Fire-rated glass reaching new heights – Major improvements in quality and appliance
Major advances in glass and facades have enabled the rapid development of fire resistant products, allowing to integrating large expanses of fire-rated glass stretching across multiple floors. Those systems can be used outside and inside the building. Lobbies and atriums provide the ideal place to use fire-rated glass products. Floor-to-ceiling fire-rated curtain walls are used to divide the inside area while offering safety, elegance and fire protection. When it comes to exterior applications, most building codes usually do not require fire-rated materials for the skin of the building. Moreover, fire protection centers on the contents of the building instead of the space around it.
However, the building-exterior plays a major role in helping prevent the fire to spread inside the building. For example, in a reported case in Los Angeles, a building of the Interstate bank caught fire and the building envelope did not include any fire-rated materials. Therefore, the fire spread out rapidly to higher floors. This case teaches us that fire-rated curtain wall can be a major key component in ensuring the overall safety of all building-inhabitants. Moreover, it prevents the fire from spreading within a building.
In spite of the benefits of fire-rated glass – how does it differ from ordinary glass, and what makes it so special?
The glass undergoes independent testing from important organizations and receives ratings on their quality. Tests include blasting the heated glass with water from a fire hose to withstand impact pressure and its resistance to thermal water shock. The ratings range from 20 minutes up to three hours.
We can distinguish between two types of fire-rated glass here. The first one is thin glass which is classified as «opening protective». It blocks smoke and flames but does not display a heat barrier. The second type is thick glass. This type allows unlimited expanses of glass. It is used in areas where glazing exceeds 25% of the wall area. Thick glass products block smoke, flames and also heat.
Due to the fact that fire-rated glass has certain design specifications, we may think it limits design opportunities. To your surprise, the opportunities of fire-rated glass design has reached a completely new level. This causes a major shift in the way projects are built. Furthermore, designers are even now able to use fire-rated glass instead of tradition wall construction. That is to expose the interior to more natural daylight. On top of that, some buildings have already fire-rated glass floors and skylights. These appliances showcase the extensive versatility of fire-rated glass.
As the leading facade engineering company in Europe, GLASSCON becomes your first choice of realizing high quality, stunning, architectural fire-rated glass. We have the appropriate knowledge about the commonly specified codes standards when designing fire-rated facades. We ensure to deliver fire resistant solutions that went through rigorous testing, and consist of the high quality building materials in order to meet the demanding expectations of today’s global construction market. Get in touch and receive your free quotation now>>>