Spandrel Glass: Its Use, Appearance and Applications

Spandrel glass is normally an opaque panel located between areas of vision glass. They’re used to conceal building components such as columns, floor slabs, HVAC systems, wiring or plumbing.

Designs where large areas of glass are installed, such as curtain walling and structural systems, often include spandrel panels. Depending on the design the spandrel colour may be selected to match the vision glazing providing a ‘look-a-like’ system where the spandrel and vision glazing look similar when viewed from outside the building. Alternatively the spandrel may be coloured to provide contrast. Spandrel glass must always be toughened or heat strengthened to avoid thermal stress breakage.

Matching spandrel glass to vision glass with a high light transmission or low reflection can be difficult. The degree of colour and visual similarity can vary greatly depending ona number of factors including: light transmission, time of day, weather conditions and interior lighting and shading.

In general, glass with high light transmission is most suited to contrasting spandrel panels, whereas glass with a low light transmission and higher light reflection are more easily matched to the spandrel panels. We always recommend that you view a full size outdoor mock-up for assessment of the visual appearance and approval of vision and spandrel glass.

Guardian does not manufacture spandrel panels however, SunGuard coatings can be used for your spandrel panel solutions. We are pleased to assist you in selecting the optimum product for use in your spandrel design.