April 27, 2018

Keeping Up with Architectural Glass Trends

by Erin Johnson

Lately we’ve been highlighting the importance of evolving architectural and design trends in the glass industry, along with why it’s so critical to simultaneously factor in high performance.  

With that in mind, I wanted to highlight some of the most eye-catching architectural trends the Quanex team has been following recently. Knowing how to build high-quality, high-performance products is one thing, but it requires a familiarity with evolving trends to stay nimble enough to seize those new opportunities.

Here are a few key design trends worth highlighting:

Inside and out, oversized is on the rise. In both the commercial and residential segments of the fenestration industry, “bigger is better” seems to be the prevailing mindset. Oversized windows and doors in high-end homes are becoming more and more popular to let more of the outside in. Meanwhile, commercial developers are taking advantage of large glass in both interiors and exteriors to create striking visual points of interest.

Understanding how and why home designers and architects are moving in this direction can help fabricators and manufacturers be more prepared for meeting these evolving demands. Oversized windows and glass panels can have several logistical implications inside your plant and out. Are you prepared to assemble, handle and ship larger units? Additionally, are you considering these new opportunities throughout your marketing efforts?

More than aesthetics. A recent article in Glass magazine highlights a few interesting reasons why commercial design is taking advantage of more glass, beyond simple visual appeal. Glass notes that in certain cases, it can help boost productivity and reduce employee turnover.

Yes, really:
Numerous studies have been conducted in the last two decades to look at the relationship between windows and occupant health and performance. The findings offer a repeating theme: access to daylight and views improves occupant health and comfort.
….
In offices, this translates to increases in productivity and product output, and decreases in absenteeism and employee turnover. In hospitals, studies show decreases in stay and in use of pain medication. In schools, test scores and productivity improved.

It serves to highlight one major tenet of architecture: Design should serve to benefit the people occupying the space. Sure, that’s also accomplished by designing for high performance (consider the impact of thermal comfort on building occupants), but sometimes it’s easy to overlook the value of things like a nice view from your desk.

New possibilities with digital printing. The increasing availability and affordability of large-scale digital printers for glass is expanding the boundaries of what’s possible in glass design, and architects are taking advantage. Where traditional glass printing techniques were limiting, digital printing has opened up new opportunities. And as such, many commercial glass manufacturers have invested in digital printing capabilities.

Investments like those are just one example of how our industry can and should be working in tandem with architects and designers to help realize increasingly complex design.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Erin.Johnson@Quanex.com.
 

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: April 27, 2018 by Erin Johnson Filed under: architecture, glass, trends