Residential & Commercial Terms & Engineering Design Differences 101

Residential & Commercial Glazing Differences & Common Terms 101


Engineering Express is typically asked what the difference between residential & commercial glazing & how we help each industry.  Read below for answers to the most common questions & terms.


Commercial Glazing


  1. What is Commercial Glazing?

This generally involves the framing systems used for non-residential applications – Those include flush glazed (known as punched openings) and curtainwall systems.

Think of punched glazed systems as filling a large window or door hole in a building like a larger scale house window (some large houses even use commercial systems).

Curtainwall systems span multiple floors and are attached to the outside of a building to form a large ‘curtain’ to cover the structure.  They have multiple anchors and expansion joints as well as spandrel (blackout) glass to cover the intermediate floors and things like A/C, electrical, and plumbing.


  1. What is NOT commercial Glazing?This includes many non-commercial window types such as single/double hung windows (open just bottom up or bottom up and top down), horizontal rollers (sideways opening), casement windows (windows that open outward), and even smaller fixed glass to match their operative systems.
  2. Why would someone need commercial glazing design? What is the purpose of engineering plans for Commercial Glazing and the Calculations needed for it?

Building codes require shop drawings for commercial units – These include pressures, product approvals, plan view layouts, elevations, and details of how each unit fits into the building – typically addressing items such as waterproofing, energy, and sound.  Plans by Engineering Express typically address structural issues


  1. What is the RESULT that we would produce for our clients?

Residential typically requires just a signed wind chart or a calculator of pressures illustrating each opening.  Commercial plans are much more complex as mentioned above.


  1. What are the pain points and NEEDS of our clients who would use this service?

For Commercial it would be manufacturers of commercial systems so we could create a product approval for them, then use that approval for their installers and purchasers of their products to create accurate design plans for their project.



Residential Window & Door Design


  1. What does this mean? What is Residential Window & Door Design and what is it NOT?

See #2 above.

  1. Why does someone need their windows and doors designed?

In complex residential projects, more design would be needed if projects get ‘out of the box’ with their design needs – large openings, sloped, many windows ‘mulled’ together with structural tubes to form a ‘window wall’, etc.


  1. What are design pressures? Why are they important?

These are the code required forces of nature that a storm can deliver to a residence.  It’s important that everything we design is stronger than those forces with a given factor of safety.


  1. What is the purpose of window and door design?

To specify & ensure compliance with code and the safety and welfare of the public.


  1. What is the RESULT that we would produce for our clients?

Signed & sealed plans, sealed design calculations, sealed wind charts, and similar items for obtaining a building permit.


  1. What are the pain points and NEEDS of our clients who would use this service?

Design experts in the glazing design industry that knows what they are doing & can produce optimized solutions expediently and at a reasonable cost relative to the solution provided and need at hand.


Last Update: May 17, 2021  

May 17, 2021  Company, General  
Total 0 Votes:

Tell us how can we improve this post?

+ = Verify Human or Spambot ?

Scroll to Top