Spandrel Glass


What is Spandrel Glass?


When people think of a building’s glass, they are generally referring to its vision glass. That is the glass that occupants look through, hence the term “vision glass” to see the outside. Many buildings also have spandrel glass, which is opaque in nature and is meant to hide certain elements of the building that are between its floors such as structural columns, slab ends, duct work, wires, and so on.

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The opacity of spandrel glass is usually achieved by adding an opacifier such as silicone-based paint or frit to the #2 surface of a single pane unit or #4 surface of a double pane unit. Spandrel glass is available in black, white, and everything in between. Muted colors like grey and navy are common, but spandrel glass is also available in vibrant colors such as yellow, orange, and red. While it contains factory flaws not acceptable with vision glass, spandrel glass generally withstands the test of time unless the opacifier is on the #1 surface where it is subject to the elements.

Spandrel Glass is Often Overlooked


Spandrel glass can comprise a large percentage of a building’s curtainwall thereby helping to form the building’s appearance, identity, and presence. Yet design trends in fashion during initial construction may not be trendy today, ultimately negatively impacting a building’s curb appeal.

A building can be rebranded and given a facelift by changing the appearance of its spandrel glass. Replacing the glass itself is costly, time consuming, and disruptive to tenants. But there is a cost-effective and less disruptive solution – 3M DI-NOC Architectural Finishes.


Value-Engineered 3M DI-NOC to the Rescue


3M’s DI-NOC Architectural Finishes are thick, durable, adhesive-backed exterior-rated vinyl films that are applied to various components of a building’s curtainwall, including its spandrel glass. Available in almost 60 exterior-rated patterns, 3M DI-NOC can transform dated spandrel glass into something new and fresh in a cost-effective way.

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