Low-rise High-rise Building and Glass


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Building Classification

There are different classifications for low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise buildings in different areas. Following with some major categorizations, from Australia, Canada, China to EU, UK, and the US.



Low-rise: 1-3 storeys. Mid-rise: 4-8 storeys. High-rise: 9-19 storeys. Super high-rise: 20 storeys or above.



Low-rise: 1-3 storeys, Mid-rise: 4-11 storeys, High-rise: 12 storeys or above.



Low-rise: 1-3 levels, or height lower than 10 meters. Mid-rise: 4-7 levels, 10 meters<height<24 meters. High-rise 8 levels above, height>24 meters.



Low-rise: 1-3 storeys. Mid-rise: 3-5 storeys. High-rise: 6 storeys or above.



Low-rise: 1-4 storeys. Mid-rise: 5-10 storeys. High-rise: 11 storeys or above.

Skyscraper: 40 storeys, Supertall: 300 meters plus, Megatall: 600 meters plus.

We can also refer to the 18 Meters Rule, buildings above 18 meters will be regarded as high-rise buildings.



Low-rise: 1-4 levels. Mid-rise: 5-12 levels. High-rise: 13 levels or above. 

According to NYC building Code, buildings over 75 ft (22.86 meters) will be considered as high-rise buildings.



Things to consider- choosing the right Glass

sh tower

A lot of things have taken into consideration when choosing the right glass for different heights of buildings. 

We will take the tallest building in China, Shanghai Tower, as an example to demystify the details of the critical tips when choosing the glass.

wind load  

Wind Load

Front, back, and sideways wind load. The taller the building, the bigger the wind load of the glass needs to bear. 

Standing in the Bund of Shanghai, Shanghai Tower is the first super-high-rise building to adopts the double-skin curtain wall in the world.

Wind Tunnel Testing has been issued strictly according to China GB50009 standard, combined with a statistical model of local wind & humid climate. Finally, the 120-degree spiral model was taken for the design. 

External glass: 12mm Low Iron HS Glass+1.52SGP+12mm Low-e on Low Iron HS Glass (with dissolving ceramic pattern) & 10mm Low-e on Low Iron HS Glass+12A+8mm Low Iron HS Glass (with dissolving ceramic pattern).

Internal glass: 8mm Low Iron HS Glass+0.89SGP+8mm Low Iron HS Glass with 1 hour fire-rated.

SGP glass is always the first choice when comes to bigger wind load applications.




Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

The double skin facade system, focusing on the concept of passive-house concept. To create a large space for ventilation and temperature control, on the basis of the minimal request for additional heating & cooling costs.

As it shows in the energy modeling tests, total thermal stresses, and energy costs are reduced to a big extent.


safety & security

Safety & Security

The heat-treated glass will definitely be the first option for the super-tall building.

In order to avoid spontaneous breakage & excellent flatness of the glass, low iron heat-strengthened glass has been chosen for the final composition. 

Combined with DuPont SGP interlayer, stunning appearance, safety and security have been guaranteed simultaneously.


Thermal Performance & Energy Saving

Normally, the windows and curtain walls decide the majority of heating & cooling charge of the whole building. 

Except for the double skin structure, double silver Low-E has been used on the curtain wall glass. As a result, the gigantic building creates 21% energy efficiency, far over the US LEED rating & 3 Star Rating Standard in China.





In order to reduce light pollution, energy-saving performance and let more natural light enter into the building, low iron double silver Low-e glass chose to be as the external facade glass.

The YSD0680 Low-e allows 65% visible light transmission, while with only 15% light reflectance to minimize light pollution. 




Under year-round wind, UV lights, and humidity erosion, glass durability is absolutely vital for the building’s life span.  

As the leading silicone sealant manufacturer, Down Corning sealant used on the curtain wall IGU. With superior airtight, watertight, elastic performance, and thermal performance, it allows the building to withstand seismic activity and years of stress and wind impact without compromised on function and durability.



Glass weight, color, cost, shapes, size, and installing issues will also be considered. 


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