Two-hour fire rated curtain wall passes CDC tests

CDC (Curtain Wall Design and Consulting) is an independent firm providing a wide range of building envelope design, engineering, and consulting services to design professionals nationwide.

October 30, 2012 |
The Kensington, a 27-story, 488,000-sf, mixed-use, residential building in Bosto

SAFTI FIRST recently announced that in addition to meeting ASTM E-119/NFPA 251/UL263 with hose stream for up to two hours, the SAFTIfire CW Framing System meets or exceeds performance specifications for fire rated or non-fire rated curtain wall systems by successfully passing the following tests:

  • Air Infiltration, ASTM E 283-04, Rate of Air Leakage Through Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls and Doors.
  • Static Pressure Water Resistance, ASTM E 331-00, Standard Test Method for Metal Curtain Walls and Doors by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference.
  • Dynamic Water Pressure Resistance, AAMA 501.1-05, Standard Test Method for Metal Curtain Walls and Doors by Uniform Dynamic Pressure.
  • Structural Performance, ASTM E 330-2, Structural Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference.
  • Seismic Movement, AAMA 501.4-09, Recommended Static Test Method for Evaluating Curtain Wall and Storefront Systems Subjects to Seismic and Wind Induced Interstory Drifts.
  • Thermal Cycling and Condensation Evaluation.
  • Interstory Vertical Displacement Tests.

“The SAFTIfire CW 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,” says Tim Nass, VP of National Sales at SAFTI FIRST. “Our recent testing based on the CDC prescribed project performance requirements provided empirical data that demonstrates the SAFTIfire CW Framing System’s ability to prevent air and water infiltration under non-static conditions, such as wind load or moving live loads that meets or exceeds the performance of curtain wall systems offered by other leading U.S. manufacturers.” 

Meeting property line requirements was exactly the case for The Kensington, a 27-story, 488,000-sf, mixed-use, residential building in Boston, Mass. The west-facing elevation had to meet ASTM E-119/NFPA 251/UL263 for 60 minutes, so SAFTI FIRST supplied SuperLite II-XL 60 insulated with Solarban 70XL in SAFTIfire CW Framing. CDC was hired to make sure that the building was air and water tight.  They were present during the dynamic testing performed by ATI (Architectural Testing, Inc.), an independent testing laboratory, where the mock-up of the system provided by SAFTI FIRST passed all required testing.

The aluminum covers used in the SAFTIfire CW Framing System mimics the appearance of an aluminum pressure wall, making it easy to match the non-rated exterior glazing systems seamlessly. The ability to incorporate Solarban 70XL to the fire resistive system also contributed to meeting an average U-value not more than 0.40 and a solar heat gain coefficient no greater than 0.25 as required in the specifications. Because 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. +

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