Condensation on Architectural Glazing

External Condensation

Condensation occurs when moist, or humid air comes in contact with a colder surface and ‘condensates’, the water molecules in the air turning from a gaseous form to liquid collected on the face of that cold surface. Condensation build-up on structural glazing installations is a natural phenomenon and cannot be completely eliminated, no matter how well insulated your glazing installation or your building.

A modern issue, for modern thermally efficient windows, is that the glass units used in the structural glass installation are so thermally efficient that much less heat is radiated through the glass to the outside; therefore the external pane of glass always remains cold.

Cold surfaces are prime surfaces for condensation to form and some structural glass installations will experience condensation building up on the outside face of the architectural glass installation at certain times of day, especially the morning when the air is more humid.

The condensation buildup is a byproduct of thermally efficient structural glazing and not a defect in the glazing or something to be worried about if it occurs. If you are worried about the possibility of condensation build up on the external face of your architectural glass installation you could specify Anti Condensation Glass.

external condensation
condensation on structural glass

Internal Condensation

The build-up of condensation internally on a structural glass installation can sometimes occur, although much less frequently than it would do on older windows.

There can be many reasons why this minor condensation build up occurs, but whatever the reason it is important to understand that it is perfectly normal for sealed and insulated buildings.

Condensation may build up on the small structural glass support, used to connect the frameless glass panels to the building. This is due to the small thermal bridge that can be created between the internal and external structural glass supports by the fixing screws required to fix the supports to the building.

This minor element of condensation build up can be reduced by ensuring that your building is well ventilated to ensure proper airflow through a space and attempt to keep your internal air conditions less humid (i.e don’t dry clothes internally).

Plants, pets and a low internal air temperature can all contribute to an increase of condensation build up within a home as well as modern heating systems that don’t promote circulated air movement (convection heating).

If you are worried about minor condensation build up on structural glass assemblies please contact IQ Glass.

condensation on structural glass
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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