1997 Life Dream house

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DRN
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Post by DRN »

The Pella product RJH mentioned was produced in the early to mid '90's with insulated glazing that was bent at a very tight radius (creased, really)to form a 90 degree corner window. The technology used to bend the glass was similar to that used by GM to make the tightly bent (creased)rear windows on the mid-'80's Monte Carlo SS and the late '70's Caprice-Impala coupes.



The benefit was the ability to have a truly sealable air space between the sheets of glass, which is virtually impossible with a mitered glass joint because of the inevitable differences of expansion/contraction of the glass on either side of the corner.



It was very expensive. I would have used it if could have found a client that was willing to pay for it (I tried). It seems other architects didn't spec it much either, and it was discontinued not long after it was introduced. I heard rumors that it was fragile, but I'm not sure of the accuracy of that.

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Can someone comment on this?



I was told that glass installed din 1950s Wright houses was simple ordinary

dkottum
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Mitered glass corner

Post by dkottum »

I don't believe the glass was ever cut at a 45 degree angle, but simply scored and snapped, then ground to the desired edge. Should work today as well.



I remember a story where a glass subcontractor told Wright he did not think he could make a 45 degree edge. Wright asked him if he had ever tried it, and the glass man said no. Wright responded that he should try it. The glass man did, and they had a 45 degree glass edge. This also may be the case today. There is often great resistance to try anything different in building construction.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

The glass installers, and in particular their insurance carriers, will not allow their staff to install non-safety glazing in locations where it is required by the building codes.



Section 2406 of the 2006 International Building Code goes in to great detail about safety glazing, but in a nut shell...



Any individual pane of stationary glass over 9 square feet in size, within 18" of the floor or walking surface, whose top is greater than 36" above the floor or walking surface must be tempered.



Any glazing in swinging or sliding doors, including fixed sidelights, must be tempered.



Any glazing within a 24" arc of either vertical edge of the door in the closed position that is 60" or less above the floor or walking surface must be tempered.



I too understand that glass cannot be beveled once tempered.

The glass may be able to be beveled then tempered?..at great cost?

I have heard of, but do not condone, the glass being fabricated out of polished plate glass, delivered to the house and installed by the owner.

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Dkottom, I think you are correct.



DRN, I am all for tempered glass for the obvious safety reasons. As you say, it sounds like tempered glass can

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

This isn't exactly to the point, but Jim DeLong told me of a set of windows that gave him a bit of trouble. Not only were the full-height windows mitered at the corner, but one slab in each fixed window was L-shaped. Starting with a rectangular sheet of glass and cutting one corner out of it is a difficult thing to do, because the interior corner is not very stable. It's necessary to drill a hole and cut to it from two directions. He contacted PPG about making this cut. They were so intrigued by the proposition that they cut the (non-tempered) sheets, shipped them to Los Angeles and installed them at no cost. (I don't know the thickness.) That was in the early 50s. Both windows have survived in perfect condition for over half a century of earthquakes and confused birds.

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Some other interesting things:



(1) Upon reading the story of the Smith house in Michigan (The Sara Smith Story; Building a Dream), it was stated the cost of just the glass for the windows back in the 1950s was $5,000. The house cost $25,000! Turned out Smith couldn

DRN
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Post by DRN »

RJH:

Any forming of tempered glass must be done prior to the tempering process: once its tempered, you can't manipulate it.



What you are describing is essentially a recreation of the Pella product though tempered (Pella's may or may not have been..I'm not sure).

dkottum
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Mitered glass corner

Post by dkottum »

Another method of achieving the mitered glass look is to simply overlap one edge over the other. Be sure the exposed edge is polished. From the inside you will not see a difference from mitered glass. From the outside you will see the edge of the overlapping glass panel, but only if you are looking for it. I was looking for it at Fallingwater and found both methods used.



Unlike the mitered glass corner, the lapped panel is unsupported and can flex in the wind. You would rely on the corner sealant to prevent this. On a very tall glass panel, the wind pressure may overcome the adhesive sealant, and the outside will indeed be coming in.



Doug Kottom, Battle Lake

Designing and building our own usonian type home

SDR
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Post by SDR »

When I see the phrase "mitered glass corner" I assume the pieces are lapped, not actually mitered. I agree that the effect is virtually no different.



I suppose with a true miter there is more surface area of sealant/adhesive. . .

Ed Jarolin
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mitered glass

Post by Ed Jarolin »

From Bernardine Hagan's "Kentuck Knob":

"Where two panes of glass met at a corner, the glass was beveled to a specified angle, forming a miter joint. We had five of these so-called 'corner windows'. On returning home from one of our trips to Taliesin, we found Herman (Herman Keys, the general contractor) had installed all of the glass in the doors and windows. Much to our horror, he had not only installed the mitered glass windows but had then proceeded to use metal clamps such as you see in large commercial glass windows, to hold the corners together, as he was sure the windows would seperate. Of course, all of this had to be removed and the mitered corners restored to their original beauty."

Somewhat amusing, if you're not the one paying to have it done twice.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

One solution to the wind-load issue would be to use thicker glass, on the corner windows only ? This would also increase the surface area of the adhesive/sealant. Because of refraction, the apparent thickness seen at any edge is always less than the actual thickness of the glass.

I can't believe that the effort of actually mitering the glass is worth the result. Isn't there a pulling as well as a pushing aerodynamic effect on building surfaces, particularly at corners ?

None of this addresses the insulating issue -- unless there is a noticable effect with thicker glass ?

I though I recalled the Pella product; glad to know I wasn't hallucinating. Thanks, DRN. (I too was intrigued by those GM back windows. I recall the first time I saw a car customizer replace the windshield center divider on a 'forties coupe with a butted joint -- in a 'fifties Car Craft magazine ! Would that be the Wright influence on car design ?)

SDR

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Ed, I am surprised the GC of Hagen actually did that. That is like 1st grade stuff and a good study of the working drawings would clearly show how to construct the windows. Just goes to show you finding a good craftsman to properly execute on the houses was/is critical. The Sweeton owner told me how it is very difficult finding skilled craftsman over the years. He said, “even the ones who call themselves carpenters aren’t really carpenters at all.�

SDR, in Haynes all the corner windows are “mitered� and NOT butt/lapped joints. The mitered edges make it look fist class and if I had to build the house today I would do “bent� 90-degree (if possible) fist, then mitered and last butt joint. I have never seen butt joint windows but next time I go to Fallingwater I’ll take a closer look. The miter on Haynes is on all 5 corner windows are tight after 56 years. I don’t think there is transparent sealant used. If it were, I would think it would discolor after several years.

I would be hesitant in using the Pella corner windows (assuming they were available). I have seen thermopane window seals break and a fog appears inside the window. I would be very upset if this happened to the expensive Pella corner window seal.

I often thought about wind load as well. Last fall there was a severe window storm. The neighbor’s vinyl siding was torn off and a small tree limb fell from one of my trees. All you can hear inside the Haynes great room was a little creaking from the roof flexing from the wind. Guests, along with myself, have always commented on how solid and unusually quiet the house is.

Benvenuto Cellini
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Post by Benvenuto Cellini »

I am also considering building the Rattenbury LDH (in suburban Northern NJ) -- if any of you who built, or are building, could be so kind as to share photos and your thoughts (regrets? tips? pointers?) I would be very appreciative. (Why not start a blog? so we could all see how its going!).


Reading this thread has gotten me very enthused! Thanks!!

bc

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Knowing what I know now, I would not build LDH but build a genunine FLW or a Legacy FLW house. There is no substitute.

Yes, this photo looks slick. But the other shots from other perspectives not. I was there in person.

Image

Don't expect your LDH to turn out like this. This costs serious money and most that I have seen built (some in person) omitted key details to save money. Or, the owner made irrational modifications to the design. The problem is it so expensive that you can build a McMansion for the cost of this 2,600 sft design (the actual LDH draings I recall around 2,300 sft). It would be hard to recoup your investment with the LDH

Plus, Rattenburry was "involved" in this particular house. I am sure you would probably have to retain him, and probably retain a local architect in NJ as well.

Sorry I can't be more encouraging. Also note siding rotting to left of office due to water splasing.

Michael Schuk, you've been talking about building one in Kansas for over 1 year. Where do you stand?

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