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NYC historical landmark features USA-made 2-hour fire resistive curtain wall

June 24, 2013 |

Project Name:  Midtown Community Court in New York, NY (314 West 54th Street)

Architect:  DMJM / AECOM

Glazing Contractor:  Egan Architectural Metal & Glass

Products used:  2-Hour Fire Resistive Curtain Wall featuring SuperLite II-XL 120 IGU in SAFTIfire CW Framing


Midtown Community Court, designated as a New York Historic Landmark, embarked on an $18 million renovation, which included a 43,000-sf, six-story building. However, the building’s south-facing elevation was in close proximity to the property line. Not wanting to sacrifice natural daylight and views to the outside, the architects specified SuperLite II-XL 120 IGU in SAFTIfire CW Framing for the 2-hour fire resistive curtain wall, designed as a continuous span from the 1st floor up to the 6th floor.

The SAFTIfire CW Glass and Framing System is unique because it performs as a fire barrier while still being part of the building’s exterior skin.  It provides protection in the event of a fire while enhancing the building’s overall aesthetics and performance. This is why in addition to meeting ASTM E119 for two hours with hose stream, SAFTI FIRST’s fire resistive curtain wall also had to meet air and water infiltration testing per ASTM E783 and ASTM E1105, seismic loads, periodic maintenance/equipment loads and wind loads.

The architects were also took advantage of SuperLite II-XL 120’s large glass sizes, which is currently the largest available in the market for two-hour fire resistive applications (up to 4,876 sq. in. clear view area and up to 124 in. on the long side).  The glass units were insulated with clear low-e glass for additional energy performance.

The aluminum covers used in the SAFTIfire CW Framing System, supplied with a Bone White 3-coat Kynar  finish, mimics the appearance of an aluminum pressure wall, making it easy to match the non-rated exterior glazing systems seamlessly. Since the SAFTIfire CW Framing system is thermally broken, it is a natural selection for exterior fire resistive applications in places that experience extreme weather like the Northeast. The system also had to meet 35 STC, which SuperLite II-XL 120 easily met, it having an STC rating of 44.

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