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Design options for glass

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Performance and energy efficiency

Understand how glass can influence a building's energy and acoustic performance.

Applications of glass

Whether you need glass for facades, interiors, homes, or specific applications, we have a solution

Which glass is right

See how the right glass can help improve your quality of life and the beauty of your home

Understand glass

Learn more about glass and what you can do with it.

Design with glass

There’s almost no limit to what you can create with glass.

Build with glass

Glass is the ultimate building element, and can be tailored to each project.

Glass for your home

We’re helping glass inspire more homes than ever before.

Highlights
Sherwood

The 24-storeyed building is remarkable for its ingenious façade, which has panoramic glazing and decorative overlay.

Tetris Hall

Tetris Hall is a futuristic architectural complex in the Ukrainian capital that comprises numerous technological innovations.

All our projects

From landmark construction projects to innovative residential builds, this is how our glass can make the difference.

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Our story

Just as we were in 1932, we're ready to meet the challenges of now and the future

Sustainability

Find out more about how glass can support sustainable design

Quality control

We strive for quality in everything we do

Our company

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Help and contact

Our expertise and commitments

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Glass Analytics

Access our comprehensive suite of engineering and analytical tools

BIM objects

Download and use our standardized Guardian BIM content to create project specific BIM files

Seminars and online learning

For anyone who is interested in learning more about glass and its use

Design options for glass

For centuries, people used glass to simply fill ‘light holes’ in the outer walls of buildings. Today, it is a pivotal component in many buildings; a material that allows you to push the boundaries of architectural design still further, stretching the limits of our imagination to help create unique, visually striking, high performance designs. 

Glass can form and shape a space, creating transparent architecture that can make you feel closer to the outside world. You can choose a coated glass for the façade of a building with the reflective properties you desire. From very to slightly reflective, or even one with a color that complements the building’s surroundings. Essentially, the shape and color of glass can be manipulated in so many ways.  

 

Curved glass 

Designing with glass doesn’t mean you have to design in straight lines. If you prefer corners and edges with soft curves, curved glass can help turn your ideas into reality.  

For building envelopes, the glass (which can also be coated) can be curved using a thermal gravity process. Here the glass pane slowly descends into a bending mold of a specific shape.  This means many options are possible, from concave and convex, to cylindrical and two-axis. If safety is important, the glass can also be laminated after the bending process.

Alternatively, the glass can be shaped using heat treatment – either through tempering or heat strengthening.  To increase the final strength of the glass, it is then cooled down rapidly, immediately after the desired curvature has been achieved. 

Printing on glass 

By applying coatings to float glass, aesthetic and performance options can be expanded.  Whether that’s a specific color, a color-neutral appearance, or a reflective, highly transparent glass design. Other techniques can be used to create your ideal design, such as etched, patterned and back-painted glass. Here, we’ll focus on some of the techniques used to print on glass. 

Inks and ceramic paints (enamels) can be printed on glass. Enamels are printed and fired onto float glass. During the tempering process of the glass, the enamels melt and fuse permanently to the glass surface to form a colored ceramic layer.  Techniques for printing on glass include: 

Roller coating

Here the ceramic enamel is applied precisely and uniformly over areas such as spandrels and edge enameling.

Roller coating

Screen-printing

This involves preparing a mesh that creates ‘open’ (to be printed) and ‘closed’ (not to be printed) sections. The enamel is then pressed through the open parts of the mesh using a scraper. The ‘open’ sections form the motif or patterns to be printed.

Screen-printing

Digital printing

This technique gives you greater design flexibility. It typically involves the use of a digital glass printer to apply ceramic enamel in the form of patterns or images onto the glass surface.

Digital printing

Color interlayers in laminated glass

A large palette of different color foils can also be combined to achieve any color you can imagine in laminated glass. Guardian Glass works with fabricators around the world that have this variety of ability.

Color interlayers in laminated glass