A glass canopy or entrance is, quite literally, an attractive addition to any building, creating an eye-catching focal point that draws people to the entryway. Indeed, the most significant function of a glass canopy or entrance is to project an image of the function of a building, or its occupant. The desired image often governs the scale of the canopy or entrance, the choice of materials and the views into the building that if affords. However, aside from their aesthetic appeal, glass canopies & entrances also offer several practical benefits, especially during the colder months of the year.
Regardless of the type of building in which it is installed, a glass canopy or entrance maximises the amount of natural sunlight that enters the building, creating a lighter, brighter atmosphere inside. As the nights, close in after the autumn equinox, making the most of daylight reduces the need for artificial light which, in turn, results in energy savings and carbon reductions, as well as creating a more pleasant environment in which to live or work. Replacing halogen light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs is one way of saving money on lighting, but you can save even more by leaving your lights turned off for longer. Exposure to natural sunlight helps the human body to manufacture vitamin B and vitamin D, increases the metabolism and boosts the immune system. Of course, the ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight can be damaging to people and objects, but a glass canopy or entrance can be specified with a surface film, or layers of film between glass laminates to absorb UV radiation.
Glass canopies shelter building entrances from the elements, making life more comfortable for people entering the building. Accidents often happen near a building as the result of people walking in rainwater, ice or snow. Installing a glass canopy of the correct dimensions in the correct place can help to eliminate such accidents. Of course, a large area of glazing provides also excellent views in, and out, of the building space, which may be an important safety concern, especially during inclement weather. Furthermore, glass is quiet, so that even torrential, heavy rain will not disturb the occupants of a building. Glazing also transmits infrared radiation, in a process known as ‘solar gain’, which generates heat inside a building. In winter, this heat can reduce the amount of heating required from other sources.
Depending on the direction of the prevailing wind in winter and the potential for ingress by snow, a glass canopy can provide effective protection for building entrances. Glass is structurally very strong, durable and long lasting but, even so, canopies that project from a building need to be the correct strength to withstand loads from snow and wind. Thankfully, toughened, tempered and laminated glass canopies are available in modern, sleek designs, which prevent serious property damage, but nonetheless compliment the building and its immediate environment. Snow is heavy and ice heavier still, so it is not unknown for poorly specified canopies to collapse under the load.