Handrail Community

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Portelet Bay - Jersey

G-Live Guildford Civic Hall

icon VIEU structural glass balustrade - the difference is clear

Regus, Berkeley Sq, London - Morgan Lovell

Greengate Footbridge, Manchester - Carillion Plc

Audi Showroom, Birmingham - Talbot Design

Saatchi Gallery, London - Sir Robert McAlpine

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icon VIEU structural glass balustrade - the difference is clear

Middlesex University LRC - Fitzpatrick Contractors


Architects and Specifiers have gained access to invaluable expertise in glass engineering through the introduction of our pioneering Architectural handrail and balustrade system. VIEU is an intelligent system solution for structural glass balustrading based on a modular range of handrails and associated fittings. In a complex and predominantly bespoke marketplace, VIEU offers logical predetermined specifications for high end structural glass requirements.

Technical Performance

VIEU has been developed in accordance with the design criteria specified in BS6180:2011 and side loading requirements for all building use categories can be accommodated including the 3kN/m horizontal UDL designated for areas susceptible to overcrowding. Internal and external specifications are available as the Stainless Steel fittings can be supplied in 1.4301 (304) and 1.4401 (316) grade variants. Curved configurations can be considered and special adaptations of the system are often incorporated to suit the individual needs or preferences of each project.

Glass Specification

12,15,19 or 25 thick monolithic toughened glass or laminated structural equivalents, each panel Kite Mark badged in bottom left hand corner to EN 12150 1C1 with square cut or nominal radiussed corners, flat arrissed and polished edges all round.

Toughened Glass

Toughened glass is created by heating annealed glass to a temperature of around 620oC, the panels are then quickly ejected from the furnace and their surface blasted with jets of cooled air. Whilst the surface of the glass is instantly cooled the centre of the panel remains relatively hot, taking longer for the heat to be dispersed. As the centre gradually cools down it also contracts and pulls the outer surfaces inwards creating permanent compression while the centre remains under tension. It is these opposing forces which make toughened glass 4 - 5 times stronger than the same thickness annealed glass. In the event of a breakage, toughened glass to EN 12150 1C1 fragments into small relatively harmless pieces with dulled edges, minimising the risk of serious injury.

Low Iron Glass

Whilst structural glass balustrades are chosen for their minimalism and visual subtlety it is possible to reduce their presence even further. Standard clear float glass has an inherent green cast which is more prominent in the thicker glasses required for balustrading. A Low Iron glass is available which offers a noticeably clearer and almost colourless panel. Samples and prices are available upon request.



Nickel sulphide inclusions appear infrequently in toughened glass and although this does not usually present any problems, in remote circumstances they can cause a panel to shatter spontaneously. Nickel and sulphur impurities can exist within the raw materials used to make glass and if present in a toughened panel they change state when heated in the furnace to form nickel sulphide crystals. Even after the glass has cooled it can be several years before the crystals return to their original state but in doing so they grow by up to 4% and this increase in size can be sufficient to cause a stress failure if the inclusion happens to be in a critical location within the glass panel. As a precaution the glass can be Heatsoaked which involves placing the panels in a special oven and over a period of several hours, subjecting the glass to a heat of 295oC. This process accelerates the change in state of any nickel sulphide crystals and causes these panels to break in the oven with the remaining panels being less likely to fail in service. Glass used for VIEU can be Heatsoaked and prices are available upon request.

Silk Screen Printing

12 & 15mm thick glass can be decorated using ceramic paints to RAL or Pantone® colours. Standard manifestations or special designs are screen printed and then fired onto the panel surface during the toughening process - please ask for further details.

on line

Subscribers to NBS can compile specifications within the NBS Plus software package or alternatively, generic specification templates can be downloaded from the Specifier section. VIEU literature can be viewed and downloaded on line via the link from our Home Page, printed copies can be requested by email or by calling our Sales Dept. on 01634 817800. Within the Specifier section, AutoCAD drawings of each solution are available to download although you are required to become a member of the Handrail Community to obtain a password for this facility - please complete the form in the Login/Register section.