The Emerald


Case Study
William Jones College Preparatory High School

Chicago, IL

Architect: Perkins+Will

Product: FireLite Plus® fire-rated glass ceramic

A Class Act: Fire-Rated, Safety-Rated Glass Promotes Student Wellbeing in William Jones College Preparatory High School

Just south of Chicago's loop, William Jones College Preparatory High School stands out among the historic district with its glass windows and modern design. Designed by Perkins+Will, the seven-story, vertical solution stacks together large and small spaces, making efficient use of its compact 100 by 400 square foot site. Despite its tight footprint and cloud of large, surrounding buildings, the school is full of color and light. These traits allow the new south campus and renovated north campus to provide students, parents and teachers with a state-of-the-art learning environment—key for a school named one of "America's Best High Schools" by Newsweek magazine.

To enhance the student experience in all areas of the building, even those with stringent fire- and life-safety requirements, Perkins+Will integrated FireLite Plus® clear and wireless fire-rated glass ceramic from Technical Glass Products (TGP) throughout the design.

According to the Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2014), daylight can help create environments in which students learn better over the course of an academic year. FireLite Plus, a first-class glass solution, helps support this crucial need in William Jones College Preparatory High School. Its tough-but-transparent makeup allows light to fill the school in areas typically requiring opaque, light-restricting fire-rated solutions.

On the life safety front, FireLite Plus fire-rated glass ceramic defends against the spread of flames and smoke. It is UL-classified and labeled, resembles the look of ordinary window glass and passes the mandatory fire and hose stream test. Such fire-rated glazing provides essential passive protection against fire to supplement fire alarms and automatic sprinklers and fire doors.

FireLite Plus is also an impact safety-rated material, meeting ANSI Z97.1 and CPSC 16 CFR1201 (Cat. I and II). This is an essential safeguard, as educational facilities are subject to greater activity than typical commercial buildings. The frequent movement of students throughout the day allows for general wear and tear, and ordinary glass is subject to breaking in high volume areas. Since FireLite Plus is impact safety rated, it can help prevent injuries from glass breakage if students run into it. In fact, FireLite Plus with a Category II safety-glazing classification can withstand a force comparable to the impact of a full-grown, fast-moving adult.

Learn more about FireLite Plus® fire-rated glass ceramic and how it can benefit schools.