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What should I know before installing glass for house facades in India?

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally

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With the modern design style gaining popularity in India, the use of glass for house facades is common. This new wave is seen not only in metropolises where they blend into the shiny glass exteriors of commercial buildings in the city centre but also in standalone houses in rural areas. Undeniably, glass has a sleek look that makes it irresistibly modern. However, the material comes with pros and cons. It’s essential to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of installing a glass façade for one’s home to make an informed decision as one will live in it for years to come.

What are the pros of using glass for house facades?

· One of the primary advantages of using glass for the exterior façade is that it seamlessly connects the indoors with the outdoors. In a house with a fantastic view, this brings the benefit of enjoying the view from the comfort of the indoors and unhindered by the weather outside.

· By using glass for exterior house facades, the interiors benefit from natural light, thereby reducing the dependence on artificial lighting. This is the reason that architects recommend large glass window panels for homes that don't get much sunlight.

· While not every type of glass is suitable for the house façade, high-quality architectural glass has the strength to withstand even the heaviest wind and rain.

· Unlike other façade materials such as concrete, plaster and wood, glass doesn’t age with the passage of time. It’s not prone to warping, rusting, fading or withering.

· Glass installation for contemporary house facades is much quicker than building a conventional masonry wall.

· Since glass is lighter than other materials such as brick, concrete and wood, it doesn’t weigh down the structure of the house.

Get inspired by these houses made with lots of glass.

Are there cons to using glass for house facades?

A MODERN HOME SURROUNDED BY NATURE:  Houses by KREATIVE HOUSE
KREATIVE HOUSE

A MODERN HOME SURROUNDED BY NATURE

KREATIVE HOUSE

· While glass has the advantage of bringing more natural light into the interiors, on the flip side, this increases the amount of heat inside the house. Additionally, since glass has a lower thermal mass when compared to materials such as concrete, brick or wood, the heat transfer takes place faster, thereby contributing to higher power costs in maintaining the air conditioning at the perfect temperature.

· Depending upon the amount of glass that one has in the façade, the brightness inside the rooms could increase significantly, bringing an uncomfortable glare to the eyes.

· It’s vital that the installation of the glass facade is done by a professional. Otherwise, the house could suffer from problems due to seepage, draughts and outdoor noise.

· While installing glass is quicker, it requires the employment of extremely skilled labour, which can add to the overall costs of the build.

· Although glass lasts for a long time, it needs regular cleaning and maintenance, which adds to the costs in the long-term.

· From a safety perspective, many homeowners shun glass for house facades as it can be broken easily by intruders.

· Unless one uses blinds or curtains, a glass exterior can compromise the privacy of the interiors.

Are there different types of glass for house facades?

Residential projects:  Houses by Ingenious
Ingenious

Residential projects

Ingenious

There are several types of glass façade systems that one can find in the market. It’s vital to be aware of the various options before choosing the right one for the house.

1.  Tinted Glass

For homes in which glass is a part of the building facades design, heat transfer into the interiors is an issue that one needs to deal with. Tinted glass presents an excellent solution for this problem as the shading of the material helps to reduce the intensity of the sunlight entering the room. While it’s suitable for homes in warm places, it might not be the best choice in places where one needs natural light.

2. Tempered glass

One of the disadvantages of glass is that it can easily break when something impacts it. However, tempered glass is highly impact-resistant, keeping the house secure and protecting against injury as even if breakage occurs, the glass shatters into tiny fragments without leaving behind jagged edges or large pieces that can cut someone. Tempered glass is around four times stronger than ordinary glass.

3. Stained glass

For a decorative façade, stained glass is an excellent choice. Additionally, it can protect the privacy indoors as the colour tints the glass to block direct views into the home. When light passes through the stained glass, the reflections create beautiful patterns on the wall. However, unlike clear glass, the stained version doesn’t allow as much sunlight to pass through, and it blocks views of the outdoors.

4. Laminated glass

Besides its ability to block noises from the outdoors, laminated glass is also bulletproof, making it the ideal solution for the modern house façade design for a VVIP. It is more suited for large windows than clear float glass that one commonly finds in smaller windows in residential housing.

5. Insulated glass

This type of glass is made of two or more sheets that have a few milimeters of dry air in between. The sheets are sealed and bonded to prevent heat transfer. It’s also an excellent solution for soundproofing the interiors. Due to its inherent ability to retain the temperature indoors, insulated glass is perfect for homes in colder regions that need the rooms to be kept warm throughout the day.

6. Double glazed glass

Homeowners who worry about high electricity bills from trying to maintain the temperature indoors with air-conditioning might consider glass an unsuitable alternative for the house façade. However, double glazing is a technique that can eliminate this to an extent. Like insulated glass, it comprises two or more bonded and sealed sheets. However, the gap between the sheets holds a layer of gas. It can reflect the harsh sunlight in the summer months and protect the heat indoors from escaping during winter. That’s why it is preferred for insulating a home.

See how this modern house in Ahmedabad makes use of glass with spectacular results.

How much does glass for house facades cost?

Entry:  Houses by studio XS

The price of a glass façade for a house can vary depending on the type of material as well as the structure of the façade. Tinted glass is the most affordable at around INR 50 per square feet. The price of 12mm thick toughened or tempered glass is approximately INR 135 per square feet for a good-quality branded version. Stained glass is usually very expensive since it is hand-crafted and the price is dependent on the detailing involved in the design. Laminated glass costs around INR 300 per square feet. Insulated glass ranges between INR 300 to INR 650 per square feet, whereas double glazing glass costs are around INR 350 on the lower end and INR 1700 for premium quality glass.

How do I decide on the type of glass for my house façade?

Nest - Private residence at Koregaon Park:  Houses by TAO Architecture Pvt. Ltd.
TAO Architecture Pvt. Ltd.

Nest—Private residence at Koregaon Park

TAO Architecture Pvt. Ltd.

Before deciding on the type of glass for the façade, it’s vital to understand whether the material is ideal for the design and conditions of the house. Doubtless, that glass is an element that adds style to contemporary house facades. However, there are several aspects that one needs to consider such as insulation, energy efficiency and the natural brightness of the interiors. We recommend consulting an architect or interior designer before choosing glass for the house façade. Whether it’s to give an existing façade a makeover or to design a modern façade for a house, a professional can provide the necessary guidance to help make the right decision.

Would you use glass for your home's facade? Leave your answer in the comments.
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