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

21c Museum Hotel
Nashville, TN
Architect: Deborah Berke Partners & Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel
Glazing Contractor: Wall Brothers Glass, LLC
Products Used: GPX® FireFloor System by SAFTI FIRST®

1-Hour Fire Resistive Glass Floors Case Study

Ever since the introduction of ASTM E119 / UL 263 rated fire resistive glazing, designers have been using it to bring light, openness, and elegance to rated stairwells, elevator enclosures, exit corridors, occupancy separations and curtainwalls while still providing maximum protection against smoke, flames, and radiant heat. Today, they are bringing this technology to rated floors.

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. The total area for this innovative design feature was 240 sq. ft., divided into 2 areas that were 12 ft. x 10 ft. each and carry a 100 psf load.

The original design had 30 lites of 2 ft. x 2 ft. individual glass panels in each area. With SAFTI FIRST® having the largest tested and listed individual glass panels for floor applications, our sales and engineering teams were able to propose a design comprised of 4 lites of 6 ft. x 5 ft. individual glass panels for each area and still meet the required 100 psf load. The redesign resonated with the architect and glaziers alike the concept of using larger glass sizes reduced the cost of the system and reduced the field labor to install. Ultimately, this proposal from SAFTI FIRST® was incorporated into their final design.

For this project, SAFTI FIRST® supplied a single glass unit comprised of non-slip rated Starphire tempered laminated Glass with 1/8” Non-Skid White Dots from Oldcastle insulated to custom SuperLite® II-XL fire resistive glazing. The overall thickness of the glazing was 4-13/16”. The framing was supplied with a Statuary Brown Finish as selected by the architect. Both the glass units and structural steel framing grid were manufactured in SAFTI FIRST®’s facility in Merced, CA.

The GPX® FireFloor system’s easy installation and reduced labor cost also appealed to both the design and construction teams. Other fire resistive floor systems require 2 separate installations for the glazing. Once the steel framing grid is set, the fire resistive glass is installed from the bottom while the walkable surface be installed from the top. Because the GPX® FireFloor system is comprised of a single glass unit, it can be loaded from the top once the structural steel framing grid is installed. Having a single glass unit also eliminates condensation that may occur when the walkable surface is separate from the fire resistive glass. SAFTI FIRST® was in constant contact with the glazier throughout this process to ensure that the materials were delivered to the job site on time.

The result is a beautiful, code-compliant fire resistive glass floor system that makes a dramatic statement.

For more information on SAFTI FIRST®’s GPX® FireFloor system, visit or call 888.653.3333.