This year we’re celebrating the first ever UN International Year of Glass – an event that is perhaps long overdue.
Humans first used this amazing material, in the form of obsidian tools, during the Stone Age, and actual glassmaking is at least 6000 years old, way before iron was first smelted.
With small-scale craftsmanship dominating right up to the middle of the 20th Century, architectural glass then remained rare until the next great innovation – float glass production. This breakthrough led to a dramatic rise in the use of glass all around the world.
A history of innovation
Guardian’s first float line went live in 1970 and after decades of innovation, its performance glass of today can help your design control solar energy, enhance safety, and improve energy efficiency while maximizing natural light – all in a huge range of colors and finishes.
It is also an integral component of sustainable design and construction, helping to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. It offers great flexibility in helping to achieve our customer’s sustainability goals – including its use in the renovation of existing buildings. Further, Guardian’s global manufacturing presence allows customers to source locally, reducing sea and road miles.
There’s also an increasing understanding of the benefits glass can bring in terms of wellbeing, productivity and mental health to those that live and work in the buildings constructed. New research uncovers more in this area all the time, and Guardian is keen to explore with partners how we can help further.
With glass, so much can be achieved. To celebrate the UN International Year of Glass we’d like to take you on a brief tour around some of our more groundbreaking glass structures – to see what’s possible.
A journey through glass
Maraya Concert Hall, Saudi Arabia
Imagine creating an entire concert hall out of mirrors, the largest mirrored building in the world, in just a few months. Covering an area of 9740 square meters and able to withstand blistering heat, sandstorms and occasionally, rain. It’s called the Maraya Concert Hall and it isn’t a mirage – by working closely with project partners, Guardian helped make it real.
The House of the Desert, Spain
Guardian constructed this beautiful glass-walled house in the middle of the Gorafe desert, Southern Spain, to demonstrate the effectiveness of their glass. Here temperatures ranged from 113°F (45℃) during the day to 14°F (-10℃) at night. By using a carefully considered combination of glass formulations, along with solar-powered AC, it was possible to regulate temperature shifts of up to 30 degrees.
Hudson Yards Viewing Platform, New York
The task for Guardian here was creating a safe and yet clear view from the highest observation deck in the Western world. This required a strong glass combination that also reduces reflections, maximizes light transmission and is almost colorless. Glass that is very much there, but you just don’t notice it.
USC Center for Health and Wellbeing, South Carolina
The new University of South Carolina Center for Health and Well-Being needed to integrate into the campus, invite people in, and help them feel relaxed inside. Guardian’s high-performance glass helped achieve all this by connecting the building to the natural landscape outside while helping protect those inside from the intense Southern Carolina heat.
One Blackfriars, London
How do you take a famous 1950’s glass vase design and transform it into a 170-metre landmark building in the heart of London? A design that was admired for how it changed dynamically depending on the light? With an advanced low-iron glass facade from Guardian, and some highly complex shaping of the curved glass.
The Easton Park Community Center, Texas
Here, locally sourced materials and traditional ranch design principles combine with performance glass from Guardian to create a sustainably built refuge from the Texan sun. With overhanging porch shading and glass that offers low solar heat gain yet high levels of natural light transmission. Tradition and innovation together.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Measuring around half a mile (828 meters) high, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world. Here Guardian’s glass not only copes with wind speeds of up to 155 mph (249 km/h), and a lateral sway of up to 2.7 yards (or 2.5 meters), it also helps regulate the temperature, which can be 59°F (15℃) cooler at the top than at the ground. And it does all this across 24,348 windows.
Article courtesy of Guardian Glass
Link to original article here: https://www.guardianglass.com/la/en/insights/heres-to-a-great-year-of-glass