Structural Glass Links


Constructed primarily from transparent or translucent glass panels,  a glass link is a structural element to connect separate parts of a building while allowing natural light to pass through and providing unobstructed views of the surroundings.

Serving functional and aesthetic purposes, glass links are available in various sizes and designs,  from narrow walkways to larger enclosed bridges connecting buildings or spanning outdoor spaces.

Design and Aesthetic


  • Glass links are completely custom-designed to fit the specific needs of your project.
  • Structural supports: Glass links often utilise glass fins and beams as structural elements to achieve a minimal framing structure. The glass fins,  made of multilayers toughened laminated glass, are used to transfer the wind load to the various parts of the building and reinforcing the structural integrity of glass walls. The lateral structural support for the roof section of the glass link is provided usually by low iron transparent glass beams.  
  • Minimal framing or frameless look: When integrating a glass link into an existing building, to create a frameless look, frames and fixing details for structural glass are intended to be hidden within the building finishes. Whenever the glass links require a steel support, these steel sections are covered with either aluminium pressings or back painted glass.
  • Preserving the original aesthetics is essential when connecting two structures; whether it be two new buildings, a new to an existing structure, or a modern building to a historical one.
  • Designing a structural glass link requires structural calculations carried out by a structural engineer. Structural calculations are crucial to ensure that the structural glass extension meets deflection and wind load requirements while maintaining safety, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

Opening Elements


  • A glass door can be incorporated into the glass link for accessing the outside.
  • Single-leaf or double-leaf hinged glass doors are a popular choice for glass links.
  • Instead of a traditional hinged door, a pivot glass door or slimline sliding door can be added to the glass link for a contemporary look.  Steel supporting elements are necessary for this integration.

Glass Options


  • Glass options: Single, double or triple glass options (toughened or laminated-toughened)
  • Glass thickness: The thickness of the glass depends on its intended role. For instance, if it needs to withstand high wind loads, it will be thicker.
  • Low-iron glass: It is manufactured with lower iron content than standard ‘clear’ glass and doesn’t have a greenish tint. When incorporating thick and layered glass components, such as glass beams and fins, are to be used, it is recommended to consider low-iron glass in order to minimise any greenish tint.
  • Depending your safety and security conditions, we use toughened and/or laminated glasses
  • Solar glass coating: It helps reduce the transfer of heat from the sun into your glass extension. A glass with a low solar factor (g-value) helps prevent the interior space from overheating on sunny days.
  • Low-e coating for increasing thermal performance

Size Limitations


  • Contrary to traditional framed glass, which is limited in size by the weight of the glass, structural glass has no maximum size restriction. However, the largest possible size of a glass panel that can be made in the UK is 6000 X 3210mm.
  • Site access and installation constraints are taken into account when determining glass sizes for a glass link. 

Safety & Security Options


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Thermal Performance


  • Thermal performance

Weather-tightness Performance


  • Waterproof drainage systems and seals to prevent infiltration during intense rainfall

Regulations and Standards


A structural glass link to be installed at your property is subject to building regulations and certain standards:

  • Comply with Approved Document Q in terms of secuirty (Part Q, Read More >> )
  • Comply with Approved Document L in terms of thermal performance ( Read More >> )


Applications

  • Connecting two independent buildings,
  • Connecting extensions to existing buildings
  • Enhancing connectivity and accessibility for occupants and visitors in commercial buildings,
  • For indoor movement like linking different floors or levels within a building.