With a vast range of systems to choose between the requirement for glass in Commercial applications changes to meet UK Building Regulations as well as by personal choice by way of appearance, security, acoustic properties and economy. Commercial applications, including multiple home dwellings such as apartment blocks have more restrictive requirements when it comes to glass in comparison to Domestic. The height of panel, the thickness, the number of fixing points all need to meet more exacting standards of safety.
Standard toughened glass gives a slight tint to the glass surface with a darker green to the edge. This is available in 10mm, 12mm, 15mm and 19mm thicknesses. Toughened glass is up to 5 times stronger than standard annealed glass making it much harder to break. If it does break the glass shatters in very small pieces posing a minimal risk.
Low Iron toughened glass such as Pilkington Optiwhite™ gives a truly clear appearance with an almost colourless appearance when viewed through the surface and slight green tint to the edge. This is an upgrade option available in 10mm, 12mm, 15mm and 19mm thicknesses. This is commonly used for staircases and frameless balustrades where the desire is to not see the glass at all.
Toughened laminated safety glass brings additional safety and security. This is made up of thinner sheets of standard or low iron toughened glass which are laminated together allowing it to remain intact when broken as the plastic interlayer prevents the panel from falling apart in the same way as a car windscreen. With the advantage of being made up of toughened glass panels it is ideal for applications where the mess caused by broken glass poses an additional risk. It can also help with acoustic requirements and where a higher level of security is required to prevent anyone accessing the premises through a smashed panel of glass as it remains intact. This is more suitable for high level applications where the integrity of the panel is required or for swimming pools and food courts where small pieces of broken glass are a serious hazard in themselves. Laminated options are available in 13.5mm, 17.5mm, 21.5mm and 25.5mm thickness. Anti Bandit laminated glass is also available for secure applications to prevent thieves or the likelihood of shrapnel penetrating the area. This is more commonly used in Government building, banking and high street Jewellers.
The above types of glass are available in clear and frosted appearance as well as a limited amount of options in grey, bronze, green and blue tints. The use of vinyl manifestation to sections of glazing can also be applied for privacy or for safety. Laminated glass has the advantage of being available with frosted and coloured interlayers between the glass panels which cannot be scratched or marked.