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Case Studies

Fire Resistive Glass Floors Make a Dramatic Statement in Nashville’s Historic Neighborhood

Fire rated resistive glass floors at 21c Museum in Nashville
SAFTI FIRST became aware of the new 21c Museum Hotel project when the design team called looking for an economical option for a unique fire rated application for a boutique hotel in Nashville’s historical Printers Alley neighborhood. The design featured a glass floor on the 2nd level that would also act as a light well. In order to comply with fire rated code requirements, the transparent floor needed to meet a 1-hour fire resistive rating.

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Fire Resistive Transparent Walls Transform Stairwells and Exits to Inviting, Light-filled Spaces

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To preserve the building’s open design and to extend natural light further in the building, the architects incorporated fire resistive glazing in the areas that required a 2-hour fire rating, particularly in the stairwells and exit passageways at the new Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

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Fire Rated Switchable Glass Provides Privacy and Fire Protection at the University of Chicago Medical Center

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The new 10-story “Center for Care and Discovery” building in the University of Chicago Medical Center’s campus is dubbed as the “hospital of the future” for its high-tech design and groundbreaking scientific work. At 1.2 million square feet, it is one of the largest buildings at the campus and has already transformed the skyline of Chicago’s south side.

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Fire Resistive Blast and Ballistic Glass Walls in High Security Facilities

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A building’s design is very much influenced by the function it performs and the perceived threats that it may face – whether it’s from natural disasters, accidents or terrorist attacks – with the latter being a foremost concern for federal courthouses, embassies, government facilities and other high profile buildings. Because of these security concerns, trade-offs have been made when it comes to daylighting, energy efficiency and aesthetics to name a few. The good news is that today, high-performance security glazing make-ups are available to meet the level of protection needed while continuing to provide natural light and a feeling of openness.

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Fire Resistive Curtain Wall Helps Hospital Meet Fire and Seismic Requirements

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Ratcliff was chosen as the architect to design the new three-story, 60,000 square foot San Jose Downtown Health Center that includes urgent care for adults and children, primary care for pediatric, OB/GYN and family medicine, behavioral health services, laboratory, pharmacy and radiology departments. Their design takes advantage of glazing’s ability to draw natural light from the outdoors to create a warm, pleasing atmosphere that promotes healing. Part of the hospital’s exterior curtain wall had to be fire rated for one hour and meet seismic requirements per SB 1953 as well.

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Fire Rated Glass Contributes to Salt Lake City Public Safety Building’s Sustainable and Resilient Design Goals

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The Salt Lake City Public Safety Building in Utah is the first U.S. Public Safety Building to achieve both a net-zero rating and LEED Platinum status and designed to survive a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and remain fully functional afterwards. This ensures that the city’s emergency operations center can survive and help the city recover in the event of an earthquake or a similar disaster. Fire rated glass contributes to achieving sustainable design goals by maximizing daylight penetration deep within a building and shared artificial lighting between spaces. It also ensures that occupants can exit the building safely in the event of an earthquake, which can damage sprinkler systems and render them ineffective.

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Fire Rated Glass Brings Whimsical and Reliable Protection at Children’s Hospital

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One of the highlights of the SUNY University Hospital’s vertical expansion is the addition of the Golisano Children’s Hospital on the top two floors of the six-story addition. Since the project added new floors, stairwell enclosures were also added. Traditionally, stairwells are relegated to the back of the building, and are usually closed-off, dimly lit and seldom used. Today, stairwells are becoming a prominent design feature and its use is encouraged more and more for the health benefits that stair climbing provides.

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Porsche Design Tower Sets a New Standard of Cool with the Help of Fire Rated Glass

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Perhaps no other residential high-rise has created more buzz than the highly-anticipated Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles, Florida. A collaboration between Dezer Development and the Porsche Design Group, the 60-story, 132-residence luxury tower designed by Sieger Suarez Architects promises to deliver a new standard of cool.

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Fire Rated Curtain Wall Performance in Dramatic Weather Conditions

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As far as extreme environments go, Wisconsin has some of the most dramatic in North America. During the winter months, temperatures regularly dip well below freezing, and in the summer months the temperatures can reach up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with significant humidity levels for extended periods of time. Given these dramatic weather conditions, the materials chosen for the building envelope should not only protect building occupants from the elements, but ensure their comfort as well.

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Tall Order at the Exploratorium

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The newly-opened Exploratorium has brought energy and excitement to the city's bustling waterfront. EHDD transformed the historic Pier 15, built in 1915, to a 330,000 square foot indoor and outdoor campus, being touted as the largest net-zero building in the city and potentially the largest net-zero museum in the world. SAFTI FIRST supplied a total of 19 pairs of 45-minute steel doors 11 pairs on north side and 8 pairs on the south side using SuperLite II-XL 45 IGU in SAFTIfire HM Framing.

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Fire Rated Glass Helps SFPUC Building Achieve LEED Platinum

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The new San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters combines maximum daylighting and fire safety with a multi-story, fire rated glass stairwell from SAFTI FIRST. Dubbed as the "greenest building in North America," this Class A LEED Platinum office building features a transparent, 2-hour fire rated stairwell, situated prominently near the main entrance. SAFTI FIRST supplied SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Wall Framing and SuperLite II-XL 90 in HMTR Door Framing, starting from the lobby all the way to the top-most floor.

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Fire Resistive Curtain Wall at Aspen Art Museum

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Designed by Pritzker prize winning architect Shigeru Ban, the brand new 33,000 sf Aspen Art Museum boasts large exterior glass walls designed to keep the visitors engaged with views of the beautiful Aspen landscape. SAFTI FIRST’s engineering team provided design assistance and supplied a 2 hour fire resistive curtain wall with SuperLite II-XL 120 with Starphire Ultra-Clear Glass insulated with Viracon VE13-85 in GPX Curtain Wall Framing. A woven screen encloses the glass curtain wall to provide shading from direct sunlight.

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Fire Rated Security Glass at Plaquemines Parish Detention Center

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Plaquemines Parish Detention Center was one of the major structures devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In rebuilding, designers L. R. Kimball looked for an all-in-one clear, wire-free glazing solution that protects against fire, bullets and forced entry. SAFTI FIRST supplied a complete single-source tested and listed assembly that was easy to install and maintenance-free.

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GPX Framing with Sunshade Connectors at Doolittle BART Station

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For BART's Doolittle Maintenance Facility at the new Oakland Airport connector, SAFTI FIRST provided 60 minute, fire resistive wall openings in the exterior using SuperLite II-XL 60 insulated with low-e glazing in GPX Framing with a clear anodized finish. SAFTI FIRST engineered a connection that allows the structural elements of the GPX Framing System to support an integral sunshade system, instead of being hung in front of it. The Doolittle Bart Station is one of the first installations of the GPX System with sunshade connections, which also include SLCC New Instruction and Administrative Building in Salt Lake City, UT.

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Fire Rated Glass Provides Privacy, Daylight at Ridgewood High

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For a recent renovation of a stairwell and exit corridors at Ridgewood High School in Illinois, the design team specified SuperLite II-XL 60 in GPX Framing for its optical clarity, storefront-like appearance, and high STC ratings. In order to meet the code requirements and maximize the daylight penetrating into the building, the architects decided to use fire rated glass in the one-hour exit corridor. Because the glazing exceeds 25% of the wall area, fire resistive glass and framing assemblies rated equal to the wall had to be used.

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Middlebury Replaces Unsafe Wired Glass

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After learning about the hazards of traditional wired glass and changes in the building code, MIddlebury College acted quickly to survey and catalogue every piece of traditional wired glass panel on campus. They created a spreadsheet noting the location and sizes of over 1500 pieces of traditional wired glass in doors and windows. Then, Middlebury set out to replace the wired glass with clear, safe, fire rated alternatives.

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Medical Center Maximizes Natural Daylight with Fire Rated Glass

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Central to the new UC Davis Medical Center Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion's design was a large skylight that allows natural light to vertically flow into the atrium area and other light wells throughout the building. However, they also wanted to let light flow horizontally into the adjacent hallways, rooms, etc. Because the walls in the atrium and light wells have to meet a 2-hour rating, Stantec Architects approached SAFTI FIRST for a solution. Large portions of the 2 hour atrium and light well walls were made “transparent” with the use of SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Framing.

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Technical College Renovation Features Fire Rated Glass Walls

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Central to the building's design are several simulation labs, practice labs, and mock operating rooms where students can observe instructors and each other as they perform their tasks. Because these labs are in areas where a 1-hour fire rating has to be maintained, the architects chose to combine vision, transparency, and fire safety with SuperLite II-XL 60 in GPX Framing.

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Utah Junior High Adds Fire Rated Glass to Corridors

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AJC Architects of Salt Lake City, Utah looked to SAFTI FIRST when it came time to renovate the media center and build a new counseling center for North Layton Junior High School. They realized they could take advantage of a clear fire-rated glazing to keep the look of the media center and provide an open, welcoming entrance to the new counseling center.

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Fire Rated Glazing Helps Historic University Preserve its Past

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The new Robert B. Aikens Commons at the University of Michigan Law School was built on an unused grassy courtyard between Hutchins Hall and the legal research building. The proximity of the new common area to historic Hutchins Hall posed a unique challenge. The building code required a 2 hour fire rated barrier between them. The architects specified SuperLite II-XL 120, a clear, fire resistive glazing product that meets the ASTM E-119 wall standard for up to 2 hours.

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Glass Curtain Wall Lets Light In and Keeps Fire Out

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Prairie Hills Junior High School's south-facing elevation features a glazed aluminum curtain wall that incorporates PPG Solarblue and PPG Solarban 60 glazing. Parts of the curtain wall had to meet a two-hour rating because it was adjacent to a two-hour block wall through the building's interior. SAFTI FIRST supplied SuperLite II-XL 120 IGU in SAFTIfire CW Framing in order to meet ASTM E-119/NFPA 251/UL263 requirements.

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Utah Business School Features Dramatic Fire Rated Glass Wall

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The David Eccles School of Business on the University of Utah campus features a 28- x 18-ft 2 hour interior glass wall with a 90 minute full-vision door in an exit enclosure/stairwell. The architects selected fire rated glass to meet fire rating requirements while providing maximum visibility and natural daylighting in the space. The project’s specifications also required the fire rated glass to have the same optical clarity as the adjacent non-rated glass systems.

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Fire Rated Glass Adds Safety to Nanobioelectronics Clean Room

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The Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering within the Gateway University Research Park in Greensboro, North Carolina is a new 105,000 sf interdisciplinary research facility dedicated to academic and industrial research. To create an open, transparent lab design, SAFTI FIRST provided SuperLite II-XL 60 in GPX Frames for the 60 minute walls.

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Cincinnati Art Museum Renovation Features Transparent Stairwell

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When the Cincinnati Art Museum embarked on an $11 million renovation, the architects wanted the entrance and main stair to be as inviting as possible. Transparent, fire rated glazing from SAFTI FIRST was a key component of the design solution. To maximize the vision area in door itself, SuperLite II-XL 60 in HMTR Framing full-lite doors. In some of the stairwell doors in less prominent locations, SAFTI FIRST provided SuperLite X-90 for the vision panels under 100 sq. inches.

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Fire Resistive Curtain Wall at NYC Midtown Community Court

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The 1890s-era Midtown Community Court in New York City—a New York Historic Landmark—is currently undergoing a five year, $18 million renovation that includes a 9,650-square-foot addition for a new elevator, lobby and stairwell featuring fire resistive glass and curtain wall. The system consists of SAFTI FIRST’s SuperLite II-XL 120 IGU in SAFTIfire CW Framing.

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San Diego Highrise Uses Fire Rated Glass on South Facade

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Because the Sapphire Towers' south facing elevation was in close proximity to the adjacent property, code regulations required the south façade to either be solid, which was contrary to the design, or to have openings with a minimum fire protection of 45 minutes. SAFTI FIRST engineered a system that met the uniform design demands and performance requirements for the windows and balconies in all 32 floors in the south-facing elevation.

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Boston Building Protects Property Line with Fire Resistive Curtain Wall

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The west-facing elevation of The Kensington in Boston, MA, was in close proximity to the property line, prompting the building official to require part of the curtain wall had to meet ASTM E-119/NFPA 251/UL263 for 60 minutes. SAFTI FIRST supplied SuperLite II-XL 60 insulated with Solarban 70XL in SAFTIfire CW Framing in a continuous span from the seventh to the tenth floors.

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Fire Rated Glazing Adds Visual Appeal to Parking Garages

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Codes required fire wall separations between parking garages and businesses, markets, homes and other uses. Architects can replace entire walls with glass to open up buildings like never before. For example, SuperLite II-XL in GPX Framing by SAFTI FIRST is a USA-made fire resistive transparent wall system that blocks radiant heat and meets the same stringent ASTM E-119/ UL 263/ NFPA 251 code requirements that any opaque fire rated wall must meet.

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Florida Condos Install Fire and Hurricane Rated Glass Wall Assemblies

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SAFTI FIRST developed, engineered and successfully tested the first-ever fire and hurricane rated assembly for the Las Olas Beach Club and Condominium, a luxurious multi-family residence in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The architect wanted to design the units with as much glazing as possible so residents can enjoy views of the surrounding area from their homes.

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Glazing Offers a Fire and Hurricane Rated Solution for US Veterans

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The new Orlando VA Medical Center needed glazing that would not only provide light and transparency, but fire and hurricane protection and improved energy performance. SuperLite II-XL in SAFTIfire Hurricane Framing from SAFTI FIRST was installed in exterior fire-rated locations that were exposed to the elements. These assemblies were rigorously tested and certified for fire and radiant heat protection for up to two hours, large missile impact, air and water infiltration, and cyclic wind loading.

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