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Clear and Economical Fire Rated Glazing that Outperforms Wired Glass Now Available in Canada

Clear and Economical Fire Rated Glazing that Outperforms Wired Glass Now Available in Canada

After extensive review, the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) just released CAN/CGSB Safety Glazing Standard 12.1-2017. Last updated in 1990, the revised standard now applies to all safety glazing materials used in Canada, not just tempered and laminated glass.  At the same time, CSGB also withdrew CAN/CGSB-12.11 Wired Safety Glass, which applied a lower 12” drop height (100 ft. lbs.) to assess wired glass as a safety glass.  To qualify as safety glazing used in doors, sidelites and other locations where impact safety is required, all glazing products must meet a Class B rating (18” drop height/150 ft. lbs.) or the more stringent Class A rating (48” drop height/400 ft. lbs.).  Traditional polished wired glass does not even meet the lower Class B rating,

This standard change is due to the overwhelming public safety concern from several injury reports and multi-million dollar lawsuits stemming from accidental impact with wire glass, which is the most commonly used fire rated glazing product commercial buildings most especially in schools. According to an expert quoted the the article “Wired glass injures as many as one child a day in Canadian schools, expert says” that appeared in Global News, the Ontario School Boards’ Insurance Exchange (OSBIE) reported more than $5.8 million in costs for 114 wired glass injury claims from 2001 and 2015.

Because CAN/CGSB Safety Glazing Standard 12.1-2017 will be the referenced safety glazing standard in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC), traditional wired glass will no longer be permitted in fire rated glazing applications such as doors and sidelites, and should not be used in any location where impact safety is a concern. Ceramic manufacturers are quick to jump on board as a replacement, but it’s important to realize that plain ceramics are no better than wired glass – it is very brittle and breaks like annealed glass.  To meet CAN/CGSB 12.1 2017, ceramics have to be either filmed or laminated, which adds to its already high cost. 

Here is how annealed glass, wired glass, ceramics and tempered glass performed in a 48” drop height (400 ft. lbs.) safety glazing test. Note that only tempered glass survived the impact test without any breakage:

Ceramics also have an amber tint, and no matter how much polishing the more expensive versions undergo, it will never have the same appearance and optical clarity as tempered glass. And just like wired glass, ceramics do not protect against dangerous radiant heat, which is a critical safety concern. Here is a short video on why fire rated glazing should protect against radiant heat:

SuperLite II-XL 45: The Clear and Economical Product that Outperforms Wired and Ceramic Glass

SuperLite II-XL 45, clear fire resistive tempered glass, meets the maximum impact safety standard and protects against fire, smoke and dangerous radiant heat. This product can be used in any 20-45 minute application and is listed and labeled by ULC and Intertek/WHI for 20-45 minute applications with hose stream.

Unlike wired and ceramic glass that are imported from Asia or Europe and available through middle-man distributors, SuperLite II-XL 45 is proudly made in North America and available directly from the manufacturer. This is why SuperLite II-XL 45 is competitively priced while offering the optical clarity and performance that wired and ceramic glass cannot match.

What about 60-120 minute fire rated applications?

By code, 60-120 minute applications must meet CAN/ULC S101 , or the fire resistive requirement.  Glazing used in this application is considered a transparent wall, capable of blocking smoke, flame and dangerous radiant heat for an extended period of time.  Because of this, fire resistive glazing that meets CAN/ULC S101 are not subject to size and area limitations in NBCC Section 3.1.8 Fire Separations and Closures.  Note that the framing used must also meet CAN/ULC S101 in order to achieve a code-compliant assembly.

SAFTI FIRST offers many options for 60-120 minute fire resistive assemblies, including walls and entrances, curtain walls, butt-glazed walls, floors and decorative applications.  It can also be customized to further protect against blast, bullets, attack and hurricanes.

Here’s how fire resistive glazing can transform any space while still meeting all fire rated code requirements:

Contact us today to see how SAFTI FIRST can meet your fire rated project needs, or reach out to our Canadian Architectural Representatives for assistance. We will be happy to assist you!

Do you have a current or upcoming project that needs fire rated glass and framing? Contact us today!