From our first attempts at working with it to the modern day machinery that manufactures tonnes of it each day, humans have been in awe at the crystal clear multi-talented material that is glass.
Here are a few examples of amazing glass products used in ultramodern homes worldwide.
These ingenious heating apparatus work by using a glass test tube shaped pressure vessel about a meter long in an array with many other components to heat hot water from solar energy, all year round.
During the manufacture of this product, air is pumped out to create a vaccuum inside the tube. While there is no air, the centre of the tube contains a rod or energy absorbing plate of some kind. This device contains fluid that transmits the heat to another fluid via a heat exchanger at the top of the evacuated tube.
These systems have been proven to last 25 yrs and reap some excellent energy savings for the house's occupants for that entire lifecycle.
What was once impossible is now becoming commonplace. Curved borderless glass is showing up on yachts, in high-end bathrooms, office buildings and even public spaces.
These custom shaped pieces of crystal clarity are curved by a lengthy process including mold preperation, mold preheating, glass slumping and annealing. The entire process to make one sheet of curved glass is nearly 6 hours.
Shops with properly sized and powered ovens painstakingly craft a huge number of three dimensionally stretched glass works of art every day. You probably won't find these specialty shops in every community in the world though.
With the invent of glass tempering nearly a hunded years ago, the idea of using glass for unexpected purposes was born.
The first large scale glass floor project was Toronto's CN tower, unveiled in '94. To this day people nearly loose their lunch looking over a thousand feet straight down. The CN floor is 4 panes thick glass. Two 1/2" panes and two 1/4" panes.
In the 21st century dozens of homes every year are built with a see-through floor feature. It can be an easy way to let light into a space naturally and is always a spectacle.