Glass and Fire Safety


When designing a new building, we have to comply with a whole series of requirements regarding fire safety that are imposed by EU legislation. Construction materials used for partitions must meet the criteria of specific fire resistance classes, which for some architects can feel as a brake on their freedom of design. A glass partition can provide a solution here, given that even for the top fire resistance classes, a transparent solution is possible using glass.
EU legislation
EU legislation distinguishes a material’s reaction to fire and it’s resistance to fire. A material’s reaction to fire indicates how a material will respond to fire. A distinction is made between fire-resistant materials, inflammable materials and flammable materials. Materials are divided into seven Euroclasses: A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F, where A is the best classification. The following glass products are included in the list of materials that are assigned to class A1 without testing being needed: float glass, patterned glass, heat strengthened glass, thermally toughened glass, chemically toughened glass, glass with an inorganic coating, and wired glass. Continue reading

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Glass Buildings and The Environment


Here is another article from Thomas Hens on designing of glass buildings keeping in mind their impact on environment.

In our last issue, we discussed a number key factors to be taken into account when choosing facade glass. This issue will focus primarily on the environment and demonstrate that designers of glass buildings are also thinking about our planet.

We will be looking at three environmentally friendly construction methods:

  • Insulating buildings: cutting C02 emissions by reducing energy loss via glass.
  • Generating energy: cutting energy consumption by using glass as a construction component as well as to generate electricity.
  • Using sustainable materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques.

Continue reading

FACADE GLASS: A DECISION THAT CALLS FOR CAREFUL REFLECTION

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An interesting and very useful article on glass selection for buildings by Thomas Hens, Technical Adviser, AGC Glass Europe.

Glass is a multifaceted material that has been used widely for centuries to embellish facades and interiors. In contemporary architecture, glass plays an even more important role. Used alone, it can add a personal touch to any facade. Of course, this would be impossible without the wide range of new products and innovations to have emerged on the market in recent years. But is everyone aware of these latest developments? And just how do you select the right kind of glass for a given project? These are precisely the questions that this article will attempt to answer. Over four issues, we will be discussing the various factors affecting your choice of glass with a view to delivering a safer, more economical and more environmentally friendly project, or simply one that improves living conditions.

Key factors

When choosing the ideal glass, you must take into account a whole raft of factors, chief among which are the insulation value (Ug value), the solar factor (g value), light transmission (LT) and appearance (colour, reflective properties). Glass choice really does have a significant impact on a building’s energy performance, meaning you should ideally choose the right kind of glass as early as the design phase. Glass must also meet different requirements for residential and office buildings, so the appropriate glass type must be selected separately for each given project. Continue reading