Engineered Glass Systems: The Driving Force in Architectural Glass R&D Today

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Decorative Glass Manufacturers Ramp Up Development of Easy-to-Use Systems

Architectural glass manufacturers, such as Bendheim, are increasingly focusing R&D efforts on developing engineered glass systems for interior and exterior applications. We attribute the shift to several macro drivers: the demand for easy-to-specify products; the need for quick-install glass systems; the emergence of circular design; and growing R&D investment to succeed in an increasingly competitive industry.

Demand for Easy-to-Specify Products

Integrated, single-source glass systems simplify the specification process. Having Bendheim provide the glass, hardware, drawings, and warranty lowers the perceived risk to design professionals and clients. As a project partner, we have become more involved in the early stages of the design process to ensure our glass systems meet performance and budget requirements. For example, we custom-designed the 1 Hudson Yards glass crown to install safely from the rooftop, instead of 33 stories up on the outside of the building.

1 Hudson Yards | High-Rise Glass Crown

One Hudson Yards Tower by Davis Brody Bond. Photo by Said Elieh.

“It’s important for us to be involved early in the decision-making process. It allows us to take on more responsibility during the planning of these projects. Ultimately, we want to help ensure the building looks and performs its best.” – Said Elieh, Bendheim Director of Technical Design.


A Need for Quick-Install Glass Systems

Building design is becoming increasingly dynamic, requiring frequent updates to facades and interiors. We are responding by developing glass cladding systems that are easy to install and can completely transform the aesthetic of the building, inside and out. Our new clip-supported glass systems offer installation and maintenance savings by substituting time-consuming adhesives and glass drilling with quick-install compression fittings.

Glass Parking - 1 South Halsted, Chicago

1 South Halsted Parking Structure, Chicago, IL by FitzGerland Associates. Photo by Derek Larsen.

Circular Design

The idea that building systems should be designed for ease of disassembly is growing in recognition. Bendheim’s new interior and exterior glass cladding systems are North America’s first tested systems to implement fully-reversible mechanical connections. The patented compression clips eliminate the use of adhesives. Thus, glass panels can be easily moved, removed, or repurposed to facilitate demolition-free facelifts with minimal environmental impact.

Growing R&D Investment by Specialty Glass Suppliers

Architectural glass is becoming increasingly specialized and ornamental. The trend, having started on the interior of the building, is now migrating to the exterior. We have quadrupled our decorative glass facade business over the past year, due in part to our reputation for specialty interior glass. We have also developed a range of engineered glass solutions, including several non-traditional point-supported systems for glass rainscreens and ventilated facades, as well as our TurnKey™ interior glass cladding system. Currently in development are quick-install systems for dry-erase marker boards.


TurnKey™ wall featuring back-lit translucent white glass (left) and Wall-H clip system featuring etched glass (right)

About Bendheim

Bendheim is one of the world’s foremost resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York City in 1927, the fourth-generation, family-owned company offers a virtually unlimited range of in-stock and custom architectural glass varieties. Bendheim develops, fabricates, and distributes its products worldwide. The company maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in New York City