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Glass roofs and glazed facades

According to the rules and standards of the French Building Federation and metalworkers, here is a description of the requirements that must be met by glass products such as glass roofs, glazed facades, verandas and oriel windows.

1. Glass roofs; see EEC Directive 89/106 - Construction Products Directive.

A canopy is generally defined as a large stained-glass window or a large bay window, with a vertical inclination of more than 15 °, with or without its own structure and located on the roof or on the facade.

Usually, it is a combination of metal profiles, forming a structure designed to accommodate glass elements considered as large work in accordance with CHC R.111-26.

Zenith-type canopy:

The main advantage of a skylight is to provide natural lighting in the central area, far from the facade.

Traditionally, they are placed above the stairs or on the roof where they constitute a more or less large opening formed at the level of the roof with an area greater than 1 m².

They can also be found in another configuration, which is formed by a vault or a translucent dome, used to cover large internal spaces of a public or semi-public character such as; internal streets, atriums, etc...

For the design and production of skylights, DTU 39 is the reference document. It is made up of 5 parts.

DTU 39 P1-1 (CCT) and DTU 39 P1-2 (CGM) define the specifications for the implementation, engineering and installation of glass products for new installations, renovations, repairs and maintenance in all building types.

It applies to glazing with an inclination of 5 ° or 8.7% which ensures the enclosure and the cover as well as the interior glazing and insulating glazing without limit of the inclination.

For all types of buildings, the calculation rules, sizing and implementation are defined by DTU 39 P4

DTU 39 P5 determines glazing when safety requirements related to falls are applicable to the building.

In accordance with the product standard NF EN 13830 of 01/2004, the CE mark for canopies for curtain facades in kits is essential.

2. Facades:

Curtain and semi-curtain facades, according to standard NF EN 13830, are a facade with light walls, composed of one or more sections which constitute a single element after their assembly on site.

The standard defines two types of facades:

a) integral facades: with walls uninterrupted by posts or splits

b) vertical facades: with walls interrupted by posts or splits

Panel facadesare light facades with one or more walls inserted between floors:

a) facades with inserted panels, the exterior partitions of which are interrupted by posts or splits

b) facades with horizontal panels, the exterior partitions of which are not interrupted by posts or splits

Light facades consist of partitions, at least the outer walls of which are characterized by their low masses, generally less than 100 kg per m², or of finished prefabricated walls - Facade kits, see Decree 92-647

Curtain facade kits, are made up of frames, joints and glass fillings or opaque plates which constitute an external partition without ensuring structural stability of the building.

Regarding curtain walls, the references are the product standard NF EN 13830 and DTU 33.1 P1-1 According to standard NF EN 13830 and the decree of 8/08/2005 CE marking is mandatory.

Companies that manufacture and install a curtain facade on site are not subject to this obligation

3. The verandas:

Are spaces covered by a light construction without foundations, attached along and in front of a facade that can be closed to serve as greenhouses or winter gardens.

A veranda refers to a room or space whose vertical exterior walls and roof are usually glazed.

Verandas are not habitable but can be considered as annexes to a home.

When the area of ​​a veranda is not larger than 20 m2 there is no obligation to apply for a building permit.

However, a declaration of work must be made to the town hall due to the fact that it modifies the exterior of the building and must be added to the land register.

In principle, verandas are movable structures.

The verandas of private swimming pools are governed by standard NF P 90-309.

4. The oriel windows and canopies:

The Oriels are elements of glazed structures with roof or terrace and guardrails projecting from a facade with floors added in extension of rooms towards the exterior part of the building.

There are no specific standards for this type of structure, therefore it is recommended to refer to the standards for curtain walls or joinery.

The Awnings or Canopies are fixed or mobile structures generally glazed, installed on facades or on posts, they are intended to protect the openings of facades from climatic elements.

The Atrium, open or covered, were very common in ancient Roman dwellings.

These are structures which generally cover a central volume formed by the surrounding buildings with a glass roof.

5. Structural characteristics

The regulation of main loads according to article R.111-11 of the CCH imposes the loads for the calculation and sizing of the following canopies:

a) The self-load weight is calculated taking into account the weight of the metal structures, glassware and openings as well as the shading elements and their equipment

b) The climatic load according to the location of the building represents the snow and wind loads that the metal structure and the glazing must withstand

c) The operating load, which cannot be combined with the climatic loads of a glass roof, consists of the loads exerted during maintenance

It should be noted that as a principle in the design of a veranda roof, it is not intended to withstand loads during maintenance, unless otherwise specified.

Consequently, during the calculations it is not necessary to take these constraints into account.

See standard NF EN 1990 Eurocode - 0, DTU 39 P1-1, DTU 39 P4 and DTU 33.1 P1-1.

Seismic risks and the measures to be taken into account are defined by article R563-1 to R563-8, DTU 39 P5 as well as the decree of 29/05/1997, depending on the type of building and the area of 'implementation according to Eurocode - 8

For all metal structures, calculations must be made according to standard NF EN 1993-1-1 part 1-1 of Eurocode 3 and annex NF EN 1993-1-1 / NA according to the rules in application and the materials used.

6. Safety features

a. The risk of falls

In addition to the usual structural requirements, canopies must also be provided to prevent the glass product from falling on the person it is covering. In some cases, the risk of a person falling onto the glass element must also be taken into account.

b. Electrical risks

Protection by an equipotential connection is formed when the earth connection is made by connecting to earth all the posts of the metal structure,

For curtain walls, the NF EN 13830 standard has been compulsory since 11/30/2006.

It provides for an equipotential connection for the curtain facades of all buildings with a height of more than 25 m.

For verandas, the NF C 15/100 standard stipulates that metal structures must be earthed.

c. Fire protection

To control the risk of fire, three actions are possible:

1) Prevention

2) Active protections

3) Passive protections

The reaction of the material to fire is characterized by its ability to catch fire, by combustion and the heat released by the latter.

The methods and tests for reaction to fire, as well as the classification categories of construction products are determined by the decree of 21/11/2002

See also the decree of 03/22/2004 which defines the fire resistance classification of construction products according to their performance and protection

In some cases, the canopies are fitted with heat and smoke vents. They can also be equipped with devices for light blocking.

In the case of facades which must prove their fire resistance, the latter are subject to certification.

For verandas are used as ERP, and if their floor area is more than 300 m², it is possible to have to smoke them by following the rules for canopies.

7. Performance characteristics

In addition to performance characteristics related to structural or personal safety requirements, performance characteristics are also related to the building's impact on the environment and interior comfort. The goal is to make sure it meets specifications.

The main requirements to be taken into consideration are:

- Thermal performances

- Acoustic performance

- Airtightness

- Water tightness

8. The installation of the canopies is covered by the DTU 39 P1 to P5

For facades it is DTU 33.1 P1-1 and DTU 44.1 P1

For verandas, see the SNFA rules.

For Glued Exterior Glazing see CSTB 3488 booklet and Attached Exterior Glazing see CSTB 3574 booklet and C2P 31 notice

9. Durability

Taking into account the environment and the expected level of maintenance, the structure must be planned in such a way that its deterioration during its lifetime does not make its performance lower than planned.

Taking into account the factors of degradation, daily use and maintenance, depending on the type of building concerned, the structure must retain all these qualities determined by the functional requirements of safety and habitability during the life allowed for this type of buildings.

The joinery and facades require normal maintenance and their use must be in accordance with the intended purpose. Service and maintenance work must be carried out in accordance with current regulations and the latest technical specifications.

10. Corrosion protection is essential for the durability of all steelwork.

In the case of curtain walls and the anticorrosion protection of metal joinery see DTU 33.1 P1-1 refers to standard NF P 24-351

11. Canopies and glass facades for Establishments Receiving the Public

Are classified in 5 categories which are as follows:

Cat. 1: more than 1500 people

Cat. 2: from 701 to 1500 people

Cat. 3: from 301 to 700 people

Cat. 4: less than or equal to 300 people (except in the cases of category 5)

Cat. 5: the number of people is less than the minimum determined by the safety regulations. See GN articles of the decree of 25/06/1980

The glass roofs, verandas and glazed facades of Establishments Receiving the Public must meet at least the regulations described in the following texts.

1. Structural and safety requirements

a) Structural strength, see article CO 11 of the order of 25/06/1980 depending on the use and type of premises according to Eurocode-1

b) Risk of falls

As a constructive element, the curtain facade plays an essential role in protecting people against the dangers of falls. They must protect in a manner equivalent to guardrails. It is also necessary to prevent broken pieces of glass from falling off at the same time.

Technical specifications 249 relating to exterior facades stipulate the conditions of application required by regulations in places open to the public and in high-rise buildings.

c) Fire protection

Article CO13 of the decree of 25/06/1980 only requires that the main elements of the building have fire stability.

However, as long as these main structural elements simultaneously meet a set of specific conditions, this requirement is abolished. This is the case with frames for glass roofs generally excluded from fire resistance requirements.

Regarding reaction to fire, the CO 18 safety regulation authorizes natural lighting equipment on roofs, skylights, skylights, smoke extraction or ventilated domes, light bars, etc. if their materials do not form flaming droplets under the action of fire.

The safety regulations also require measures to prevent the falling of glass elements caused by reinforced glass or laminated glass in the event of fire, so that the glass cannot fall on the persons to be evacuated, by placing a metal net under the glass parts.

See NF B 32 - 500, DTU 39 P1-1 and DTU 39 P4

For Atriums, see instruction 263, smoke extraction requirements in public buildings.

In particular CO 16 to CO 18 of the safety regulations

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