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An appraisal of structural glass wall systems with emphasis on spider fitting details

Büyükkılıç, Salih Gökhan
The technological and innovational developments in steel and glass industries has enabled designers to create completely transparent façades. Building façade articulations designed to attain maximum transparency, have thus been executed with the contribution of elegant steel supporting systems, having heavy load bearing capacities, by minimizing the dimensions of structural systems. The aim of this study was to define, analyze and evaluate the accumulated knowledge on structural glass wall systems in general, with particular emphasis on those that may be denoted as spiderة glass fitting elements for potential applications, to formulate a design guide for professional designers. Hence, the primary elements of the system; the support structure, glass, glass connection joints and the other secondary elements have been evaluated within the architectural context. In the second part of the study, glass connection fitting elements were examined. Additionally the products developed by the manufacturing firms and commonly used in various projects were evaluated. Thereafter, whole document, data, photos of the spider fittings were combined in a spider fitting selection table, prepared and created by the author, which describes the types of spider fittings in detail. Finally, technical adequacy, experience, level of organization and workmanship within the context of Turkey, to evaluate the level of knowledge, were studied. In this regard, the glass wall facade the Akman Condomunium Business Center-Medicorium building, constructed with local materials and local manufacturing companies, was examined and compared with the Boeing Headquarters building in USA, which was constructed with a similair glass wall facade system.