It seems an anomaly – a glass roof on a large outdoor entertaining pavilion in an earthquake zone, with large fins that open and close.
But that’s exactly what has been designed and built on this Christchurch project, which has just won a major design award.
The project, by Glassforce, has won the Window and Glass Association New Zealand 2018 Design Award for Glass Innovation, and it’s easy to see why.
Henry Blakely Landscapes
2018 Design Award for Glass Innovation
But this project is not just about grand aesthetics. It’s also about safety, and a new system that allows such a structure to be built in an earthquake zone.
David Clephane of Glassforce says it is all down to the Davantech Bonding technology developed by the company over the past six years.
“It was prompted by the Christchurch rebuild. We wanted to create a fully compliant engineered glass solution that could be applied to many different applications, including use in a seismic zone.”
The company’s solution was to bypass the standard mechanical fixing of the glass to a substructure, and use a bonding substance that effectively glues the element together so strongly, the bond will last for 100 years – it is not subject to UV degeneration.
For this project, Glassforce first manufactured the stainless steel end supports which required precise fabrication to allow the glass to fit exactly into the support bearings.
The glass was then bonded onto the stainless end supports, which means there are no mechanical fixings, and this is the reason the system can be used in seismic areas: the bonding eliminates the need for holes in the glass and point load, which would compromise the integrity of the glass. It also creates a seismic separation with support of the dead load.
In announcing the winner of the Glass Innovation award, the judging panel said: “The massively oversized glass louvres create a delightful space for alfresco dining. This is a clever and brave adaptation of an otherwise common device.”
Clephane says the bonding system is a comprehensively tested and engineered solution that’s “not only good, but also safe”. “Even a tiny bonding area the size of the top of your finger can handle an 80kg load.”
Glassforce says its Davantech invention is in high demand and has resulted in specified work from all over New Zealand, parts of Australia, the United States and Europe.
“From an architectural point of view, there are so many applications. The technology is ideal for canopies, glass roofs, glass balustrades, windows and curved glass and structural glass walls, as well as internal partitioning and doors, and suspended glass features. We’re pretty excited about the potential.”
Clephane says Davantech Bonding has been patented and trademarked, and installed by recognised licence holders.