Glass & Glazing:
Choosing the right glass for your windows and doors
Windows and glass are important elements of design and functionality in our homes. Choosing the right glass can help realise the full potential of your home and make the indoor environment more enjoyable. The combination of thoughtfully chosen windows, doors and glazing will define a room; encouraging abundant natural light, views and ventilation, while giving you the control to protect your family from the extremes of Australia’s climate.
We can offer a range of different glass options for your windows and doors, including standard single clear float, laminated glass, Comfort Plus or Low-E glass and the VLAM Hush glass.
Single Clear Float Glass (4 or 5mm) – VFloat(tm)
Standard Glass – provides high light transmission and visibility. Glass is manufactured by melting sand, soda ash, dolomite and limestone together and produces a continuous glass ribbon. This flows from the furnace and ‘floats’ over a bed of molten tin. It is then carefully cooled to anneal the glass – a process which modifies the internal stresses enabling it to be cut and which maximises its potential mechanical resistance. The float glass process is renowned for flatness and optical clarity. (Viridian Glass – Energy Performance Charts)
Single Toughened Safety Glass (4 or 5mm) – VFloat(tm)
Standard Glass – provides high light transmission and visibility. This glass is heated then rapidly cooled, resulting in the glass retaining high compressive stresses. Fully toughened glass is four to five times stronger than ordinary glass and if broken forms small granules. Heat strengthened glass has a lower residual stress and is two times stronger than ordinary glass. It is not a safety glass and if broken it forms large pieces. Toughened and heat strengthened glass cannot be cut and both are resistant to high differential temperatures (180–250°C).(Viridian Glass – Energy Performance Charts)
Laminated Safety Glass (6.38)
Safety & Security. Safety glass, that comprises two or more layers of glass permanently bonded together with an interlayer or resin. If broken, the interlayer is designed to hold the glass together. Virtually all glass types can be laminated and the thickness and type of interlayer can be varied to provide safety ballistic, bomb or physical attack resistance. Normal laminated glass can be cut and further processed. Provides good noise dampening over the same thickness of float glass. (Viridian Glass – Energy Performance Charts and Viridian Glass – Noise Performance Charts)
Smart Glass (6mm toughened glass)
Thermal Improvement and Safety. SmartGlass is a range of single glazed toughened Low E products offering insulation and a choice of solar protection with low reflectivity ideally suited to the demands of Australian residential applications. SmartGlass provides excellent performance and versatility for single glazed windows. Cleaning and care instructions: click here.
SmartGlass has been selected for Australian climate conditions to assist in achieving energy Star Ratings for home designs, whilst still capturing natural light and views. Manufactured using hardcoat Low E coating for excellent durability and ease of processing and handling. (Viridian Glass – Energy Performance Charts)
VLAM Hush Glass (6.5mm laminated)
Noise Control and Safety. Viridian VLam Hush™ is a laminate that uses a specially developed 3-ply interlayer to dampen noise, providing enhanced sound insulation performance. This means that thinner and lighter glass can be used for equivalent acoustic performance. VLam Hush reduces the coincidence dip of standard monolithic and laminated glass. This glass is a great alternative to double glazing, and although is very similar in performance it is a much more affordable glazing option. Vlam Hush is a thinner and lighter glass offering the equivalent acoustic performance of heavier and thicker glass. It is also a Grade A safety glass and blocks 99% of UV light to help reduce fading of furnishings. Cannot be combined with other tinted interlayers. (Viridian Glass – Noise Performance Charts)
Double Glass (5/8/5mm; 5/14/5mm;4/10/4mm)
Thermal Improvement and Safety. One of the best options for temperature control. Double glazed windows are made from two panes of glass that are separated by a layer of air or gas and then sealed. They are designed to provide an even better barrier against outside temperatures because the two layers of glass and the air or gas in between those layers, act as insulators. The use of a gas, most often argon, between the layers is considered to be a better insulator than those with just a sealed pocket of air. Gases like argon allow less heat to escape and less cold to enter because they have a higher density. All double glazed products from GEM Windows have the argon gas buffer. (Viridian Glass – Noise Performance Charts)
When selecting the right glass for your windows and doors, consider the following:
Understanding where you live is the first step to choosing glass that is right for your home. If you live in states that have colder and longer winters, you will need windows with glass that offer greater insulation from the cold than ordinary glass does, such as Low E glass, double glazing or a combination of both. In hotter parts of Australia, you will be more concerned with reducing the heat of the sun and will need to choose glass products that absorb and reflect heat such as toned and Low E glass with solar control.
The orientation of your windows will encourage natural light to create and define the mood of the rooms in your home as the time of day and seasons change. By understanding the orientation of your windows and doors, and how much they see the sun throughout the seasons, you will be able to determine whether you need to use glass that reduces heat entering your home.
Assessing the site of your home is important in considering how your glass selection will help take advantage of the natural surroundings or overcome potential design challenges. For example, you may live close to a busy road and need to use a glass that can help to reduce unwanted noise.