Glass Solutions

Privacy, security, daylighting and more
Catelyn Herman
November 20, 2019

Electronic access control solution from Assa Abloy.

The demand for natural daylight in the spaces where people live and work is on the rise. Natural daylight has proven to boost productivity, improve mood and enhance well-being, making it critical in workplaces, schools and health care facilities. Meanwhile, design trends have shifted from private and enclosed rooms, toward collaborative spaces that fuel discussion and transparency. Glass makes both possible. 

As a result, commercial designers and builders have sought ways to incorporate glass solutions that invite more light and fluidity into spaces. However, while glass allows for more attractive environments, the solutions available have not always been versatile enough to provide privacy and security. Recent innovations, however, have made glass more secure and attractive than ever, enabling it to be used without jeopardizing operability or customization. 

These three trends are at the forefront of glass solutions: 

1. Bigger sizes and advanced technologies

The structural flexibility of glass used to be a limitation in commercial installations. Yet today, as architects look to create open offices with high ceilings, tall glass doors are perfect for establishing separate rooms within a larger space without sacrificing a collaborative, bright feeling. And, as a result of breakthroughs in glass manufacturing technology, suppliers have found how to work with the consistency and weight of glass, making it feasible for use with larger openings and even those with significant height. Today, there is a growing range of products to support even the most ambitious of glass projects—from panic devices that enable greater safety without disrupting the aesthetic appeal of a glass door, to pivots and door closers that are durable enough to support heavy duty glass. 

2. Customization 

Traditionally, glass has been a one-size-fits-all option, with standard transparency and sterile, industrial hardware. Now, with shading and frosted glass, opportunities to modify glass design are more sophisticated than ever. Designers looking to create private spaces can instantly employ glass that fades from translucent to opaque. Beyond privacy, glass solutions that incorporate color can be of particular value in offices, schools and other commercial buildings that want to enhance corporate or school identity. Companies or schools can apply signature colors to every element of a glass solution—from the handles and door pulls to the glass itself. 

3. Security 

Glass is inherently a security tool, as visitors can be seen through doors and walls. Yet access control is still necessary to secure these openings, while allowing ease of use for authorized personnel. Today, electronic access control solutions have evolved to fit onto standing glass doors to maintain aesthetics while seamlessly integrating with existing security software. 

Catelyn Herman is senior product manager, Assa Abloy Glass Solutions.