Blast-proof windows are engineered to withstand explosive forces without shattering and also remaining in the window opening. Standard silica glass is a fairly hard material, with a mean Mohs hardness rating of 5 placing it directly in the middle of the scale between talc and diamond. However, hardness is a poor measure of how well a material can absorb incoming forces. Glass is notoriously prone to shattering in response to even moderate forces, making it a limited security solution and even a potential safety concern in the unlikely event of an explosion.
The problem facing property owners who want to shore up their security is primarily cost. It is very expensive to completely remodel building frontages to accommodate blast-proof windows, but retrofitting products requires a tailor-made approach to construction and installation.
Why Retrofit Rather than Remodel?
Remodeling for security purposes is increasingly common in practically every market sector. The threats that business owners and military personnel face on a daily basis have evolved dramatically; their security solutions must evolve too. Blast proof windows provide tangible protection from explosive forces and shrapnel, but the downtime for installation and the extensive additional work required in strengthening the surrounding fixtures may be prohibitive.
In commercial settings, remodels must justify both the up-front cost and the ongoing loss of earnings due to installation-related closures. Justiciary buildings must factor in the knock-on effect that remodelling may have on day-to-day beauracracy. Although it is impossible to put a numerical value on security, these are the considerations that must be made when it comes to weighing-up the cost and benefits of installing blast proof windows.
While retrofitting can be costly in and of itself, experienced designers can work within existing dimensions to deliver blast-proof windows to specification with limited hassle. This can reduce the expense of altering peripheral aspects of the window itself and reduce the time taken complete installations.
Challenges of Retrofitting Blast Proof Windows
The underlying challenge of retrofitting blast-proof windows is making sure that the product fits existing specifications. Upon installation, it must also look seamless with regard to the initial building design. At the smallest scale, this involves ensuring that fixtures are the right size and of appropriate load-bearing capacity, as blast-proof windows are significantly heavier than standard glazing.
There is also the issue of streamlining design specifications to accelerate the installation process and limit avoidable installation expenses, including delays. It is worth pointing out that costing is always project-specific, which means some installations will be better suited to complete remodels and others to retrofits.
Blast Proof Windows from Armortex
Armortex specializes in ballistic and blast-resistant security solutions for a diverse range of market segments, from judiciary buildings to convenience stores. We offer a choice of blast-proof windows suitable for both new-builds, remodels, and retrofitting projects. Simply contact a member of the Armortex team today to talk about costing blast-proof windows for your project.