Incorporating Glass Block + Structural Glass Outdoors

As summertime quickly approaches, home and building owners are beginning to tackle the outdoor projects that they have been planning throughout the colder winter months. Whether it’s a small balcony or a large backyard, enhanced outdoor spaces encourage time spent outdoors can provide a number of personal and health benefits for occupants.

Completing a spring or summer project – whether it’s planting a garden or updating a patio – can infuse personality into any deck, sun room, or outdoor space. With a wide selection of unique and intriguing building materials available to architects and designers, the traditional porch or patio can be elevated into a livable and inviting area.

Using Glass Products Outdoors
Sustainable, durable, and beautiful, glass products are ideal products to use in any outdoor project that can create a dramatic contrasting effect when combined with natural-looking materials like stone or concrete. Glass block and structural glass have gained considerable interest from designers and architects in recent years. Used as an aesthetically pleasing cladding to create award-winning buildings around the world, architects and interior designers have found that glass block and structural glass offer many practical and functional advantages that other building materials do not. Light admission and diffusion, transparency, beauty, strength, durability, and sustainability are principal motivators for using modern glass block for exterior structures and spaces.

GBA Exterior and Outdoor Projects
Through the years, we have installed many exterior structural glass and glass block projects in both private residences and public buildings. Here are some beautiful and unique ways to incorporate these glass projects into any outdoor space.

Walkable Deck Skylights
Durable and beautiful IBP structural glass skylights can be installed into a deck or patio area to create an elegant and unique surface. Structural glass skylights can transmit light to areas below, making them ideal for multi-level decks. These panels are capable of handling weight and impact just as well as any other building material, making them safe to walk on. They are also able to be fully customized to any degree of transparency or to any pattern available.

Structural Glass Installed Outdoors
Private Residence – New York, NY
Structural Glass Floor at Kinzua Bridge, PA
Kinzua Bridge State Park – McKean County, PA
Structural Glass in an Outdoor Deck
Private Residence

Glass Block Grid Canopies & Awnings
IBP Glass Block Grids can be used as part of a canopy or awning structure, allowing architects and designers to provide protection against the elements while maximizing daylight. These structures are both functional and dynamic: they illuminate pedestrian spaces below while protecting them from the elements. A variety of available glass block patterns and grid colors provides maximum design flexibility.

Glass Block Canopy Awning
Nassau County 8th Precinct – Levittown, NY
Glass Block Canopy - Bank of America
Bank of America

Glass Block Pillars
Glass block pillars are aesthetically pleasing structures that illuminate outdoor areas. The customization options are virtually endless with a wide array of both brick and glass block options available. We’ve installed glass block pillars in commercial buildings and residences across the country, including the Canton, GA Culver’s location pictured below.

Glass Block Lighted Pillar
Glass Block Lighted Pillar
Glass Block Pillars at Culver's
Culver’s – Canton, GA

Photovoltaic Pavers
Photovoltaic pavers transforms glass block into an environmentally-friendly way to light exterior applications. This low-cost alternative to electrical ground lighting contains a powerful internal lithium battery and high-luminosity LED diodes. This battery powers the LED lights at night by transforming the solar energy generated during the day. Photovoltaic pavers are ideal for walkways, sidewalks, bridges, balconies, patios, decks, gardens, or exterior walls and panels.

SEVES Photovoltaic Pavers
Photovoltaic Pavers
Installed Photovoltaic Pavers - Private Residence
Installed Photovoltaic Pavers

Precast Concrete Panels
Glass pavers set into precast concrete panels allow the transmission of natural light in heavy traffic areas and are a beautiful way to incorporate glass into an exterior project. These systems are strong and durable, making them ideal for a variety of applications.

Precast Concrete Panel Walkway
UNC Greensboro – Greensboro, NC
Precast Concrete Panel at Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens – Kennett Square, PA

Vault Lights
Vault lights are historic architectural features in many major metropolitan streetscapes. These glass insertions are set into the sidewalk to provide natural light to the basement spaces below.

Vault Lights Installed Outdoors in New York City
10 Hubert – New York, NY
Vault Lights Installed at a Private Residence
Private Residence – New York, NY

Contact GBA Architectural Products + Services
Are you looking to incorporate glass block or structural glass into your next outdoor project?

GBA Architectural Products & Services is a North American supplier of world-class glass block materials for interior and exterior applications. For more than 30 years, the company has collaborated with professional builders and homeowners with many unique structural glass products that render beautiful and economical functionality in a broad range of scenarios.

For more information about glass block architecture for offices or other applications, contact GBA Architectural Products & Services.

Visit the GBA website or give us a call: