Glass selection is an art of designers that requires a vast knowledge of a wide spectrum of skills varying from material sciences, energy impact, fabrications, practical aspects, etc. Glass specialists must have in-depth knowledge in a wide range of aspects so that they can advise architects and clients for the right choice of glass selection.
With the introduction of numerous products that come to building construction on a daily basis, the designers should have a global connection with international expertise, be familiar with other regions, up to date on the latest trends and technologies. These skills may help the clients and the architects to find the right glass for their buildings and be proud and pleased with their right choice of glass once the building is completed.
Floods of technical jargon but know how to wade through these without just being carried away by the supply chain claims and marketing. Good knowledge is needed in the whole selection process right from design, performance, energy efficiencies, reading data, comparing, and evaluating various products. This will help and ease the glass selection process which greatly helps building architects and owners.
Just from a small handy sample, experienced glass specialists could visualise the overall impact of glass on a very large scale. This will help to communicate to other stakeholders to go for the right choice of glass for their buildings.
Good understanding of performances, limitations, visual characteristics of glass products, etc. helps in selecting the right products. Glass experts can use the latest tools and technologies such as advanced simulations, and visualisations, optimise natural daylights, achieve energy efficiency, and thermal comforts, and arrive at appropriate glazing designs and glass specifications. Final glass selection shall be done based on detailed analysis, not just on thumb rules or assumptions or hearsay from marketing.
Procurement & Post Competition Challenges
With any amount of experience, designers face challenges on a variety of aspects such as
Insight into how the glass industry works
Understanding the products
Getting lost in supplier’s specifications
Are the product comparable (having similar characteristics)?
How to check i.e., specification Vs actual supply
“Inexperienced procurement, have to deal with Defects & Failures”
Practical Experiences in Glass Selection
Good knowledge on manufacturing, international standards, acceptable tolerances, glass processing and fabrication techniques, helps to manage on-ground problems and achieve the expected results. The ability to control the outcome with strong technical and practical knowledge is often very critical in the glass finalisation process. The following flowchart illustrates some key aspects, that impact overall quality and output.
Although it may look like a simple selection process, glass selection requires significant experience and skills in various disciplines which comes with a deeper level of dedication. This is not just a documentation or checklist process, one can just tick off all the boxes.
It is a highly sensitive subject as it involves the architect and the client, and sometimes may lead to upset someone in the process if the outcome is not satisfactory. That said, the right strategy and a systematic approach with rich experience will greatly help in this process of selecting the right glass for façades and fenestrations.
Rajan Govind, BES Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Director, Façade Specialist
Rajan Govind has 25 years of international experience within the façade industry, out of which he has served more than 11 years at Arup. With a structural engineering background, he has good overall façade specialist experience. He has gained working experience in various regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Australia. He has successfully delivered several prestigious projects with integrated façade designs, involving 3D design, complex engineering and building integration. Rajan Govind is a Certified SGMM (Singapore Green Mark Manager), which enables him to understand sustainable design requirements from architectural and practical perspectives. He has technically lead, managed and delivered several large projects with highly practical and efficient designs resulted in successful implementations.