William Babbington shares fenestration and commercial design trends at FGIA’s fall virtual conference


William Babbington, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD + C at NYL Studio, shared insights on some of the most frequently seen and requested exterior trends in fenestration and glazing, including frameless glass options, bird-friendly glass and more.

Babbington described Studio NYL as “design oriented, but also collaborative with architects and manufacturers”. To understand trends, said Babbington, you have to understand the goals and the drivers behind them. “Typically it’s about energy, durability and comfort,” he said. With this, Babbington has shared several models that he sees.

Frameless glass options

While Babbington conceded that going frameless is not the cheapest option, he recommended manufacturers and installers familiarize themselves with the concept. “We’re seeing more and more of them there,” he said. “Put some insurance on it until you’re comfortable with it.”

According to Babbington, one of the advantages of frameless glass is that the visual appeal can stand out. “You’re paying for all that drink, so let’s see it,” he said. “Eliminate the obstruction of the frame as much as possible. “

Babbington hopes to see more work done with fused glass corners in the future. “This is how we can be more thermally efficient and let the glass do what it does best, which is to allow transparency. “

Vacuum insulated glazing units

Another product recommended by Babbington for manufacturers research is Vacuum Insulated Glass (VIG). “Start at the smaller production level and learn the technology and quality control,” Babbington suggested. “You’re looking for much higher thermal performance and a much smaller area. “By using these products in historic projects, or those in which the load cannot be structurally increased, one can improve energy efficiency without having to perform a complete structural renovation,” Babbington said.

Bird friendly glass

Bird-friendly glass is gaining popularity, particularly in California and New York City, Babbington reported. “It works for bird strike prevention. And the industry is offering more options to bring to market and educating designers and owners, ”Babbington said. He suggested that designers incorporate bird-friendly glass into their designs. “[Municipalities] recognize the importance of it, but they make it an achievable requirement, ”Babbington said.


Babbington said those working on updating the codes were doing their best to keep things simple. “I know people who focus on fenestration are trying to make it a lot simpler, at least on normative ways,” he said. “We are seeing more energy models being carried out on buildings, which allows us to be more precise in terms of actual energy performance. “


Additionally, Babbington noted that the communication gaps between manufacturer, maker, installer and designer are all narrowing. “It really translates into a better product in the end,” he said, using the example of manufacturers making high performance glass which also has the benefit of visual clarity. “Manufacturers are increasingly savvy in terms of increasing the flatness and clarity of glass consistently,” he noted.

About the speaker

William Babbington, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD + C, Facade Design Director, Studio NYL Director. Babbington is both an architect and engineer who has designed and completed award-winning facade projects that combine high performance, high design and constructability. He is the current National Chair of the Building Enclosure Council and a representative of the AIA National on the ASHRAE 90.1 Envelope Subcommittee. Babbington is also a member of the ASTM E06 Building Performance Committee and is a developer and trainer for the new ASTM and NIBS Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) certificate program.

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