Glass has been available as a naturally occurring material since the Stone Age Period. At that time, it was primarily used for making weapons. And as time passed, it found applications in making mosaic tiles and vessels.
As technology advanced, glass began finding its applications in decorative elements in houses and multi-storey buildings. However, researchers weren’t satisfied with using glass just for decorative purposes.
And with the concepts of energy efficiency and the need for energy-efficient buildings picking up the pace, many studies were made on glass. Developments & Research on glass was done to alter its properties like:
2. Refractive Index
3. Reflection Loss
4. Visible Light Transmittance
5. Ultraviolet Transmittance
6. Chemical Resistance
7. Infra-red Transmittance
These developments were done to extract the best out of glass and use it as a modern building material. These technical jargons might get you confused. So, let us simplify it and help you understand the many pros and a few cons of glass as a building material. This will help you to choose the best glass materials according to your preference and external factors and use it for your residential or office space.
Glass is a Versatile Material
Glass is perhaps one of the oldest materials in the construction industry. Ever since its discovery, it has fascinated both traditional and modern-day architects.
In the olden days, builders used to use glass in old cathedrals, buildings and castles in windows and other decorative items. However, with technological advancements, glass is now finding architectural applications in not just windows but doors and partitions as well. From humble beginnings as a simple windowpane to a complex structural member, glass as a building material has come a long way!
Advantages of Glass as a Building Material
Glass is a Transparent Material
Glass is uniquely transparent which means it allows light to seamlessly pass through. Therefore, any objects that are on the other side are clearly visible. If we look at it from an aesthetic point of view, Glass enables you to easily connect with the outer world visually.
So, even if you close the windows or doors, the light will still pass through. This helps you to save energy and reduce the electricity bills as you won’t need to turn on the light every now and then during the day.
Glass also helps you brighten up your room and enhance the overall look of your house. In addition to that, natural light can help boost the mood of the occupants which in turn will help them stay active throughout the day. This is most evident during winters.
Available in a Myriad of Colors
As mentioned earlier, traditional builders of the old used to use glass for window panes in castles, churches and other old structures. These window panes were mostly colored. Even today, you can find glass in various colors.
And if you combine the glass sheet in insulated or laminated units, you will notice that the color and appearance of the glass changes. Such properties of glass can be creatively used to enhance the overall aesthetics of your room or house.
Glass is Dustproof & Waterproof
Glass is very easy to clean due to its smooth and glossy surface. This makes glass dustproof and waterproof.
The dual benefits of glass make it an ideal building material for regions that are often prone to dust, sand or heavy rains. With glass as a building material, occupants can readily clean and maintain their premises which in turn helps save time and energy.
Glass is 100% recyclable
When compared to other building materials, glass is 100% recyclable. The best part about glass is that it does not degrade during the recycling process which means you can obtain top-quality material even after glass goes through numerous recycling cycles.
With the concept of sustainable construction picking up pace in the construction industry, more and more architects will turn to sustainable materials like glass to save costs and energy. In addition to that, recycling ensures that glass doesn’t contaminate land or air while helping conserve natural resources.
Glass can be easily molded
One of the biggest benefits of glass is its ability to get molded into different shapes.
This means glass can be easily drawn, blown & pressed into any shape which can then be leveraged for glazing purposes in:
2. Building doors
In addition to that, glass can be seamlessly positioned in the furniture after being laminated with a metal sheet or plywood. This makes glass one of the most versatile materials for building construction.
Continual technology advancements have helped glass acquire a special status as a crucial building material for modern-day architects. Apart from being used as a building material, glass has also found applications in furniture, decorative items, electrical appliances and other products.