Fire-Proofing Historical Stained Glass

Ann Arbor, Mich.
Hartman-Cox and Integrated Design Solutions

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 windows from the opening, documenting the layout, location and intricacy for restoration,” explains Ross Winiemko, senior project manager, Edwards Glass, Southgate, Mich. [img src="A" class="image-right"]

After carefully removing the limestone, the new fire-rated assembly was installed inside of a steel support structure, flanked by the original stained glass and newly created matching stained glass. Essentially, the façade maintains its original appearance thanks to the clear fire-rated glazing.

“Through use of precision laser measurement tools, we were able to provide an exacting fit of the stained glass, fire rated glass assembly, and coordination with the limestone contractor,” says Winiemko.

In the end, he says, the teamwork of the trades, the architect and Safti First was "the defining reason this portion of the project was a success.”

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