The contemporary aesthetic of architectural glazing has taken over the modern design industry with its sleek finishes and outdoor living feel, making it one of the most highly desired trends to date. Glass box extensions are very popular amongst modern and traditional homes as it adds a touch of luxury to any type of property. Many clients will initially browse their Pinterest / Instagram feeds to gather inspiration for their dream extension, whilst not taking into consideration the specifications required to ensure it’s also functional. That is where the architect/ designer would come in and ensure clients are provided with the relevant knowledge.
Advantages of having a glass box extension:
Disadvantages of having a glass box extension:
So how do we ensure a glass box extension is both aesthetically pleasing and functional? Firstly, clarifying whether a glass box is actually the best option for the client is the first step as there are many different structural glazing options available which can still provide the luxury aesthetic and modern style without the disadvantages that come with installing an entire glass box extension such as:
Where a vertical panel of glass at the edge of a roof overhang to the face of the wall and project over the side of a building creating uninterrupted views of surrounding areas. IQ Glass can create bespoke and complex structural glass Eaves Windows to meet any size and configuration.
Glazed Side Infills:
This style is generally used on Victorian/ Georgian style homes as they are smaller and extending into the rear of the property is a great way to open your downstairs living spaces whilst improving access into the garden. The use of large glass panels maximises the natural light influx to create a lighter, airy space.
For more structural glazing options click here.
If the client prefers the glass box extension after gaining the relevant knowledge of the pros and cons, then there are plenty of options to make their design functional. Clarifying the orientation of the property to the sun is a sensible place to start, as a south-facing glass box extension can invite in too much sunlight during the summer months causing overheating of the property and an uncomfortable glare from the sun. Whereas, a north-facing property can bring in light to the duller parts of the home, of which you would be less likely to need any solar shading solutions installed. An east-facing extension will get sun in the morning whilst a west-facing property will get sun in the evening. The orientation of the building will be a big part of determining the solar shading solution used, if any.
Technical Glass: Solar Control Glass
With the growing demand for large structural glazing projects, it is recommended that the use of a Solar Control Coating is used to reduce solar gain whilst maintaining light transmission and clarity. This creates a comfortable internal environment without losing the aesthetic of the minimal glass desired. There are different levels of solar control coating available depending on the level of light transmission you want to allow through. It’s the metal oxide coating that reflects the infrared parts of solar energy and absorbs the ultraviolet wavelengths which reduce the amount of heat that flows into the interior of the home.
Technical Glass: Switchable Privacy Glass
A thin layer of liquid crystals is laminated between two pieces of toughened glass of which, when an electrical current pass through the film, between the interlayers, all the crystals within the film align, switching the glass from translucent to transparent. If using Switchable Privacy Glass, you would not need the Solar Control Glass as it also has solar control properties. The switchable glass technology alone is impressive and provides the wow factor, but to take it to the next level you can control the glass via a smartphone or tablet with the integration of a home automation system like IndigoZest who are also based at The Sky House Design Centre.
Blinds are a great option for a solar shading solution and are a more cost-effective option than the technical glass. Grants blinds create bespoke solutions for your project with a wide range of fabrics and styles readily available for you to choose from. A disadvantage of using blinds are the fact that this would take away from the clean look of structural glazing however Grants Blinds have a concealed blinds option where the use of their patented system, ‘Blind Space’ comes into play. This concealment system has been designed to future-proof window/ door openings for a clean finish which is installed inside the wall or ceiling. Grants Blinds use IndigoZest as one of their main suppliers to integrate their motorised blinds into a smart home automation system which is becoming the standard in smart homes.
Brise Soleil has become increasingly popular as a solar shading solution for residential properties since the increase of options available. Contrasol have a selection of Brise Soleil systems including Timber, Aluminium and Glass which are all manufactured bespoke to each project. The different options of materials, sizes and styles available allow for the continuation of the design of the property to flow throughout. From fixed louvres to automated louvre systems, which can also be connected to a smart home automation system are a convenient option.
The IQ Lux Louvre Roof
Integrating the IQ Lux Louvre Roof System into your garden design may be the answer as this not only creates an architecturally cohesive solar shading system but provides you with an indoor-outdoor living space that can be used all year round. This premium system is preferred by architects and designers for its contemporary aluminium structure and the wide variety of finishing options available. There are a variety of additional options such as LED lighting, attachment of external radiant heaters, weather sensors and an integrated music system which again, can all be controlled via a smart home automation system.
As you can see there is a lot to consider than just the aesthetic side of a glass box extension project, but don’t let that discourage you as the results are extremely rewarding. ‘Outdoor Living All Year Round’ will give you further insight into the many benefits of indoor-outdoor living.
All options above can be found at The Sky House Design Centre, to visit us please book an appointment in advance and one of our technical specialists will take you on a tour.