Glass in Marine Environments

Specifying the correct glazing systems to marine environments is highly important. Any property within 5 miles of a sea front is classed as a marine environment and is therefore under the same kind of atmospheres and harsh environments as those directly on sea fronts.

Properties classed as a marine property will be in atmospheres with much higher than average chemical contents. Elements in the air such as salts, chemicals, and deposits from the sea can all affect the external face of buildings.

Aluminium is usually the best framing material to use in marine environments over more traditional materials such as steel or timber due to its more durable nature, the ease of its care and also the modern finishing’s that can be applied to aluminium which prepare it for the harsher marine environments.

All framings on a coastal property will need to be finished as ‘Marine Grade’. This means that the powder coat applied to the framing must be at least 50 microns thick. In order to create a long lasting finish IQ would always recommend pre-anodising the frames and applying a marine grade powder coat over that.

glass in a marine environment
Minimal Windows Sliding Glass Doors

IQ’s minimal windows are brilliant for coastal environments especially those with a view. The 21mm vertical profiles don’t intrude on the fantastic sights over the British coast and then can be slid back when needed for access to the garden, balcony or even straight onto the beach. The framing system has also been tested thoroughly at Germanys Rosenheim Institute for its Air Permeability, Wind Resistance and Water Resistance to ensure that it performs well on all fronts, creating an effective, yet slim framed barrier from the harsher weather on Britain’s coastal fronts.

The minimal windows 4+ system can withstand a 3.5KN wind load which is a Hurricane classed system; much more than is needed to tackle England’s stormy sea fronts.

The rest of the windows or casement doors on the property can match the minimal windows aluminium finish and square edges creating a highly contemporary coastal property.

The glass panels will also need special attention as those will be under the same environment strains as the framing systems. In fixed elements structural glass can withstand a huge amount of wind load so is perfectly able to cope with all weather conditions including those on directly coastal areas.

When using a large amount of glass in these situations the upkeep of the glass is also a consideration. IQ always recommends a Low Maintenance coating on all glass to coastal environments. This coating evens the microscopically rough surface of the glass elements and makes it much more difficult for any deposits from the area to settle on the glass, thus making the glass cleaner for longer and making the glass much easier to clean when needed.

Rebecca Clayton
Technical Sales
Rebecca is Head of Marketing at the IQ Group and has worked in glazing specification for many years. She has a broad range of technical knowledge about all our glazing products and offers technical advice and guidance to architects for specification. Her easy to digest technical advice is often quoted in magazines and publications. You might also recognise her as one of the IQ Glass CPD presenters.
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