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Using Premade Glass Block Windows For Industrial, Factory and Commercial Projects
Energy and maintenance costs from inefficient old windows can be huge profit drains on commercial, industrial and factory building alike. Traditional solutions have ranged from storefront windows (which are easy for vandals to break) to blocking openings up (which can reduce employee productivity and detract from a commercial building's looks). With advancements in prefabricated glass block window panel systems any size factory or industrial building can simultaneously improve curb appeal while reducing heating and cooling costs.
In this article you'll learn 7 practical steps for a successful commercial or factory glass block window installation.
Step 1 - Choose where you want to use the block windows and the main benefits desired- Glass blocks can be used as an interior window .Some of the main reasons to consider block windows are to improve safety and light transmission, reduce energy and maintenance costs, and to increase a building's marketability and curb appeal.
Step 2 - Identify any special performance requirements - There are several specialty lines of glass blocks used in industrial factory and commercial projects. For higher security applications there are solid 3" thick Vistabriks, for increased 60 and 90 minute fire ratings choose the Thickset series blocks, and for more decorative looks for interior and exterior windows consider colored and etched blocks.
Step 3 - Consider ventilation needs - Most people think about using block windows in factories and architectural applications as solid expanses of glass, but operable air vents can be used inside the panel assemblies to increase air flow into building spaces.
Step 4 - Measure the size of the openings and evaluate the structural elements surrounding the windows - When installing block windows in masonry openings measure the height from the top of the sill to the header plate and the width from each side of the window opening (in most commercial remodeling projects .
Step 5 - Determine the size of the block panels and any structurally supportive material needed - For most smaller openings no additional structural materials (i.e. angles, I-beams etc.) is usually needed. In these instances after you have the measurements call a block panel fabricating company to see how many glass masonry units will be needed to fill your opening
Step 6 - Installing the commercial block assemblies - Since each individual block weighs about 5 ½ lbs. the size of the panels will be determined by trading off the ability to handle the units with the desire to minimize the number of panels that need to be joined together.
Step 7 - If you're unsure get technical help and/or seek out a professional glass block installer - If this process seems a bit challenging for you call an experienced block fabricator and installer or general contractor.
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