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Glass structures

The purpose of this paper is to record our approach to the design of glass structures and to provide a discussion forum for engineers who are interested in the subject. Over the last 20 years architects have been interested in the potential of glass as a primary structural element and as members of the design team structural engineers have been encouraged to take responsibility for ensuring that the solutions proposed are safe and practical. Currently national standards are available in draft form and it is anticipated that these standards will become available in the near future. However until the standards have been published structural engineers will need to rely on assessing the information that is available in various texts and trade literature and on their own experience. In this article we will outline the history of our approach to the design of trafficable glass surfaces, stair treads and floor plates, and in the process share the information we have gathered and the ideas that we have developed which although lacking the comfort of a codified approach have in general resulted in practical and safe solutions. Tim Macfarlane, BSc, CEng, HonFRIBA, FRSA, MIStructE, FConsE Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners

Author(s): Macfarlane, Tim

Keywords: glass;properties;toughening;laminated;design;case studies;buildings