A completely transparent, adhesively bonded soda-lime glass block masonry system

  • Faidra Oikonomopoulou TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Fred Veer TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Rob Nijsse TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • K. Baardolf TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


A pioneering, all transparent, self-supporting glass block facade is presented in this paper. Previously realized examples utilize embedded metal components in order to obtain the desired structural performance despite the fact that these elements greatly affect the facade’s overall transparency level. Undeniably, the oxymoron ‘transparency and strength’ remains the prime concern in such applications. In this paper, a new, innovative structural system for glass block facades is described, which demonstrably meets both criteria. The structure is exclusively constructed by monolithic glass blocks, bonded with a colourless, UV-curing adhesive, obtaining thus a maximum transparency. In addition, the desired structural performance is achieved solely through the masonry system, without any opaque substructure. Differing from previous realized projects, solid soda-lime glass blocks are used rather than borosilicate ones. This article provides an overview of the integrated architectural and structural design and discusses the choice of materials. The structural verification of the system is demonstrated. The results show that the adhesively bonded glass block structure has the required self-structural behaviour, but only if strict tolerances are met in the geometry of the glass blocks.


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How to Cite
OIKONOMOPOULOU, Faidra et al. A completely transparent, adhesively bonded soda-lime glass block masonry system. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 3-4, p. 201-221, june 2015. ISSN 2213-3038. Available at: <https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/index.php/jfde/article/view/909>. Date accessed: 09 dec. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.7480/jfde.2014.3-4.909.


Structural glass, solid glass block, adhesive, adhesive glass connections, soda-lime glass, glass blocks, glass masonry