Commercial Fire Safety Glass: Is It a Hot Commodity for Architects in 2019?

By 2024, the global fire resistant glass market will break through the $7.28 (USD) billion mark!


With such massive revenues, the commercial fire safety glass industry is on a tremendous upswing and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But what does this mean for architects, designers, engineers, city planners and building safety inspectors?



More importantly, is this glass a feasible investment or just another passing fad?


A Great Fire Safety Plan Consists of 3 Main Elements


In a fire emergency, every second count. Detection gadgets are activated in the incidence of fire and act as a red flag to suggest that the indoor temperatures have risen above the accepted average, indicating a possibility of risk. They serve to warn occupants of the dangers close at hand. One of the most common detection devices is fire alarms, which include sensitive machinery that can even detect spot-type heat spikes and consequently trigger the alarm.


Once the fire is detected, it’s time for your safety plan to spring into action. Suppression devices are instrumental in diffusing the threat as effectively as possible. These run the gamut from fire extinguishers to sprinklers, with the latter being automatically activated when it senses a temperature spike.

In many cases, simply having the above two tactics in place isn’t enough. There’s one major component that your fire safety plan is missing.


The best firefighter is resistive fire-rated safety glass. It does the often overlooked and unbelievably important job of compartmentalizing the fire, smoke, and radiant heat and keeping damages to a minimum.

Resistive fire-rated glass is a powerful ally in life safety. Ordinary glass is not nearly as rigid as required and will crack when faced with challenging temperatures. Resistive fire-rated glass, conversely, is engineered to tolerate temperatures that soar as high as 1700°F and these remain fire-rated for 60 to 120 minutes.


Commercial Fire-Rated Glass Offers Immense Protection

Commercial resistive fire safety glass is an integral component in construction, one that protects occupants and possessions from the hazards of a structural fire outbreak. Fire aside, even the smoke and radiant heat from a fire can result in significant dollar losses, not to mention fatalities. As you’re aware, fire travels quickly and is fueled by the availability of combustible materials in close proximity.


The resistive fire-rated glass acts as a barrier to block radiant heat, fire, and smoke from travelling within the enclosure, and essentially compartmentalizes the damage. That way, occupants will be able to safely chart out an egress route and firefighters are given more time to respond to emergencies.


Apart from its pragmatic aspects, resistive fire-rated glass also lends itself well to the visual appeal of the enclosure. How so? Well, it allows plenty of natural daylight to flood into the enclosure, creating a warm and vibrant atmosphere.


Fire-Protective Glass: This stops fire and smoke (but not radiant heat) from moving between different rooms or levels in your facility. There is still a danger of items spontaneously combusting when exposed to radiant heat, even if the glass separates these items from the fire.


Fire-Resistive Glass: This impedes the movement of fire, smoke, and radiant heat and is the most comprehensive commercial safety glass. It is created from multiple glass layers divided by intumescent resin sublayers.


Is laminated glass fire rated? Laminated glass can also be engineered with fire-rating properties so that it passes the required safety parameters. Moreover, the laminated facade enables it to provide added security against forced entry.


Is tempered glass fire resistant? Absolutely. Tempered glass is expertly designed and extensively tested to tolerate temperatures in excess of 450°F. They are more robust than annealed glass of the same size and thickness. Because of this impressive thermal strength, tempered glass is one of the leading safety glass options in the industry. However, it can break easily from thermal shock.


Updated Building Safety Codes: Are You Compliant?

Because of its propensity to protect, resistive fire-rated glass has become a mandatory component in municipal building safety codes. These regulations also specifically detail where and how it is to be used.

Ordinary glass has low-tolerance and low-resistance – two factors that can be life-threatening when a structural fire is concerned. This is why updated building safety regulations have eliminated the use of conventional wired glass, particularly in hazardous areas such as sidelights, doors, balconies, stairwells, windows closer to the floor, and egress areas.


Fire-Safety Glass is Used Extensively in These Industries

Fire-rated safety glass is our lifeline in 2019. The scope of its application is growing to make this glass a hot commodity in a variety of industries.

The marine industry has found immense use in this glass, particularly because it provides fire safety and impact safety. The need for fireproof cabins on ships in naval and commercial applications is one of the major drivers that necessitate such an investment.

Automotive manufacturers aren’t far behind in the bid to invest in commercial fire-safety glass. Consumers have expressed a demand to have their vehicles reinforced with the proper safety standards. As such, these demands will substantially elevate the integration of fire safety glass in all aspects of the consumer experience, not just their cars.

Nothing accentuates the importance of safety more than hospitals and medical facilities. These buildings must adhere to the strictest federal safety requirements to keep occupants as far away from risk as possible. Since these institutions witness heavy traffic at all hours of the day, building safety codes have incorporated very specific construction and layout parameters that must be abided by.

Transit facilities, much like hospitals, also witness a tremendous amount of foot traffic, perhaps even more so. Apart from the vehicles that are responsible for transporting passengers, the stations and terminals themselves must also incorporate fire safety glass.

These provide impressive fire rating properties, seismic resistance and live loading for foot traffic as well as waterproofing to mitigate associated risks.

Commercial enterprises like high-rises, corporate offices, shopping malls, and warehouses also find great use in fire safety glass, owing to the fact that the house occupants as well as valuable items that, if damaged, will result in huge dollar losses.

Apart from protecting those involved from radiant heat, fire, and smoke, fire safety glass also ushers in plenty of natural lighting, thereby reducing the carbon emissions produced by artificial lighting.


Are You Missing Out on the Benefits of Fire-Rated Safety Glass?

This glass is instrumental in protecting your possessions and your property from a fire outbreak. Moreover, it also affords impressive insulation properties that keep your interiors comfortable throughout the year.

LITEFLAM is a proprietary fire-rated glass system engineered by Greenlite. Used since 2006 and incorporated in over 100 projects worldwide, this advanced glass floor system has fire-ratings from 1 to 2 hours – the only exterior glazed system with an insulated glass assembly for North America.

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Is Fire-Rated Glass a Game Changer For Commercial Architects in 2019?

Accordingly to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2017, it was estimated that a structural fire occurred every 63 seconds resulting in property losses well over $30 million.



The latest construction safety regulations in North America have largely influenced the way architects approach commercial and industrial projects in 2019. This is why it’s of the utmost importance for not only architects but also city planners, designers, building health and safety inspectors and engineers to rally in these efforts so as to stay compliant with these new codes.


What Exactly is Fire-Rated Glass? 

One such game-changing safety requirement in 2019 is fire-rated safety glass. Fire-rated glass floor manufacturers have taken great strides in designing safety glass that exceeds new levels of engineering excellence.

This innovative technology protects against radiant heat, flames, and smoke by averting their transfer from room to room, commonly known as compartmentalization. They are engineered with remarkable fire-ratings from 1 to 2 hours.

In essence? Fire-rated safety glass minimizes damages and allows people to effectively evacuate the premises. It is a rigorously tested glass that can endure temperatures as high as 1700°F while still maintaining its integrity and insulation properties as mentioned before.

Besides ushering safety to the forefront, these systems are customizable depending on your building’s unique fire requirements.

For instance, Greenlite’s proprietary fire-rated safety glass, LITEFLAM, is engineered with a standard live loading capacity of 100 psf but can be engineered to withstand higher loads if required.


Fire-Rated Safety Glass Combines Integrity and Insulation – A Novel Approach to Saving Lives

These assemblies reinforce your building’s fire protection systems to keep occupants and possessions out of harm’s way. Seeing as they act as a fire barrier and compartmentalize the outbreak of commercial fire, fire-rated glass gives firefighters more time to respond and occupants more time to egress.

The glass will turn opaque when a heat source hits the glass. What it does for the architect is it allows them to use glass where traditionally only brick, steel or concrete would be used, therefore bringing more natural light into space.

What are the types of fire-rated glass? In North America, there are two types of fire-rated glass; Resistive and Protective.

Resistive glass protects against Radiant Heat, Smoke and Flames.
Protective glass protects against only Smoke and Flames.


Where Can Fire-Rated Safety Glass Be Used?

Fire Escapes: Updated fire safety norms outline the duration of protection required for a building’s escape route. Accordingly, architects have to modify the layout to factor in these norms.

Indoor Partitions: Fire-rated glass confines the fire and prevents it from travelling to other rooms. It makes sense that this glass should be incorporated as partitions between different rooms. Because it is see-through, it opens the space and lets natural light through space.

A common question is, “Is tempered glass fire resistant?” The answer is no. Tempered glass is nowhere as tough enough to endure high temperatures as it can only provide an integrity rating of 20 minutes with no insulation performance whatsoever. Even if you were to pair a tempered glass partition with a sprinkler system, it will shatter when shocked with water at such high temperatures.

Dry Lining: The structure’s internal lining can go a long way to curb the growth of a fire. On the other hand, if these materials are easily combustible, they can also contribute to the fire’s proliferation. Fire-rated glass barriers, in this case, can prevent injuries and property damage.


Fire-Rated Safety Glass is a Vital Federal Safety Code Requirement in 2019

To help you stay compliant with these new regulations and increase the fire protection and fire-resistant properties of your facility, Greenlite Glass Systems manufactures a wide range of innovative and durable fire-rated glass systems – CONTRAFLAM Structure, LITEFLAM, CONTRAFLAM, KERALITE, VDS Fire Frame System, and VDS Curtain Wall.

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Clear Skies Ahead: Walkable Glass Skylights Are IDEAL For These Architectural Projects


Walk on skylights are popular in urban infrastructure and afford that sense of instant luxury. These glass skylights are breaking traditional boundaries and ushering in an innovative age for the modern architect. They assist designers, city planners and safety inspectors in lending a visually stunning aura to commercial buildings, while also remaining compliant with 2019 structural fire safety codes.


LITEFLAM: The Modern Architect’s Walkable Glass Skylight System

Greenlite Glass Systems is a leading walkable skylight manufacturer in North America. Our proprietary fire-rated glass flooring system, LITEFLAM, is sleek and durable and complies with all the major thermal and load codes along with ballistic impact ratings.

LITEFLAM consists of individual slip-resistant panels that can be installed in walkable skylights and other such indoor and outdoor applications to brighten the interiors with natural lighting, allowing building owners to drastically cut down on energy consumption levels.

LITEFLAM is the first labelled and listed exterior fire-rated walkable skylight system in North America. It has been tested and certified by – UL/ULC – Underwriter Laboratories and SwRI – Southwest Research Institute Laboratories.

Here is a list of projects wherein this advanced walkable skylight system is best put to use:


1. Pedestal Paver Integration

If your project calls for installing a walkable skylight system into a roof paver layout, LITEFLAM is the ideal option for you. It has been expertly designed to add value to pedestal paver applications and can be configured as per your precise specifications. With a live loading capacity of 100 psf, LITEFLAM offers an excellent, trouble-free and sturdy usage. If you require a higher live loading capacity than this standard figure, LITEFLAM can be designed to accommodate any variation.


2. Green Rooftops and Terraces

Green rooftops offer a lavish and refreshing sight to passersby and occupants as they are usually characterized by walkable glass skylights and plenty of vegetation. They are increasingly incorporated into transit hubs, museums, high-rises and luxury shopping malls across metropolitan areas because of their unmatched aesthetic.

A popular example of a green roof to look at is the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, in which the team at Greenlite Glass Systems had a hand in the development and build of the walkable skylight. Another is the Vancouver Convention Centre.

These flora infused roofs are an ingenious styling given that they make use of plenty of otherwise neglected space, while also improving the surrounding air quality. The walkable glass skylights seen in these types of rooftops create a peaceful view for the occupants indoors, provide natural insulation and cut down on energy costs. Studies have shown that green roofs last longer than traditional roofing and they also help reduce the urban heat island effect.

LITEFLAM skylights let in plenty of daylight into the areas below while still enabling the roof to be used for a wide variety of purposes. It’s non-slip, moisture-resistant surface prevents potential hazards and accidents. Apart from this, LITEFLAM’s versatile design enables it to seamlessly blend into the green landscape, and stay compliant with industry standards and energy codes.


3. Indoor/Outdoor Bridges and Atriums

If your project entails an indoor/outdoor catwalk or bridge that requires a walkable glass surface, LITEFLAM is the perfect turnkey solution that is engineered for immediate use. By installing walk-on skylights in these locations, you can convert an otherwise bland area into an attractive masterpiece.

Moreover, these areas witness the highest amount of foot traffic over and above the other applications we’ve listed in this article. LITEFLAM creates functional and dynamic spaces and can withstand a live loading capacity of 100 psf or higher. Nothing is more stunning than the natural lighting effects created when daylight penetrates through the various subterranean levels in your structure with walkable skylights. Right from the rooftop to the basement you can enjoy an uninterrupted flow of light with the help of LITEFLAM.


4. Interior Flooring

Interior spaces are rendered all the more unique with walkable glass flooring systems.

The fire-rated glass allows for various design options to be accommodated into floors. The overriding benefit? LITEFLAM acts as a fire-resistant and fire-protective safety glass from 1-2 hours. It compartmentalizes fire, smoke and radiant heat in the event of a structural fire outbreak and gives occupants time to egress. LITEFLAM’s reinforced design prevents break-ins, further augmenting its safety features.

Because of LITEFLAM’s modular design, only those individual panels that require repair can be removed and replaced instead of pulling apart the entire system. A sacrificial sheet option is also available so that the top line can be replaced without replacing the unit. Attic stock can be ordered at the time of manufacturing.


5. Landings 

LITEFLAM has the ability to meet all your demanding requirements and cater to the unique design palette of the structure.

If its rigorous field testing is anything to go by, LITEFLAM has proven itself to be a sturdy and resilient system – one that can withstand incredible amounts of foot traffic while still preserving its watertight and slip-resistant integrity. Architects and occupants alike have reported that this system instantly adds a wow factor to its environs.

LITEFLAM is an Attractive Fire-Rated Safety Glass, Available For Immediate Installation and Use!

Highly durable, attractive, moisture- and slip-resistant, rigorously field-tested, and safety complaint as per the latest 2019 construction safety norms – LITEFLAM is the perfect solution for your next project.


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Is Glass Flooring a Smart Building Investment or Are You Setting Yourself Up For a Fall?

Tags: glass floor system; walk on glass floor specialists;

Modern day architecture offers many interesting stylings so as to elevate the visuals of your commercial property. One such styling in particular – glass flooring systems – can make a very dramatic style statement. Not too many materials out there are able to mirror their natural beauty. Traditionally, glass was the popular material of choice for high-rise buildings and for decorative panels on boats. Recently, they’ve picked up immense traction and are being featured in offices, restaurants and in homes across the country.


If you’re at a juncture where you’re ready to put down money on a durable glass flooring system but wonder whether it’s a wise building investment (that will earn its keep), here are some points to consider.

The pros of quality glass flooring solutions go beyond just attractive looks. Not only are they easy to get your hands on, but they are also wallet-friendly – explaining their surging popularity. They bring plenty of surprising (and perhaps little known) benefits that might not have occurred to you. Curious? Read on to learn more!


Ushers in Plenty of Natural Light 

Lighting, especially in copious amounts, can positively transform the look of your interiors. Windows and glass partitions usher in daylight as do walkable glass skylights and glass flooring.

They allow light to penetrate through all the subterranean levels in your commercial building, creating a warm, vibrant and comfortable atmosphere to function in. This also helps you cut down on artificial light sources that spike your energy bill. In fact, the health benefits of daylight are well documented. People work better and are more productive when exposed to natural lighting. Glass flooring is environmentally sound and a very sustainable option for your facility. It does double duty by being cost-effective and energy-friendly.


Offers Superior Insulation 

As you know, glass is a poor conductor of heat which means it is thoroughly fire-resistant and prevents the transfer of radiant heat, smoke and flames from one level to the next. This ability also makes it a wonderful insulation material. It seals in conditioned air and prevents leakages of any kind. During summer months, cool air remains in your facility rather than escaping through. It does the same for warm air during the winter.

When you install glass flooring, the initial capital you put down will be compensated for by the money you save in monthly energy bills. Another perk here is that glass is waterproof and moisture-resistant. You won’t have to be concerned about leakages. Glass flooring brings with it amazing longevity, making it durable against any and all weather conditions.


Easy to Install, Repair and Clean

Glass is low-maintenance in that it’s very easy to install, repair and clean. Easy installation means reduced labour costs. Because of its extended life cycle, the need to repair or replace individual panels regularly is almost redundant.

Certain glass flooring applications like LITEFLAM are made up of standalone components that can be repaired as such rather than dismantling the whole assembly. When you want your glass flooring to be sparkling clean, all you need is water and a mop. The amount of cleaning required will depend on how much foot traffic your flooring witnesses on a daily basis.


Custom Configurations Based on Your Say-So

Greenlite Systems offers several glass flooring solutions that serve as attractive focal points in rooftop and decking applications. We understand that each structure comes with its unique architectural demands. Our glass solutions aim to complement rather than corrupt the other elements in your facility.

Invest in glass systems that are made to order. We configure them based on the exact dimensions you require. You also have the option of choosing from a wide range of glazing solutions such as dual glazed, triple glazed, laminated high transmission low emissivity (Low-E) glass, marine glazed and insulated glazed among many others. You can also opt to get your glass sandblasted so as to prevent it from being a slipping hazard for your occupants.


LITEFLAM – The Cost-Effective and Sustainable Walkable Glass Flooring Solution

Greenlite Systems are walk-on glass floor specialists. LITEFLAM is Greenlite’s patented fire-safety glass flooring solution to meet your design vision as well as your facility’s structural demands. It has amazing live-loading capabilities and can withstand 100 psf for 1-2 hours – making it the first exterior glass application that can do so.


LITEFLAM’s non-slip surface prevents accidents within your facility. Standalone replacement of individual components is made possible so that you don’t have to incur significant costs to replace the entire assembly. With LITEFLAM, affordability, safety and beauty are ushered to the forefront – making it the best investment decision you could possibly make for your commercial property!

LITEFLAM – Just the Glass Flooring Solution Your Facility Needs!

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5 Surprising Benefits of Walkable Glass Skylights (and Why They Are an Investment You Won’t Regret)!


Residential and commercial skylights have become a mainstay in contemporary architectural design. In fact, walkable glass skylights are an inspiring and attractive focal point for rooftop applications. These usher plenty of natural lighting into your facility, lending it an inviting atmosphere.

To elevate their performance and reach greater levels of energy efficiency, Greenlite combines each individual glass flooring panel with an insulated unit. Our fire-rated skylights are constructed to match each user’s specifications and live up to the unique architectural demands of the building. Given that these go beyond simply being aesthetically satisfying, it’s only fair that we explore the top 5 more surprising benefits of walkable glass skylights.

  1. Anti-Slip Walkable Surfaces and Impressive Load-Bearing Capacities

Greenlite has engineered the glass flooring for your building’s skylights to meet some very precise criteria. Firstly, they must complement the room that they adorn and be appealing to the occupants’ eye. Secondly, they should be code-approved in tandem with the building’s safety stipulations. The latter alludes to the fact that the material used must be slip-resistant and should also have reasonable load-bearing capacities.

LITEFLAM, Greenlite’s proprietary fire-rated product, is designed to accommodate just that. We’ve pulled out the stops to ensure that this glass meets all the major architectural requirements in the country with regards to thermal and load codes as well as ballistic impact ratings. Because customization is key, you can even have your glass designed to withstand loads higher than 100 psf, which is the industry standard. Additionally, we offer a wide range of slip-resistant glass flooring or you can opt for having your glass treated with a sandblasted anti-slip surface (patterns or dots).

  1. Extremely Versatile for a Wide Range of Applications

Greenlite’s glass skylights cater to sleek and seamless modern designs. Besides the visual appeal, they are very easy to install and allow for trouble-free usage. Moreover, the materials used to create the skylights are above par. They come with an increased resistance to moisture and to the challenges that the elements present. They also come with reinforced designs to prevent break-ins. Because these flooring systems are available in a wide range of dimensions, designs and colours, they are suitable for a plethora of applications – whether coastal or non-coastal. It is this versatility that makes them the de facto industry-grade solution, featured more and more in architectural enterprises around the city.

  1. Impressive Fire-Rated Applications

One of the most important prerequisites that you’ll want with your walkable skylight is a fire-rated glass flooring system. These are code-approved as per your local community’s or building’s requirements and act as a barrier between different levels to provide that added level of fire protection. LITEFLAM is an advanced fire-rated glass that is also impact resistant. It acts as a firestop, thus preventing smoke, flames and radiant heat transfer from one level to the next.

Even if you choose to customize your glass to accommodate sandblasted applications or decorative frits, rest assured that these personalizations are done without compromising on the fire-rating capacity of the assembly. It is this design flexibility and state-of-the-art technology that makes LITEFLAM a forerunner as far as walkable glass skylights are concerned.

  1. Plenty of Glazing Solutions Available

As mentioned, there’s nothing more important than ensuring your glass applications match your facility’s unique aesthetic. They should complement rather than corrupt the overall structure as well as each individual room. To this end, Greenlite offers innovative customized flooring systems that are made to order. You’ll definitely be spoiled for choice with regards to your preferences and project needs.

Our top-of-the-line glazing solutions include dual glazed, laminated, triple glazed, insulated glazing units, high transmission low emissivity (Low-E) glass and marine glazed to name a few.

  1. Superior Durability and Extended Lifespan

Tempered glass has impressive survivability rates – lasting well over 10 years. It can withstand extreme pressures and impacts, lending itself an extended lifespan. This means that by installing these systems, you will be running very reasonable repair and maintenance costs in the long-run. Added to that, this durable and water-resistant glass is specially built to take on Canada’s inclement weather conditions – from snowstorms to hailstorms.

LITEFLAM, in particular, is a glass assembly that is very structurally robust. It is engineered to resist the standard 100 pounds per square foot, however, you can also opt to have it built to accommodate greater loads. It does multiple jobs at once – not only does it afford you ample privacy but also lets in abundant daylight. The walkable safety glass is proved to be fire-resistant for 1-2 hours, making it the first-ever outdoor fire-rated skylight system that can do so!

Are You in the Market for a High-Quality Walkable Glass Skylight?

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