Case Study. Fire Rated Security Glass at Plaquemines Parish Detention Center. Architects clear, wire-free lines of sight for supervisors to observe the inmates while still providing secure separation, physical containment and protection against forced entry and ballistic attack. SAFTI FIRST provided SuperSecure II-XLS
Plaquemines Parish Detention Center was one of the major structures devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Plaquemines Parish Detention Center was one of the major structures devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Due to extensive damage, inmates were transferred to neighboring facilities and Congress allocated funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the design and construction of a new jail. After years of delays, construction of the new 207,000-square-foot facility that could house up to 871 inmates and employ 125 correctional officers broke ground in 2011, and is on track to be finished this year.
During the design phase, the designers at L. R. Kimball in Ebensburg, PA reached out to SAFTI FIRST for fire and security rated glazing options. They wanted the glazing system to provide clear, wire-free lines of sight for supervisors to observe the inmates while still providing secure separation, physical containment and protection against forced entry and ballistic attack. Since the glazing system was located in various egress paths and control rooms, it would have to be fire rated as well. Lastly, the architects also wanted a tested and listed system from a single-source manufacturer.
Taking all of the fire and security requirements into account, SAFTI FIRST supplied SuperSecure II-XLS with Level III Ballistic/Grade 2 Attack in GPX Ballistic Framing for the corridors and SuperSecure II-XLS with Level III Ballistic/Grade 2 Attack and one-way reflective glass in GPX Ballistic Framing for the control rooms. Since these systems were located on the ground level, SAFTI FIRST supplied the GPX Ballistic Framing already welded to simplify the installation process and reduce labor hours.
When this project went out to bid, alternative fire rated glass suppliers proposed a design where the ballistic glass would come from a different manufacturer and then glazed alongside the fire rated glass in the field. This was rejected by the architect because they wanted a tested and listed system from one manufacturer.
“During the design phase, it was obvious that the designers wanted a wireless, bullet/attack resistant and fire rated glass system. The SuperSecure II-XLS product met all of their performance and aesthetic requirements,” says Tim Nass, VP of National Sales at SAFTI FIRST. “The appeal was a product that had been tested and listed specifically for these types of applications. The designers took comfort in knowing they didn’t have a system ‘cobbled’ together with different components, but rather a system designed to do the job as required.”
Glazing two separate pieces of glass in the field also increases the material cost, as well as installation and maintenance costs as condensation may occur between the two separate pieces of glass. In addition, the alternative framing system proposed by other suppliers had exposed stops and screws, which could potentially be tampered with. The GPX Ballistic Framing system incorporates aluminum caps that cover all the screws, eliminating the potential of tampering with the frames.
At the end of the day, SAFTI FIRST was able to meet the aesthetic and performance requirements of this project by collaborating with the architect in the design phase and delivering a solution that enhances the design of this modern, secure and specialized facility while ensuring the safety of the guards, staff and inmates.