Support Options for Structural Glass Roof

 In Technical Glazing, Education

Explore some of our most recent projects for inspiration when designing your structural glass roof

In modern glazing design, various solutions can be found to enhance the natural look of glazing, and the supports that structural glass roofs may need. Modern techniques such as back painted glass and capping can create a perfect solution for concealing the more industrial style steels that are often needed to support large structural roof installations.  

Due to the growing want for minimalistic glazing design, IQ has engineered various types of structural supports to be cohesive with minimally framed and frameless glazing solutions, particularly with structural glass roofs. 

Chicheley Hall

Stainless steel beams with rare kiln-dried oak to support the structural glass roof

timber beams for glass roofIQ worked on this glazed extension to the Grade II listed building where bespoke glazing features were designed specifically for the natural curves of the building. The resulting faceted façade design to the glass box was created with specialised structural supports covered in a rare kiln-dried oak. To comply with the requirements for the listed building consent, the extension was built with structural glass, specifying low iron glass with an anti-reflective finish so that the building was still visible through the glass extension. Creating floor-to-ceiling glass façades also provides natural light to pass through into the new glazed structure and into the original building. 

The metal structural supports for the glass roof were designed to hold up the structure and have designed to look like arches, adding to the traditional look of the property. For a more authentic and traditional look, kiln-dried oak was used throughout the design as the supporting structure. Usually, wood could not be used as the sole support for a structural glass concept ts and expands in different temperatures. However, using wood that had been through a kiln-drying process allows this specialist method to be suitable and durable and was further supported with tension rods and steel. 

St. Johns College, Cambridge University

Cambridge University glazing with automated rooflightBespoke oak pavilions designed for shaped rooflights Five A.R.E.S rooflights were proposed for the structural glass roof design of the buttery café and bar. The alternative design created by MCW architects features a remarkable free-standing oak pavilion structure that stretches the span of the room.   

The design of the pavilion roof has a bespoke glass roof design with Oak forming peaks which house the automated venting glass rooflights. The rooflights vary in size and height to fit into the unique wooden roof design. 

The pavilions were a collaborative effort between the designers at MCW and Swiss timber specialists Blumer Lehman and the bespoke glass roofs were fabricated prior to work starting on site to aid the building process of the overall project. Prefabricating the wooden pavilions was extremely useful when planning the transportation to the site because the only access route is over the oldest bridge over the river Cam.   

Not only were spectacular Oak pavilions used to create the design of the space, but other components have been included to enhance the building’s historic charm. Wrapped copper was used to conceal the wooden structures, the upstands and the meeting points between the pavilions and the venting glass rooflights. The use of copper also contributed to the resistance of weathering, with copper being a highly durable material that is resistant to thermal changes. 

Savile Row

Architectural metal work and glass roof design

steel beams for oversized structural glass roofIQ worked on two phases of a specialist project, Savile Row. The focus of the second phase was the installation of the structural glass roof, complete with the minimal window pocket door system, structural glazing, structural glass rooflight and steel windows and doors. This project used bespoke architectural metalwork within the design to create high contrast between the main fabric of the building and the glazing, these emphasized supports create a rhythm throughout the building by complementing surrounding architectural features, such as the geometrical Bauhaus casement windows.  

The architectural style has a gesture toward Savile Row’s history and heritage in bespoke design and pays homage to the geographical grandeur. 

Architects Piercy & Co were commissioned for this renovation and worked closely with IQ Projects for the glazing specification. Throughout both phases 1 and 2, the architectural glazing works were extremely varied and included exceptionally high specification glazing systems. The architects decided to create a cohesive design that it would be imperative for the dark features to be paralleled in the L-shaped building.   

The structural glass box extension has both internal and external steel beams which are covered using powder-coated capping to create a sleek and finished design. The use of internally mixed materials creates a calming and organic atmosphere which integrates deep colours into the environment, creating a relaxing ambience.

Contact us to find out more about bespoke support types.

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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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