Trex Commercial Products

Today’s commercial designs are all about open, organic concepts, which means glass elements are in high demand. From sports arenas and shopping malls to hotels and healthcare settings, savvy specifiers are increasingly looking to incorporate glass into their designs. But specifying glass can be tricky, especially when it comes to railing systems. Working with an “engineered” system can take the guesswork and gamble out of the process and result in greater control, confidence and even cost savings.


When specifying a railing system, there are myriad variables to consider – from concepts and site conditions to code compliance. Engaging an engineering team that understands the nuances of glass railing applications can foster smoother communication and afford access to advanced technologies that enhance control. For instance, Trex Commercial Products utilizes High Definition Surveying (HDS), which offers tremendous benefits for architects and their clients. In the near-term, it provides precise measurements for use in project designs. In the long-term, the survey information can aid in future maintenance or reconfiguration.

Trex Commercial Products


Commercial rail installations nearly always require detailed documentation of code compliance. In many cases, this responsibility lies with the architect. However, a high-performance glass railing system requires specialized engineering that may fall outside their comfort zone. This is where an engineered system delivers its greatest benefits.

These systems are rigorously engineered by a team of specialists that will have taken into consideration everything from wind and seismic loads to the attachment substrate – factors that can vary considerably depending on location and building type. Technical information is captured and clearly presented in a comprehensive report, including calculations and testing data signed and sealed by the engineering team and ready for submittal to building authorities.

Trex Commercial Products

With an engineered system, support continues throughout the installation process as technical questions arise and site conditions require alterations. A reliable, technically capable partner can help avoid costly project delays and free up architects to focus on other things.

Cost Savings

With regard to costs, it’s important to look at the whole picture when working with an engineered system. Along with getting a code-compliant solution, specifiers gain access to a collaborative team of specialized consultants and engineers. This helps to streamline communication, resulting in fewer surprises and lower administrative costs.

Trex Commercial Products

Engineered systems also allow contractors to work faster and accomplish more at the job site. With a Trex Commercial Products railing system, for instance, pre-engineered materials are packaged together with components labeled to correspond with setup drawings. This translates to a more efficient installation process, which yields time savings and lower labor costs. Engineered systems also tend to see fewer change orders and callbacks, which can add considerable costs to a project.

Trex Commercial Products

From design to delivery, a knowledgeable systems fabricator can be an invaluable resource, fostering greater communication, assuring code compliance and delivering peace of mind. Particularly when glass railings are being considered, architects should enlist the help and expertise of a specialized supplier at the onset of design planning to best understand what’s possible and what’s required for an optimal outcome.

For more information, visit To take the company’s CEU on “Efficient Design Utilizing Decorative Guardrails,” go to

About the Author
Tony Barnes is a Structural Engineering Manager with Minneapolis-based Trex Commercial Products. A leading provider of architectural railings, the company has three decades of experience working with architects, glaziers, general contractors and installers. For more information, visit