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Glass skyscrapers may possess many benefits and are not just aesthetically appealing. Any glass building can relate to as a symbol of the modern world and it evolves in changing environments and the needs of society.  Most companies look for daylight within their work environment as it can give benefits for the well-being of the employees or the residents.

As per the well-being of the workers, daylight proves to reduce eye strain and headaches. This is a fact that eventually leads to a growth in productivity within the workplace.  Therefore, glass buildings are great for achieving this need. However, despite the benefits, glass building has its own set of challenges.

As per Krelle, “You should balance glass facades with energy-efficient, mechanical ventilation”. As per the energy reduction regulations under the UK building regulations and the Building Registration Establishment Environmental Assessment Method’s standards (BREEM), you cannot have highly glazed exteriors for a building if it has maximum ventilation for 24 hours a day, every day to avoid heating.

Stronger and more clear glazing

The structural designs of many of today’s skyscrapers are complex due to the technological advancements taking place.  This acts as a barrier between the planned interior and external global warming.  As radiation from the sun could travel through glass, t can lead to higher inside temperatures.

Glass technology has matured and is working harder than ever before, with developers trying to give larger amounts of daylight to the floor space, as well as increasingly severe energy requirements under the Building Regulations. High-tech “solar control glasses” help to reduce the radiation from the sun by 70 percent.

Innovative glass designs are assisting in the management of building emissions, which is an important factor considering that real estate accounts for 40% of global carbon emissions.

Moreover, modern designs ensure that structures are functional. For example, acoustic laminated glass improves noise insulation by protecting residents from external noise.

Other benefits of using glass as a building material for skyscrapers

Glass is an excellent medium for showcasing a product. Glass can transform a structure into something more magnificent, elegant, and beautiful. The use of glass may give the entire structure, mostly skyscrapers a more beautiful appearance. Architects uses glass for apparent aesthetic advantages in addition to the usual benefits of big glazed surfaces. Inside the structure, the pattern on one of the glass panes provides a unique atmosphere.

Audi Skyscraper
Figure 1: Audi Forum Tokyo – The Iceberg (wordpress, 2011)

Because glass has a smooth surface, it is dustproof and easy to clean. It is easy to maintain, unlike other materials. Another benefit is that it is waterproof.  The use of glass makes it easier to clean and maintain these areas with less time and effort.

Glass is a long-lasting, entirely recyclable material that has several environmental benefits, including helping to mitigate climate change and conserving natural resources. Its inert nature and dedication to protecting people’s health and well-being are also highly valued in many applications.

Is the use of glass in skyscraper construction a risk?

Skyscraper glass is both practical and safe. This is owing to the enclosed layer that covers the glass panels. This hidden overlay provides significant strength and resistance to the glass in the event of flaws or cracks in the glass coating. Furthermore, you can build all these layers entirely of safety glass.

When you strengthen the glass, it disintegrates into particles rather than deadly fragments if you smash the entire glass. You’ve seen safety glass if you’ve ever been in or witnessed a car accident and noticed a smattering of turquoise or teal particles that used to be a window. It is supposed to break that way so that the bits do not cut, stab, slice, or impale someone. Therefore, it is critical to have a high-rise maintained with professional on hand.

You can heat-strengthen glasses for skyscraper constructions. However, these are more common than tempered or laminated glass. Two pieces of glass (Lites), make up a basic high-rise glazing unit. They’re normally 0.25 inches thick. To make a 1-inch thick unit, they are usually separated by a half-inch of air space.

Although some glasses are tinted, it’s more common these days to simply apply a low emissivity coating to the inside surface of the external piece of glass. To keep the structure from acquiring heat, this coating will reflect solar heat out and away from it. However, most of the occupied skyscrapers focus more on heating than cooling. The only exceptions are cities with extreme cold, such as Minneapolis and Boston.

Strength of glass skyscrapers

You can almost determine the strength of the glass used in skyscrapers by the thickness. You must include laminated outer panes for Glazed units, which means you must include a a polymer inter-layer between the two glass sheets. This adds strength and can even keep glass particles from falling out if there is a physical breakdown. Even if glass breaks into a swarm of tiny cubes, they will most likely cling together, yet falling from a height of more than three floors is still dangerous.

Read about the failure of the skyscraper “John Hancock tower”: https://engineerinc.io/architectural-failure-of-the-john-hancock-tower/

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