Owing to its extensive range of physical and chemical properties, glass has become one of the most desirable construction materials in commercial space. According to Brandessence Market Research, the global construction glass market is expected to reach $66.83 billion in 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.15% from 2020 to 2026.
What drives this raging demand for glass? Several factors such as the increasing growth of the global construction industry, advancement in the glass industry, and a call for energy-efficient temperature control contribute to its rising popularity.
For any business to survive and achieve its ultimate goals, continuous research and development are essential. At the same time, the workspace needs to be sustainable and encouraging enough to enhance employees’ productivity. With innovations in technology, glass has become a more durable and attractive material in many sectors, be it residential, furnishing, or any other commercial construction. It is now being used as insulation material, structural component, external glazing material, cladding material, and in many other forms. Apart from being versatile, it offers the space a professional look.
Types of Glass Used In Commercial Spaces:
- Float Glass
- Shatterproof Glass
- Laminated Glass
- Extra Clear Glass
- Chromatic Glass
- Tinted Glass
- Toughened Glass
- Glass Blocks
- Glass Wool
- High-performance Glass
The usage of glass in commercial spaces is increasing day by day because of its distinct features. Some prominent reasons why glass is desirable in commercial spaces are as follows:
Creates A Spacious Ambience
Glass is translucent; it produces a pleasant and roomy spatial atmosphere. Hence, the use of glass walls and doors offers a spacious ambiance for small cabins in commercial spaces. Moreover, glass enclosures allow easy passage of light to the building to maintain the brightness inside. It has the capacity to transmit about 80% of the natural light.
Large wall-length panes let ample sunlight enter the building and help access the richness of the external views. Installing insulated skylight glasses illuminates the entire space without overheating the interiors. Businesses with product showrooms benefit considerably from such natural lighting that highlights their displays.
2. Durable and Versatile Material
Contrary to its fragile appearance, glass is much stronger than most metals, with a theoretical tensile strength estimated at 14 to 35 gigapascals. It bears the ability to undergo reversible compression without fracture.
While standard glass is breakable and brittle, modern reinforced and strengthened glazing technology is used to temper glass and increase its modulus of rupture (shatter resistance under load). Such safety-tempered glass is 5 times stronger and is moldable for different applications. Considering its scratch resistance quality and low maintenance requirements, glass is a popular choice for commercial buildings.
A malleable glass can be blown, drawn, and pressed into any shape. It is a versatile material with multiple uses, ranging from general glazing to wall systems, doors, partitions, and other furniture. Apart from strength and flexibility, it is an excellent heat and electrical insulator. The material contains oxygen atoms with high electronegativity, which bind electrons strongly, making it an insulator. Due to these physical properties, glass is a go-to material for architects and manufacturers, artists, and decorators.
3. Keeps Transparency and Privacy
It is often assumed that transparency is synonymous with the visible light transmission or VLT. However, not all natural light transmission paths are transparent. Some could be translucent, obscure, ornamental, decorated, or others.
The main advantage of choosing extra clear glass partitions, doors, and windows is that they offer greater transparency in commercial facilities such as offices, shopping malls, showrooms, research centers, etc. If you decide to install transparent glass, your employees will feel more monitored and accountable, thus increasing productivity. Managers will be able to oversee numerous employees at once. It also encourages collaboration and openness among your staff and clients. Choosing an open floor plan finished with glass interiors means you end up paying less square footage.
At the same time, commercial buildings use patterned or frosted glass to allow light in but maintain privacy. Frosted glass provides a blurry effect, which helps ensure privacy and security in hospitals, clinics, cash counters, or even corporate offices. Tinted glass is especially incorporated to prevent intense glare from harming eyes. Some companies add frosted or tinted glass to increase style and function.
4. Energy-efficient, Sustainable, Weatherproof
High-performance glasses such as low-emissivity glass, solar-control glass, and solar low-E glass are capable of blocking the sun’s harsh rays during summer and trapping the heat inside in the winter. This type of glass saves energy consumption and lower HVAC bills, as well as comes under the LEED rating system which enhances the building’s reputation.
The U-value of glass is the measurement of heat transferred through the windows. The lower the U- value, the higher the insulation. Even in warmer places like Saudi Arabia, new facade glazing techniques are considered to reduce the heating and blinding glare of the mirrored skyscraper city. Not just that, because of its weather-resistant properties, glass doesn’t get affected whether it’s raining, sunny, or windy.
As glass is the only material that can be recycled multiple times without losing quality, it is a highly sustainable choice. By saving energy costs and consumption, businesses make profits and show their commitment to the environment.
5. High Customization and Low Maintenance
Commercial buildings have plenty of options for customizing glass materials according to their requirements and function. Glass settings are often enhanced with some wooden, aluminum, or other metallic frames to get better results in terms of durability and appearance. Professionals come up with different designs of interior elements to be worked upon. They create well-equipped and modernized designs of various settings to craft out of glass materials.
Not only walls and doors, but commercial places have a huge demand for furniture made of glass. They give a unique and modern look to the office interior, and they are quite easy to maintain as well. You do not need painting and polishing to get the perfect look, just a gentle cleanup is enough to have a refreshing elegance. Additionally, companies emphasize their logo or motto by etching panels or windows.
6. Acoustic Barrier
Another benefit is noise reduction in the workplace. Acoustic laminated glass, manufactured by bonding two layers of glass panes together, contains a PVB (Polyvinyl Butyral) film interlayer that acts as an acoustic membrane and prevents the transmission of sound.
In fact, a double-glazed glass can achieve an airborne sound insulation index value of 50 dB. For this reason, glass walls and partitions are chosen for commercial spaces to build a sound barrier and make way for uninterrupted focus during work hours.
7. Positive Work Environment
Research says that natural sunlight and views have several positive effects on the mental and emotional well-being of the occupants of the building. Even on a gloomy day, natural light and views of a green environment can improve moods and reduce stress. In a research conducted by an HR advisory firm Future Workplace called ‘The Employee Experience’, it was found that among 1,614 North American employees, around 78% of employees said access to natural light and views improves their well-being and 70% of employees report improved work performance.
That is why we usually spot expansive windows and floor-to-ceiling glass walls in most commercial facilities. It produces an open feel, which improves the work environment and employee productivity. Even it is not an issue to maintain the freshness of the glass walls as compared to the thick painted walls made of bricks.
Glass is a multi-purpose material that offers a modernized look to the building, saves energy costs, and has many options for customization positioning it as a desirable material among business owners. With proper planning, architects and engineers can design an optimal commercial glass building that is environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
The glass industry has gone up significantly over time due to such overwhelming demands from all over the world. For any business organization to grow and develop continuously for a long time, it needs to consider different trends in different periods and go accordingly.