight. Grid lines run askew.

The glass is set from the top and is used in a structural manner without framing and actually carrying its own weight. The gaskets and accessories could not disrupt the serenity and monolithic quality of the glass walls.  They simply needed to disappear yet ensure that no matter what climatic or environmental condition occurred, these glass structures would remain secure.

Custom silicone extrusions were fabricated including a clear, hollow-tube backer rod to make joints disappear, clear channel leg bumper gaskets and clear “W” expansion baffle gaskets.  All of these custom extrusions were coupled with translucent Tremco Spectrem® 2 Structural Silicone Sealant to complete the glass exterior consisting of over 6,000 pieces and 120,000 square feet of channel glass. 

Bill Carter and Carter Glass turned to Tremco for their glazing solutions because they knew Tremco had the capability to handle every aspect of this unique and challenging project including warranting the performance.

To ensure that critical services remain available to our communities in today’s world, the architects of Ross & Baruzzini turned to Tremco for help in creating a true “nature proof” envelope for the new St. Louis County Emergency Communications Center. 

The center was designed to withstand the most powerful of tornadoes which are not uncommon over the heartland.  They first selected high-performance impact windows with hurricane and tornado ratings from WINCO Window Company in St. Louis.  Winco utilizes Tremco silicones and tapes in their high-performance impact designs. 

The architects then selected Tremco to assist in providing the same security to the connection between the high-performing windows and the surrounding walls constructed of cast-in-place concrete.  With high standards for these areas, they selected Tremco’s Proglaze® ETA, a truly engineered transition assembly, to make this critical connection.  Having been tested to well in excess of 200 mph wind speeds, Proglaze ETA provided the proven, tested solution necessary to complete the envelope on this mission critical project.

All structural glazing projects require a complete review of project details and adhesion or compatibility but projects like these take on another whole dimension.  Particularly with complex, iconic projects, there are three absolute requirements:

  • Performance -- Total Solutions which have been tested, proven and documented.
  • Aesthetics -- Custom capabilities to enhance rather than limit design.
  • Peace of mind -- Single-source performance warranties providing absolute accountability.

Long a market leader in the design, development and manufacturing of glazing products for use in commercial construction applications, Tremco is the only supplier in the industry offering a complete line of glazing sealants and compatible gaskets, tapes, spacers and blocks so compatibility with these ancillary components has already been conducted on an ongoing basis, reducing the time involved in compatibility testing and the number of touch points.  Compatibility of these components is a primary concern to avoid loss of silicone adhesion to the glass or metal surfaces or staining.

Even beyond that unique capability, Tremco has developed high-performance transition solutions to provide assurance that tie-ins or transitions from air barriers to window or curtain wall systems will not be a source of problems from air and moisture infiltration no matter how complex the building design. 

When it comes to state-of-the-art architectural design and engineering, a pieces and parts, trial and error approach is asking for problems and delays.  When there is no room for error, are you willing to take a chance?

Glazing/Facade Testing


About Tremco

Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing (CS&W) is North America's foremost supplier of sealant, weatherproofing, and passive fire control solutions for commercial and residential construction and industrial applications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *