Protective envelope for buildings

With glass being the material of the moment for exterior cladding, providing a protective barrier against the elements and creating a high-end, luxurious aesthetic for modern and traditional architecture, Simon Boocock, MD of CRL Europe, looks at how to ensure installation is straightforward and safe.

There are many reasons why a large percentage of buildings today feature glass as part of their facade; it is a material that will effectively weather-proof a building’s exterior, guard against all the elements and can be maintained with relative ease.

Aside from its practical advantages, glass is also often chosen due to the high-end, minimal finish it creates; glass-clad buildings blend harmoniously with their environment, while being statement pieces in their own right.

It is these qualities that are leading glass to increasingly be specified for cladding on older buildings too, breathing new life into existing architecture and preserving all the beauty of the original building and its materials.

In modern architecture, the glass curtain wall is typically a thin wall glass, framed with aluminium or steel, which is mounted on the external structure of a building, providing protection against air, water and wind. Providing a safe installation method, a clip system joins individual glass panels and securely fixes them in place, completely eradicating the need for glass cut-outs, which can often require a lengthy, costly and detailed installation process. This way, the original building facade is protected and still visible, while a modern finish is achieved. Importantly, good ventilation of the building is also achieved.

Creating a protective envelope around new and old buildings, the CRL Langle Al-Wall system features a clever clip design for joining the individual glass panels. Visually, the CRL Langle Al-Wall System gives buildings a modern appearance and is a particularly good solution for regenerating older buildings, with the glass panels ensuring that the original materials and beauty of the architecture can still be seen.

The system has many practical advantages too, offering a highly durable and long-lasting finish that is the very best protection for buildings old and new. The rainscreen system, for example, ensures safe ventilation of the building and guards against the elements, with a premium coated aluminium that is completely weather proof. Salt spray and statically tested, the CRL Langle Al-Wall System can withstand the harshest of conditions.

The result is a modern impression with a highly durable and long-lasting finish with safe ventilation of the building that guards against the elements, whatever the weather.

For much the same reasons, glass is also increasingly being chosen for exterior balconies and balustrades. Architects now often opt for glass facades on houses or buildings to improve the aesthetics of the building itself. Alongside full balustrades, juliette balconies are an effective way of adding glass to the facade of a building, creating a high-end impression and enabling ample light to enter the interior of a property.

Systems that need to be fitted from the outside in will often require scaffolding, which can add to the time and expense of a project, and are overall much trickier to install than systems that can be fitted from an internal position. Posing similar issues, traditional wet-fit balcony systems need to be held securely in place, usually with cement, to ensure a tight fit, which can be messy too, particularly when fitting the balcony retrospectively on to a building or when changing a broken glass panel.

A dry-glazed railing system, such as CRL Taper-Loc System, is a good example of a hassle-free alternative to working with cement and scaffolding as it can be installed from the safe side of the balcony or balustrade, cuts installation times, and provides safety and security for all when glass is involved in a building’s exterior design.