February 5, 2018 Project Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since February 2012, Greenlite Glass has been working on a groundbreaking project with various other suppliers and companies to construct a complex 400,000 square-foot building like no other in Washington, DC. Over 4 years of construction later, the building–now known as the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)–opened its doors to the public in September 2016.

Since then, Greenlite Glass has been honoured with the 2017 Green Design Award from US glass magazine for its contribution to the NMAAHC. Featuring fire-rated glass floors from Greenlite, in addition to glass curtain walls, skylights, glass soffits, and more, the NMAAHC has also been certified as LEED Gold, the first honour of its kind for any building on the National Mall.

Discover the Fire Rated Glass Floors NMAAHC Used

To complement the architectural design and aesthetics of the building, the NMAAHC utilizes fire-rated glass systems supplied by Greenlite Glass. More specifically, the NMAAHC features LITEFLAM XT 120, a state-of-the-art fire-rated glass floor constructed with Contraflam fire-rated glass from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain.

Thanks to the exclusive properties of LITEFLAM XT 120, architects were able to take advantage of the product’s unique selling points:

  • Fire-Resistance (up to 2 hours)
  • Impact-Resistance (standard live loading of 150psf)
  • Energy Efficiency

Strategically placed in the 400,000 square-foot NMAAHC, LITEFLAM XT 120’s unique properties allow for natural light to pass through the lower levels of the museum–where artificial light would otherwise be used as a light source. Conveniently, LITEFLAM also promotes energy-efficiency; by encouraging the use of natural light, LITEFLAM XT 120 helps reduce overall operational costs used towards lighting and heating.

Further, not only does it stop flames from spreading, the state-of-the-art glass floor system also stops heat and air conditioning from escaping. Known as the first tested fire-rated glass floor system and exterior fire-rated glass floor/skylight system, the LITEFLAM is unparalleled in the industry.

The Specifics of the LITEFLAM XT 120

LITEFLAM XT 120 is Greenlite Glass Systems’ proprietary fire-rated glass system that is both impact-resistant and fire-rated for up to 120 minutes. As one of the exterior glazed insulated glass assembly in North America, LITEFLAM helps keep fire, flames and smoke out in case of an emergency.

Beyond that, LITEFLAM XT 120 can be used as a durable, non-slip walking surface with approved loads of 150 psf. To further guarantee its safety, Greenlite Glass Systems including LITEFLAM have been listed by the South West Research Institute Laboratories (SwRI). Available for both interior and exterior applications, LITEFLAM has been used to complete over 100 projects worldwide since 2006, including the groundbreaking NMAAHC in Washington, DC.

About The US Green Glass Design Award

In order to be considered for the 2017 US Glass Green Design Award, projects had to not only be attractive and energy-efficient but also had to feature unique glass and facade components.

Eligible projects were then further evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Energy performance benefits the glazing provides the project;
  • Sustainable attributes of the glazing systems used on this project;
  • Whether or not the building project is certified to any green building programs (different levels of LEED, Living Building Challenge, etc);
  • Design aspects used to enhance indoor environmental quality and occupant productivity (daylighting, views, comfort, and air quality/ventilation);
  • Unique/innovative design practices, specific to the glazing; and
  • Any other green/sustainable characteristics/ features.

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