Large glass is a growing architectural trend, all around the world. It’s popularity has risen with the technology to produce massive pieces of glass and the knowledge to install them. In commercial applications, the windows allow unfettered views into stores and shop space, elegantly showcasing products and drawing customers in. Within the residential market it grants stunning views out and across landscapes and helps bring the outdoors inside, while keeping the elements and pests at bay.
When a contractor working on the redevelopment of a luxury home North of Toronto needed to have a window replaced- they called Explore1. The window was a massive, twenty by nine and a half foot, IG Unit (Insulated Glass); it weighed over two thousand, two hundred pounds. The previous unit which had been installed much earlier in the construction process had an interior pane shatter due to a rare nickel sulphide inclusion. An inclusion like this is a small impurity which can occur in tempered glass, as the pane ages the impurity slowly changes state and can lead to breaking.
Explore1 had been asked to determine a safe and efficient way to secure and remove the existing piece of broken glass, then install the new piece with as little effort as possible. Our experience with this type of scenario, the tools we designed and our technicians were all a perfect match.
With all of our jobs, we begin by assessing the scenario limitations, our capabilities and the risks. As a crane rental was required to complete this task, we wanted to minimize cost to the client. We modelled the install to help visualize the process, incorporating the site restrictions to help ensure a smooth, cost effective installation.
There are risks with handling huge pieces of glass and large IG units. To complete the job in the most effective way, we elected to use our counterbalance lifter. If you search the internet and find how other companies install large pieces of glass. You’ll find some very interesting approaches and methods. Unfortunately, with these approaches comes risk; putting the installers and glass in jeopardy. Haphazard methods where installers are exerting a lot of effort can lead to error due to exhaustion. Dangerous movement with the glass can cause loss.
Explore1 developed the world’s first counterbalance suction cup lifter back in 2003 and has been using and refining it for the past 12 years. The importance of this lifter for installing jumbo glass cannot be understated. For this job, we were able to pick up and float the damaged unit out of the frame, placing it next to the disposal point to help save human traffic around the property. We then picked up and gently placed the new IG unit in without issue.
What is important to know when installing large tempered glass you do not want it to touch anything, with the exception of the installer’s tools and the setting blocks. If you are not careful during installation, you risk hitting the frame, the ground and any other hard object that might cause it to shatter. With our counterbalance lifter, we are able to precisely and carefully place the large glass in the opening, minimizing the risk of breakage. Absolutely critical because if you shatter a piece of glass on any suction cups lifter, it could release and cause injury.
With this job site we were able to have the glass installed in an efficient manner. We didn’t have to fight with any aspect of the removal or installation. It was executed safely, to our own and our clients satisfaction.
For more information about how we install massive pieces of glass, feel free to call our office at (905) 669-9911.
The video below highlights this installation job.