Palm Bay, FL
Architect: BRPH Architects
Glazing Contractor: Physical Security
Product: Fireframes SG Curtainwall® Series frames and Pilkington Pyrostop® fire-resistive-rated glass
Architects have relied on structural silicone glazing (SSG) for decades to create dramatic curtain walls with a frame-free exterior surface. Now, that same aesthetic is available with fire-rated curtain walls, as showcased in the Harris Corporation's new Technology Center.
When BRPH Architects designed the building to be "a centerpiece for some of the company's most advance engineering efforts," according to the Florida governor's office, it included more than 7,000 glass window panels. The glazing lets in abundant natural light to create an open, welcoming atrium.
To seamlessly blend with the clean sightlines of the exterior curtain wall system and allow sunlight deep into the building, the design called for a large, glazed entry portal from the building's lobby to the engineering offices. But, to meet life safety codes for blocking the spread of flames in case of a building fire, the portal had to be fire-rated for 60 minutes.
For this combination of fire safety and aesthetics, the project team used the Fireframes SG Curtainwall® Series from Technical Glass Products (TGP). The advanced glazing system allows design professionals to create large, fire-rated glazed walls with the smooth, monolithic appearance of a SSG system.
"Codes require architects to have fire-rated materials, but that doesn't mean they should compromise on aesthetic goals. That's where the Fireframes SG Curtainwall Series comes into play," said Jeff Razwick, president of TGP. "It bridges the gap between fire-rated and conventional curtain wall systems, combining fire resistance with a frameless glass exterior."
The patented Fireframes SG Curtainwall Series consists of Pilkington Pyrostop® fire-resistive-rated glass attached to narrow, steel, fire-rated frames with a toggle retention system. The assembly is silicone sealed and requires no pressure plates or caps. Its toggle retention system allows for rapid installation and clean sightlines with the smooth, frame-free exterior look of SSG systems.
The Fireframes SG Curtainwall Series is available with up to 120-minute fire ratings for unrestricted glazing in locations where the total gazing area exceeds 25 percent of the wall. It is air- and water-pressure tested for exterior use, and is classified and labeled with Underwriters Laboratories (UL). TGP designed the system to accommodate its Fireframes® Designer Series and Fireframes Heat Barrier Series door systems to provide architects with a complete curtain wall and entrance solution.