Glass Regulations in Australia
Glass is fine material that enhances the beauty of your home or building. Modern buildings find good use for glass in window panes, partitions, etc. Nevertheless, glass is a delicate material that breaks easily, posing danger to humans. As such, there are stringent rules governing the usage of glass in the building industry in Australia. The Australian Government and the building industry have come up with a set of standards for the use of glass in Australian buildings and homes. Adherence to these standards is essential in order to ensure the safety of human life.
Australian Glass Regulation Standard 1288-2006 deals with the use of glass in buildings:
This standard deals with the use of tiled glass and window films in buildings. It indicates the type of glass that can be used in specific areas of the building. It also covers other specifications like the strength of the glass, wind loads on glass, the human impact on glass, etc.
Australian Glass Regulation Standards make sure that the glass being used in the building is classified as safety glass that does not break easily. Even if the glass shatters, it happens in a safe manner without causing harm to people. Safety glass may be toughened, organic coated, coated with safety film or laminated. Low level windows, shop fronts, glass doors, glass partitions and other areas with human movement make use of safety glass. It is also used in schools, bathrooms, old age homes and such other public areas.
Any glass that meets the above mentioned criteria and used in the specified areas stated in the standard must be labelled as ‘Safety Glass’. The glass installer must also provide AS2208 compliance sticker that needs to be affixed permanently on to the glass pane. The customer may also request for a separate certificate to that effect.
Glass visibility is dealt with in AS 1288 (Clause 6.6 of AS 1428.1) of the Australian Glass Standards. According to this standard, the glass used in buildings and homes must not be so transparent that people fail to notice it and simply walk through. Glass installers are required to place a semi-transparent strip of film on the glass pane. This strip can contain a design or company logo or any other decor of the customer’s choice. Check out Clause 5.19 of As 1288 for more details.
Section 1428.1 pertains to glass used in areas of the building meant for people with disabilities. These requirements are different from those meant for other areas of the building.
Australian Glass Regulation Standard AS 1288 and AS/NZS 2208:1996 covers glass glazing:
This section deals with the properties and selection of glazed glass for use in buildings and homes in Australia. It covers various types of glass like toughened glass, laminated glass, wired glass, plastic glass, organic coated glass, etc. It stipulates standards for ageing performance, human impact tolerance and weathering of such glass.
Heat waves and cyclonic storms are a regular feature of the Australian climate. The glass used in buildings in Australia must be strong enough to withstand strong cyclonic winds and offer protection from intense heat waves. Section AS/NZS 1170.2 stipulates the minimum safety requirements glass should comply with in relation to cyclonic winds.
Energy Efficiency for Glass
Building Code of Australia (BCA) deals with the energy efficiency in residences and commercial establishments. The materials used in construction of the structure have a major impact on the energy efficiency, in fact, windows and window films are an important part of your energy saving efforts. Solar control window films can reduce your energy bills to a great extent.
BCA and BASIX lay down standards for thermal efficiency calculation of the structure. The calculation takes into account the type of materials used for windows, floor, roof as well as the structural shape and location. The results of these calculations help arrive at the U-value and SHGC. It is important to know these values before selecting the glass or applying any film to the glass that will be used in the building since window glass and film plays a major role in maintaining energy efficiency.
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