Fire Resistant Glazing Systems: Prevent the Transfer of Fire, Radiant Heat and Smoke

City planners, architects, and builders greatly benefit when they use an innovative and durable fire-resistant glazing system within their commercial spaces. This reaps several benefits, not the least of which is staying compliant with new federal fire safety code requirements. Fire, smoke and radiant heat transfer protection precautions are life-saving aspects in modern architecture.

 

The Growing Urgency for Fire Resistant Glazing Systems in 2020

In the U.S. alone, fire-related deaths have significantly increased since the 1970s, with over $23 billion in dollar losses were incurred as a result of structural fires in 2017. New figures reveal that at least one fire department in the nation has to respond to a fire every 24 seconds.

Apart from the immense damage wreaked by the fire and smoke to the structural core of the building and its contents, a majority of casualties occur due to inhalation of the byproducts of combustion from a structural fire.

 

How Fire Resistant Glass Works

This is why fire-resistant glazing systems have become a centrepiece in architectural plans. They protect people, property, and tap into several multi-functional aspects such as enhancing the visual appeal of the structure. Unlike fire-protective glass, these systems do not only prevent the spread of smoke and fire, but they also act as a heat-barrier, in that they prevent radiant and conductive heat from transferring from room to room.

Essentially, the fire, smoke, and radiant heat do not reach the items on the protected side of the glazing system, thus preventing their combustion. Auto-ignition can occur if temperatures rise above the flashpoint. Items in an adjacent room can spontaneously combust without a pilot flame.

Fire-resistant glass is a laminated assembly; one that has several layers of glass separated by heat resistant interlayers. It must be incorporated by architects, especially when the building safety code demands an assembly of this nature. This usually goes hand in hand with stipulations dictating that the temperature rise on the protected side should go no higher than 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Optimize Fire Performance With Cutting-Edge Glazing Systems

At Greenlite Glass Systems, our fire-resistant glazing solutions are fully tested for their mechanic stability and approved for immediate use.

These protection levels are defined as per specific time durations as follows: 45, 60, 90, 120 and 180 minutes. Aside from the standard levels, the systems can be engineered to have custom protection levels should the architect so wish. Fire-resistant glazing applications are incorporated into partitions, doors, decking, windows, stairwells, and walkable skylights to optimize their fire performance.

Besides safety, these glazing systems focus on “open” concepts, in that they allow plenty of natural lighting to penetrate into the facility, creating a warm, vibrant and comfortable atmosphere.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective glazing applications that meet local construction and fire safety norms.

 

CONTRAFLAM Structure

CONTRAFLAM Structure is a revolutionary fire protective and resistive butt-glazed solution that also displays impressive fire-resistant properties for up to 120 minutes. Its architectural appeal is another aspect that boosts this assembly’s popularity in architectural circles, given that CONTRAFLAM Structure resembles an uninterrupted floor to a ceiling glass wall with subtle silicone joints.

Safety is ushered to the forefront without compromising on the system’s ability to allow plenty of daylight to enter the building, creating a fresh environment. CONTRAFLAM Structure has been comprehensively tested to perform even in the face of high impact resistance and live loads. Contraflam has both EPS and HPD certificates for sustainability.

 

CONTRAFLAM

CONTRAFLAM, a tempered safety glass assembly, provides fire resistance for 60 to 180 minutes. The wireless assembly holds an environmentally-friendly chemical mixture that fills the glass chambers in the event of a fire. Contraflam has both EPS and HPD certificates for sustainability. This clear system allows for uninterrupted vision into fire-affected zones so that occupants can map out a safe route of escape.

CONTRAFLAM serves its purpose well as an interior radiant heat barrier and an exterior fire-resistant system. The application is great for those locations such as accidental human impact safety-rated zones. 

 

LITEFLAM

LITEFLAM is Greenlite Glass Systems’ proprietary fire-rated glass system with immense load-bearing capacities. The assembly has a certified test-listed fire rating from 1 to 2 hours. It has been deemed as the only exterior glazed system and Insulated Glass assembly in North America capable of doing so.

Architects and builders reach for this novel solution, owing to the fact that it is modular and allows for design flexibility. Additionally, LITEFLAM allows architects to request decorative colour frits and sandblasted glass without compromising on its fire rating properties.

Aside from its durability, LITEFLAM offers moisture– and slip-resistant surface and comes with a standard live loading capacity of 100 psf – but can be designed to withstand higher loads if required.

With a slim 3.5” profile, LITEFLAM is comprised of CONTRAFLAM intumescent glass, which is laminated and tempered glass. Solar control coatings are available for added solar control. Because the assembly is essentially composed of individual glass panels, the repair is possible without pulling apart the entire system. A sacrificial sheet is also an option that allows for only the top light to be replaced rather than the entire IGU unit.

It offers excellent protection against conductive and radiant transfer of heat as well as acts as a barrier to smoke and fire.

 

VDS Fire Frame Assembly

The VDS curtain assembly includes partitions, doors, walls and window frames. It can be paired with fire-rated glazing applications to further enhance fire-resistive properties.

VDS is structurally sound and has a clean and streamlined look. The system offers total design creativity, and when used with CONTRAFLAM, can act as a fire-resistive heat barrier for periods of one hour and above.

 

VDS CURTAIN WALL

The VDS CURTAIN WALL is an advanced fire-rated steel curtain that is incorporated in doors, windows, partitions, etc. Like its predecessor, it offers fire-resistive properties when used in tandem with fire-rated glazing products. For exterior applications, this system acts as a barrier to radiant heat for 60 to 120 minutes.

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Are Walkable Glass Skylights Strong Enough To Hold Their Own in Rough Weather?

Walkable skylights are a wonderful rooftop and decking application to enhance the appeal of your commercial facility or institution. They bring life to your architectural design vision. If you’re in the market for a glass skylight but secretly worry about its ability to withstand harsh American climates – whether they be high winds, hail, snowstorms, intense heat, and the likes – we’re here to placate your fears!

While walkable skylight suppliers are plenty, there is just a handful in the U.S. market that offers quality solutions configured to your custom specifications. Greenlite Glass Systems is committed to providing innovative solutions that truly go the distance!

LITEFLAM is Greenlite’s patented fire-rated glass application and the very first exterior fire-rated walkable skylight system. Because this system is designed to allow natural daylight to flood through your commercial facility, you can SAVE tremendously on your monthly energy bill.

Whether you install this application on the roof or in subterranean levels in the facility, you won’t have to depend on artificial lighting to create a well-lit environment. Not only will your occupants enjoy a vibrant and productive atmosphere within which to function, but you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint by not relying on artificial light sources.

While that’s all well and good, you might be concerned about the skylight’s ability to maintain its integrity in harsh and inclement weather conditions. Below we explain how LITEFLAM is expertly engineered to resist deterioration even in the face of the most gruelling elements!

 

Extremely Sturdy and Fire Resistant

LITEFLAM uses advanced technology to perform even in the most demanding environments. It is a fire-rated glass flooring application and serves as a firestop to prevent the transfer of smoke, radiant heat, and flames from penetrating into your facility by compartmentalizing the interior spaces.

LITEFLAM’s superior durability allows it to withstand all weather conditions like snow loads, hail, harsh sunlight, and rain. The walkable skylight system has been proven in over 100 projects around the world to be fire-resistant for 1-2 hours – making it one of the best choices for exterior glazed systems for Insulated Glass assembly in North America.

 

Impressive Load-Bearing Capacity

LITEFLAM has been tested extensively to ensure that it can take rigorous internal and external pressures. This walkable skylight application meets federal safety codes and structural design standards, thus achieving both safety and redundancy. LITEFLAM adheres to all IBC (International Building Codes) requirements including ballistic impact ratings as well as thermal and live load codes.

We configure to your customized expectations. While LITEFLAM has a deceptively slim profile (3.5” thickness), you can have the glass designed to take loads that exceed the standard 100 pounds per square foot (psf). The ability to take on such impacts lends it amazing survivability rates. During heavy hail storms or when snow accumulates on the skylight, you won’t need to worry about LITEFLAM giving way, cracking or shattering. It is sturdier than its traditional flooring counterparts.

Because of minimal repair and maintenance costs, you can save on cost over the life cycle of the building. And when repair or maintenance is called for, you can remove only those individual panels that need attention rather than dismantling the entire assembly. There is an optional sacrificial sheet that allows the owner to replace the top light and not the entire unit.

 

Non-Slip Surface Resists Moisture

There is a misconception that glass flooring applications, in particular, are slippery and not at all suited for high volumes of foot traffic. LITEFLAM is designed to be water- and moisture-resistant. You can opt to have a non-slip Frit (patterns or dots) surface. The Frit is a baked-on ceramic that will endure over time. This prevents hazards during a rainy day or even if there is an accidental spill within the facility. Because of LITEFLAM’s wide scope of operability, this novel flooring system is being used in commercial enterprises more and more around the USA.

 

Suitable for Coastal and Non-Coastal Applications

LITEFLAM can tackle both coastal and non-coastal applications with ease. Especially around coastal regions, corrosive elements tend to wreak havoc on constructional components. LITEFLAM is able to resist pressures, high winds and drastic temperature fluctuations. This non-corrosive system keeps your interiors and the possessions within them well protected from anything the weather might have in store.

 

Regulates Indoor Temperatures All Year Round

LITEFLAM offers solar coating options to contribute to overall solar control. Whether your facility witnesses heavy wind, rain or snow, the interiors remain cool in the summer and warm during the brutal winter months. It seals in indoor temperatures, ensuring that you do not have to spend exorbitant sums every month due to poor insulation or leakage of conditioned air.

 

Curious to Know More About LITEFLAM and its Benefits to Your Commercial Facility?

Enjoy great design flexibility and outstanding durability with LITEFLAM.

 

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Benefits Of Having Fire Rated Glass Floors

Fire rated glass floors

 

Every year, we see more and more commercial and residential properties invest in Fire-Rated Glass Floor System like LITEFLAM. Designed to allow natural light deep into the building, LITEFLAM helps modern architects effortlessly create a vibrant and inviting atmosphere. Contributing to your building’s overall aesthetic, LITEFLAM allows for design flexibility without compromising the safety and durability of its structure.

Looking to enhance the safety of your building while conserving energy and cutting down operational costs with LITEFLAM? Then keep reading to learn more about the benefits associated with fire-rated glass floors:

Protects Against Fire & Impact

LITEFLAM is an advanced fire-rated glass floor system that is both impact-resistant and fire-rated for assemblies of up to 1 or 2 hours depending on the model. Serving as the exterior glazed system insulated glass assembly for North America, LITEFLAM utilizes technology that is unparalleled in the industry. In the case of an emergency, the fire-rated glass floor system acts as a firestop, creating a barrier against the fire and smoke while also protecting against radiant and conductive heat transfer within the building.

165 N Des Plaines glass bridge 2-min

Allows For Freedom Of Design

Offering extraordinary design flexibility, LITEFLAM presents the modern architect with limitless possibilities. Developed with a vision to create open, light-filled spaces that allow for natural light penetrate deep into the building, LITEFLAM is designed to help deliver an effortlessly vibrant and inviting atmosphere.

Equipped with a slim profile of 3.5” in overall glass thickness, the modular system enables design creativity for architects while also ensuring security and durability for tenants. The state-of-the-art fire-rated glass floor system can be customized and used as both a standalone statement piece or alternatively used as a system that creates uniformity with your building’s existing design.

Specially optimized to allow for customizations such as decorative colour frits and sandblasted glass, users can rest assured knowing that personalizations as such can be added without compromising LITEFLAM’s outstanding fire-rating.

Helps Conserve Energy

Implementing fire-rated glass floors does more than providing architects with design flexibility–it also allows your operational costs to decrease as systems like LITEFLAM allow for and encourage natural sunlight to penetrate deep into the building’s interior. To support the increased usage of daylight to illuminate the building, LITEFLAM also features:

  • solar control coatings

  • a fritted surface for added solar control, and

  • sealed insulated glass unit assembly for low emissivity and better thermal performance

Additionally, when the heat tries to escape your building this winter, LITEFLAM’s low emissivity coating will work to reflect the heat back inside, conserving energy while reducing the chances of radiant heat loss.

fire rated glass floors

Ensure The Safety Of Your Tenants

On top of being fire-resistant, fire rated glass floors like LITEFLAM are also reputably known for their durable, non-slip walking surface which further assures the safety of your tenants. Unlike traditional wax floors which can become very slippery if not properly cared for, LITEFLAM consists of Contraflam intumescent glass – a tempered laminated walking surface that guarantees grip and slip resistance.

Additionally, LITEFLAM comes readily equipped with a standard live loading of up to 100psf and can be engineered to take on higher loads if required. Having undergone thorough testing and inspection, LITEFLAM has met and exceeded its safety expectations and is confidently listed with the UL Underwriter Laboratories and SwRI Southwest Research Institute Laboratories.

FEATURED PROJECT: SALESFORCE TRANSIT CENTER – North America’s largest fire-rated glass flooring installation.

LITEFLAM PRODUCT PAGECLICK HERE

LITEFLAM WEBSITE – LiteFlam.com

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Everything You Need To Know About VDS Fire Rated Curtain Walls

VDS Curtain Wall

Looking to upgrade or modernize your building’s aesthetic? Consider implementing state-of-the-art fire-rated curtain walls that offer complete design flexibility. VDS curtain walls use fire-rated glazing products to provide a fire-resistive and fire-protective framing solution that meets your demands without compromising your aesthetic. Designed with both functionality and safety in mind, the VDS curtain wall is structurally robust and is a preferred solution across various industries.

As a global industry leader and reputable fire-rated curtain wall supplier, Greenlite Glass Systems proudly carries a variety of safety glass solutions including the VDS Curtain Wall. To learn more about the state-of-the-art curtain wall and its advantages, keep reading:

What is VDS Fire Rated Curtain Walls?

The VDS curtain wall is a fire-rated steel curtain wall system engineered with precision to offer a durable barrier against radiant heat. With fire ratings from 60 to 120 minutes in both interior and exterior openings, VDS fire-rated curtain walls meet the fire-resistive demands of most buildings with ease. Keeping out fire, flames and smoke in case of emergencies, these innovative curtain walls act as a fire-stop when necessary. To further its overall performance, the VDS curtain wall also features a thermal break to help reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials in case of a fire.

Designed with practicality in mind, VDS curtain walls also offer complete design flexibility without compromising the structural integrity of your building. Featuring streamlined aesthetic, clean lines and tight tolerances (typically associated with extruded aluminum), VDS curtain walls are unparalleled in the industry. Ideal for use in applications that require high-span and self-supporting construction, VDS curtain walls can be used as walls or partitions for separating your workspace, windows, and more.

The Benefits of VDS Fire Rated Curtain Walls

The VDS curtain wall is a comprehensive steel curtain wall system that offers monumental advantages such as:

  • Creativity – The VDS curtain wall allows you to perfectly harmonize components of your building to ensure the potential for freedom of design and uniformity
  • Conjoins – VDS curtain walls can be used in combination with CONTRAFLAM and Forster Fuego fire-resistant doors to further its performance
  • Customizable – Choose the appropriate level of fire-resistance that best suits your building’s needs (options include choosing from fire-ratings ranging from 60/90/120 minutes)
  • Durability – Constructed with reliable, fire-resistive materials such as fire-rated steel and/or glass, VDS fire-rated walls act as a fire stop when necessary, slowing or preventing the passage of flames within the building
  • Performance – VDS curtain walls are not only fire-resistant, but they’re also burglar, bullet, wind, rain, sound transference, and impact resistant.
  • Passive Design – With VDS curtain walls, you can have complete design flexibility over the building’s interior and exterior design, effortlessly achieving a high degree of aesthetic appeal. VDS curtain walls add to the passive design criteria by allowing larger glass panels and in turn, more natural light into the building.
  • Safety – Listed and labelled by Underwriters Laboratories Inc and the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada, VDS fire-rated curtain walls are certified to help keep fire, flames and smoke out in case of an emergency
  • User-friendly – Fire-rated curtain walls are multi-functional, easy to install and can be assembled with ease using mechanical T-joints

Searching for a more contemporary look for your building? VDS Curtain Walls are a modern, state-of-the-art solution that delivers fire-resistive and fire-protective properties to protect your building from fire, smoke and impact.

As a global industry leader, Greenlite Glass Systems is a proud supplier of fire rated curtain walls in North America. Maintain aesthetics while enhancing the safety of your building with VDS curtain walls.

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Fire-Rated Glass Frames: Your Project Benefits From Immense Safety and Unparalleled Performance

Fire-Rated Glass has become popular among new property projects for several reasons. The purpose of Fire-Rated Glass is to compartmentalize a space that minimizes the spread of Fire, Smoke and Radiant Heat Transfer in a building.

 

Fire Rated Glass

 

Beyond the safety precautions that it helps with, fire-rated glass can become a substitute for other options when it comes to building functionality and structure.

It is a product that produces quality performance for architects and builders to utilize and at Greenlite Glass Systems, there are a variety of these Fire-Rated Glass products to choose from to fit the project you are looking to complete. Understanding the science behind it and how it can adapt to your property will allow you to see the compatibility and benefits fire-rated glass can have for you. Keep reading to learn more about these glass frame options:

 

Overview of Fire-Rated Glass

The Fire-Rated Glass options are made of glass that is designed to minimize the spread of fire smoke in the case of Fire-Protective Glass. Essentially, the fire-protective glass minimizes the spread but does not limit radiant heat transfer. Fire- Resistive Glass protects against Fire, Smoke and Radiant Heat transfer. It acts as a heat barrier glass. Glass frame options with fire-resistive glass will assist with radiant heat transfer as well. Each fire-rated product will come with a rating of the resistance properties specifically, anything from 20 minutes to 3 hours.

 

The science behind Fire-Rated Glass

Understanding the science behind these fire-rated glass frame products will provide background knowledge on how it works. Preventing the transfer of heat, fire, and smoke through these products means they act as a barrier so that any accidents will be mitigated well. There is a layer of intumescent layer between the glass panels. When the glass is heated, it is designed to shatter and this intumescent layer is activated and begins to expand; allowing it then repel heat. Pending on the piece of the glass frame, the amount of heat it can repel will change.

Wire glass is old technology from the early 1900s and is very dangerous. It is being phased out because of all the law suites happening. We focus on two types of glass Ceramic(Protective) and Intumescent (Resistive).

 

Benefits of Fire-Rated Glass

Beyond the reasoning of it being protected against any type of fire and impact, they assist other factors as well. First off, it allows for the freedom of the design. With certain fire-rated products, there is a multitude of possibilities that allows the designer or architect to utilize it for its purpose while providing a product that helps to develop an atmosphere. Pending on the purpose of the project, it can be used to help integrate with the building’s existing design or it can act as a standalone statement piece.

In addition to that, it helps with conserving energy — with various products encouraging natural sunlight rather than lighting, it is able to assist with the functionality of the building itself. Lastly, pending on the project you are working on, this may apply in different contexts, but safety for those that live or work in the building is not only due to these glass products being fire-resistant. They meet and exceed expectations for both safety regulations and designer use.

 

Product Options

With Greenlite Glass, there are several types of products that are available when it comes to the fire-rated glass options:

 

1. CONTRAFLAM Structure

This glass solution provides fire-resistive properties for up to 120 minutes (2 hours). For design purposes, the floor-to-ceiling glazing resembles a continuous, uninterrupted glass wall with only silicone joints — it appears as if it is one large piece of glass, thus it allows for maximum sunlight to shine through.

 

2. LITEFLAM

This is a Greenlite Glass product that has been used in over 100 projects worldwide. The glass system meets live loading requirements and is fire-rated from 1-2 hours. It can be used as a non-slip, durable walking surface. The standard live loading is 100 psf.

3. CONTRAFLAM

The ContraFlam provides 60-180 minutes of fire resistance (1-3 hours). The clear glass is filled with an environmentally friendly and transparent chemical mixture, which assists and reacts in the event of a fire. Note: Contraflam has both EPD and HPD certificates which speak to the sustainability of the product.

 

4. KERALITE

This is a ceramic glass product that meets fire-protective requirements. This wire-free glazing material is for use in life safety and fire-rated locations. There are various products under Keralite which act as different levels of safety, pending on the purpose and needs of your project. Note: Keralite has both EPD and HPD certificates which speak to the sustainability of the product.

 

5. VDS FIRE FRAME Structure

These fire frame structures are integrated with fire-rated glazing products so that there can be a fire-resistive solution with complete design flexibility for the designer. Pending on the version of the VDS, there are different levels of fire-resistance.

 

6. VDS Curtain Wall

With the VDS Curtain Wall, it is a comprehensive Fire-Rated Steel curtain that helps with furthering the fire-resistive properties so that it can assist with providing an additional barrier. They have a rating from 60-120 minutes (1-2 hours).

Overall, Fire-Rated Glass systems have various options when it comes to choosing or finding one that suits the needs of your projects. Trust our Greenlite Glass Systems experts when it comes to understanding which one fits best, and contact our team today to learn more.

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