Contraflam fire rated atrium is a towering success

An impressive full height glazed atrium is the stunning centre piece of a West End office building featuring fire-resistant glass manufactured by GLASSOLUTIONS, the largest processor, distributor, installer and repairer of glass and glass systems in the UK.

Kathryn Dalgleish, GLASSOLUTIONS’ marketing manager for the commercial sector, said: “This project is a fantastic example that shows how fire-resistant glazing can be functional yet still aesthetically pleasing – and indeed, add great drama to a building.”1000 sq m of 15mm CONTRAFLAM LITE was installed by specialist architectural glazing contractor OAG at 160 Great Portland Street, London.It was manufactured at the GLASSOLUTIONS facility in Coventry, which manufactures the CONTRAFLAM range of products under license from VETROTECH, the Saint-Gobain fire-glass specialists.

160 Great Portland Street is a striking headquarters office building providing approximately 85,000 sq ft (7,897 sq m) arranged over lower ground, ground and six upper floors. The building was substantially redeveloped behind the retained façades in the mid-1990s and has now undergone a further refurbishment.

The specification was for 30 minute fire glass but it also had to be installed into a fire-resistant aluminium frame.  The glass had to be tested for heights of 3000mm and also be extra clear with low iron content for maximum visibility.  The solution was CONTRAFLAM LITE EW30 with toughened SGG DIAMANT low iron glass glazed into a Schuco FW50BF frame to encompass the internal atrium. The works package also included the fire-rated lobby doors and lift enclosures.

Mark Campbell, project manager at OAG, said: “VETROTECH worked with OAG from early on in the design stage allowing us to be one of the first customers to benefit from a recent fire assessment for CONTRAFLAM.  This allowed us to offer an increased height of screen which met our customer’s requirements without the need for an additional transom.”

GLASSOLUTIONS and VETROTECH are part of the Saint-Gobain Group. Kathryn Dalgleish added: “We have a unique capability in the UK to manufacture the CONTRAFLAM range of products, which offer fire-resistance of up to 120 minutes integrity and insulation (EI120). In fact, we are currently the only UK manufacturer of integrity and insulation fire-resistant glass offering good lead times and service, as a result of a recent £2m investment.”

CONTRAFLAM LITE is a range of partially insulating, clear, fire-resistant safety glass, offering 30-120 minutes of integrity and partial insulation (EW30-EW120). The products consist of two sheets of toughened safety glass, which are separated by a transparent, advanced intumescent interlayer. It is suitable for both internal and external applications and can be glazed into doors or screens as a single pane or as a double glazed unit.

When exposed to fire, the special intumescent interlayer turns opaque and expands to form a partially insulating heat shield. This effectively reduces the transmission of radiated and conducted heat. The layers also provide an integrity barrier against smoke, flames, and hot gases. The opaque insulating interlayer blocks the view of the fire which minimises panic and acts as a guide for emergency services to indicate the presence of fire.

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