Balcony and terrace glazing glossary

Explore comprehensive balcony and terrace glazing glossary to gain insights into the terminology and concepts. This glossary is designed to help you make informed decisions and navigate the world of glazing with confidence.


Balcony glazing: Balcony glazing refers to the installation of glass panels on a balcony to enclose it partially or fully. This enclosure provides protection from external elements such as wind, rain, and snow while allowing occupants to still enjoy natural light and views from the balcony. Balcony glazing can be retractable or sliding. It’s a popular choice in urban areas where balconies may be exposed to harsh weather conditions or high levels of noise and pollution. Additionally, it can help improve energy efficiency by reducing heat loss from the interior of the building.

Balcony railing: Fall protection required in a building or its immediate surroundings when the fall height exceeds half a meter and there is a risk of falling or stepping off, and the nature of the activity does not require railing-free access. The railing must be safe and able to withstand the loads imposed on it.

Balcony tile: A balcony tile serves as the balcony floor and the lower balcony’s ceiling, attached to the building’s frame and supported either as a projection, by pillars, or tension rods.

BIM object: A 3D model containing information about a building component. Lumon provides you with an extensive BIM object library, you will find it here.

Energy saving: Reducing total energy consumption due to specific actions, e.g., glazing a balcony. Read more about how you can save energy with Lumon glazing solutions here.

EPD: Environmental Product Declaration is a standardized method based on life cycle assessment to present a product’s environmental impacts throughout its lifecycle, from raw material acquisition to final disposal. EPD is now available for Lumon Group’s balcony, façade and terrace products, you can find it here.

Framed system: A high-framed and horizontally movable glazing system usually attached to the floor and upper beam or ceiling of a terrace.

Frameless glass system: A glazing system suitable for balconies or terraces. It consists of aluminum frames and profiles, hinges, tempered glass panels, and seals, which are attached to the railing and roof structures with stainless steel screws and/or anchors. The glass panels can be individually slid aside and turned inward, leaving the entire balcony side open. The glass panels are 6, 8, 10, or 12 mm thick depending on their width, height, and wind load. Typically, the widths of the glass panels range from 550 to 850 mm.

French balcony: A French balcony consists of only a door or French doors opening from the building and railings attached to the building without a balcony floor structure.


Glass-aluminum railing: Lightweight railing consisting of metal profiles and glass, sheet, or panel cladding. These railings are characterized by being secondary structures of balconies, serving solely as fall protection by carrying the loads from the upper glazing, their own weight, and wind loads. The structure of the railing can also be part of the building’s load-bearing frame. It can also be made of materials such as concrete, bricks, wood, or other materials. Lumon Railing consists of aluminium and glass, read more here.

Glazed balcony: A balcony attached to a building above ground level, accessible from inside the building. The space is protected by openable single-pane glass structures, with at least 30% of the external-facing parts being openable.

Glazed terrace: A covered outdoor space attached to a building, protected by openable structures such as sliding or folding single-pane glass systems. The terrace always has an exit to the yard, and at least 30% of the external-facing parts are openable.

Guardrail glass: Safety glass used as cladding for railings, providing a transparent barrier. Guardrail glass can also be a structural component.

Handrail: A horizontal component at the top of a railing where one can lean on or hold onto for support. A handle or support attached to the railing or another structure, providing support and safety to users.

Information model: A framework and operational model for construction information management, where comprehensive modeling, processing, and management of all construction project data occur through information and communication technology (ICT).

Laminated glass: Laminated glass consists of two or more glass sheets laminated together with an interlayer film. When laminated safety glass breaks, the interlayer film holds the glass pieces together, limiting the size of the broken area and reducing the risk of cutting and puncture wounds. Laminated glass can be coated, processed, reinforced, and tempered. Different colored interlayer films can add aesthetic appeal to the glass. Additionally, images can be printed on glass or film.

Line load: A linear load that affects a structure along a specific line. For example, the leaning load on a railing is a line load. Unit kN/m.

Noise level: The level of sound that describes the intensity of noise in the environment. In the design of balcony facades, sound insulation and noise levels in the environment can also be taken into account. More about how glazing helps to reduce noise levels here.


Point load: A small and point-like load that applies to a specific point. For example, the weight of furniture or people can cause point loads on a balcony. Unit kN.

Tempered glass: Tempered glass is produced by first heating (approximately 650°C) and then rapidly cooling it, resulting in permanent compressive stresses on the surface and tensile stresses on the interior of the glass. Tempering increases the strength of the glass and enables it to withstand loads better than ordinary float glass. When tempered glass breaks, the stresses cause it to shatter into small, blunt pieces without sharp edges typical of broken glass.

Terrace enclosure: A terrace enclosure, also known as a patio enclosure or sunroom, is a structure built around an outdoor terrace or patio to provide protection from the elements and create a comfortable living space.

Wind load: The force caused by the movement of air that can affect structures, such as balconies. Wind load is an important consideration in balcony design. Unit kN/m2.

Wintergarden: A wintergarden typically refers to a glass-enclosed space attached to a building, either a terrace or a balcony. It is designed to allow sunlight in while providing protection from the elements like dust, poll and insects. Wintergardens are used as additional living spaces, providing a bright and airy environment for relaxation or socializing. The term “wintergarden” can vary in its usage and interpretation depending on cultural and regional contexts, but it generally describes an indoor garden area that extends the growing season or provides a green oasis during colder months.