Pilkington: Galway Museum's a Glass Act

Historical artefacts need to be presented and protected in all their glory and Galway City Museum kept this in mind when choosing a glazing system for its exhibits.

Pilkington Pyrostop™ was the obvious choice because of its fire resistance while still keeping natural light and visibility.

Established in 1976, the Galway City Museum contains a small but important collection of artefacts associated with Galway City and County. The folk museum features many exhibits associated with the fishing industry that was, and is an integral part of tradition in the area.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) was commissioned by Galway City Council to provide a design which protected the exhibits while offering minimal visual impediment to the thousands of visitors who pass through the museum each year. A glazing system that linked the artefact spaces with as much transparency as possible was the obvious choice - but because many of the walls were also fire compartments, any glazing had to meet the required fire rating.

Pilkington Pyrostop™ met and exceeded all of these stringent criteria for integrity and insulation, while also being supplied in the large pane sizes necessary for the museum's displays. Often larger pane dimensions can be detrimental to a glass product's fire rating, but this is not the case with Pilkington Pyrostop™.

Gerry Harvey, Architect at OPW, comments: “One difficulty with fire rated glazing is the problem of the large section width of frame required. We invested a lot of time in detailing these frames so that they were integrated with the joinery of the building itself, and Pilkington Pyrostop™ enabled us to satisfy the exacting demands of our design.”

Pilkington accredited installer Greaney Glass was charged with delivering the smooth installation, and is delighted with the success of the project. Paul Connaughton from Greaney Glass said: “Greaney Glass Products Ltd was pleased to be involved with the OPW and architect Gerry Harvey. We were involved from an early stage, which was important in maintaining large glass sizes without exceeding maximum tested sizes. The glass used was 23mm Pilkington Pyrostop ™ 60-101 throughout, and a major consideration in choosing this product was the very highest visual quality due to the use of low iron float glass Pilkington Optiwhite™ and the achieved safety standards.”

In the event of fire Pilkington Pyrostop™ turns opaque providing both the integrity requirements of a barrier to hot gases and flames, as well as very effective insulation from the heat of a blaze. As such, Pilkington Pyrostop™ complies with the very precise temperature criteria defined in European test standards and ISO test standards.

The City Museum is located at The Spanish Arch in Galway, near the River Corrib. Its collection includes Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts from the river, while mediaeval holdings include a very fine collection of stone carvings for which Galway is justifiably famous.

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