Marine Grade Glazing in Commercial Buildings

What Is Marine Glazing and When Is It Needed for Commercial Building Projects?

What is Marine Grade Glazing?

Marine Grade Glazing is specialist architectural glazing that that has been specifically designed to be used in harsher marine environments.  

A marine environment is any location which is considered to be 5 miles or closer to a seafront or wet environment. The levels of natural chemicals such as salt and moisture in the air within marine environments create a specific environment and it is important that any architectural glazing in these locations is specified correctly.  

For projects that are directly sea facing, higher wind loads, and exposed situations also mean the performance of glazing chosen needs to be able to withstand these special considerations of environment.  

For enhanced protection in exposed marine environments, marine grade glazing can be specified to protect against the effects of wet and corrosive environments.  

This includes special considerations on the frame finishes (specialist powder coatings and marine grade finishes) used on commercial buildings as well as the glass, structural calculations and logistics.

Marine Grade Framing Specifications for Commercial Buildings

marine grade coating for swimming pool glazing in a hotel

Steel or aluminium framed glazing solutions can be specified for marine grade environments, there are various properties and different considerations that need to be looked at with the different profile metal in order for it to fall in line with the specification of marine grade glazing.  

Aluminium is typically the best framing type to use in environments with proximity to a body of water or corrosion. Its performance is more durable and has less maintenance when considered to steel and timber framed solutions. The low maintenance of this system paired with its stability in corrosive environments means that it is often the first choice for marine glazing in commercial buildings.  

Steel is a slightly harder framing type to protect when compared to aluminium, the welded joints are susceptible to coastal corrosion due to the wear on the protective outer layer of galvanized steel. If steel is to be specified in a marine environment, the frame must be specified as stainless steel as the base material.

Marine Grade Frame Finishes for Commercial Buildings

slim sliding glass door in a coastal area in a hotelThey are specified for the framing of commercial window and door solutions; these coatings have a thickness of 80 microns which is larger than the standard 60 microns. These powder-coated finishes are made for the purpose of protecting the glazing solutions and keeping them working, salt particles are highly corrosive to standard coatings and can permeate the coating over periods of time. Once the corrosion process has started it can be hard to correct and will get worse over time, by keeping the aluminium framing protected it is significantly less likely to fail over time.

Marine Grade Glazing Specification for Commercial Buildings

The glass specification for coastal projects needs to have considerations based on the proximity to the coastal or wet environments. In commercial properties, low-maintenance coatings are recommended for marine grade glazing solutions. All glazing is toughened as standard and the combination of this and low maintenance creates the perfect combination;. Low maintenance coatings evens the microscopically rough surface of the glass elements and makes it much more difficult for any deposits from the area to settle on the glass.  

When low-maintenance coatings are applied on glazing IQ typically suggests that solar control glazing is used, as well as on south-facing or any roof glazing solutions. This glazing is designed to allow light and vision through the glass whilst reflecting solar radiation. It cannot be applied to single glass panes, only double or tripled glazed units. The metal oxide coating reduces the amount of short-wave radiation that travels through the glass unit, thus reducing the increased heat levels inside. 

Additional consideration needs to be taken to allow for the increased wind loads direct coastal facing projects might face. This can be done by your architectural glazier. They will likely need the address of your project and can ensure the glass is designed for the specific location.

Dolphin Quay

floor to ceiling slim sliding glass door in a multi residential buildingThis new build residential development is comprised of six units of flats located in a Hampshire marina. As the properties were situated on the docks, with beautiful waterfront views, all glazing was specified with a marine grade finish. IQ provided a full architectural glazing package on this project including aluminium casement doors, structural glass and slim sliding glass doors, all with marine grade specifications. With natural corrosion-resistant properties, aluminium is a great choice for marine environments, where glazing is subject to harsher conditions.  

Click here to read more about the project.



Commercial Swimming Pool Glazing

Marine Glazing is also specified in swimming pool environments. Swimming pools are subjected to harsh conditions due to the chemicals used and humidity in the air. It is important to get the glass specification right to withstand these conditions, to ensure long-standing installations that stand the test of time and maintain clear views. To do this successfully all the above specification considerations must be also applied to glass around a commercial swimming pool.  

As well as protecting the glazing against the environment, swimming pool glazing needs to follow the safety requirements which are outlined in building regulations. One key point for the glass around a commercial swimming pool is that if the glass is within two meters of a swimming pool, the pool-facing pane must be laminated This is to ensure the glass would be held in place in the event of a breakage, preventing any glass from damaging the filtration system. The laminate holds any broken glass together, offering peace of mind that no shards of glass would get into the swimming pool or the surrounding area, where people are often barefoot.

Embassy Gardens

oversized sliding glass door in a swimming pool in Embassy Gardens in LondonThe Embassy Gardens development is in the heart of Nine Elms on the Southbank regeneration area. Each individual block has been arranged around raised courtyards where a varying building mass is composed to maximize views, daylight, and amenity space. The luxury swimming pool includes a swim-in hot tub, or infinity pool, allowing people to swim in and out of the indoor swimming pool. IQ designed and installed the glazing surrounding the pool as part of the luxury amenities for the development. Structural glazing was paired with slim sliding glass doors for a minimal surrounding design.  

Click here to read more about the bespoke swimming pool marine grade glazing.

Spa at South Lodge

oversized glazing in a hotel project

This year the renovation of The Spa at South Lodge Hotel was completed. This project saw the installation of several large structural glass windows that filled almost the full width of The Spa. The Spa was designed to provide a beautiful connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces to offer the guests a strong connection to the natural environment to enhance their relaxing experience. The spa at South Lodge uses large elevations of oversized glazing to create an indoor-outdoor spa experience, with glass doors separating the different spa environments for a completely cohesive finish.   

Find out about the Spa at south lodge and the other glazing applications.


Marine Grade Glazing for Seafront Hotels

With the design of hotel and hospitality projects becoming further evolved in line with developing design trends, encapsulating bespoke glazing with the correct specification for marine grade environments for any projects within close proximity to sea fronts.

Clifftops, Dorset

coastal architectural glazing for a hotelIn the serine cliffsides of Dorset are a collection of five luxury holiday lodges which have been designed to overlook the English Channel, bespoke marine grade glazing solutions were specified to optimize the views of the beautiful Jurassic Coastline. The rustic holiday homes are positioned between two heritage-listed buildings on the UNESCO-protected land on the Isle of Portland, England.  

To read the case study click here.

Hotel Beaulac, Switzerland.  

high specification glazing in a hotel projectIQ’s glazing always has high thermal performance attributes, but our glazing can also be combined with any dynamic glazing solution. Technologically advanced glazing solutions have been installed on Hotel Beaulac in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The marine grade glazing was designed in a wave and trough formation to accentuate the curves of the luxury hotel, A mix of opening and fixed elements was specified, including multiple sets of oversized sliding glass doors. Titled Waves, the new lounge bar offers a panoramic view of Lake Neuchâtel and the surrounding landscape which creates the need for marine-grade glazing.  

Find out more about the dynamic glazing used on this international hotel.


Marine Grade Glazing for Seafront Offices

Large office buildings typically consist of fully glazed elements which include solutions such as structural glass facades, due to the large volumes of glazing low maintenance glass is recommended for marine-grade glazing due to the glass itself having a microscopically rough surface. This coating smooths out the surface of the glass elements and makes it much more difficult for any deposits from the area to settle on the glass, thus making the glass cleaner for longer and making the glass much easier to clean when needed.  

Tontine Street, Kent

bespoke curved glazing with marine grade coatingTontine street s a commercial office building with a recreational roof terrace, the highly glazed building features IQ’s bespoke glazing solutions to adhere to the design principle. The fixed structural glass units along the four-Storey face were made up of flat and curved structural glass panels to create a ‘wave’ effect across the front of the building.

Due to the proximity to a coastal or wet environment, marine-grade glazing was specified on this high-performance structural glazing solution in order to aid the longevity of the glazing. Specialist technology was used on the frameless effect glass balustrades in order to protect from the harsh environments, a ionoplast interlayer was specified on this bespoke glazing package due to the performance and being five times  stronger than traditional interlayers. 

Read more about the glazing we carried out on Tontine street here.  

Find out more about commercial glazing in the south west.

Commercial buildings based Inin the southwest are surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful and sometimes the harshest environments, these glazing solutions feel the impact of that sun, salty air, dampness and onshore breeze.

We have regionally dedicated teams who can help you to specify varied types of glazing solutions for marine environments, get in contact here to speak to a member of staff regarding your marine specification.

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Chloe Thompson

After completing her undergrad degree in Interior design, Chloe decided to join the architectural glazing industry and now works on social media strategies, writes content and manages the day to day marketing for IQ's commercial division.

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