With this in mind, an increasing number of architects are specifying glass when designing new builds, to create an open plan feeling while ensuring noise is dampened and fire is less likely to spread. The newly-constructed Dudley Evolve, part of Dudley College in the West Midlands, installed glass to create a brighter space in the state-of-the-art learning facility.
Dudley Evolve was designed for the students as a modern learning environment and a leisure facility for the local community. The contemporary building incorporates a number of high level leisure amenities such as a fitness suite and sports hall. Dudley Evolve required a comprehensive fire resistant glazing specification throughout the new building that complied with the relevant building regulations in education. Pyroguard, fire glass solution specialists based in Merseyside, supplied the appropriate glass to Fireglass UK who then installed the glass over a six week installation period.
Sean Haynes, Managing Director at Fireglass UK, a leading approved installer of the Pyroguard range of fire glass solutions says: “The complexity and combination of screens and glazing products on this project demanded a closely coordinated approach. Effective planning ensured we were able to finish our work within the specified time frame but equally important, to the highest quality standards.”
Not only did the glass need to be fire resistant but it had to meet strict acoustic regulations. The minimum standards for acoustics in schools are set out in the Building Bulletin 93 that applies to all schools built since 2003 in England and Wales. Each room and space must be built to minimise the exposure to noise of students and teachers.
Adrian Gallagher, Technical Sales & Specification Manager for Pyroguard adds: “Pyroguard’s range of fire resistant glass is designed to meet regulatory requirements and we have the added benefit of our own fire testing laboratory that allows us to test our products to European standards and cover the demands of both specifiers and installers of the product.”
The installation of Pyroguard fire resistant glass into Dudley Evolve was carried out effectively and efficiently, meeting all the acoustic and fire safety requirements as specified and within the stated time frame.
Taking into consideration all the requirements of the Building Bulletin 93 and Fire Safety Order (2005), Pyroguard specified the EI 60 because it allows for an acoustic range of up to 40dB and up to 60 minutes of protection against the spread of fire. Pyroguard EI 60 features toughened monolithic multi-layered glass with one or more interlayers of gel. The EI range of fire resistant glass has the ability to perform to the standard E rating when it is exposed to fire on one side and restrict temperature rise of the unexposed face to below 140°C on average.
If specifiers are trying to identify what fire resistant glass best suits their needs, Pyroguard has developed an online test selector that can help. The test selector summarises the type of frame and Pyroguard product, the maximum dimensions of the system and the fire rating needed for the project.