Fire-Resistive Curtain Wall Glazing: A Clear Solution?

May 22, 2015
Publication: AIA Chicago
Author(s): David Sacks

The push to maximize the amount of natural daylight to interior spaces has led to an increase in area of glazed surfaces on building walls; in turn, this desire to maximize glazed surface area has been a major driver in the development of fire-resistive curtain wall glazing products. While the development of these products continues to progress, there is a lack of understanding regarding the aesthetic expectations of this glazing and a lack of applicable standards to check or maintain quality control.

This knowledge gap has led to issues with product handling, installation, and performance. To compound this matter, the lack of uniform standards to inspect the visual quality of these fire-resistive systems has resulted in installations which meet the manufacturer’s requirements, but fall well short of end user expectations. This session introduces the technology behind one type of fire-resistive rated glazing system (intumescent laminated glazing) and provides some insight into the nuances of this type of system from manufacture through installation, specifically as applied on exterior systems.