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Spontaneous Glass Breakage

In the past couple years Saskatoon has experienced what has been happening in larger centres for years. The spontaneous breakage of sealed units in glass office buildings. There is always a risk with any tempered sealed unit, however when it happens in a tower situation and the shattered tempered glass rains down on the area below, it gets a whole lot more attention. This is not the case of improper installation but rather an imperfect product and pushing limits of its capabilities. With architects and owners wanting to push the envelope on glass sizes, the increase in the possibility of spontaneous breakage will occur. This can be reduced by decreasing the size of the units (or increase the thickness of the class) so that the exterior pane of glass can be heat strengthened rather than fully tempered and still meet wind load requirements. Heat Soaking the glass will also reduce the risk of breakage but won't eliminate it or the use of heat strengthened laminated glass which will ensure that any glass that breaks, for any reason, will still remain in the opening. However, these things come at a cost that sometimes aren't considered or don't fall within the project budgetary restraints. Have a look at this article from The Construction Specifier regarding this topic:

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