Structural Glazing

Structural Glazing

Simply put, structural glazing is a term used to describe glass that is integral to the design of a building. It involves large glass panels, which usually bear some weight in the structure. Structural glazing can be used to create huge glass installations with minimal obstruction. Structural glazing can offer a greater coherence and connection between the natural world and our buildings, while still protecting us from the elements.


  • It can bear weight both horizontally and vertically.

  • It can be bonded using everything from minimal glass beams and supports to heavy-duty steel struts, meaning it can be used on almost any scale, with almost any aesthetic imaginable.

  • Increase of natural light in our domestic and professional spaces.

  • Since there is little to no exposed exterior metal, there is also less thermal bridging with structural glazing, saving on energy consumption costs

  • The glass can be comprised of monolithic, laminated, dual-glazed or even triple-glazed insulating glass units (IGUs).

  • A building with structural glazing done requires minimal maintenance only.

  • They are effectively protected against damages caused by wind, water and heat.


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Types of Structural Glazing

1. Stick Built Structural Glazing System

Stick-type curtain wall glazing system is a type of Structural Glazing where the frame verticals or the mullions and the glass panels are erected and connected piece by piece. The vertical mullions are attached first to the floor slabs and then the horizontal mullions are attached to the vertical ones. The glass panel between the vertical and the horizontal mullions along with the spandrel which can be either glass or aluminium are then installed into the erected grid work. Generally, stick-type glazing is preferred for buildings that are not that tall, usually less than 3-4 floors. Air, wind, and heat can play a vital role in the stability.


  • It is a simpler glazing system when compared to other curtain wall glazing systems.

  • The glazing can be fabricated off-site. This allows for less erection time than other curtain wall glazing system


  • Stick glazing usually has lower load-bearing capacity than other curtain wall glazing systems.

  • Generally, stick glazing type of curtain wall glazing system requires more time to assemble.

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2. Unitized Curtain System

These are composed of large glass units that are created and glazed within a factory and then sent to the construction site. Since there is no on-site glazing, another major benefit of using a unitized system is the speed of installation The unitised panels can use any combination of profiles, infill’s, external feature caps and glazing to give building designers complete aesthetic flexibility.


  • Shorter programme times. Unitised solutions will help contractors and architects achieve impressive reductions in time on site of up to 70 percent.

  • Improved quality control. Because the facade panels are completed off site, and the external envelope is less affected by inclement weather, quality control is much easier with unitised facades.

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3. Semi-Unitized Curtain Wall Glazing System 

It is a type of structural glazing where the primary structural framing components are erected individually as an erector set. In this set, the vertical mullions are attached first to the floor slabs and the horizontals are attached to the vertical mullions to resemble a grid. The glass panel and the spandrel, which can be either glass or aluminium, are shop glazed and installed into the assembled grid work. The joineries and perimeter sealants are fields installed. The semi unitized systems largely anchored to the face of the slab as embedded plates or inserts.


  • The vertical mullions in most semi-unitized glazing systems can span two floors with ease and as a result, provide greater structural efficiency.

  • Most semi-unitized glazing systems have shop-assembled or off-site assembled frames. This reduces the time and cost.

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