Soul Apartments, Surfers Paradise

Soul tower, Surfers Paradise - Balustrades, sliding doors and fixed windowsSoul Apartments were constructed at an exclusive location by the water at the heart of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The tower reaches 77 storeys, including 2 levels of commercial premises at the base, one level of leisure facilities for the resident population and the tower above devoted to lifestyle apartments.

The 243m high building was designed by DBI Design PL and built by Grocon, under the direction of the Juniper Group.  The tower is situated at the end of Cavill Avenue – the popular shopping strip at Surfers Paradise. G.James Glass & Aluminium won the contract to supply the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing – including windows, doors, louvres, curtain wall, sun blades and balustrades.

The Residential Tower Facade

The residential tower consists of 288 apartments with a variety of glazing types – a curtain wall face, balconies with sliding doors and windows. The sheer curtain wall façade was produced using the 650 Series glazing system, and fitted between the concrete support columns. Sky blue laminated glass contrasts well with the white columns in the marine setting.  The majority of the project’s extrusions were powder coated (finished) in Eternity Steel – a dark finish that blended into the shadow lines.

The balcony glazing utilizes the 445 Series sliding doors, 450 Series fixed windows and 415 Series louvres. The balustrading for the tower was done with 571 Series. At the top of the building, the shape of the balustrade glass was raked from level 60 and above to support the curved aspect. The raked balustrades required special layouts and bracketry specific to the level they are installed on to make the curve regular.

The tower colour scheme contrasts vivid blue sections with predominantly white areas.  The blue areas were created using sky blue glass, the same as the sheer wall. The white areas use a Cool Grey glass. The Balustrades match the colour coding of the area they fall in, and intensify the look with a reflective coating.

Sun blades are installed on the upper portion of the tower.  The south face at the sub penthouse level has large angular alpolic blades fitted to the Juliet balconies, creating a visual feature and angled to block harsh glare.

Commercial Levels

On the lower commercial levels, 3 floors high, G.James supplied the ceramic printed toughened glass (installed by others) and balustrading. The ceramic printed toughened glass for the awnings has a creeping fern pattern.  The 571 Series balustrades for the first 3 floors were internal and external, and include the the shopping plaza. 

QuickAlly Access

QuickAlly Access Solutions (a G.James business) supplied scaffolding to replace damaged balustrade, recently.  The affected glazing occured on level 6 and level 75.  Both balustrade glazing occur on balconies with limited space to provide a cantilever, so solutions were suggested and engineered to find the best approach. Ladder beams and other Systems Scaffold products were used for a suspended platform to provide safe access to the high risk heights.

The Effect

The glazing on this project makes a stunning impression from inside and out, and could not be accomplished without a high level of design and coordination. It was a great opportunity to contribute to an iconic building.

Bushfire Risk, Assessment and Glazing Solutions

Australia has a love hate relationship with bushfires. It has been so much a part of the natural history here it has become an endemic part of existence; without bushfire certain plants wont propagate, although the rest of anything living, fears it. It’s just one of the many parts of the Australian lifestyle that needs to be taken in a serious light – and be prepared for.

Assessing Bushfire Risk

There have been major developments in ways to protect in the case of bushfire – from household escape plans, to continuing technology in fire fighting strategies and more recently since dramatic fire events, building design. Australian Standards have developed AS 3959, and as part of that, a system that determines your Bushfire Attack Level or BAL. In the BAL, it gives a provision for products in the building industry to be rated according to their resistance to bushfire attack.

The BAL rating for your situation can be determined by referring to AS3959 or guides provided by your local services. NSW Rural Fire Service has a comprehensive user guide as an Application Kit to the BAL for reference. You will attain one of six rated categories. Your risk is assessed by looking at type and proximity of vegetation, and the slope of the land your property is on. Your calculated BAL rating is used to select building products. Products will be rated with the same figures, offering protection for that level of BAL rating.

BAL Rated Glazing Options

G.James Glass & Aluminium has developed a BAL manual to guide people through making the right decision when looking at glazing products. It outlines the G.James glazing suites that should be used for buildings in the following high risk categories:

  • BAL 19
  • BAL 29
  • BAL 40

The G.James BAL manual outline the glazing system, glass type, hardware, gaskets and mesh requirements for the individual systems according to your BAL rating. As an example, if you have a rating of BAL 29, and need a double hung window, we will suggest you use the following:

The 136 Series Double Hung Window with a minimum of 5mm toughened glass, standard mohair, glazing vinyls and other hardware, and external screens require a fire retardant spline with aluminium or steel mesh with an aperture of less than 2mm. This is an example only, and you need to confirm details with G.James staff that can ensure these are the products you need for your individual situation.

Your selection of glazing should not be limited. G.James have BAL glazing solutions for sliding doors, louvres, double hung windows, fixed windows, hinged doors, bifold doors, awning windows, casement windows and sliding windows. When you talk to G.James personnel, they can guide you through the options.

Requirement for Buildings

There is no requirement to alter existing building materials, but if you plan on building or renovating, you will need to implement the recommendations of the the BAL report. It is a wise idea to be aware of the rating your property would get even if you aren’t looking at building in the near future. Finding out the weak points, you can make minor adaptions to the building materials or surrounding vegetation to give yourself a better chance in case fire ever threatens your neighbourhood.

Be aware of the different ways you can keep knowledgeable about risks in your area. Know your local brigade and SES, having their contact details on hand. Check your states fire services for more information.

During recent fire incidents when the heat was on, communication became difficult due to cut lines, and websites being bombarded and going down. The NSW Rural Fire Service had a great system of reporting regular updates on their face book feed. Know where to keep up to date on the latest details and leave emergency lines free for those that require it.

Be prepared and stay safe.

Glazing 918 Darwin Apartments in a Single LEAP

G.James Glass and Aluminium - Transport DivisionStage 2 of the Australian Defence Force’s accommodation upgrade to their Single Living Environment and Accommodation Precinct (LEAP) in Darwin saw the construction of 918 new apartments. It was a highly organised development that had strict protocols and required innovative task management to accomplish the project.

This upgrade will improve and better integrate the living standards and communities where single defence personnel reside. The project is being managed by the Plenary Group, recognised as international specialists in providing whole community concepts, with Woods Bagot as the architect.

G.James Role

G.James Glass and Aluminium’s Darwin office successfully negotiated the contract to supply and fit glazed windows, door frames, security doors and louvres to the various planned concepts in two locations – Larrakeyah (in the city) and Robertson (rural). Each site had individual acoustic, thermal (energy efficiency), wind loading, water penetration and bushfire requirements which formed part of the specification. To ensure compliance, G.James undertook  product modifications, the development of new systems and conducted testing for the intended suites. The contract is to be achieved in two phases of supply and installation that span over 1 ½ years.

G.James is organised to take on projects of this scope. Divisions including business support services and transport are combined with a large workforce and the latest technology to fulfil the resource requirements of larger ventures. For the Darwin project, initial discussions internally located potential branches with facilities and personnel available. Once the project was awarded, managers designated the resources available to meet the commitments.

Design

Darwin comes with stringent water and wind pressure requirements.  Product testing was needed for the new 472 Series door framing system and the 246 Series sliding door for Darwin’s conditions.

Energy efficiency was addressed using IGU’s.  This also helped resolve the acoustics issue at the Robertson location, as there was a flight path located overhead.

BAL Rating

Bushfire ratings are addressed at the Robertson location due to the proximity to bushland in its rural setting.  A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating is given to an area or facade to determine the requirements of the materials used.  Glass and gaskets are selected that comply with these conditions from the G.James BAL Manual.

The BAL ratings applied to G.James materials have been determined from AS3959 as “Deemed to satisfy” or the prescriptive method.  The prerequisite for the physical properties of glazing materials in bushfire prone areas is to resist ember attack and radiant heat transfer.  Your local branch or G.James representative can give you further information on BAL compliant products available.

Implementation

The work was divided up in accordance with the capabilities and current workloads of various branches. Some were accustomed to this volume of work, and others were introduced to it.  The branches involved are outlined as follows, with a brief summary of the who they are, and a quote about what this project entailed for them:

Head Office

Initially, the Business Support Service division at G.James’ Head Office assisted the Darwin branch with project specific engineering, product design, contract administration and material / production coordination.

“This included a review of the products to create efficiencies in product manufacture and installation. Because of the distance that products were to travel by road, we also orchestrated the design of several specific packing crates.” – John Staunton (Manager of Business Support Service).

G.James’ Head Office is charged with the role of being the central point of direction for the branches with regards to technical advice, administrative services and major project logistics & coordination. This responsibility is assisted in the fact that the Head Office is in close proximity to the Group’s major manufacturing facilities at Eagle Farm.

Maroochydore Branch

Maroochydore supplied the entry door frame, highlights and sidelights made with the new 472 Series, as well as Crimsafe screens.

“For 12 months, the Darwin Defence Accomodation has been keeping our commercial and Crimsafe departments with a constant flow of work. The Emmegi CNC machine has been vital part of the processing for the doors required on this project” – Darren Mahoney (Branch Manager)

Bundaberg Branch

Bundaberg worked on 475 Series fixed louvre grill and top hung sliders, Crimsafe screens for the 246 Series sliding doors, and 475 Series hinged Doors.

“It has been amazing to see the various number of branches working together to have all items made, packaged and then transported to Darwin (without damage) ready for installation all within the tight time frames. “ – Damian Perry (Estimator)

KDC

KDC (or the Knock Down Components factory in Brisbane) cut and processed assembly kits for the 246 Series sliding doors.

“We have only had to replace two door frames due to transit damage which demonstrates our attention to detail and ability to supply component parts to the correct specification on time to allow for efficient project management ongoing.” Jason Claridge (Branch Manager)

KDC typically make standard glazing packages for nationwide distribution.

Riverview

Riverview provided framing for the 472 Series fixed glazing and hinged doors.

“Riverview are accustomed to national distribution, being the only manufacturers of double hung windows, so coordinating this project was not out of character.  It did allow us to contribute our other skills and it was fantastic to be a part of such a combined effort.” – Ben Driessen (Branch Manager)

Along with Double Hung Windows, Riverview have a stock of unusual glass types and patterns that are invaluable to replacing period style glass.

Woodridge

Woodridge took care of the 048 Series fixed and awning windows.

“The scale of work for this job saw our manufacturing processes streamlined. It is good to know just how much work we are capable of doing.” – Garry Fulton (Branch Manager)

Woodridge produces almost all products made by G.James products (except double hung), and services the area from south of the Brisbane river to the top of the Gold Coast and out to Manly and Redland bay. They also make a lot of commercial products for Western Australia, and supply 048 series hopper windows to other branches and departments.

Glass Department

The Glass Department in Brisbane manufactured all the glass for the project.

“Our glass department is built to take mass orders of this size, so implementing it was not a problem.  It is good to work on this scale of project, knowing we are contributing to such a large G.James effort.  It is what makes G.James the company we are – we have the ability to take on this kind of work as we have the most sophisticated and modern technology available to us.” – Tony Evans (Operations Manager)

The sizeable glass operations produce many different types of glass – from sizing annealed, coated and tinted, to manufacture of laminated, toughened, printed, patterned as well as IGU’s.

Mechanical and Transport Division

Mechanical and transport departments provided transport for all the components to be brought to Brisbane for coordination and shipping to site.

“We coordinate this type of work all the time – the volume of this job was quite large, however, and meant strict management of delivery – the right products at the right time.” – John Erskine (Transport Manager)

Transport run a fleet of trucks up and down the East Coast of Australia (Sydney to Cairns) to service delivery of the full range of G.James products.

Darwin

Darwin – project coordination and implementation.

” We would never have been able to pull it off without the support of all the other branches that got involved and helped us make this job a reality. To everyone – thanks, it was greatly appreciated.” – Scott Harris (Branch Manager)

On Site

The products, when ready, were transported to Darwin, and fixers were sub contracted to carry out the vast workload at installation.   Attention to detail was essential as all the glass for this project was site fitted because of additional fixings in the glazing pocket required to meet the high local wind loads.

Project status

The project is in its final stages, and is projected to be complete by the end of this year (2013).  Coordinating our resources to achieve higher rates of product supply is not a new service performed by G.James.  We are capable of performing this kind of logisitical coordination to make this scale of projects feasible. G.James welcomes discussion to assess how we can provide solutions for any similar large projects.

Generic and Custom Plastic Extrusions, Gaskets and Seals

PVC extruded plastic gasketThe G.James Glass and Aluminium Plastics department has been operating since 1995, and started out manufacturing just 2 products for in house use. Type and quantity of manufacturing has been growing steadily ever since. Commercial sale of products initiated 5 years ago, and now supports several industries.

G.James Extrusions

The industries that G.James manufactures PVC plastic extrusion for include – building and construction, automotive, commercial refrigeration, marine, shop front, internal fit outs and railways to name a few. They come in a range of colours and PVC types, from rigid, semi rigid and flexible, including nitrile or rubber modified and TPV (Thermo Plastic Vulcanite) or Santoprene equivalent (this has the same properties, characteristics and function, but without the Santoprene brand name) as well as Santoprene, if its specifically required. Co extrusions (extrusions made from two different materials) and bushfire (BAL) rated extruded gaskets are also available.

The G.James facilities are capable of large scale commercial production. The production lines can produce up to approximately 2000m of plastic extrusion an hour – depending on the size and shape of the profile. Products are designed up to 100mm in Circumscribing Circle Diameter (CCD). At peak times, it will use up to 40 ton of material a month – and that’s not at full capacity.

Extrusion design

After initial contact, the design process involves an in depth look at what is required – the use, appropriate material for the conditions – sun and weathering, heat and chemical exposure. Identifying potential issues and mitigating them, or troubleshooting issues that may have occurred previously. Assessing die design and making a more effective proposal are all looked at prior to signing off drawings for a die to be made. Die trials are run and the resulting profile measured up for quality assurance purposes before commercial runs begin.

This process can take up to a couple of months if there is a lot of design involved, but is usually less. Ordering plastic extrusion has a two week lead time, but standard runs or more urgent requests can be processed to cater to customer needs.

Quality

During the design process

Efforts are made to ensure the die design is as beneficial and cost effective to the customer as possible. For example, a recent job started out with a profile design from a customer that required considerably expensive tooling and production costs.  Working with the customer and making a few die modifications, these costs were brought down by 60% . No impact was had on the effectiveness of the extrusion.

As an initial saving, G.James can arrange to have the tooling price amortised into the production price per metre to offset the lump sum.

Use in situ

18 years of experience by the PVC extrusion manager, Jason Clarke, ensures personal service from someone who knows how to make it work. Trouble shooting feeding problems, stopping gaskets from “popping” out of position, gasket “wave” problems and better shape design are among other issues that are addressed.

Point of manufacture

A length from every roll of extruded plastic is tested to ensure a quality product. Measurements are taken and information is recorded and stored so it can be tracked back to when and how it was made. Materials that work into other G.James products are also trialled for a suitable fit on completion to ensure a whole of system customer service.

Back end quality control

G.James conduct investigations into existing scenarios that are having problems. Extrusion and glass checks, incorrect use and out dated design issues can be looked at to assess the cause of any issues. Advice is given on the findings, whether it is a change in plastics die design, or other members that are found to be out of tolerance.

Manufacturing Process

It’s a short but interesting manufacturing process. The material comes in pellet form that is control fed through a hopper into a spiralling screw or ram. The pellets are heated, mixed and compressed as they are fed through the spiralling screw, and finally forced through the die into its final shape. After the gasket is extruded, it is immediately cooled in chilled water, and then dried before being cut into designated lengths and boxed, or rolled onto a spool.

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Recycling

All off cuts of plastic extrusion are recycled on site. They are shredded and prepared to go through the same hopper feed and production process. As a quality control issue, recycled material is only used on non-structural gaskets, such as fly screen splines.

Brisbane designed and made, supply is distributed Australia wide, with much of our standard range available off the shelf at any G.James branch. For more information on product and supply, call the PVC manager, Jason Clarke, on 0403 352 703 or 07 3815 4908. Keep up to date by looking up the PVC page on the G.James website.

Capitol Apartments

The Capitol ApartmentsCapitol Apartments has been recently constructed at 35 Peel St, South Bank, Brisbane, QLD. It is a 10 storey building designed by Kowalski and built by TMF. This project is situated in the busy west side of South Bank, along some major traffic routes – one being Queensland Rail train tracks and rail bridge.  It is an ambitious project considering its location, and had very stringent guidelines to achieve before it was allowed to be constructed.

Strict Design Criteria

The main aspect of design took into account the proximity to the adjacent train line. Acoustics is an obvious problem, but the location of the railway tracks are within a stones throw, literally. As such, protection of the railway tracks from litter being thrown onto the lines is of critical importance. Accompanying this, the architects designed a building with many differing glazing requirements to achieve a cohesive up market residential property. This building is to be used as furnished apartments for long or short term accommodation for people in the South Bank area. With venues like Rydges and other large hotel names in the vicinity, a boutique, stylish result needed to be achieved. The Capitol Apartments The initial design phase required the windows to comply with acoustic standards, or the apartment would not get approval to be built. G.James were the only glaziers that could beat all the ratings required, and provide evidence via testing that these results were guaranteed. The design initially specified opening sizes to be built to, but to ensure quality, it was actually done as a measure and fit job. As such, the lead times were brought down dramatically in the manufacture and installation scheduling required to meet the builders time line, which G.James achieved.

Design Resolution

To accommodate the requirements to protect the tracks from litter, all windows to the railways (northern) elevation were fitted with fixed Crimsafe screens. The balconies are set up as an Alfresco area, and the Lismore designed version of the 445 sliding door system was used for the operable windows overlooking the tracks and the city, with a fixed light beneath. The Lismore design, allows the sliding door to be operated from the inside, allowing the Crimsafe screen to be fitted and fixed externally. This alfresco area also helps protect the interior from noise pollution. The Capitol Apartments Bedrooms were fitted with jockey sashes to provide an adequate acoustic barrier, and living spaces had IGUs (as well as the alfresco area) to protect it from railway traffic noise. Both use the 451 system. Some balconies also have 136 Double Hung IGUs incorporated into their design. Other areas use differing glazing suites including the 165 slider vents to wet areas, 265 awning windows, 651 shop front with IGUs in the gym on level 1 with a 476 hinged door.  The main entry was a 475 auto sliding door, and the 477-300 bi-fold system with a lowlight under in  650 framing are a suitable finish in the restaurant. All framing not done on the railway elevation used various types of SGUs to suit the look required. The Capitol Apartments We have released a project map to provide the location and a summary of works.  Keep an eye out for the Capitol Apartments on this map…

Interactive Map: Building Brisbane

Brisbane construction projects by G.James Glass & Aluminium

Brisbane, being the location of our Head Office, sees many fine examples of G.James workmanship.   Here, we outline some of the biggest and best projects undertaken to showcase our capabilities in recent times.

The interactive map is designed so you can take a tour of some of our most recent and notable works.  Either at your desk looking out a CBD window, taking a stroll around town, and driving past a building or through an area you have always wanted to know more about.

Brisbane

G.James has contributed widely to what Brisbane looks like today.   There are buildings that have added to Brisbane’s sky line and to the diversity of looks and uses that are designed for the various parts of this fair city.  On some buildings, there are unique features that make them distinctive.  For example –

  • the ribbons of M&A,
  • the splash of red across the Australian Federal Police building,
  • the glass wall of Sir Samuel Griffith Centre,
  • the towering Aurora and Riparian plaza.

There are many buildings that have achieved the coveted green star energy efficient design,  some interesting artwork on glass designed by local artists – its worth a visit to the Anthropology Museum at UQ to see the ceramic printed window alone. Some of the buildings have specialised glass systems to suit the works being done, like the Translational Research Institute and the ABC headquarters.

There are projects that have altered the face of a tired old façade, so if you look at an old image of QIMR, you won’t recognize it.  And then theres the Suncorp Stadium which gives you a glimpse inside a place where state pride and competition is on the line.

The Interactive Map

The map is aimed to give you a glimpse into the depth the G.James knowledge base and provide an overview of the types of works that G.James is capable of.  It highlights projects done by various departments in the company, including:

  • Commercial departments
  • Residential departments
  • Gossi park and street furniture
  • Glass department

You can have a look at the map and plan out a scenic drive, or target specific jobs, or just get an idea of what we have produced, in your area.  As you can imagine, there are too many jobs to make this an all-inclusive list, but we aimed to include a range of jobs reflecting different styles and features.

A brief dossier on the project is included – a photo of what to look for, basic job data and links to further information on the project.  G.James can help you with any further information required for the jobs represented.

Explore Here…

Enjoy the exploration, and keep an eye on this space. Other areas will be released as our database of projects rolls out – Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, as well as other areas to be where you can find G.James fingerprints…

Until then, enjoy this insight into the River City.

Key:

 G.James Projects

 Gossi Designs

The Glass House – Barossa Valley

Glass House Barossa

Looking out over the hills of the Barossa Valley is this unique home affectionately labelled  ‘the Glass House’. Designed by leading Adelaide architect Max Pritchard the house is unusually linear in design – it is 60 metres in length but only a single room wide in the main living areas. To optimise space, a long hallway runs along one side connecting the bedrooms and the bathrooms.

Perched on the highest point of the block and with a lengthy northern elevation, this house naturally takes advantage of the warmth and light provided by the sun, particularly during the winter months, whilst allowing the owners to enjoy sweeping views of the valley below.

The skillion roof of the building makes a striking statement as it is a continuous plane along the length of the entire home. The house itself sits on a number of levels conforming to the slope of the land. These level changes are accommodated by a timber ramp in the connecting hall.

The home featured in the third season of the ‘Grand Designs Australia’ television show late last year.

Details

G.James Glass & Aluminium – Adelaide were contracted to supply and install the approximately 180m² of windows and doors.  All the aluminium joinery was finished in Clear Anodised and glazed with 24mm insulated glass units (IGU’s) with required compliance to a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) of 12.5. Given the chilly winters in South Australia and the large area of windows and doors, double glazing was the ideal selection as it helps to minimise heat loss – maintaining a comfortable environment within the home. The clever design of the house allows the sun’s heat to penetrate deep into the home during winter – while large eaves shade the glazing during the hot summer months.

There are a number of large fixed windows in the home.  Due to their size, two of our commercial framing systems were used for these windows – front glazed 451 Series framing and 651 Series double framing.

The southern elevation contains ten windows designed as a trapezoidal shape to fit with the gentle taper of the building. These windows have a casement attached, which is also trapezoidal. It was a challenge to create these unusually shaped windows at exactly the right angle, but this was achieved at the first attempt.

All sliding doors in the home were G.James high performance 445-100 Series, fitted with Crimsafe security screens. There are also a number of louvre windows, using 102mm & 152mm louvre blades.

Find out more

G.James have the expertise to help turn your dream home into reality. Our vast experience enables us to take on unusual or complicated jobs and our Australian manufacturing ensures that all your new home is created with highest quality windows and doors. For more information about what we can do for you, have a chat with the friendly staff at to your local G.James branch.

Project Update – Circa Nundah

Circa Nundah

Circa Nundah is a $270 million urban renewal project from developer Property Solutions. Circa Nundah is located on a 2.5 hectare site in Nundah, Brisbane. Masterplanned by Arkhefield, the site will eventually contain three 9 storey residential buildings and an eight storey commercial building. The commercial building – Circa CT1, was completed towards the end of 2012, and work is drawing to a finish on the first residential building, Circa One.

Circa One comprises 42 one-bedroom and 42 two-bedroom apartments, 490m² of ground-level retail space, a residents’ recreation room, manager’s office and two levels of secure basement parking. Apartments generally range from 63 to 101m², with large corner garden terrace units of up to 133m². Construction on Circa Nundah Village is being carried out by Hutchinson Builders.

G.James’ Role

Circa Nundah required both G.James’ Commercial Contracting and Eagle Farm Residential Divisions to join forces to complete the scope of works.

This project called for the supply and installation of G.James’ 165 Series sliding windows, 265 Series awning windows, 445 sliding doors and 475 Series shopfront / fixed windows.

All aluminium framing was extruded and powder coated in-house and finished in Precious Pewter Pearl.

More to come

G.James have enjoyed a close working relationship with Hutchinson Builders over the course of this project. Plans for the next residential building on the site – Circa Dos, were unveiled last year, and construction is just beginning. For further information about this project or our residential solutions please contact the G.James Eagle Farm Branch on (07) 3877 2844 or via email at hilite@gjames.com.au.

Glass Supply: Era (Pacific Place Precinct)

EraThe Era project is a $310 million dollar, 42 storey development in Chatswood, Sydney being developed by Mirvac. Era is the fifth and final residential building in Mirvac’s Pacific Place precinct. Era features 295 luxury apartments – most of which sold off the plan within a day of release.

G.James’ Role

G.James has been engaged by 3 separate customers to supply a total of 11,150m² of glass for the project.

G.James is supplying clear laminated and toughened safety glass to be used for windows and doors in the project, as well as Colourlite printed glass for some applications. G.James is also supplying heat strengthened laminated glass and heat soaked toughened glass, which will be used in balustrade for the project. Additionally, some heat strengthened glass is being supplied for use in louvres.

Why use Heat Strengthened glass?

Heat strengthened glass is about twice as strong as ordinary float glass and is used generally as a protection against thermal breakage –  it has higher compressive stresses which resist thermal breakage. Heat strengthened has a surface compression induced by a temperature increase and sudden quenching. The existence of the surface compression means that it must be overcome by load before any surface tensile stress is achieved. Heat strengthened glass breaks into large, safer particles. In laminated glass the inter-layer holds these pieces safely in place in the event of breakage.

Point of failure in a sheet of toughened glass due to NiS inclusion.

Point of failure in toughened glass caused by NiS inclusion.

Why use heat soaked glass?

Although rare, nickel sulphide (NiS) inclusions in toughened glass can lead to “spontaneous” breakage. These inclusions are tiny contaminant particles in the raw materials of glass. During the toughening process these particles are altered to an unstable chemical state. If they revert back to the stable chemical state, the particles increase in volume, which can sometimes lead to breakage in toughened glass. This conversion may take years to occur, if happens at all. Heat soaking is a destructive test which heats the glass to 280˚C for several hours to speed up the transformation of any NiS should it be present. This accelerated testing process reduces the likelihood of breakage of installed glass by a factor of 20. Identifying NiS inclusion prior to on-site installation has distinctive cost, safety and security benefits, and is especially important where the consequence of breakage could result in injury – such as when the glass is to be used in exposed elevated positions.

Nickel sulphide inclusions in heat strengthened glass are much more unlikely to cause breakages due to the lower levels of compressive stress.

Looking Ahead

With the continued support from our laminating facility in Brisbane, this project is running on or ahead of schedule and is approximately 50% complete. Era is set to be completed late this year. For more information, please contact G.James glass sales.

Reducing Noise with the Right Windows

Acoustics should be an important consideration when building your home.Australia’s growing population has resulted in a shift towards higher density residential and commercial constructions. In order to satisfy the expectations of the occupants, the acoustic performance of the construction and its openings requires careful consideration. This post is aimed to provide a general understanding of what options are available to increase the acoustic resistance of glazing.

Understanding Acoustic Ratings

Weighted Sound Reduction Index (Rw)

Road traffic is one source of unwelcome noise.
image courtesy of ziptrivia

Rw is the current Australian and ISO Standard acoustic rating method – AS/NZS 1276.1 1999 & ISO 717 1996. Designed to estimate the acoustic performance of a material or construction for certain common sound insulation problems. It contains two sound adaption terms (Ct and Ctr) so that the Rw value can be modified to reflect the environmental conditions to which the element or construction will be subjected. The Ct or Ctr term is added to the calculated Rw value to provide an indication of the performance under the adjusted sound condition.

Ct “Pink Noise” Spectrum Adaption Term.

Ct is used to adjust Rw to compensate for noise sources such as: high-speed traffic, children playing, noise from radios TV’s, high speed railway traffic and from factories that emit medium and high frequency noise.

Ctr “Traffic Noise” Spectrum Adaption Term.

Ctr used to adjust Rw to compensate for noise sources such as: low speed urban road traffic, factories that emit low / medium frequency noise and aircraft at close range.

Methods to improve acoustic (Rw) ratings

1) Decreasing the amount and volume of direct transmission paths through the glazing.

There is little point spending lots of money on upgrading to a high performance glass product if the window frame and seals are not upgraded. Air tightness of the window construction in particular, has been experimentally proven to be the most cost effective method of improving the Rw value of a window. This because each opening in the window, frame and seals provides a direct transmission path for sound to pass through. By reducing the number and area of these paths more sound must pass through the ‘barrier’ ie. the glass improving the overall performance of the system.

It should be noted that in some products the introduction of tighter fitting seals will reduce the overall day to day servicabilty of the product. For example – a sliding window may become difficult to slide due to the requirement to increase the size of the seal. In these cases it may be better to look for an alternative solution.

Frequency spectra for 4mm, 6mm and 12mm Float
Glass showing how the coincidence dip occurs at
different frequencies for each glass thickness.

2) Increasing the thickness of the glass

Thicker glass vibrates less than thinner glass, consequently the amount of sound able to pass through the window is reduced. Unfortunately this increase in glass thickness is limited by a phenomenon known as the ‘coincidence dip’. The coincidence dip is a frequency range over which the transmission of the sound increases through a material. The location of the coincidence dip is dependent on the material’s weight and its inherent stiffness. If not for this phenomenon, thickening the width of the glass would be the solution to all window acoustic problems.

3) Moving from a monolithic to a laminated glass construction

The effect of lamination on the sound insulation of glass.
Note the coincidence dip for solid glass is virtually
non-existent for laminated glass.

Laminated glass consists of two (or sometimes more) sheets of glass bonded together with a plastic interlayer. This plastic interlayer provides a damping mechanism in the glazing (the interlayer actually absorbs vibrational energy). This damping mechanism is particularly effective over the coincidence dip in the transmission spectrum. The result is that the coincidence dip is minimized and the overall performance is increased. A somewhat recent advance in laminated glass has been the development of ‘acoustic’ interlayers. These have been specifically designed to further reduce the coincidence dip, which maximizes the performance possible at each construction thickness.

4) Changing to an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) Construction

Insulated Glass Units (IGU) consists of two glass sheets separated by a spacer to form an air gap between the sheets. This allows each glass sheet in the unit to act as a separate barrier to the transmission of sound. Unfortunately the spacer separating the sheets effectively forms a small short-circuit in the system. The spacer itself provides a direct path for the sound vibrations to be transmitted from the external glass sheet to the internal sheet of the IGU. This short circuit could obviously be eliminated by removing the spacer. This is not however a viable option – it would directly result in condensation in the IGU as well as allowing dust and particulates to deposit onto the internal faces of the two glass sheets.

Very large air gaps are more effective at reducing sound transfer than smaller air gaps. In practice, increasing the air gap from 6mm to 12mm provides little benefit. Substantially increasing the air gap to over 90mm however provides a large increase sound reduction. This anomaly is due to air trapped inside the unit acting as sound transfer mechanism between the glass faces of the IGU. As the air gap approaches 90mm this effect decreases in its severity.

Conclusion

There are numerous approaches that can be used to improve the sound resistance of a glazing and more often than not the most appropriate solution is a combination of one or more of the methods listed above. G.James has conducted extensive acoustic testing on our windows and doors. For further information on the choosing the right product for your project, please contact us.