Security and Detention Windows

Perhaps not an automatic first choice for many, reliable and robust glass block is among the best options for security and detention windows. Virtually impenetrable, glass block windows offer many practical advantages over other materials, SEVES solid glass block with steel frame and grid is the right choice for applications that need to allow natural light to enter while maintaining security within.

VISTABRIK® Solid Glass Block Windows for Security

Produced by SEVES Glass Block , the world leader in architectural glass block, VISTABRIK® is sold and distributed through GBA Architectural Products + Services in North America. VISTABRIK® is a clear, sturdy glass brick product available in a range of sizes and shapes. They are also available in a stippled pattern option for added privacy.

Security in detention and correctional facilities is essential, but natural light is also necessary. Today, many designers and architects are embracing the use of glass block to introduce more natural light for aesthetic purposes, to reduce energy costs, enhance the well-being of building occupants, and help sustain our environment.

Because of the beauty, security, and durability of glass block, designers and builders worldwide are choosing to use these materials for a wide range of applications.

VISTABRIK® is the ideal solution for creating durable windows and walls with solid protection that are capable of withstanding extreme winds and weather, while still admitting significant natural light. VISTABRIK® solid glass block in a steel frame and grid provides:

  • Fire resistance
  • Enhanced security, with light transmission and vision
  • Ballistic and impact resistance
  • Forced entry and exit resistance
  • Pick-proof quality
  • Narrow sightlines
  • Scratch resistance
  • A range of transparency to select for various privacy levels
  • Welded corners and grids for strength
  • No discoloration
  • Multiple-sized glass blocks
  • Easy installation with pre-constructed window units

Besides substantially reducing the cost of energy for lighting by admitting abundant natural light, VISTABRIK® demands less maintenance than other materials and is easier and quicker to install.

Meeting Building and Fire Codes

VISTABRIK® has been tested for every element of durability and security for use in detention facilities. The product meets or beats the following industry testing standards:

  • ASTM E283 – Standard Test Method for Determining Rate of Air leakage
  • ASTM E330 – Standard Test Method for structural performance
  • ASTM E547 – Standard Test Method for Water Penetration
  • ASTM A1011 – Standard Specification for Steel
  • ASTM C920 – Standard Specification for Elastomeric Joint Sealants
  • ANSI Z97.1 – Safety Glazing Materials Used in Buildings – Safety Performance Specifications and Methods of Test
  • 16 CFR Part 1201 – Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Safety Standard for Architectural Glazing

Given the range of shapes and sizes, glass block walls and windows allow for a variety of architectural styles and designs.


With the development of more new and beautiful applications, SEVES architectural glass block from GBA Architectural Products + Services is taking a leading position in attractive, yet sustainable architectural design. By allowing natural light to penetrate and pass through the building’s interior walls and windows, resource-sapping energy is reduced. And, glass block is 100% recyclable, durable, and requires virtually no maintenance.

Glass block is becoming a primary building element for architects and owners seeking LEED®, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a designation for constructing “green” buildings. The core material required to produce glass is sand, a highly available and easy to obtain surface material requiring minimal disruption to the environment compared to stone extraction, Portland cement for concrete, and metal building component raw materials.

Low Maintenance

Glass block windows do not eventually split or rot as wooden framed windows do. Nor are they liable to rust as metal components do. Glass block windows also do not require painting.

A quick wipe is all glass block windows require from time to time to stay clean.


Dense and indestructible glass block windows and walls from GBA Architectural Products + Services are not only used for detention facilities. Builders and designers are also applying glass block to attractive windows to allow light in while discouraging entry by burglars. Standard glass windows are a favorite target for undesirable entrants, while beautiful glass block windows invariably send the prospective entrant elsewhere.

Also, standard windows are often broken by children (and adults) throwing and playing ball or from items that are hurled against the window during high winds. VISTABRIK® or other glass block windows will withstand the worst punishment without cracking or breaking.

GBA Case Study: Howard Young Correctional Institute, Wilmington, Delaware

All of the positive elements of VISTABRIK® glass block make it a natural choice for any type of security facility including prisons and jails, detention centers, holding cells, correctional facilities, criminal justice facilities, and police departments.

To this end, with the charge of creating a safe and bright environment in the Howard Young Correctional Institute, GBA provided their Custom Architectural Series Security and Detention Glass Block Windows. The result is an attractive, highly secure and safe facility complete with abundant natural light.

To meet the strict deadline for completion of the correctional facility, GBA project managers were required to use cast-in-place construction methods, apply rebar reinforcement, and install 1000 pieces of solid glass bricks. The result: high-quality, secure, and well-lit detention areas precisely fit as designed.

Contact GBA Architectural Products

GBA Architectural Products + Services has been providing homeowners, designers, and commercial builders with a wide array of top-quality architectural features and products for over 30 years. As a strategic partner to SEVES Glass Block, GBA offers beautiful and highly functional glass products designed for beauty, durability, and security.

GBA provides and installs a complete line of structural glass, glass block and LightWise systems by SEVES Glass Block.

A stunning portfolio of case studies demonstrating the versatility and beauty of GBA’s architectural glass designs are featured on the GBA website. Notice the spectacular range of applications from office buildings, warehouses, boutique hotel, and a correctional institute.

For more information and ideas regarding the use of structural glass materials for new construction or renovation, contact the experts and designers at GBA Architectural Products + Services. The company has been in the construction and glass block business since 1985 and can help you with your project.

You may either visit the GBA Architectural Products + Services website at to provide your contact information for a quick response and call back.

Alternatively, reach GBA by phone directly: