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Creating bold architectural statements with the Planar™ / SentryGlas® System

by Phil Savage , Sales and Marketing Manager, Pilkington

At Pilkington Architectural, every day, we are talking to architects around the world. One thing they have in common is the desire to create bold architectural statements while achieving high performance functionality. All the architects we speak to want more transparency, larger pieces of glass and increased safety for their buildings.

It was architectural trends of this nature that led Pilkington, with its history of engineering excellence, to team up with DuPont, the leading supplier of laminated glass interlayers, and introduce the new Planar™/SentryGlas® system, a joint development between two market leaders. The system is a synergy of the very best our companies have to offer architects and the construction industry. It is a bolt-fixed laminated glass solution to meet tomorrow's design challenges, allowing architects to use larger panels that can bear increased snow or wind loads.

(above) The AMC Theatre façade in Century City, California, uses laminated glass supplied by W&W Glass of New York. Here, a Planar™ façade system with SentryGlas® structural interlayer allows passers-by to see into the entire inner space of the theater. The façade wall, featuring larger-than-life movie idols on its ‘invisible screen‘ is dramatically lit up at night. (Photo © W&W Glass Systems)
Architects should consider using the Planar™ / SentryGlas® system in applications from canopies and skylights to entire façades, where large panels, minimal fixings and lots of natural daylight are re-quired. Inside a shopping mall, for example, you can have the feeling of being outside by having a lightweight, seemingly invisibly-supported skylight. With cantilever canopies you can achieve a larger span because of the enhanced structural strength of SentryGlas®, in combination with Pilkington‘s advanced glass engineering.

Pilkington Planar™ has dedicated teams of engineers who work on each project where the system is used, giving a strong design input to the project. The quality and engineering ofthe Planar™ / SentryGlas® system is backed up by a 12-year warranty. One particular advantage of including SentryGlas® structural laminated glass in the system is that it retains its strength even in a post-breakage situation, making it resistant to natural disasters such as hurricanes and typhoons, or the impact from bomb blasts. The Planar™ / SentryGlas® system already meets many of the most stringent building codes, and our development program is taking us into new areas such as hurricane performance to meet Miami-Dade County (Florida) requirements and high-profile security applications.

Another reason that Pilkington selected SentryGlas® as an evolution to the Planar™ system is the incredible clarity of the interlayer, which marries well with Pilkington Optiwhite™ glass. Architects are impressed with the outstanding clarity of the Planar™ / SentryGlas® combination. It‘s a whole new step-change in clarity, compared to clear glass and PVB. Transparency is what architects ask us for more than any other single benefit. The inclusion of SentryGlas® to the Pilkington Planar™ system also makes the glass system thinner and lighter - and therefore more affordable for all.

The outstanding edge stability of SentryGlas® was another reason why Pilkington selected DuPont‘s structural interlayer for inclusion in the Planar™ system. Great edge stability is key to excellent visuals and with SentryGlas® you have no discoloration at the edges or delamination. You can have beautiful, exposed edges in exterior applications like canopies or in structural laminated glass beams, or in any façade that uses silicone and point fixings for a wonderful, frameless look.

In the future, I see architects using the Planar™ / SentryGlas® system increasingly in balustrades. Any architect who has been to the Rockefeller Center viewing platform in New York City, which has an incredible balustrade of laminated glass using SentryGlas®, will want to design balustrades like that! It is definitely a showcase for the future of balustrades! Our mission at Pilkington Architectural is to keep the Pilkington Planar™ system at the forefront of glass design technology and to continually expand the Planar™ concept. The introduction of SentryGlas® represents a great evolution of the system, moving the Planar™ concept of clutter-free, transparent glazing into even more demanding applications.