Helping architects by educating code officials on fire rated glass

Published by the International Code Council (ICC), the IBC has been adopted throughout the United States and in some countries in the Middle East.

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October 08, 2018 |
Bill O'Keeffe

Design and safety go hand-in-hand with the help of fire rated glass. Project name: University of North Carolina Genome Sciences Building. Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

In commercial construction, we refer to the International Building Code (IBC) as a base code standard for protecting public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction of buildings. Published by the International Code Council (ICC), the IBC has been adopted throughout the United States and in some countries in the Middle East. With a large portion of the IBC addressing fire safety in design and construction, we’ve made it a priority to become the experts when it comes to fire rated glazing code requirements in the IBC.   

We’ve also made it a priority to share our knowledge to the architectural community. If knowledge is indeed power, then educating architects on fire rated glazing testing, standards and products will empower them to specify the correct fire rated glazing product based on the IBC code requirements for the application. This why over the years, we have published countless articles, technical bulletins, alerts, case studies and several other resources. We have successfully launched continuing education courses registered with the AIA and AIBC, which can be delivered online or in-person.

Today, we are applying the same effort to educating building officials and fire marshals. After attending the NFPA Conference last June, we realized that there is a need to extend our educational outreach to this important group. Alongside architects who design buildings, code officials and fire marshals play a large role in the planning, approval and enforcement of critical life-safety products like fire rated glass and framing.  With fire rated glazing technology, performance and aesthetics going well beyond wired glass and ceramics, we felt that we should also educate them on today’s clear fire resistive glazing products that meet the ASTM E-119/UL 263/ULC S101 fire resistive requirement.

With that, we are pleased to announce the launch of the first and only fire rated glazing educational program registered with the ICC.  Building code officials, fire marshals and other participants of “Designing with Fire Rated Glass” may receive 0.10 ICC CEU upon successful completion. It is available in two convenient formats – online and on-demand through www.safti.com/webinars or a scheduled in-person presentation by one of SAFTI FIRST’s technical experts upon request.

This program aims empower building code officials and fire marshals to accurately review whether or not the correct and code-approved fire rated glass and framing products are specified in the project or installed in the field based on current IBC code requirements and test standards. It will also present the latest information on various listed and labeled fire rated glass and framing systems available in the market today.  With that, building code officials and fire marshals will be able to confidently identify fire rated glazing products during plan review and installation and ensure the safety of future building occupants.

By putting architects, contractors, building officials and fire marshals on the same page, we can effectively demonstrate how safety and design can indeed go hand-in-hand.

Bill O'Keeffe |
SAFTI FIRST Fire Rated Glazing Solutions

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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