Enabling Crystal Clear Façades

Interest to include glass to façades has always been present due to its transparency enabling interaction between indoor and outdoor. Major advances in technology have enabled fully glazed sustainable designs providing the demanded aesthetic and occupant benefits such as daylight and energy efficiency. This explains the interest for increased glass in facades in commercial buildings. The use of bulky frames limiting the transparency of a façade can be minimized through adapted fixation systems. Yet even these have their limitations since the adhesive used for the bonding, the weathersealing or the secondary sealing of insulating glass units, are not necessarily both transparent and durable.

This paper discusses design possibilities and material properties offered by a crystal clear silicone for linear structural bonding and sealing in glass facades. Application examples are total vision glass sealing, structural glazing or glass bonding of closed cavity facades. This paper will focus more specifically on the development of a fully transparent insulating glazing design, combining the clear silicone as secondary sealant, a clear spacer and a clear PIB. This innovative concept will be compared with traditional build-ups.

Strength and durability combined with unique transparency open up a new dimension in architectural design freedom.