Vitro Glass Makes Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore Sparkle

Glass Magazine
August 30, 2019
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION
The new Changi airport in Singapore features many Vitro Architectural Glass products. 

The design team for Jewel Changi airport in Singapore specified Vitro Architectural Glass products, including Solarban 72 Starphire Ultra-Clear and Solarban 70 solar control, low-emissivity glasses, according to the company. The airport features a multi-faceted glass dome covering 1.7 million square feet of terraced gardens, retail and restaurant space, lodging, terminal operations, a suspended glass-bottomed bridge and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

Designed by Safdie Architects, Cambridge, Massachusetts, the $1.2 billion structure incorporates more than 550,000 square feet of Solarban 70 glass, which was selected for its combination of transparency and solar control, as well as its ability to support plant life, deflect and absorb radar signals, and to fulfill the specific acoustical demands of one of the world’s busiest airports, say company officials.

Throughout construction of the building, which took nearly five years to complete, representatives of Vitro Glass worked with numerous consultants who prescribed specific tolerances for radar-absorption, radar-signal reflectivity, noise insulation, glare mitigation, light transmittance and overall occupant comfort.

The glass dome, which consists of a continuous grid shell supported by 14 ring-like columns and ring beam at the roof’s edge, extends more than 650 feet across its longest span. GnT Glass Co., based in Guangdong Province, China, fabricated more than 9,000 triangles of double-glazed Solarban 70 glass, with no more than two units shaped precisely the same way. A 16-millimeter air space between the two panels in the insulating glass units was specified to insulate against aircraft noise.

The Jewel also features two glass-walled pedestrian bridges. They were fabricated by Wujiang Golden Glass Technologies of China’s Jiangsu Province with Solarban 72 triple-silver low-E coating over Starphire Ultra-Clear glass, a transparent architectural glass.

Annissa Flickinger, international architectural manager, Vitro Architectural Glass, says Solarban 70 glass was specified for the dome after a rigorous evaluation process. “There was a lot of competition for this project,” she says. “After all the testing was done, the architect determined that Solarban 70 glass was the best fit. The legacy we established with other high-profile international airports, such as Suvarnabhum International Airport in Bangkok and Queen Alia Airport in Amman, further confirmed their trust in us.”

In a standard 1-inch IGU with clear glass, Solarban 70 glass has visible light transmittance of 64 percent and solar hear gain coefficient of 0.27. Solarban 72 Starphire glass has a VLT of 68 percent and a SHGC of 0.28 in the same configuration.