Glass is largely used in buildings, in the form of an innovative and versatile material. Both for novel and existing constructions, secondary glass systems are frequently realized to interact with primary components of different materials. In most cases, the structural challenge deriving from the intrinsic brittleness and vulnerability of glass is efficiently controlled via laminated (LG) multi-layer sections. However, further potential risks for people should be properly minimized, like for example, in the presence of extreme loads. This is the case of seismic regions, where dedicated calculation methods are required to accommodate displacement and resistance demands, but design specifications are rarely provided by existing standards for earthquake resistant buildings. Even more attention is needed for frameless glass systems in which the bracing members (i.e., continuous frames, cable-nets, etc.) are reduced to a minimum, in favour of metal point connections (i.e., bolts and mechanical fixings, friction clamps, etc.). This paper aims at discussing the current design requirements for the seismic performance assessment of these relatively simple but challenging structural solutions, with careful consideration for the Italian scenario, where a practical support for design can be found in the CNR-DT 210/2013 technical document. Based on a case-study system, major issues, open questions and uncertainties or critical aspects for the seismic analysis and design of secondary frameless glass assemblies are thus emphasized.
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