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Glazing Options Abound More than merely enhancing existing products, advancements have introduced completely new categories

photo Courtesy Vistawall

by hank chamberlain

THE vast array of specifiable glazing compositions is now almost incomprehensible. Predictably, new product introductions have broadened the traditional categories of architectural glass, such as tinted, reflective, and low-emissivity. More significant, though, is the rate of development of completely new categories of glazing materials. By that measure, we have demonstrably entered the twenty-first century.

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Currently, special attention to eight categories of specialized glazing is justified by their potential impact on the marketplace. Although the selection criteria are subjective – and the author’s alone – these eight examples demonstrate the diverse character and complexity of twenty-first-century fenestration. Some are quickly gaining market share while others are underutilized.

When architects at Miami-based Arquitectonica Sports Design conceived the new American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, they wanted a distinctive look with a lot of glass. Because the site is located on the Gulf Coast, the structure had to be designed to resist the potential impact from hurricane-force winds.

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