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Glass existed since the 3000 BC in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. It was discovered coincidentally when calciferous sand finding its way into an overheated kiln and combining with soda to form a coloured glaze on the ceramics. The earliest man made glass item was the non-transparent glass beads; later glass vases and other item were made.

During the 16th century BC the Hallow glass making came into existence in Egypt and Mesopotamia, china and in other civilizations via merchant and sailors who traveled frequently.

In 1500 BC, Egyptian Paraoh Thoutmosis III brought glass makers as prisoners from various parts of Asia, with successful military campaign. It is believed that those glass makers has produced glass pots by dipping a core mould of compacted sand into molten glass and then turning the mould so that molten glass adhered to it. It then be decorated by rolled on slab of stone then let it cool.

Glass Blowing

In earlier 20 BC to 14 AD, The usage of glass spread across the Syrian, Italy where the ancient roman began the process of blowing glass inside moulds by using a long thin tube, by they produced variety of hallow glass items.

The Romans have contributed much to glass by their conquest and trade relationships. It was during the rule of Emperor Augustus, glass usage flourished across France, German and other European countries. It is also believed that the Romans was the first to use glass for architectural purposes, after the discovery of clear glass in Alexandria around 100 AD.

During the middle ages the glass making gradually improved. In Venice, had more expert craftsmen, who traveled to other countries to earn money. They even faced death threats if they live the country, which then was leader in glass industry.

France – Experts

It was in 1688, in France Experts developed new process of making Flat glass, mainly used in Mirrors. The process was pouring molten glass onto a special table and roll it flat, later when cooled it was polished using felt disks, then it is coated with reflective material to produce the Mirrors. French government also took many steps to promote its glass industry by placing heavy duties for glass imports and it also offered Venetian glassmakers high incentives, French nationality with tax exemption. Since then Glass makers like Saint-Gobain have been contributing for the glass constantly.

Modern Technology

Today, Innovation of new technologies in industrial revolution made glassmaker to research on new strategy in glass making which lead to produce them various special purpose glasses such as solar control glass, which can control harmful UV-ray entering the building and at the same time allowing natural lights to flow. The other special glass that came into existence where Fire protection, privacy glasses, Self cleaning glass, Thermal insulation glass etc.

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Saint Gobain Glass India, the glass manufacturer has been recognized along with eight other companies for its initiative in Corporate Social Responsibility by the Tamil Nadu Government.

According to an official press release, the move by the State Government is in line with its announcement last year to institute CSR Awards to recognize the contributions of public and private sector industries towards social development.

The CSR awards for 2008-09 and 2007-08, which include cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a certificate, were given away by the Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. M.K. Stalin.

For 2008-09, the awards were bagged by Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Steel Authority of India Ltd, Salem, Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Sri Ramalinga Mills Ltd, Virudhunagar.

For 2007-08, the awardees are Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, Karaikal, Srinivasan Services Trust (CSR arm of TVS Motor), Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd and Sakthi Masala (P) Ltd.

Burj Dubai – Spoken of as the tallest man-made skyscraper ever built, is under construction at Downtown and is likely to be unveiled to the world by the end of this year. This structure stands at a height of 829m..

The exterior cladding of Burj Dubai, developed by Emaar properties PJSC, was completed recently. The façade of this building is made up of aluminium and glass. The total weight of the aluminum used is equivalent to that of five A380 aircrafts. In May 2007, Arabian Aluminium Company in association with Hong Kong based Far East Aluminium began work on the exterior with more than 380 skilled engineers and on-site technicians.

On the whole, 24,348 cladding panels have been used over a total curtain wall of 132, 190 sq. m. The last cladding panel numbered 24,348 with a weight of 750 kg. This was installed at the height of over 662m. The total 103,000 sq. m of glass used in the cladding panels can cover 14 standard football pitches, while the15, 500 sq. m of embossed stainless steel used can cover 34 National Basketball Association specified basketball courts. The cladding material was specially made using advanced engineering techniques. Cladding includes high-performance reflective glazing, aluminium mullions and textured steel spandrels with vertical stainless steel tubular fins.

Doubly glazed and factory sealed panels of more than 18 different strength specifications and over 200 sizes have been used. The panels are of varying thicknesses and each feature two glass pieces of about 8mm to 12mm thickness, buttressed by a 12 mm spacer for strength and resilience. The length and thickness of each panel depends on the height and the location where the panel is to be fixed. Also, the strength of a panel needs to increase with an increase in altitude. Hence, panels at higher altitude are strengthened with stainless steel in addition to aluminium.

At the initial stages, 20-30 panels were installed per day. This number was eventually increased to 175 panels per day. As the altitude increased, the workforce faced grave risk; to minimize which, curtain-walling for the spire was pre-installed on the ground and then lifted to the summit as secured.

A “flickering cladding” was designed to maximize resistance to heat from the sun. This is expected to minimize load on air conditioning systems, thus improving the energy efficiency of the tower.

18 window-washing units have been built to ensure cleanliness of this huge façade. These are built using 9 track-mounted telescopic cradles, each with an extendable arm which can reach out to a distance beyond 20 meters.

The observatory deck on the 124th floor has been named “At the Top”, and will present to visitors with information on the “History and Evolution of Dubai and the Burj Dubai” and also a view of the whole city. This structure is expected to be a benchmark for high-rise developers in creating environment-friendly, sustainable and futuristic buildings.

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