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Re: Structual Design of Glass

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I should have said life safety, not structural (though it's valid there, too). If someone falls through a storefront, there's probably not very far to fall. Balconies are a life safety component, which is why I don't really trust them all that much. Then again, when I get a wood frame building with a (pitched) metal roof on furring, I still design for osb plus two layers of shingles. I have very little worry that the structure will fail during the builder's warranty period, but if I'm going to design a building for a 50 year wind load, I probably should make a reasonable stab at likely end-user changes for dead loads.

With respect to store fronts, I've noticed that most enclosed-mall glass partitions have nice gaps between the panes. Since the entries provide ample area for hvac energy transfer with the body of the mall, I've always figured the gaps were to reduce or eliminate the standard differential pressure requirement. I've only done a few exterior aluminum storefronts, but have not addressed the impact resistance of the glass, as nearly all were on ground level.

Jordan



Stanley E Scholl wrote:

I guess it relates to what you consider a "structural component".
Obviously every display window carries some load when people push on it
and when wind or seismic forces are in play. I seem to recall that the
original question related to a balcony enclosure. I design quite a few
store fronts and we don't have any mullions on most of them.

Stan Scholl, P.E.
Laguna Beach, CA



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