Structural Glass walls – Gravity and Stability Elements

Structural engineers have gained considerable knowledge in the behaviour of structural glass from the pioneering and experimental beginnings to the advanced design of a free standing pavilions, structural envelopes and structures suspended from high rise buildings.
In this paper we will look at the potential of a most commonly used component in facade design – a load-bearing glass wall panel. We will review glass walls in the context of projects since 1998, influences and incremental steps they introduced to the understanding of the structural behaviour especially glass elements loaded with in plane loadings. Stress concentrations at the loading points and methods of energy dissipation in the glass connections will be outlined. Common analysis techniques to estimate buckling capacity and possible failure mechanisms will be briefly discussed together with installation tolerances and other challenges faced in the construction of the largest glass load-bearing wall structures.

Peter Lenk

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Graham Dodd

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