Life Safety/Fire Protection

Fire-Rated Flooring First

Recently achieving two-hour fire-rated protection, SAFTI FIRST’s GPX FireFloor System has passed Underwriters Laboratories UL 263/ULC-S101 test. Twice as large as other fire resistive glass-floor systems, the system supports a maximum individual panel area of 40.9 sq. ft. for fully-supported floor panels and 25.7 sq. ft. for butt-glazed floor panels. The system is a single glass unit comprised of custom SuperLite II-XL, combined with a tempered laminated non-slip walking surface and a fire-resistive rated structural steel framing grid.

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Fire-Proofing Historical Stained Glass

When erecting a new student commons between historic Hutchins Hall and another academic building at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, designers discovered that the building code required a 2-hour fire-rated barrier. However, the 80-year-old Hutchins Hall façade was adorned with aged limestone and historic stained glass windows. In order to transform the existing wall into a fire-rated assembly, the building team needed to remove the stained glass and limestone, install custom designed Safti SuperLite II-XL 120 glazing and EZ frames, then painstakingly re-assemble the stained glass and limestone. “The first step was to carefully remove the existing stained glass window

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Insulate and Innovate

Johns Manville Mineral Wool Sound and Fire Block insulation provides a powerful (and yet quiet) 2-in-1. The insulation batts are noncombustible and moisture-resistant. The high-density fibers in mineral wool help delay the spread of fire and reduce noise transfer in interior walls and between ceilings and floors. The insulation improves wall assembly STC ratings by up to 10 dB, has a melting point in excess of 2000˚F and is made of durable inorganic glass, which translates into no growth of fungi and no sustaining of vermin. JM mineral wool is also easily cut, installed and fills the entire cavity for maximum performance. It is best used in wood-stud cavities and interior walls and ceilings

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Fire-Wall Support from a Different Angle

Because not every architectural plan is designed around right angles, the DGH fire-wall hanger can be specified with a skewed or offset option. Like other models in the DG series, the hangers install on a two-hour wood-stud fire-wall during framing and allow two layers of 5∕8-in. gypsum wall board to be slipped into place after framing is complete.

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Quick Job

Class A, water-resistant NRP-FIRESTOP wall panels by Parkland are laminated and can be installed over painted walls, concrete block, plywood, insulating foam and even unfinished drywall. Installed with a tube-type adhesive to save time, the NRP-FIRESTOP also features flame retardancy. A variety of finishes are available: veneers, metallic, marbles, pebbled textures and even marker boards. Matching and contrasting moldings are available, or panels can be installed in a seamless construction. 

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Safety Net

Private Ivy League University Cornell sought to improve student safety by installing bridge safety nets to cut down on potential suicide attempts, which have plagued the area. Cornell’s Ithaca campus was quick to act when three suicides shook the university in 2010. A collaborative project between university architects and a Boston-based firm sought to improve student safety without cutting out Ithaca’s scenic views. The solution? Safety nets. University architect, Gilbert Delgado and associate university architect, Andrew Magre worked with Boston-based NADAAA architects to develop the plans for bridge safety nets. The inspiration came from off-bridge netting along Swiss bridges that have re

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Let There Be (Safe) Light

Fire-rated glass ensures open stairways and daylight infiltration at the South Fayette Intermediate School. “One of the first things you notice when you step into the brand new South Fayette Intermediate School is the amount of natural light. From all corners, the sun streams into the building, creating a happy glow.” This is how architects at Eckles Architecture & Engineering begin the description of the 221,000-sq.-ft. school serving grades 3-5 in McDonald, Pa., southwest of Pittsburgh. The ample daylight that eliminates any chance of a dreary school day is thanks to ample and thoughtful windows as well as internal pathways that allow light to infiltrate deeper inside. Among those path

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