Comparison of methods to determine load sharing of insulating glass units for environmental loads

Stephen M. Morse, H. Scott Norville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In the past few decades, designers increasingly work on glazing projects across the world requiring the use of international glazing standards that often differ from the designer’s national code. Commonly specified international glazing standards include prEN16612, AS1288, and ASTM E1300. Each of these standards has a different approach to determine window glass strength. This paper explores one aspect of glazing design for insulating glass units, the method for estimating the load sharing between the lites comprising insulating glass units. Each glazing standard uses a different method for estimating load sharing and how the effects of environmental loads are incorporated into the estimation. Environmental loads include but are not limited to changes in atmospheric pressure, resulting from elevation, climatic, and temperature variations. Additionally, several iterative methods appear in technical literature that attempt to account for most known factors affecting insulating glass load sharing. Each of these methods addresses environmental loads differently with differing degrees of accuracy. This paper presents comparisons between the three glazing standards above and an iterative method for load sharing with environmental loads in double and triple glazed insulating glass units. The major factors varied in the investigation are insulating glass unit constructions, dimensions, glass lite thicknesses, air space thickness, temperature and pressure and atmospheric pressure changes due to elevation change. Pressure versus load sharing percentage curves are presented for select double and triple insulating glass unit constructions. Figures in this paper will show the load sharing trends of different similarly loaded insulating glass units due to varying the pressure differential between the air space(s) and atmospheric pressures. The results of this study will indicate differences between the load sharing methods and provide example scenarios where the methods produce similar and different estimates of insulating glass load sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
JournalGlass Structures and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Environmental loads
  • Insulating glass units
  • Load sharing


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