In today's Explainer, we take a look at spandrel glass. Spandrel is often used in the construction industry as a visual separator in a building's glazing system.
The term 'spandrel' refers to the space between two architectural boundaries, such as the triangular piece of wall between an archway and the corner of that wall. More recently, however, spandrel has also come to indicate an opaque or translucent glass panel separating two windows, a feature typically found on mid-rises and highrises. Since many modern buildings are constructed with a glass facade—a cladding system that maximizes views and entering light—the use of spandrel glass allows for opaque elements to be introduced while maintaining the glass exterior.
Spandrel is designed to hide existing building material components such as electrical systems between floors, walls, and ceilings. Ceramic frit and silicone elastomeric paint are the most commonly used products to ensure the glass is opaque or translucent. The glass, which must be heat treated, can be colour customized as a decorative or contrasting feature or to match the surrounding window wall.
Have any other construction and development related terms that you would like to see featured on Explainer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!