Fireproof glass gives 911 operators a window to the world

March 01, 2007 |

When the city of Bellevue, Wash., opened its new city hall, it wanted to create a civic space that would become a key part of the life of the community. The new centralized Eastside 911 Communications Center located in the building was no exception. Rather than placing the communications center in a bunker, plans called for a seventh-floor location, including interior windows to provide visibility to a public viewing area.

However, the open configuration of the call center provided the architect, Seattle-based SRG Partnership, with some unusual challenges. For one, code requirements specified that emergency communication facilities that share a building used for other purposes have a two-hour fire rating. In addition, any window accessible to the public must also have a level III bullet-resistance rating, capable of stopping a .44 magnum bullet.

To meet the dual code requirements, SRG specified Pilkington Pyrostop glass and FireFrames Heat Barrier frames. Pyrostop provides a two-hour fire resistance rating, creating a barrier to flames, smoke, and heat transfer, providing critical protection to call center staff and heat-sensitive equipment.

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