Evolution of Glass and its role in Modern Architecture
Glass has evolved into a building material that can be best described as revolutionary. Today, glass plays an indispensable role in modern architecture, is as much a style statement in aesthetically crafted edifices as it is a functionally superior, essential ingredient of all green buildings. Glass is a sought-after building material due to its versatility, widening beyond its conventional usage and playing a variety of contemporary roles.
With evolution, comes innovation
Glass is synonymous with being multi-functional today. By providing energy efficiency, solar control properties, thermal insulation, safety, acoustic comfort etc, glass has become a proven material addressing the contemporary needs of modern architecture.
A key functional requirement which is increasingly emerging for glass in modern architecture is as fire resistance glazing. As architects and designers incorporate glazing to achieve the needs of daylighting, energy efficiency, aesthetics etc. ensuring a fire safe place is becoming equally necessary. Properly designed, correctly specified, rightly installed and efficiently maintained fire-rated glazing provides all round protection and safety for inhabitants of the built habitat of today and tomorrow
Need for Fire-Rated Glass
The need for a good and reliable fire protection system in commercial buildings and office complexes has gained significant importance in recent years. The number of fire accidents is on the rise primarily due to unsafe building designs and practices and can cause heavy loss to life, property and critical data. The occurrence and spread of fire is unpredictable and uncertain.
Good design practices and prudent construction can help prevent fire hazards and make dwelling places, fire-safe. While considering various fire-rated partition options, it is popular to consider clear vision options so that hazards and people in hazardous situations are detected in time.
Active fire protection is a very popular design intervention in today’s architecture. Passive fire protection too is equally required and is very important to provide the much required additional time for enabling quick action for saving life and property and also assist in early detection of an occurrence. In fact, passive fire protection works as an excellent complement to the active fire protection system to ensure the best results in terms of wholesome safety for inhabitants of modern buildings.
Smoke Barrier Systems
While it is important to secure a place with passive fire protection what goes unnoticed are the perils associated with smoke generated during fire. Smoke from a fire can reach temperatures of upto 600 deg C which can set ablaze combustible items and is virtual fire in itself. During an occurrence of fire it also poses the threat of hindering evacuation by choking the occupants of an area. Therefore it is necessary to contain /channel the smoke especially in high traffic, high density areas. Smoke curtains/smoke barriers work in unison with extraction units where the role of the smoke curtain is to channel the smoke. By strategic use of smoke curtains one can ensure a protected means of escape.