Clear on Technical Glass

About the Author: Bill O’Keeffe is the President and CEO of SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions, a leading USA-manufacturer of advanced fire rated glass and framing systems.  An industry veteran and innovator with over 45 years of experience in architectural glazing, he was first to introduce and manufacture clear, fire resistive glazing products in the US.  He is also a safety advocate who exposed the dangers of traditional wired glass, which lead to code changes and fire rated glass products that are safe, affordable and clear alternatives to traditional wired glass.  Today, Bill continues to develop building products that enable architects to create beautiful, safe and energy-efficient spaces with advanced glazing systems.

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Glazing offers peace-of-mind for hurricane season

Project: Las Olas Beach Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Architect: The Sieger Suare
Project: Las Olas Beach Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Architect: The Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership. Products: 2-hour SAFTIfire Hurricane Wall System and 90 min. SAFTIfire Hurricane Door System
June 26, 2014

As hurricane season kicks into high gear, it reinforces the importance of balancing the aesthetic and daylight enhancements of glazing with the safety requirements to protect people and structures from hurricane-force winds.   

After Hurricane Andrew swept through southern Florida in 1992, state officials created new building codes to provide a higher level of protection for residents of southern Florida. 

Miami-Dade and Broward Counties are located in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone, which requires that all products installed meet certain pressure requirements.

Beyond the reach of those counties, a number of other codes and standards along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts as well as Hawaii and the U.S. island territories also address design requirements for high-wind zones.  

Whether a new building is required to have hurricane glass depends on the height of the structure, its distance from the coast, surrounding structures and other factors. Most current U.S. codes and standards require that the building envelope be designed to resist impact from flying debris and cyclic, fluctuating pressures. The various tests and standards go by different names, but share concepts.

Click here for a state-by-state look at hurricane impact code requirements

Since introducing the first certified fire resistive and hurricane rated wall and door systems used in the Las Olas Beach Club project in 2006, SAFTI FIRST has continued to innovate within this important and growing market segment.

The SAFTIfire Hurricane system recently earned Florida Product Approvals for 60 to 120 minute wall/window assemblies (FL16382) and 60 and 90 minute single and pair doors (FL16888). This is in addition to the Miami-Dade testing and UL certification that the product received in 2006. As a result, SAFTI FIRST is the first company to introduce a complete fire resistive and hurricane rated glazed assembly tested to ASTM E-119 up to 2 hours in the marketplace.

The SAFTIfire Hurricane system has a maximum design load of +/- 80 psf and complies with High Velocity Hurricane Zone testing requirements.

The system also meets the following standards:
• ASTM E-119/NFPA251/UL263 up to 2 hours with hose stream for Fire Resistance
• ASTM E283 for Air Infiltration Leakage
• ASTM E331/ASTM 547 for Water Penetration
• ASTM E330/TAS 202 for Uniform Static Air Pressure
• FBC 1626.2 (TAS 201 and 203) for Large Missile Impact and Cyclic Wind Loading
• AAMA 1302.5-76 and 1303.5-76 for Forced Entry (for doors)
• ASTM E1300 for Determining Load Resistance of Glass in Buildings

This approval gives the design team, construction team and owners assurance that these products will meet or exceed code along with the unique performance requirements necessary in the state of Florida.

Learn more about the SAFTIfire Hurricane system with Florida Product Approvals.

Editor's Note: This is sponsored content. The text and images were provided by the sponsor company. 


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