floor to ceiling open corner sliding doors with architectural glazing into timber

Key Design Considerations When Using Architectural Glazing Into Timber

There has been a growing trend of luxury home designs that incorporate architectural glazing and timber. this may be a timber interior design, external timber cladding or fitting architectural glazing into the timber.

When designing a home that has architectural glazing into timber, there are a few key design considerations that must be considered early in the project, as well as factors such as installation and maintenance once the project is complete. 

IQ have worked on several projects where architectural glazing into timber has been used, meaning that our sales, design and contracts team are all experienced in working on these types of projects. 

Read on to find out about some of the key considerations when using architectural glazing into timber. 

Considerations for Architectural Glazing into Timber

During the sales stage, when looking at what architectural glazing systems are right for your project it is important to consider what sort of structural opening they need to be fitted into. 

Firstly, timber tends to warp over time and change along with different weather in each season. Depending on the deflection, this could possibly damage some glazing solutions.  

Along with weathering, moisture may get into the timber and can cause it to weaken or even begin to rot. This should be a consideration when using timber in any high-end home design, not just when fixing architectural glazing into it. 

In terms of the type of timber, we would always recommend using hardwood timber over softwood, and using dried timber is also beneficial as this reduces the warping.  

For upstands, timber is not in IQ’s approved materials, so even with a timber build home, this would have to be concrete.  

glazing into luxury timber build home
burnt timber cladding with architectural glazing in sustainable new build

Timber Warps Due to Seasonal Changes

Many of our systems are designed to allow for up to around 5mm of deflection but anything over this due to the surrounding timber warping can seals on glazing systems and for systems such as our slim framed sliding doors, this can damage elements such as sliding and locking mechanisms. 

One way to overcome this when specifying architectural glazing into timber is to clad the timber in aluminium or steel and fix the glazing to this.  

Depending on the material and thickness, this cladding can be designed to prevent issues of the timber changing size, helping to prevent deflection of over 5mm. 

As timber can change due to heat and moisture in the air, timber upstands are not within our approved upstand construction types.  

The problem being is it is not stable enough over its life, there will be seasonal changes in its size with swelling and contraction.  

How Moisture Can Affect Architectural Glazing into Timber

Over the course of timbers life, changes in weather can not only affect the shape and size of the timber but also its strength.  

Moisture may creep into the wood, and the possibility of the structure degrading through rot or splitting from fixings increases.  

Again here, specifying some type of cladding around exposed timber elements that are integral to the building structure can help to reduce risk, and also specifying the right type of timber can make a significant difference.  

 

traditional style coastal home with architectural glazing
architectural glazing into timber home

Types of Timber

When designing a luxury home that incorporates architectural glazing into timber, the type of timber should be carefully considered. 

IQ would always recommend using hardwood timber rather than softwood timber. 

The trees from which hardwood is obtained tend to be slower growing, meaning the wood is usually denser. 

This tends to provide a sturdier building material that is less prone to warping and damage from moisture.  

Another way could be to do this in by using dried timber. One of IQ’s commercial projects at Chicheley Hall used kiln-dried oak beams to support the large structural glass roof.  

By utilising wood that had been dried in a specialist kiln, this allows the specialist method to be durable and suitable for a bespoke design that has architectural glazing into timber.  

Installation of Architectural Glazing into Timber

This is a key consideration not during the design stage, but when actually installing the architectural glazing into timber.  

If wood does get wet during construction, find a strategy to dry it out, ensuring the wood can breathe. Builders or glazing installers should not put any types of waterproofing barrier straight onto it, as this can trap the moisture. 

If this happens the timber stricture will be significantly more likely to suffer damage from the moisture including rotting over time.  

This needs to be considered by both the builders on the project and the glazing installation team so prevent any issues.  

For the fixings, IQ do utilise a range of all purpose screws and fixings, although in some cases woodscrews may be used. This is only a consideration for your glazier and their installation team.  

timber clad home with architectural glazing
timber interior design with structural glazing details

Timber cladding and Architectural Glazing

Timber cladding is fast becoming a top choice when it comes to the exterior of high-end residential projects. This could be in the form of charred black timber, red timber cladding, and much more.  

Due to the flexible nature of timber cladding, its sustainability and its biophilic design, IQ have worked on a number of project with timber cladding.  

Our architectural glazing solutions such as our minimal windows® sliding doors or Invisio structural glazing system can be designed to fit in with this seamlessly.  

Timber cladding can be brought over the fixings of our Invisio thermally broken structural glazing system or over the head and base frame of our minimal windows sliding glass door.  

Shannon Normoyle
Senior Marketing Executive

As one of the Senior Marketing Executives, Shannon oversees the website and SEO management for IQ and can often be found working on SEO strategies or writing content for the IQ websites. 

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