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Windows & Glazed Facades

Last Updated 13 November 2020

Windows and glazed facades comprise of a number of components and their security resistance is linked to how these components perform as a system, such as glass, seals, frame, connection to structures, hardware. The specification of these components will relate to the level of protection required, and not just the glass.  

There are various types of glass available with different properties such as laminated, annealed/float, toughened, heat strengthened, laminated sandwiches and polycarbonate glass.

Laminated glass is the preferred option for most security applications. However, anti-shatter film and bomb blast net curtains may be used in conjunction with any type of glazing.

Additional security measures may also be required to mitigate other threat types.

How does this guidance work?

Our implementation guidance provides an overview of the different areas you should consider when thinking about the level of protection and mitigation for your building. The Blast Resistant Measures page should be read first to assist in identifying a suitable approach.

Blast Resistant Measures
Guidance The majority of injuries arising from vehicle borne improvised explosive devices are caused by flying or falling glass and there are several options for reducing this risk
Guidance Windows or punched window systems, are those which are ‘stand-alone’ windows incorporated into the facade of a building
Glazed façades are widely used in modern buildings, against a blast threat, they can be extremely vulnerable. The following NPSA video highlights this risk and signposts users to further NPSA guidance
Guidance Architects commonly use glass inside buildings to provide a barrier or create space or a room. It may be used structurally or as a decorative architectural feature
Guidance Laminated glass can protect against blasts through careful selection of the type, thickness and numbers of layers of both the glass and the interlayer material and associated manufacturing process
Guidance The use of window retrofit options in existing buildings will reduce the potential of flying glass entering the building following an explosion
Blog Many glazing systems are now designed and specified to achieve resistance to blast. For blast protection, it is crucial to assure that a blast design load and hazard rating is agreed and specified
Information The risk of attack may be significant enough at some venues that it is necessary to introduce glass that is resistant to firearms and/or physical attack to some parts of the building
Obscuration prevents hostile surveillance into a well-lit building, minimising the obstruction to outward visibility, without the need to block windows, fit opaque shutters or install blinds
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