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Builders' Show: These glass walls are for the birds

Consumer Reports News: January 13, 2011 05:09 PM

Nana Wall Systems allow you to turn solid walls into operable expanses of glass. They're great for opening living spaces up to nature or extending the season of a porch or balcony. Nana has twenty systems in all, including those with folding panels and those where the glass panels slide on metal tracks.

As interesting as the various systems are, the glass itself is turning as many heads at the International Builders' Show. Most novel is the bird-protection glass that's an option on any Nana system. Made by the German company Ornilux, this glass contains a web-like mosaic of ultraviolet lines that's virtually invisible to the naked eye, but that looks like a solid wall to birds. Given that window collisions kill hundreds of millions of birds each year in the U.S., this bird-friendly glass is a responsible upgrade.

If you live in hurricane country, another thing to consider is the Nana Wall SL73, which meets Miami-Dade County's protocol for mid-rise buildings. That means the glass can withstand the blunt impact of 2x4s and other debris sent flying during intense winds. These specialty glass options raise the price of the Nana Wall System to the higher end of its $600 to $1,800 per-linear-foot range. But if you're going all out for walls of glass, they might be worth the added expense.

—Daniel DiClerico

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