The seismic behaviour of window glass panels is investigated. Glass damage observed in past earthquakes and previous research on the seismic performance of glass components are reviewed, Seismic design code procedures proposed for mitigating the damage sustained by glass components are evaluated. Analytical procedures are developed for calculating the in-plane deformation capacity and out-of-plane resistance of window glass panels subjected to seismic excitation. Simple practical procedures are proposed for the design of glass panels against earthquake effects, These procedures account for the interstorey drift displacements and floor responses of multistorey buildings as well as the mechanical properties of window glass. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.