27 Floating an idea

Architectural glass specialist OAG gives an insight for designers into the possibilities, as well as practical implications, of ‘oversize’ glass float runs

risen in popularity. Due to this increase, glass itself is becoming synonymous with some of London’s best-known landmarks and prestigious institutions.


From over 13,000 m² of glass being installed at the Battersea Power Station redevelopment in phases two and three, to the 250 metre long facade at London Bridge station, new build and redevelopments alike are becoming accustomed to the increasing trend for stronger, larger higher performing glass types. For both domestic and multinational contractors sourcing, designing and installing oversize glass units is a challenge in itself. Within the specialist glazier trade, handling and situating oversize glass is now a necessary part of firms’ repertoire, with demand ever-increasing. From 7 metre high glass fins on the recent Aviva Tower project, to 7.6 x 3 metre toughened panes at Warner Bros Head Office, Grays Inn Road, the bespoke and oversized nature of the glass specialists now have to handle makes them the authority on ‘Jumbo’ glass sheets, measuring 6000 mm x 3210 mm. Sheets over this size are produced subject to the manufacturer initiating an oversize ‘glass float run’, usually only permitted three or four times a year. However, as manufacturers plan oversize

runs, they canvas the glass processors to gauge what the demand is. If there is sufficient demand, they will then carry out the scheduled run. Other factors such as strong buyer relations often also influence the outcome. Buyer relations are paramount for glass suppliers in approving float runs, as they must have unwavering confidence in the supplier’s ability to handle, install and properly care for the glass provided. During a production run, when the glass sizes proposed are over and above standard jumbo size, often the actual make up of the DGUs (double glazed units) still needs to be determined. Glass specialists can engineer this throughout the design process –

ADF MAY 2019

uring the past two decades, feature glass entrances and double height ground and first floor facades have

finite calculations are prepared to suit the specification requirements. A vast number of methodological deliberations must be taken into account, outside the ordinary construction compliance. On site logistics must be carefully thought over, especially when delivering oversized DGUs into a built-up area. Road closures lift options and weight must all be high up on your glazing specialist’s agenda. All this highlighting the importance of early involvement and logistical planning as well as well trained specialist on site operatives to carry the task, from delivery right through to installation. When minimising risk, the worst-case scenario must always be the starting point for any method statement, outlining the most hazardous dangers first. For example, when contemplating safety within a glass lift plan, risks can be minimised when determining the makeup of the DGU itself. Laminated glass panes will not shatter, helping prevent an unsafe site environment as well as avoid delaying yourself and other contractors. Laminated DGUs only crack within the laminate and glass will be retained within a single pane. This demonstrates a risk that can

Within the specialist glazier trade, handling oversize glass is now a necessary part of firms’ repertoire with demand ever-increasing


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