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Spandrel Glass in Santa Monica: Why Bother?

Spandrel glass is a specific type of glass often used on the exteriors of Santa Monica buildings to hide where the floor or vital systems are. However, like many types of commercial glass, it creates a structure with architectural interest for your purposes.

What is Spandrel Glass?

Spandrel glass is a non-vision glass, which is a fancy way of saying it is opaque. The glass is specifically designed to hide unavoidable structural components of buildings through opacity without interrupting the look of the building.

Spandrel glass is typically an uncoated glass substrate that commercial glass manufacturers apply silicone-based paint, ceramic frits, or another opacifier to through the process. Most spandrel glass is heat treated in some way to improve its durability.

As with many building materials, architects and glass installers must consider the benefits and risks of the materials before using them in Santa Monica projects. In the case of spandrel glass, this question often comes down to the material’s strength.

Exterior Spandrel Glass

Globally, the most common use for spandrel glass is creating a continuous glass façade, often on skyscrapers. In Santa Monica, glass installers will tell you the city is no exception to this trend. Office buildings often use spandrel glass to create the illusion of not having utility systems or floors.

Glass installers can place spandrel glass in the same locations as they would other glass, and the opacity hides the floors, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems. With proper planning, your Santa Monica building could use spandrel glass to create detailed patterns on your building’s exterior.

Choosing a competent glass installer for this type of commercial glass is vital. Spandrel glass has special requirements like insulation to ensure that your building is as energy efficient as possible while still allowing for the look you want.

Interior Spandrel Glass

Typically, spandrel glass is used on exteriors. Since manufacturers make the glass for exteriors, the material will likely have minor flaws that limit its use inside. However, a commercial glass installer can work with you if you still want to use spandrel glass inside.

Uses for spandrel glass inside are similar to exterior applications. Most often, the spandrel glass hides the inner workings of your building if you don’t want to put these workings behind a wall. Using spandrel glass like this can help you create a different feel for your interior.

You can also use spandrel glass to hide other parts of your building. For example, pillars can be wrapped in this commercial glass to fit your branding plan. You can also use it to hide necessities like copy rooms if you want an alternative to walls.

Are you interested in using spandrel glass in your new building or remodeling project? Contact The Los Angeles Glass Company today, a local commercial glass installer.