GLASS & GLAZING
Cath McLean, segment manager for glass at Promat UK, identifi es fi ve key questions you should ask when
specifying fi re resistant glazing.
As with any complex topic, knowing
which questions to ask at the outset will
enable you to arrive at the best advice in
the shortest time. Passive fi re protection
is no different. In any walk of life, when we don’t
know where to begin we can end up down all
kinds of cul-de-sacs.
In the case of fi re protection, this can result
in costly delays to projects which can refl ect
badly on the project team and, at worst, lead to a
catastrophic fi re. Fire resistant glazing specifi cation
is a complex area of building design that is critical
to get right. There is absolutely no margin for error
in the creation of doors, windows and screens that
are designed to protect building occupiers and
the fabric of the building in the event of a fi re.
BUILDING PRODUCTS | JUNE 8
Starting the design and specifi cation process on
the right foot, however, is possible by asking just
fi ve key questions. These will enable any reputable
supplier to guide you to the right solutions in the
most streamlined way.
1. What classifi cation of fi re performance
Fire resistant glazing will typically provide
protection for a period of 30, 60, 90, 120 or 180
minutes. This fi gure will be displayed next to the
following types of protection:
• Integrity only (E): Fire glass at its most
basic, preventing the fl ames and hot gases
from spreading, but not stopping the heat
from penetrating the glass.
• Radiation control (EW): A step-up from
integrity glass, offering a barrier to fl ames
and hot gases, plus some of the fi re’s heat.
Although common in mainland Europe,
this is not often used in the UK.
• Integrity and Insulation (EI): The
highest level of protection, providing
heat insulation as well as a barrier to
fl ames and hot gases. It will maintain the
temperature on the unexposed side at
140ºC for the stated period determined
So, if the glass is integrity only and provides 30
minutes of protection, it will be classifi ed as E30.
An integrity and insulation glass with 60 minutes
of protection would be described as EI60.