Glass Fin Support

Fin supported glass walls offer the most transparency in single or double glazed walls as the support structure holding up the large panels of glass is very minimal. Stella fins are generally made of glass (for maximum transparency) but we could also create fins made of aluminum or steel upon request.

Fin supported glass walls offer the most transparency in single or double glazed walls as the support structure holding up the large panels of glass is very minimal. Stella fins are generally made of glass (for maximum transparency) but we could also create fins made of aluminum or steel upon request.

3 COMMON SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT A GLASS FIN WALL
You dream it up – we can create the system to support it. While we can (and love to) create wildly imaginative support structures for point supported glass fin walls –the following are a few of our most popular systems.Short descriptions of each system follow but we’re happy to supply more info should you need it, as well as providing recommendations about which system would work best for your application…just give us a call.

BASE SUPPORT - SUPPORTING A GLASS FIN WALL FROM THE BOTTOM UPLIKELY THE MOST TYPICAL SUPPORT SYSTEM
Likely the most common support system, the weight of the glass (and some of the wind loads) are carried to the floor (base) below. As there’s minimal weight on the overhead (or top) support structure, an advantage to this system is that there are few concerns about the strength of the top support structure and how much weight the top can support - this makes the Base Support Option an easier choice for most buildings.

Movement between the slabs at the base can be a potential issue - we’ve got you covered by creating a slotted connector at the head joint (at the top of the wall) that will allow slab movement to take place (without putting strain on the glass that might cause breakage).

TOP HUNG SUPPORTGLASS FINS HUNG FROM THE TOP OF THE STRUCTURE
Top Hung fin support systems means the weight is carried from the structure from above with the wind loads carried by the slab above and below. A benefit of this system is that it reduces the bucklingGenerally referred to in fin or tension truss design the glass will collapse due to compression effect on the glass fin; this system also allows for a more efficient glass engineering system. A disadvantage is that as the weight of the glass is carried by the top structure, the top structure must be quite strong to support the loads – this is an issue that should be addressed in pre-design.

As the vertical movement between the slabs is taken up at the base and around the doors, weather sealed slip channels need to be provided on this system. These channels keep the glass in place and stop the glass from swinging out as well as preventing the rain and water from getting into the building around the perimeter.

A VARIATION OF THE TOP HUNG SYSTEMCANTILEVERED FIN SYSTEM
The Cantilevered Fin System is similar to a top hung system with the fin being fixed to the structure above; the difference is that a cantilevered fin is shorter than the height of the wall and doesn’t extend all the way to the floor. The cantilever fin generally stops at a natural sightline in the upper portion of the wall. With no base support to distribute loads through, the glass fins must be thicker than the glass fins used in top hung and bottom support systems.

The weight of the glass and all the wind load would both be carried by the structure above - when designing the structural support system - it’s important to consider these loads and ensure the surrounding structure is strong enough.

COMMON COMPONENTS OF GLASS FIN SYSTEMSNOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL
No matter how you decide to support the glass fins (from the base or top down) - there are some common elements of a glass fin system.

On every system - there is a head connector that connects the glass fin to the top of the support structure. We’ll work with you to ensure the correct connector is designed so that it will move per the exact patterns of your project and reduce the glass strain that might cause breakage.

Just as there is a head connection, there’s also a base connection (except with Cantilevered Fin). This is firmly fixed through the floor finishes onto the structure below Again, we’ll work with you to ensure the base connection will meet the exact dimensions needed for your building.

If you want to push the design envelope and create an even higher glass wall, we can help you too. There can be restrictions to the height of glass fins produced - if your wall is higher than the glass can be made, we’ll create fin splice plates that joins two pieces of glass together to create a longer fin.

IN THE EARLY DESIGN DAYS, PLEASE CONSIDER
Layout and Spacing of Glass Fins
We generally recommend that spacing between the fins doesn’t exceed 2 metres. We also suggest that a maximum glass panel size doesn’t exceed 2m by 1.8m but can work with you to come up with alternatives to this sizing.

Products Used

A plate connecting glass fin to ceiling structure
StellaCustom
A plate connecting glass fin to floor
StellaCustom
A plate connecting two pieces of glass fins together
StellaCustom
Heavy-duty 4 arm spider with articulating glass bolts (Side-mounted)

Fin supported glass walls offer the most transparency in single or double glazed walls as the support structure holding up the large panels of glass is very minimal. Stella fins are generally made of glass (for maximum transparency) but we could also create fins made of aluminum or steel upon request.

3 COMMON SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT A GLASS FIN WALL
You dream it up – we can create the system to support it. While we can (and love to) create wildly imaginative support structures for point supported glass fin walls –the following are a few of our most popular systems.Short descriptions of each system follow but we’re happy to supply more info should you need it, as well as providing recommendations about which system would work best for your application…just give us a call.

BASE SUPPORT - SUPPORTING A GLASS FIN WALL FROM THE BOTTOM UPLIKELY THE MOST TYPICAL SUPPORT SYSTEM
Likely the most common support system, the weight of the glass (and some of the wind loads) are carried to the floor (base) below. As there’s minimal weight on the overhead (or top) support structure, an advantage to this system is that there are few concerns about the strength of the top support structure and how much weight the top can support - this makes the Base Support Option an easier choice for most buildings.

Movement between the slabs at the base can be a potential issue - we’ve got you covered by creating a slotted connector at the head joint (at the top of the wall) that will allow slab movement to take place (without putting strain on the glass that might cause breakage).

TOP HUNG SUPPORTGLASS FINS HUNG FROM THE TOP OF THE STRUCTURE
Top Hung fin support systems means the weight is carried from the structure from above with the wind loads carried by the slab above and below. A benefit of this system is that it reduces the bucklingGenerally referred to in fin or tension truss design the glass will collapse due to compression effect on the glass fin; this system also allows for a more efficient glass engineering system. A disadvantage is that as the weight of the glass is carried by the top structure, the top structure must be quite strong to support the loads – this is an issue that should be addressed in pre-design.

As the vertical movement between the slabs is taken up at the base and around the doors, weather sealed slip channels need to be provided on this system. These channels keep the glass in place and stop the glass from swinging out as well as preventing the rain and water from getting into the building around the perimeter.

A VARIATION OF THE TOP HUNG SYSTEMCANTILEVERED FIN SYSTEM
The Cantilevered Fin System is similar to a top hung system with the fin being fixed to the structure above; the difference is that a cantilevered fin is shorter than the height of the wall and doesn’t extend all the way to the floor. The cantilever fin generally stops at a natural sightline in the upper portion of the wall. With no base support to distribute loads through, the glass fins must be thicker than the glass fins used in top hung and bottom support systems.

The weight of the glass and all the wind load would both be carried by the structure above - when designing the structural support system - it’s important to consider these loads and ensure the surrounding structure is strong enough.

COMMON COMPONENTS OF GLASS FIN SYSTEMSNOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL
No matter how you decide to support the glass fins (from the base or top down) - there are some common elements of a glass fin system.

On every system - there is a head connector that connects the glass fin to the top of the support structure. We’ll work with you to ensure the correct connector is designed so that it will move per the exact patterns of your project and reduce the glass strain that might cause breakage.

Just as there is a head connection, there’s also a base connection (except with Cantilevered Fin). This is firmly fixed through the floor finishes onto the structure below Again, we’ll work with you to ensure the base connection will meet the exact dimensions needed for your building.

If you want to push the design envelope and create an even higher glass wall, we can help you too. There can be restrictions to the height of glass fins produced - if your wall is higher than the glass can be made, we’ll create fin splice plates that joins two pieces of glass together to create a longer fin.

IN THE EARLY DESIGN DAYS, PLEASE CONSIDER
Layout and Spacing of Glass Fins
We generally recommend that spacing between the fins doesn’t exceed 2 metres. We also suggest that a maximum glass panel size doesn’t exceed 2m by 1.8m but can work with you to come up with alternatives to this sizing.