Learning at Lunch with the Architectural Glass Institute

The staff at JL Architects recently attended a lunch ‘n learn with Stephanie Staub from The Architectural Glass Institute .   Located in Philadelphia, the Institute provides a forum for sharing the expertise of the glazier employers of the Philadelphia tristate region and The Finishing Trades Institute.   The AGI serves the construction industry by providing high quality contractors who offer a wide range of skills and expertise. It also works to support the glazing industry by being a one source for technical and educational training, safety data and expertise.

The lunch ‘n learn centered around architectural glass wall systems.  Demountable interior glass partitions are becoming more and more popular for commercial properties.  These wall systems utilize the benefits of daylight and provide a spacious feel, while also providing a sense of privacy and a quiet work space.  They have a contemporary appearance and are an easy way to refresh a property.  Glass wall systems are not meant to remain permanently in place.  A valued benefit is they may be installed and removed quickly with little expense and no damage to the building. The wall systems can also be rearranged easily to offer the tenant flexibility within the work space.  Another important benefit to the tenant is that demountable partitions are considered personal property (like furniture); if installed by a professional glazier, they qualify for the 7-year tax depreciation for relocatable wall systems versus 39 years for stick-built permanent walls.


Demountable interior glass wall systems are available as stick-built, which are constructed in place by a glazier, or unitized which are prefabricated in a factory and then assembled on site.  Both types of systems are installed after the building is completed.

Glass wall systems can be either framed or frameless.

  • Framed systems- Provide strength, allow for larger openings and create jambs for doors to pivot and slide.
  • Frameless systems- Provide a clean look with no visible metal and utilize a small amount of metal at the base or top which can be concealed in the ceiling or the floor to provide full floor-to-ceiling glass.

There are three types of doors that can be incorporated in the glass system:

  • Pivoting – Allows the least visible hardware and uses patch fittings with floor and overhead closers.
  • Sliding – Creates an open look while still offering privacy when needed.
  • Hinged – Ideal for demising walls and glass returns; offers self-closing and hold-open features.

AGI is a great resource for your JLA project manager.  The Institute allows us to provide the expertise and experience that will maximize your project’s value and price.

-Amy Estrella

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