July 12, 2020 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 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, 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 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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