Wind Load

How can wind damage architectural glass? The key to prevention comes early in the design stage.

Wind load is the result of wind creating pressure that the glass must resist. The wind load on a specific building depends on that building’s height, shape, relationship to surrounding buildings and terrain, along with local wind speeds and the duration of gusts.

Center deflection is a major consideration in wind load and should be addressed in the early phases of design. Excessive center deflection can result in edge pull out, distortion of reflected images and possible contact between glass and interior components, such as room dividers and window blinds.

Insulating Glass
The effects of wind on insulating glass units are, in many cases, complex and require a computer-assisted wind load analysis to adequately consider some of the variables. Design professionals must take into account the following variables:

  • Air space expansion and contraction caused by the effects of changing temperatures (climatic load)
  • Barometric pressure, altitude
  • Asymmetrical loading, i.e., lites of varying thickness
  • Load-sharing other than 50-50
  • Glazing height
  • Angle of slope
  • Mount type
  • Thermal stress

These variables must be considered carefully because they can dramatically alter the data taken from a standard wind load chart.

Contact Guardian's Technical Advisory Center for assistance with wind load analysis.