A sliding glass door is as big as you want to make it.
There are nearly no limits on a sliding door system’s size and scale when specifying one, as high specification minimal windows sliding door systems are designed in conjunction with the architects’ project requirements.
Extra large sizes, bespoke shapes, and other unique configurations are all possible with bespoke glass sliding door solutions.
So when we get asked ‘how big is a sliding glass door?’ it’s very difficult to answer succinctly, as glass sliding door systems may incur limitations entirely outside of design and manifacturing, such as road weight restrictions, limited site access, and so on.
Read on below to learn which considerations need to be made to ensure your project takes full advantage of large and oversized sliding glass doors.
Size, Weight, and Further Considerations
When specifying an oversized glass door, you will need to consider multiple different aspects of a build, including:
- The access to the site and the access to the opening
- The weight of the glass doors you will need to move
- Any strength considerations such as the wind load of the building
- The performance of the glass sliding doors required
All aspects of the project need to be considered at the same time to determine the maximum size of the sliding glass door you can specify and use.
Frameless fixed glass units are available in almost any size, with insulated glass possible up to sizes of 20m long in a single pane.
If you are looking at sliding doors, most slim framed systems such as minimal windows can be created at sizes up to 6m tall in a sliding panel with virtually no limit to the width of a glass sliding pane.
But you do need to consider the weight of the glass sliding panes. The wheels and sliding mechanisms of a slim glass sliding door will have a maximum weight per sliding pane. For instance, the minimal windows sliding doors can be created to a weight of 500kg per pane with the minimal windows NGS being designed to take glass panes up to 1500kg per unit.
Glass weighs 2.5 kg per m2 so if you are looking at triple glazed units or glass units with laminates included then this may impose a size restriction due to the weight.
If there are weight restrictions on the access roads to your project’s site, this will limit the type of transport that can be used as well as the weight of the glass that can be installed.
You also need to consider how the oversized glass doors will get to their openings. minimal windows can be installed in extreme locations with high wind loads, however, if there is no access to a cliffside location, for example, you will not be able to install large glass units there.
Once in situ, very tall, very large or very heavy doors may require automation to move easily as even the highest engineered systems are inevitably still affected by gravity. A brilliant example of this is the oversized minimal windows glass door to the front elevation of the Skyhouse Showroom in Amersham. This glass sliding door is 6.5m tall and weighs 1.4 tonnes in a single panel, which is why it is fully automated and operated via a dead man switch.
The advantages of very large glass doors
The advantages of using very large glass in your door elevation is achieving a striking and unique design. With architects and specifiers looking to push boundaries and create designs that cannot be seen elsewhere, the use of oversized and extremely large glass panes for near frameless door designs is exponetially increasing in popularity.
Double height elevations of sliding glass can be used to bridge the gap between two floors, allowing mezzanine floors to have a direct view outside with no horizontal bars or structures required.
The double height glass extension on Portland Road uses 6m tall minimal windows to achieve this vision. Another good example is the rear and kitchen extension on Kingston Road which used 4.5 metre tall minimal windows to create a double height elevation of glass. The doors here were manually operated and the highly engineered sliding rail system allowed for a smooth movement of two sliding doors even at this height.
As well as creating a striking architectural design for the building from an external view, double high elevations of glass allow a large influx of natural light into living spaces, elevating ceiling heights and brightening interiors. This type of double height internal space is becoming a staple of luxury design as it creates a flow of open volumes and spaces resulting in bright and airy structures.
How do I specify a very large glass door?
If you are looking to specify a large glass door on your project then minimal windows is one of the best options. The team at the UK showroom can work with you to get the design and engineering right so that the door not only looks brilliant but performs well as well.
To see these types of very large glass doors in person you should go no further than the minimal windows UK showroom which is based at Sky House in Amersham. A double high elevation of glass on the front facade is a brilliant showcase of the scale that minimal windows can achieve.
To arrange your visit to the minimal window showroom or to discuss your glass door specification just get in touch with the team here.