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Retrofitting or Building New: Cost-Saving Benefits of Using Fire Rated Glass in Schools

High Tech Middle School

Nowadays, around 54% of school districts across the U.S require some sort of replacement or update to the major systems in their buildings. These include conducting regular repairs, improving outdated safety systems, and enhancing the overall functions of the building. While building schools is hardly ever a cheap process, it is an integral component to maintaining proper learning conditions.

Compared to building from scratch, retrofitting schools may be the better option if you’re aiming to get work done for a lower cost. Doing so is also a sustainable alternative that can help you save on time and valuable resources.

 

The Environmental Benefits of Renovation

Retrofitting schools provides several benefits that you can’t match when building a new structure from the ground up. According to a study by the Preservation Green Lab, building reuse is more likely to offer environmental savings, as it involves less power consumption and reduces CO2 emissions. This can make climate change impact more manageable while improving the quality of human health.

Though greener renovation strategies seem to provide small differences when considering one building, this factor can be substantial if done through an entire city. But this only rings true if you put careful thought into the materials you will be using.

 

Benefits of Using Fire Rated Glass in School Renovation Projects

Fire rated glass can play a significant role in improving the quality of school renovations. Here are some of the most notable benefits you can gain through the use of these sustainable materials.

 

1. Serves as a safer alternative to unsafe wired glass

When impacted, wired glass can break easily and can cause serious injuries to students and staff members. This is because the material is held together by a wired mesh and does not provide any type of protection against pressure. The school can become liable for these instances and may be required to pay for damages in case of an accident.

Retrofitting with fire rated glass acts as a safer alternative since the material can withstand higher levels of pressure and heat. This can lower the chances of accidents while also creating a more modern learning space for students.

 

2. Enhances lighting and student performance

Glazing can provide a clear view of the outside world while creating a sense of connectivity, openness, and security. Using fire rated glass in school renovation projects can help your building achieve this while acting as a safer alternative to wired glass. This invites more natural light to come through and leads to reduced energy consumption.

School facilities that use natural light to brighten their environment can improve students’ performance studies and boost teacher morale. School districts can also lower their overall energy consumption and cut costs on utility bills.

 

3. Improves building sustainability

Fire rated glass plays a significant role in attaining more sustainable building designs. This is possible through its core feature, which limits fire from spreading throughout a facility and limiting the potential damage. Districts can save in building components and valuable materials, as well as preserve environmental resources like raw materials and power supply.

 

4. Increases protection and fire safety

Compared to wired glass and ceramics, fire rated glass holds superior strength that allows it to perform its key function. High-performance models can withstand extreme levels of heat without causing them to shatter into shards that can cause serious injuries. It also acts as a form of passive fire protection because it is designed to slow down the spread of fire and heat.

In the event of an emergency, students and other occupants have more time to safely escape the school building. This can help reduce the risks of related injuries and accidents.

 

5. Provides more design freedom

Apart from providing much-needed safety features to your building, fire rated glass can be customized to fit your design needs. This allows you to easily integrate the material into your plans without seeming like it is out of place.

Thanks to its versatility, fire rated glass easily becomes the more favorable choice without needing to sacrifice important safety features.

 

6. Compliance with safety codes

Before incorporating it into your facilities, fire rated glass undergoes a series of tests to ensure that it meets the minimum standards needed to stay up to code. This is measured by testing its durability and performance under controlled conditions. These tests help determine the fire rated glass’s fire rating, corresponding to the number of minutes it can withstand fire and heat.

 

Safety Solutions with SAFTI FIRST

Retrofitting schools proves to be the more sustainable option compared to constructing a new building. It can offer better environmental benefits that can cut carbon emissions and improve human health. It also encourages the use of more sustainable materials like fire rated glass.

SAFTI FIRST’s revolutionary, patent-pending product SuperClear 45-HS-LI is the ideal, cost effective solution when upgrading educational facilities. SuperClear 45-HS-LI is a revolutionary product that replaces unsafe wired glass and expensive, tinted ceramics in all 45 minute door, sidelite, transom and window applications. It meets NFPA 252/257 and UL 9/UL 10C with hose stream. It passes CPSC Cat. II impact safety, the highest federal impact safety standard. It is listed by both UL and Intertek, and is proudly made in the USA.

SuperClear 45-HS-LI uses low iron glazing, making it the clearest 45 minute product available today. It is available in large sizes to ensure maximum transparency. It has high acoustical ratings and is available in custom make-ups that deliver additional protection against bullets, blast, hurricane, forced entry, attack, and more. Energy-efficient and decorative options are also available.

Because SuperClear 45-HS-LI is made here in the US, it delivers all of the features at an affordable price compared to ceramics used in the same application. SAFTI FIRST is a USA-made manufacturer that offers fire rated glazing solutions compliant with standard codes. This provides better facilities that can improve student performance and create more appealing aesthetics. Reach out to our team of experts today to learn how you can make your building safer and more appealing.

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