Tempered Glass Requirements - Residential applications
Following is a summary of key points in residential tempered-glass requirements, as taken from the
International Residential Building Code (IRC-2006). While these specific requirements are widely
adopted, it is always recommended to confirm with your local municipality prior to construction.
Tempered glass is hardened ‘safety’ glass which is not only less likely to break on impact, but when it
does break it typically reduces to smaller, more rounded ‘crumbles’ that are less likely to cause harm.
Common Required applications for tempered glass
Any glass or window in which all the following apply
- the glass is larger than 9 sq. ft. in total size
- the bottom edge of exposed glass is within 18” from the floor or walking surface
- the top edge of the glass is more than 36” from the floor or walking surface
- there is a walking surface within 36” horizontally from the edge of the glass
Glass in a tub or shower-space when the bottom exposed edge of the glass is less than 60” from the walking or standing surface.
Glass adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge is within 24” of the arc of the door and whose bottom edge is less than 60” from the floor or walking surface.
Glass in stairways, landings, and ramps when the walking surface is within 36” of the glass, and the bottom edge of the glass is less than 60” from the walking surface.
Egress codes are established to allow emergency passage from the building through a window opening from either inside or outside. Bedrooms and basements must have a minimum of 1 egress-qualifying opening. The following information is based on the normal operational functions of the window, and does not include sash-removal, or any actions that require tools or removal of hardware, and is summarized from the International Residential Building Code (IRC-2000). This code is adopted by most local municipalities, however it is recommended to confirm any local variance prior to construction.
1 & 2 Family Residential Dwellings
Minimum Sill-Height from floor: 44”
Minimum opening width: 20”
Minimum opening height: 24”
Net Clear Opening size for Ground level windows: 5.0 sq. ft
Net Clear Opening size for upper floors: 5.7 sq. ft.