Volume 50, Issue 9 - September 2015

Now Thatís Impressive
These Projects Take a Fresh Approach to Fire-Rated Glazing

When you think about bold architectural glass applications, fire-rated glazing might not come to mind first. However, thanks to a continual stream of new developments, some projects are making big impressions. From walls to stairwells, even interior garages, fire-rated glass products are helping architects meet the necessary code requirements, while also leaving a lasting impression. Take a look at a few.

Project Name: Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Architect: The Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership
Glazing Contractor: Continental Glass Systems
Products Provided: SAFTIFIRST’s SuperLite II-XL 120 in
GPX Architectural Series Framing

Luxurious living often includes a luxurious automobile. In the recently completed Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., the two can go hand-in-hand. One of the main features of this residence is a glass elevator that takes residents and their car up to their condo unit. Once home, a transparent wall allows them to still view their cars from their unit. 

To meet fire-rating code requirements, SAFTIFIRST provided a segmented, two-hour glass wall using SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Architectural Series Framing to enclose the elevators. The two-hour segmented wall can be seen from the lobby and spans several levels. The company also provided two-hour walls using SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Architectural Series Framing to create a fire-rated separation between the living space and garage where the cars will be parked. The two-hour wall is available in all of the units within the tower.

Project Name: University Center
at The New School, New York
Architect: SOM
Glazing Contractor:
RG Glass Creations
Products Provided
TGP’s Fireframes® Heat Barrier
Series fire-rated frames with Pilkington Pyrostop® transparent fire-rated
glass wall panels

In The New School University Center in New York, designed by SOM, fire-rated glazing helps turn a frequently traversed fire-rated stairwell into a central design element. Technical Glass Products (TGP) supplied fire-resistant-rated glass wall panels and fire-rated frames with custom corners and angles to mirror the stairwell’s elevations and diagonal trajectories. According to information from TGP, this design treatment gives movement to the vertical academic building, transforming a code-driven application into a point of visual engagement. The transparent fire-rated glass panels also create a pathway for quick, safe egress while facilitating opportunities for interaction among students. The outcome is a fire-rated stairwell that elevates the building’s design and accommodates the fire- and life-safety needs of students and faculty in the busy academic institution.

Project Name:
Community College of Denver, Denver
Oz Architecture
Glazing Contractor
Metropolitan Glass
Products Provided:
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain’s
Contraflam Structure

The use of large spans of glass can help meet the growing trend toward increased transparency, bringing
natural light far into interior spaces. The Community College of Denver’s new Student Learning and Engagement Building is just one example. Glass was used to enclose a third-story atrium as well as one-hour and two-hour stairways. The stairways are a means of egress, but the architects decided to enclose them in glass to allow light to continue to pass through the building.

Contraflam Structure from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain was used in the project to provide optically continuous, unbroken expanses of glass that meet EW30-EI120 frameless fire-protection requirements.

The 10-foot-tall enclosures and matching doors also have no mullions, yet still meet the one- and two-hour fire-rating requirements.

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