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7 bold applications and innovations for fire and life safety

BD+C’s roundup features colorful sprinklers for offices, hotels, museums; a fire-rated curtain wall at a transit hub in Manhattan; a combination CO/smoke detector; and more.

May 27, 2015 |
6 bold applications and innovations for fire and life safety

The Coltlite natural louvered ventilator provides buildings with both day-to-day ventilation and smoke control to aid building evacuation in the event of a fire. 

BD+C’s roundup features colorful sprinklers for offices, hotels, museums; a fire-rated curtain wall at a transit hub in Manhattan; a combination CO/smoke detector; and more.


1. Light-filled transit hub in Lower Manhattan protected with fire-rated curtain wall

Located in the Lower Manhattan Financial District, the 180,000-sf Fulton Center integrates five stations served by nine subway lines in a light-flooded space that includes retail and offices. The facility’s defining visual features are its 53-foot-diameter glass oculus that streams light into a grand atrium, and the accompanying “Sky Reflector Net” art installation that utilizes aluminum panels to transmit sunlight 110 feet down into the center’s lowest levels.

The project’s design team, led by Grimshaw Architects and Arup, situated the retail spaces in a two-level, glass-clad structure that matches the curve of the oculus. To achieve the look of the retail structure, the team worked with glazing contractor Enclos and Technical Glass Products (TGP) to develop custom-captured horizontal steel mullions that fit the distinctive shape, for a flush and plumb surface appearance. The solution also involved a mix of fire-rated curtain wall in the upper level and elevator core and non-fire-rated curtain wall in the lower level.

“Because the interior spaces are flooded with light, a crucial part of the design aesthetic was glazed curtain walls with clean sightlines,” said Andrew Anderson, Associate Principal with Grimshaw Architects. “That’s easy enough to achieve with non-rated curtain wall assemblies, yet TGP’s fire-rated curtain walls provide the same crisp, modern look.” Technical Glass Products




2. Louvered Façade Ventilators double as smoke-control device

The latest offering from Bilco Company, the Coltlite natural louvered ventilator, provides buildings with both day-to-day ventilation and smoke control to aid building evacuation in the event of a fire. The ventilator is offered with a number of louver and control options—including single-pane louvers, double-pane louvers, and aluminum louvers that can be specified with a powder coat finish to match a building’s façade—to complement any architectural design and meet the ventilation requirements of any building. Double-pane louvers are available in a thermally broken design to minimize heat loss. Coltlite can be specified for electric or pneumatic operation and set to open and close as required for proper mixed-mode ventilation. Bilco Company




3. Colorful sprinklers bring high design to fire/life safety

The newly launched Raven Studio Sprinklers line from Tyco Fire Protection Products features a low profile and custom color options for design-focused applications, such as offices, hotels, casinos, education facilities, and museums. The flush design conceals the deflector and other operating parts behind the link assembly. The escutcheon can be painted in place, after installation, for numerous color options. The 5.6K pendant and horizontal sidewall Raven Studio Sprinklers are UL and C-UL listed. They are available in Standard Coverage for the protection of Light and Ordinary Hazard occupancies and Extended Coverage for Light Hazard applications, as defined by NFPA 13. Tyco Fire Protection Products



4. Fire sprinkler system speeds office reconfiguration in Ohio

When Lubrizol made the decision to temporarily relocate nearly two dozen employees in order to completely renovate its Brecksville, Ohio, administration building, it did everything possible to minimize the amount of disruption. That included selecting its proprietary BlazeMaster fire sprinkler system.  The project’s fire-sprinkler contractor Lorig Mechanical estimated that the system reduced overall costs by roughly 30% and significantly shortened the duration of the retrofit.

“This job would have taken significantly longer if a steel fire sprinkler system had been chosen,” said Trent Feiler, Project Manager for Lorig Mechanical. “Not only would it have meant an additional 100 man-hours for installation, but it could have involved weeks of offsite prefabrication compared to the few days it took to receive the BlazeMaster pipe and fittings and perform onsite fabrication.”

The speed of installation is a direct result of the solvent cement joining process that a BlazeMaster system utilizes—a process that results in a permanent chemical bond that’s stronger than the pipe or fitting alone. The process is also quiet, since no cutting or welding equipment is required. Lubrizol



5. PEX fire protection fittings, bracket simplify installation on NFPA 13D jobs

Viega’s new PEX Press fire protection fittings and mounting bracket for NFPA 13D fire sprinkler installations offer installation time savings versus traditional rigid pipe approaches, according to the maker. Eight new Viega PEX Press fittings for fire sprinkler applications are available in two sizes—¾ and 1 inch—and in four configurations: straight adapters, elbows, tees, and wall tees.

The mounting bracket can be used with all sprinkler pendant styles and every sprinkler configuration, eliminating the guesswork behind properly aligning the sprinkler pendant. The new wall tee fitting does not require a bracket. It is designed for applications to efficiently feed back-to-back rooms with one plumbing line and one fitting. Viega



6. Sustainability meets resiliency at Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building

Salt Lake City’s new $125 million, 335,000-sf Public Safety Building is the first U.S. public safety building to achieve both a net-zero rating and LEED Platinum status. The building has also been designed to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and remain fully functional afterwards. To maximize daylight penetration deep within the building while meeting resiliency goals, the Building Team—led by GSBS Architects and Okland Construction—specified fire-rated glass and framing from SAFTI FIRST to create transparent fire barriers, firewalls, fire partitions, fire doors, protective openings, and smoke barriers that form compartments. They are designed to contain, prevent, or slow the spread of fire from the room of origin to other parts of the building.

SAFTI FIRST supplied a 27-foot-wide fire-resistive segmented wall with SuperLite II-XL 60 with a custom-designed satin-etched stripe pattern in GPX Framing, and a 37-foot-wide fire-resistive segmented wall with SuperLite II-XL 60 with one-way reflective glass in GPX Framing. The GPX Framing, with its clean lines and sharp edges, was supplied with a clear anodized finish to match the adjacent non-rated storefront systems. The glass was supplied floor-to-ceiling to maximize vision, daylight, and shared artificial lighting as much as possible. SAFTI FIRST



7. Combination CO/Smoke Detector provides added protection, notification

The i4 Series Combination CO/Smoke Detector and Interface Module from System Sensor is the first system-connected, combination solution for conventional fire and security systems. In the event of a smoke or CO event, all the detector sounders on the loop will be activated. This means when one device sounds, they all sound in either Temp 3 for smoke or Temp 4 for CO events. The i4 Module will also send the appropriate signal to the panel, providing the highest level of protection – including 24/7 central station monitoring. The i4 Series uses the most accurate CO and smoke-sensing technologies, including a field-replaceable CO cell. The 2- or 4-wire design eases installation and is compatible with most security panels. Its flexibility allows you to mix and match up to 12 i4 Combination Detectors and compatible i3 Smoke Detectors per i4 Module. System Sensor

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