You may want to install glass doors, glazed screens or lobbies to create a draught-proof entrance and allow people to have a clear view into the interior.

We can help you understand the benefits and the drawbacks.

Download our guidance

Close up of the glass doors through the archway allowing you to see inside the church All Saints Church, Daresbury

The benefits

Having a glass screen can:

  • Create a sense of openness and welcome
  • Create a “shop-window” effect and encourage people to look inside
  • Create enclosed spaces which do not compete with surrounding architecture
  • Provide a greater sense of safety

The drawbacks

Glass screens:

  • Are heavier than other forms of construction and may require special fixings
  • Are more prone to thermal movement
  • Can create unintentional reflections
  • Show marks more easily
  • Can be a safety hazard (people might not see them)
  • Can impede air movement and lead to condensation and mould growth
  • Can cause overheating
  • May not be fire resistant

These issues can usually be dealt with if they are clearly identified in the early stages.

Your proposal for a new glass screen

If you are thinking about installing a glazed entrance in your church, you will need to make a case for the change in your statement of needs

You will need to assess the impact on the significance of the building in terms of the:

  • Physical changes involved
  • Visual effect inside and out

This should be set out in your statement of significance.

Important: What applies to glass doors and lobbies might also apply to other large-scale uses of glass in your church, such as glass partitions and balconies.

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