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.

Capturing Light in an Urban Space

natural light -elev - east This residence has recently been constructed in one of the laneways of Fortitude Valley, just outside the Brisbane CBD in Queensland. Using smart orientation and well designed glazing features, a light and airy modern house has been constructed.

This urban block with an area of about 200m², fits a house with an approximate 90m² footprint. The architect, Andrew Wiley proposed a house that is naturally lit with a spacious feel in this confined perimeter. This was done working with interior designer Benta Wiley, to maximise the effect of light play on the artworks and sculptures intended for the house. The builder, Nick Chatburn & Co, worked in conjunction with G.James Glass & Aluminium to provide the glazing for the project.


There are two façades taking advantage of open areas outside to maximise views and natural sunlight entering the 3 storey building. In particular the east elevation has a glass wall the height of the building.  This wall provides naturally light to an atrium that every room in the house opens into. Glass fins support the expanse of frameless glazing. The effect of this light well gives the house a spacious feel, enhancing the flow and communication between living spaces.

Blue glass intensifies the colouration of the sky outside – used in the atrium and sliding door/windows on the north and east faces. These large windows are made from sliding doors that enable 2100 high windows.  As a safety barrier, glass balustrade is installed to the interior. This maximises the amount of light that flows into these rooms.

Shutters sit on the outside of these windows, promote a modern feel to the houses exterior.  Internally the shutters provide an insulative shade barrier, blocking the harshest rays yet letting light filter through the gaps and cooling air that flows between them. The detailing for these doors was developed at G.James – they sit on a large structural angle that is fixed to the outside of the building to give them the floating appearance.

Natural Light Features

Natural light penetrates from one side of the house to the other with the use of glass internal doors, slit windows strategically positioned to the south and west faces, and glass roof lights. There are two of these with opaque glass on the ground level that give the office and laundry a bright lift.

The third glazed sky light is a glass canopy located at the top of the stairs, leading onto the roof. An opening at the top of a space such as the atrium draws rising hot air up and out, naturally cooling the entire house and enhancing air flow through it. The glass canopy leads to a stunning outdoor area overlooking the neighbourhood, made of self cleaning glass.  Being completely see through, it doesn’t create a visual barrier in the centre of this space, but divides the different areas up for their individual uses.

Bringing the Best of the Outdoors Inside

The entire house incorporates the enjoyment of being able to make the most of the Queensland outdoors and lifestyle – starting as you enter the house.  The front door to the property is through a wide frameless glass door.  This electronically operated pivot door opens into what seems like a courtyard complete with a well planted pond. Over the pond is another frameless sliding door operated automatically, allowing lush green plant life outside to become part of the welcoming committee. This space is in fact the inside of the atrium.

Interior Inspiration

The house is an inspiration, and a beautiful example of what can be achieved with limited space in a medium density urban area.

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Products by G.James

  • Entry – toughened clear glass into 475 series surround framing with frameless pivot door
  • Atrium – Structurally glazed laminated blue glass with fins into 450 series surround framing. (External blind by builder)
  • Hinged Internal and Back Doors – Toughened glass frameless doors into 475 series framing and glass channel hydraulic hinges.
  • Auto Sliding over fish pond – Toughened glass frameless door with 475 series glass channel surround frame.
  • Dining Window – 131 series offset sliding window, 3.6m long with a 1.2m sash.
  • Sliding window / doors – 245 series commercial sliders with blue laminated glass. Sliding shutters are made from G.James extrusions by a third party, and incorporated into the 245 sliding track. The glazing sits on large angle bracketry on the external face of the building to give it the seamless appearance.
  • Down stairs sky lights – white translucent glass structurally glazed to stainless steel pressings.
  • Glass roof / canopy – Sides are Low E  heat strengthened laminate on Stainless steel stand off.  Roof top glazing is self cleaning, Low E heat strengthened  laminate with polished SS pressings.
  • Fixed glazing – white translucent glass in 450 series framing.
  • 3 Shower screens – frameless shower glazing – one of each style -bay window, single shower screen panel and square base.
  • Extrusions finished in a stone grey powder coat.

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.


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.


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 (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 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 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 – 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.

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.


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.


 G.James Projects

 Gossi Designs

Project Update: Sir Samuel Griffith Centre

Installing the glass screen

The Sir Samuel Griffith Centre (SSGC) is a $40 million world class building currently under construction at Griffith University’s Nathan campus. The building was designed by Cox Architecture and construction is being overseen by Watpac. The facility will have 4000m² of usable floor area across six levels, and will house approximately 60 academic/research staff and a number of support staff. It will also provide a number of lecture theatres, seminar rooms and collaborative areas. The SSGC has been awarded a coveted 6-star green rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), and will be Australia’s first off-grid, self-powering teaching and research facility. The building will cement Griffith University’s reputation as a leader in Environmental Science.

Building FeaturesThe large glazed screen

To achieve its 6 star green rating, the SSGC has a number of energy efficient features. The need for artificial lighting has been reduced by large windows, few internal walls, and glass partitions. The dominant feature of the building is the large glazed screen that makes up one side of the façade. Combined with photovoltaic cells on the roof and a state of the art battery & hydrogen energy storage system the building will be self-powered.

Photovoltaic cells will convert sunlight into electricity for use during the day, as well as providing additional storage in batteries, and also through the electrolytic production of hydrogen. The hydrogen is then stored in a stable form as metal hydrides. Battery storage will be used primarily for overnight cooling of water to run the air conditioning systems and hydrogen to supply fuels cells for electricity production on cloudy days. A digital electronic energy management system will maximise the efficiency of energy usage.

G.James’ Role

G.James were engaged to supply, install and glaze six levels of aluminium windows, doors and louvres, as well as the special glass screen. The windows and doors feature energy-efficient low E coated insulated glass units. Frames on the window and door systems have been finished with commercial bronze and matte gold anodising. Matte gold powdercoat was also used to finish some items such as glass screen brackets.

Glazed Screen

The glazed screen features large panels of special clear heat-strengthened laminated glass. The glass panels are 2171×3280 mm or 2171×3540 mm in size and range in thickness from 17.5-21.5mm. In total the glass screen utilises 166 square metres of glass. The screen is supported by a fabricated “spider” steel frame. G.James designed brackets especially for this project to fix the glass to the steel supports.

ChallengesInstalling glass to the screen.

G.James commenced work on site in November 2012 and expects to be finished in May this year. The installation of the glazed screen has required significant manpower and expertise. The installation of the glass to the screen necessitated two cranes with drivers and dogmen, four booms, two special glass suckers, four abseils, eight glaziers, ropes, slings, glass bremners. The geometry of the screen also required glass panels to be installed at angles – no easy task with the glass panels weighing in at several hundred kilograms apiece. Additionally significant labour was required offsite preparing and organising the materials ready for install.

The wet and unpleasant weather Brisbane has experienced over the last few months has presented additional complications, with wind and rain causing work stoppages. Road closures and equipment failure were also challenges G.James had to overcome during the install. The fixers and crews who worked on this project deserve praise for their great work on a difficult assignment.

Looking Ahead

The building is expected to be completed in June this year, G.James is looking forward to see this exciting building open.

Newington College – Sesquicentenary Building Project

The new curtain wall at Newington College

G.James has recently finished work on the Sesquicentenary Building Project at Newington College in Bankstown, Sydney. The bulk of this project comprises two new combined buildings – The Lawrence Pyke Science Centre and The Tony Rae Resources Centre Library. The project was designed by Budden Nangle Michael & Hudson Architects, and builder A W Edwards was contracted to construct it.

Foyer to the building.G.James’ work on the project comprised the design, supply and installation of windows, doors, curtain walls, glass walls, glass canopies, a glass greenhouse, aluminium cappings and soffits– utilising our 850-500, 651, 451, 475 and 476 Series frames. Jockey sashes from our 150 Series were required for most windows, and some windows also featured curved heads. G.James’ Sydney Commercial Façades division carried out the work on this project.

Noise Reduction

Acoustic laminate was used extensively throughout the project to minimise disruption to classes from external noise. Typically 12.76mm acoustic laminated glass was used externally and 10.76mm clear Low E coated ccoustic laminated glass was used internally in jockey sashes and internal skins. This was an important consideration as Newington College sits directly below the approach flight path into Sydney Airport with approaching aircraft flying very low directly above the school.

Curtain Wall Glazing

Curtain wall glazing.Four “curtain wall” sections were defined by the Architect and included in G.James’ scope of work. Two of these were fabricated as 850-500 Series structural glazed curtain walls. The Stair glazing used the 850-500 Series structural glazed frame as a window wall fitted between steel horizontal supports. Coloured back glass was used to infill between the frames and hide the steel. Jockey sashes and secondary frames were used behind these frames to create large cavities for acoustics. On one curtain wall an additional 850 Series frame was used as an internal frame to provide the nominated 400mm airspace.

Dual skinned Curtain Wall

The most prominent feature of the building is the final curtain wall  – pictured at the top of this post. This is a dual skinned arrangement with the outer skin built out from the building by a metre with three horizontal steel trusses. The glazed height of this wall is approximately 9.4m and is glazed with pieces of glass each approximately 4.7 m high by 2m wide – weighing a hefty 300Kg. This glass is supported by glazing channels top and bottom, and also by 15mm annealed glass fins vertically. The internal glazing skin comprises G.James’ 450 Series frame fitted with the flush face to the inside and incorporating jockey sashes fitted in-line with the fixed glass for access and maintenance. The metre wide cavity between the glass is ventilated and includes 600 mm wide horizontal and vertical automated tracking sun shades installed into this space by another contractor.

G.James has also supplied and installed soffit linings below this glazing, metre wide cappings over the cavity, and also to the other curtain walls. Several glazed awnings and a glazed greenhouse were also completed.

Official Opening

The buildings will be officially opened in July as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations at Newington College.

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.


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.

Choosing the right windows and doors for your climate

Windows and Doors to match your climate

Windows provide light, fresh air and great views to the outside world, but they can also be a major source of heat transfer, making your home unbearably hot in summer and freezing cold in winter.

Recent advances in glazing materials have improved the performance of windows to the extent where choosing energy efficient windows can prevent heat transfer, significantly reducing your energy costs and make your home noticeably more comfortable.

Different climates across Australia

Australia has 8 zones ranging from hot (zone 1) to cold (zone 8).Australia has a diverse range of climates. The National Construction Code divides Australia into eight different climate zones. These climate zones can be grouped more broadly into three climate categories, which describe the predominant conditions in the area:

  • Hot Climate (zones 1, 2 & 3)
  • Mixed Climate (zones 4 & 5)
  • Cold Climate (zones 6, 7 & 8)

Hot Climate

In hot climates, cooling your home and preventing heat gain is a high priority. When choosing windows, look for types with a lower solar heat gain coefficient (SHGCw) and those that provide good ventilation such as G.James 050 Series louvres. Choose products glazed with a tinted glass or one of the high performance products from the G.James SOLECT® range.

Cold Climate

In colder climates, heating your home and preventing heat loss is the priority. Heat loss during the cooler, winter months can be reduced by installing window types with a lower U-value. Choose products that are double glazed such as G.James Twin-Glaze or ecoTHERM insulated glass units (IGUs) or one of the high performance products from the G.James SOLECT® range. Maximise the passive solar gain by choosing a glass eg clear, which has a high solar heat gain.

Mixed Climate

In a mixed climate both heating and cooling your home are important, so consider which of these is the primary concern. Depending on whether you’re looking to focus on heating or cooling, you should refer to the relevant recommendations above. If neither heating nor cooling is the priority, choose a window with a lower U-value and a mid-range solar heat gain to provide good year round performance.

Heating/Cooling Stars

You can find cooling and heating stars against all our window products in the professional centre of

Between 46%-61% of a home’s heating energy can be lost through windows, while  79%-86% of heat can be gained. Therefore improving the thermal performance of a window can massively reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. WERS (Window Energy Rating Scheme) rates the energy impact of residential windows in Australia. Energy efficiency of windows is rated using the WERS heating/cooling star system.

  • Cooling stars measure a window’s ability to retain heat within the home.
  • Heating stars measure the ability of a window to reduce the amount of heat gained from sunlight.

The aim of WERS is to help home builders and home owners evaluate the relative energy (heating and cooling) performance of different types of windows by rating that performance in terms of stars. Having no stars indicates a very poor performing window while ten stars signifies superior performance.

G.James provides a comprehensive WERS search for all G.James window products. It can be found in the professional centre of

Other Heating & Cooling Factors

Windows with large opening areas maximise opportunity for ventilation and cooling, but larger areas can reduce energy efficiency. Installing an awning or a sunshade over a window will reduce the impact of solar heat gain, and effective window configuration can also improve seasonal efficiency. Knowledge of these factors will help you make an informed choice, but an experienced local glazing professional can also help you devise a solution to suit both your preferences and local conditions.

5 key points for choosing windows & doors

Choosing Windows and Doors

On average, glass comprises around 25% of a home’s external surface. Along with providing light, ventilation and protection from the elements, this makes choosing the right windows and doors one of the most important decisions when building a home.

These five key points highlight some important aspects to consider when selecting the supplier of windows and doors in your new home.

Australian Window Association

Compliance & Certification

Is your window supplier an Australian Window Association (AWA) member?

The AWA Product Accreditation Program ensures that accredited members manufacture their windows and doors to exacting performance criteria.

AWA members are also required to produce windows and doors which meet the requirements of all relevant Australian Standards are subject to third party annual audits to ensure continuing compliance.

More information on the benefits of dealing with an AWA member can be found on the AWA website.

Colour Selection

Aluminium Colour Range

Choice of frame colour can be an effective tool in either complementing or contrasting your interior and/or exterior colour schemes.

Aluminium windows can be ordered in either powder coated (painted) or anodised finishes offering you a wide selection of colours. An example of typical colours available in anodized and powder coated aluminium can be found in the G.James Colour selector.

Your chosen finish must also be able to withstand exposure to the elements, so a reputable supplier will provide a guarantee against premature weathering of surface finishes.

Glass Selection

The correct glass selection can offer a number of benefits.

  • Reduced external noise.
  • Savings on heating and/or cooling costs.
  • Extending the life of soft furnishings.
  • Reducing glare.
  • Improving security.

The basic type of glass used depends on application – in areas where accidental impacts are a concern, toughened and laminated glass are much stronger and safer than regular annealed glass. Using annealed glass in areas where the extra strength is not of tangible benefit is however more economical.

Climate is another major factor in the selection of glass – in warmer climates toned or coated glass will offer performance benefits, whilst in cooler climates IGUs (double glazing) will improve heat retention.

The most suitable products for a home will vary on a number of factors, so you should speak to a professional to discuss your requirements.

Features and Benefits

Price should not be the only consideration in seletion of windows and doors – value should also be assessed in terms of the extra features and long term benefits offered by the product.

So before deciding on who will supply your windows, ask the following questions:

  • Does the window have a rigid PVC sill insert for weather performance and easy cleaning of the sill? A threshold (cover) in the door sill should also be present.
  • Are the flyscreens easily removed both internally and externally? This is an important feature, particularly for two storey homes.
  • Are window handles located in the centre? Handles located at the jamb (side) can be difficult to access behind curtains or operate when fully opened.
  • Do the window rollers contain stainless steel bearings, important for long term performance?
  • Are the window rollers of sufficient size? Smaller tyres can develop flat spots which causes the roller to skid along the track rather than roll.
  • Are the rollers height adjustable?

After Sales Service

In the event of faults with sliding windows, doors or associated hardware, you must be able to rely upon your supplier to rectify any issues.

A written warranty from a trustworthy and well established company gives you peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be left out of pocket if something does go wrong. It is necessary to read and understand your warranty agreement to know the conditions under which you are covered.

It is also important to choose a supplier who offers a stable product line with standardised features and parts across their products – you don’t want to be left with non-functional windows or doors because the supplier can no longer obtain the right parts. A supplier must also keep sufficient stock/parts on hand in order to rectify faults quickly.

Ask an Expert

Researching your window and door options will help you make an informed choice, but don’t hesitate to consult with an expert for help in selecting the ideal windows and doors.

An experienced local glazing professional will help you tailor a solution to suit both your preferences and local conditions.