Adding a glass canopy to the front of your building is a perfect opportunity to blend practicality with cutting-edge design.
Built around the main entrance of your premises, a glass canopy provides a welcome refuge from the elements for visitors – a dry place to, for example, take down an umbrella or remove a hood before heading inside.
But unlike enclosed porchways, glass canopies ensure the entranceway remains a light, bright place. Simple and cost effective to install, a glass canopy nonetheless brings a modern aesthetic to your building which will appeal to visitors and staff alike.
Here are three key factors to consider when choosing a glass canopy structure.
There are different way to erect a glass canopy using different forms of support. Some entrance ways, for example, might be recessed behind two adjacent walls which enclose the doorway on two sides. In such cases, it is straightforward to place glass sheets across the top between the two walls to provide cover.
It is more common, however, for entrance ways to be located on flat walls. In this case, you need to decide on a support structure for the glass canopy. Stainless steel poles and cross beams are a popular choice as they are strong, weather resistant and long-lasting. They also combine well with glass from a design perspective.
Safety should always be the primary consideration when creating any building structure. With glass, there is the added concern of protecting against cracks and shattering – especially when it is being installed at height over a thoroughfare where people walk.
When choosing a glass canopy, it is important to select safety glass with the right protection rating for use in that location. Toughened, laminated glass is shatter proof and has a high tensile strength to protect against cracking and breaking. It is also strongly advised to allow for some flexibility in the support structure to account for high winds.
A less obvious but equally important consideration is what will happen when the sun shines through the canopy. In the height of summer, direct sunlight concentrated by glass can reach such a high temperature that it becomes a fire hazard, especially if there is inflammable material under the canopy. This risk can be mitigated against in how the canopy is designed, for example by ensuring that sunlight does not shine through more than one glass panel, and also by using tinted glass.
It pays to weigh up carefully what size area you want to be covered by your canopy. If you want the glass canopy to be more than decoration and provide some practical protection from the weather, you want it to be large enough for people to stand under well out of the open entrance. Some glass canopies are also used for other practical purposes like providing a covered area for bike storage etc, and need to reflect that use in the size.
The larger the canopy, however, the more expensive installation will be. While glass panels are relatively inexpensive, the more you use, the more supporting poles and so on you need, and the more complex the fittings and fixtures will have to be to keep everything secure. Larger canopies are also more of a challenge to make safe.
Glass and Stainless are well-experienced in creating stunning glass canopies. Contact us today to see how we can help you.