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Clear on Technical Glass

No other building material brings together daylight, transparency and style the way that glass can. Fortunately, today’s architects can benefit from advanced technology that enables glass to perform other functions such as protect against fire, blast, hurricane, ballistic, UV or harness energy from sun. This blog will tackle the latest issues in glass performance, technology and design, as well as create an environment for communication and dialogue among members of the building community. It will also provide the latest code updates, as well as profile case studies that show high-performance glazing in action.

The 2012 and 2015 IBC closed an important loophole that allowed uncontrolled radiant heat transmission through vision lites in doors in exit enclosures and exit passageways. Today, fire protective ceramics are limited to 100 sq. in. in the door vision panel regardless if the building is fully sprinklered. To exceed 100 sq. in., fire resistive glazing that meets ASTM E-119/UL 263 must be used. 

Fire-Rated Products | January 23, 2018 | Bill O'Keeffe

Fire rated glass fencing can help slow the spread of fire by blocking smoke and flames up to 60 minutes.  It also provides partial radiant heat protection by reflecting the heat back to the fire source.

Security/Fire Protection | December 18, 2017 | Bill O'Keeffe

A reflection on 2017 and a look at what's to come in the new year.

Fire-Rated Products | October 25, 2017 | Bill O'Keeffe

To avoid confusion, we are proposing separate charts for fire protective and fire resistive products.

Fire protective glazing used in a door vision panel in 60-90 minute exit stairway

The 2012 and 2015 IBC limits the size of ceramics and fire protective glazing used in the door vision panel in 60-90 minute exit stairway or passageways to 100 sq. in. regardless if the building is fully sprinklered. The only way to exceed the 100 sq. in. vision panel limitation is by using fire resistive glazing that meets ASTM E-119. 

Fire-Rated Products | July 19, 2017 | Bill O'Keeffe

As shocking as the Grenfell Tower fire was, it is not an isolated incident.

Fire-Rated Products | June 13, 2017 | Bill O'Keeffe

The ASTM E-119 test is the most stringent and most difficult test to pass for all fire rated glazing assemblies.

GPX Hurricane with FL Product Approval was used in the new VA Medical Center in Orlando, FL.  Architect: RLF Architects.  Glazier: Harmon Inc. Photo Credit:  SAFTI FIRST

Glass and Glazing | March 22, 2017 | Bill O'Keeffe

It may look like a regular window, but these advanced fire resistive glazing systems are recognized in the code as transparent walls because of its...

Glass and Glazing | January 03, 2017 | Bill O'Keeffe

Our mission is to produce appealing architectural products that protect people while providing our customers with expert information, economical so...

Fire-Rated Products | November 10, 2016 | Bill O'Keeffe

SuperLite II-XLM is a fire resistive multi-laminate glass product that meets ASTM E-119/UL 263/NFPA 251 and CAN/ULC S101 up to 2 hours.

Photo: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

Glass and Glazing | October 14, 2016 | Bill O'Keeffe

With 9 exhibition halls showcasing over 1,235 exhibitors from 52 countries and with over 40,000 visitors from 100 countries walking the show, it is...

Fire-Rated Products | August 25, 2016 | Bill O'Keeffe

Choosing the correct and code approved fire rated glazing product can be confusing, this FAQ can help.

On New York City’s bulletin on lot line requirements – and how it applies everywhere else

1 hour curtain wall adjacent to a parking area in a private office in Valley Stream, NY. Products used: SuperLite II-XL 60 with PPG Starphire Low-Iron insulated with Low-E in GPX Curtain Wall Framing; Architect: RPF; Glazier: AMG Contracting

May 06, 2016 | Bill O'Keeffe

Determining when fire rated requirements apply, the type of fire rated glazing allowed, how much fire rated glazing can be used, and what happens w...

Glass and Glazing | March 31, 2016 | Bill O'Keeffe

Code limitations do not match manufacturer’s tested listings

Increased demand for fire resistive glazing in combination with ballistic or physical attack protection led to the development of USA-made SuperSecure II-XLS by SAFTI FIRST, now used in prisons and other secure facilities nationwide.

February 08, 2016 | Bill O'Keeffe SaftiFirst

After a strong 2015, demand for fire resistive glass continues to grow

Glass industry gives back during the holidays

10-year old Eliyana, a patient at the Burn Center, playing with one of the Starlight® Fun Center® mobile entertainment units donated by SAFTI FIRST to provide entertainment to children receiving treatment at the Community Medical Center in Fresno, CA

Glass and Glazing | December 11, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

The holiday season is generally a time when individuals and companies ramp up their charitable giving. The glass industry is no different.

Fire rated doors: standards, testing and glazing requirements

Today’s fire rated doors frequently incorporate glazing to enable vision and transparency that maximize natural or shared lighting.

Fire-Rated Products | November 24, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

There are several safe and economical alternatives to traditional wired glass for 20-45 minute vision lites

SaftiFirst, Merced, Manufacturing Plant, Manufacturing

The new equipment is housed near the existing manufacturing facility in a new 100,000 square foot plant in Merced, bringing the total manufacturing and research and development space to 300,000 square feet.

Fire-Rated Products | October 22, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

We’ve found that sourcing products as local as possible maximizes the potential benefits to the American economy, which in turn benefits us.

Glass and Glazing | August 17, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

Tempered glass is an excellent choice for large expanses of glass that maximize clear views while providing significant wind load and thermal stres...

Fire-resistive tempered products such as SuperLite II-XL 45, shown in this 1-hour corridor, is more affordable than filmed and laminated ceramics used in the same application.  SuperLite II-XL 45 is proudly USA-made, has no amber tints, meets CPSC Cat. II safety and the hose stream test, provides radiant heat protection and has a high STC rating.

Fire-resistive tempered products such as SuperLite II-XL 45, shown in this 1-hour corridor, is more affordable than filmed and laminated ceramics used in the same application. SuperLite II-XL 45 is proudly USA-made, has no amber tints, meets CPSC Cat. II safety and the hose stream test, provides radiant heat protection and has a high STC rating. 

Fire-Rated Products | June 02, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

Where product selection has the most impact on cost is also the area where the majority of fire rated glass is being used, which are 20 minute door...

Project: Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA; Architect: Schrader Group Architecture

Project: Bucks County Community College in Newtown, PA; Architect: Schrader Group Architecture

Building Materials | April 24, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

There is no bigger annual gathering of architects and design professionals in North America quite like the AIA National Convention.

Radiant Heat: The Invisible Killer

Since the 45 minute openings in this 1-hour exit corridor extend to all the way to the floor, the architects specified SuperLite II-XL 45, a fire resistive tempered product with hose stream that meets ASTM E-119.  SuperLite II-XL 45 effectively blocks smoke, flames and dangerous radiant heat to enable safe egress through the corridor. Photo courtesy of SaftiFirst.

Building Team | April 01, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s fire, there’s the deadly threat of radiant heat.

State of the fire rated glazing industry

The value that today’s technologically advanced fire rated glazing is derived from the radiant heat protection it provides while adding aesthetic appeal and increased visibility within the surrounding building environment. Photo: SAFTI FIRST

Fire-Rated Products | February 12, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

Many years have passed since my days as the “Wired Warrior,” writes SAFTI FIRST's Bill O'Keeffe. Every year at this time I reflect on just how far...

The designers were able to exceed 100 square inches in the door vision area in these 90-minute doors by using SuperLite II-XL 90, a fire resistive glass product that meets ASTM E-119/UL 263. The designers also specified SuperLite II-XL 120 in GPX Framing for the sidelites and transoms in this 2-hour stairwell application. The entire assembly meets ASTM E-119/UL 263. Project: CUNY School of Law in Long Island City, NY. Architect: KPF. Glazier: RG Creations. Photo: SAFTI FIRST

January 16, 2015 | Bill O'Keeffe

Much attention has been given to active fire protection systems, such as fire sprinklers, that are designed to suppress fires. While automatic spri...

1-hour fire resistive wall with SuperLite II-XL 60 in GPX Framing. Architect: GSBS. Glazier: LCG Facades

Contractors | December 11, 2014 | Bill O'Keeffe

One of the most exciting new buildings to open its doors this year is the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Salt Lake City, Utah. This $125 mil...

One of the many fire resistive and blast-rated exterior wall openings by SAFTI FIRST at the VA Primary Care Annex in Tampa, Fla. Photo: SAFTI FIRST

Architects | November 19, 2014 | Bill O'Keeffe

Security, safety and transparency don’t have to be mutually exclusive thanks to new glazing technology designed to support blast and fire-resistant...

SuperLite III-XL in a butt-glazed assembly

Fenestration and Glazing | October 19, 2014 | Bill O'Keeffe

Innovation is the engine of business success. Whether it’s the development of a brand-new product, a more efficient process or a novel way of servi...

SuperLite II-XL 60 with Decorative Art Glass in Stainless Steel GPX Framing work together to make this 1-hour stairwell visually appealing and inviting. Architect: RRTL. Glazier: InterClad. Project: St. Cloud University ISELF Building in St. Cloud, Minn.

Architects | August 25, 2014 | Bill O'Keeffe

Within the architectural community, a movement called "active design" seeks to convert barren and unappealing stairwells originally conceived as em...

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