Beyond Design: High Performance Structural Glazing

There is an increasing demand for bolder and creative façade design with more natural lighting, while improving the insulation properties and energy efficiency of the building and its façade. Glass comes thus as an answer to these demands, along with the improvement of structural glazing as a whole.

Innovative façade products for every demand

New specifications call for high-tech products which must meet highly specific demands and guarantee peak performance in every respect.

Sika supplies a wide range of innovative façade products for every demand, with proven durability, compatibility with diverse substrates, strength, flexibility, as well as temperature and UV resistance. Sika supplies also compatible weather sealants and glazing tapes.

Of course structural glazing (SG) joints for glazed façade elements and insulating glass (IG) must be properly dimensioned in order to withstand the loads such as from wind, climate and glass load. The Sika Joint Calculator tool is a useful guide, delivering fast and promptly the dimension of the joints.

Case study: Structural Glazing optimization for a high-rise tower project

The higher strength of the adhesives has an enormous impact on the design and on savings of material consumptions, by allowing slimmer connection and profile sections. To illustrate how important innovation in the design of structural glazing systems can be, two systems are analysed for a 170 m high-rise tower project in Central Asia, with 60’000 m2, a wind load of 7 kPa and glass dimensions of 1.2 x 3.0 m:


Old system vs New system

Old system, with standard products vs. new system - optimized using high strength Sika silicone adhesives

High-strength silicone adhesives: Saving Costs, Materials and Impacts

For the analysed project, the relative savings of using Sikasil® SG-550 and Sikasil® IG-25 HM Plus high-strength silicone adhesives compared to the standard products are thus:

  • 55% Structural glazing (SG) joints
  • 25% Insulated glass (IG) joints
  • 55% Spacer tape
  • 10% Aluminium material for frame
  • 20% Aluminium frame width and thus less energy loss

Just the gains in SG and IG joints correspond to 39 tons of silicone adhesives. This corresponds to an avoided carbon footprint of more than 100 tons CO2-eq and an avoided cumulative energy demand of over 3’000 GJ. Additionally, there are also relevant savings from reducing the amount of aluminium and polyurethane spacer tape.

The Sika solution not only brings a relevant quantitative contribution to a sustainable high performance structural glazing solution, but it also helps fulfil the customer requirements from an economic and technical point of view