Glass and Metals 201: A Guide to Glazing Specifications

Katy Devlin
April 3, 2017

Editor's note: The six-part series “All About Glass and Metal: A Guide to Glazing for Architects and Specifiers” provides an in-depth look at specification and design for glass and glazing. The series begins with “Glass and Metals 101: An Introductory Guide to Glazing for Architects and Specifiers,” and continues through “Glass and Metals 601: The Architect’s Guide to Complex Façades.” The following pages present an update to part two of the series, “Glass and Metals 201: A Guide to Glazing Specifications.” To download the complete guide, which also addresses topics including interior glass, protective glazing and building orientation, visit

More than 2,500 linear feet of glass guard rails on stairs, walkways and floor ledges highlight the 10-story atrium of the new U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles. To meet new, more stringent code requirements for glass rail systems, architects from SOM specified laminated glass for the project. C.R. Laurence Co. supplied its Taper-Loc system, with 13/16-inch laminated glass fabricated by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. Golden Glass served as the glazing contractor, and Clark Construction as the general contractor. Photo by Hunter Kerhart.

Designing a building demands architects think big picture. Writing specifications for those buildings, on the other hand, requires incredible attention to the smallest detail. “Glass and Metals 201” is an introductory guide to help architects tackle the challenges in developing accurate glass and glazing specifications.

This guide presents common errors, general tips, resources, and an updated list of common glass and glazing standards and test methods. It also addresses the more complex task of specifying fire-rated glass and glazing products.

Part 1 - Spec Watch: Common errors and how to avoid them
Part 2 - Fire-rated Trends and Specification Changes
Part 3 - Standards and Test Methods; Resources

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Katy Devlin is editor for Glass Magazine. E-mail Katy at