HONG KONG PROJECT FIRE TEST – 2005
In May we sent our Technical Team to Hong Kong to carry out a project related fire test.
The highly esteemed ASD (Architectural Services Department), the Hong Kong Government’s own architectural practice for public buildings. They are also responsible for product approval and maintain the product listing for materials that can be used in all Government buildings.
Education Resource Centre-cum-Public Transport Interchange at Kowloon Tong.
The Education Department’s education resource centres and service centres for children of special educational needs, are currently scattered across the whole territory. In an alliance between the Secretary for Education and Manpower and the Secretary for Transport a dynamic solution was found.
The new Resource Centre would be built over the Public Transport Interchange (PTI), which would also be upgraded at the same time. The PTI serves as a transport interchange for public transport including franchised buses, cross boundary coaches, etc., and will also extend the existing MTR underground concourse and subway connections.
Needless to say, this is a vast project. Included in the project are approximately 1000m 2 of both 30min and 60min integrity and insulation glazing, plus non-fire resistant sections, both internally and externally. Wrightstyle’s SR curtain walling system was approved by the architects for this important element of the project.
Original designs for the building incorporated runs of glazing around the perimeter of the building set back into the structure and spanning from finished floor level to ceiling height.
Up until recently our maximum tested glazing size had been approx 1460 wide x 2210 high. This would have meant the architect changing the design to incorporate a transom within the module height, as the height of the screen was 2.8m high. This would have visually intruded – due to the transom being just above eye line. We decided to carry out our own research and development, to come up with a product to meet this demanding criteria. Our technical team then agreed to conduct a project related test
Fixing the pane in place
Pane before test
(our UK technical team)
The test incorporated our approved SR curtain walling system with a single pane of 32mm F60 glass. We decided that instead of just testing to the required maximum project dimension of 1075mm x 2880mm (3.1m 2 ), we’d push the limits and test a piece of glass 1500mm wide x 2930mm high (4.39m 2 ) to the BS476 part 22 standard.
The test was conducted in Hong Kong at the HOKLAS accredited RED Fire & Façade Consultants test facility in the New Territories . RED is considered the region’s leading authority in consultancy and testing services for facades and curtain walling.
So you can imagine, it’s a well-used laboratory when you consider the amount of product testing that has to be undertaken, to meet with the high standards required by Hong Kong regulatory authorities.
After 1 hour
After 90 mins
Hong Kong has strict building regulations where fire protection is concerned and they are closely monitored. With a densely packed population of over five million people, Hong Kong has fewer fire fatalities than 57 of the 58 largest cities in the USA .
Check at 1 hour
The test was extremely successful and exceeded our expectations. A glass previously tested to 60mins, now incorporating advanced technical features, ran on to a time of 92mins.
This overrun in time and size allows us to cover 30, 60 & 90 minutes integrity and insulation applications using 32mm glass.
Subsequent evaluations of the test by the laboratories have allowed us to increase our maximum glass dimensions for 32mm glass as follows:
•30 mins 5.5m 2 , with maximum width of 2.05m and maximum height of 4.0m
•60 mins 5.0m 2 , with maximum width of 2.05m and maximum height of 4.0m
•90 mins 4.4m 2 , with maximum width of 1.8m and maximum height of 3.5m
Therefore, we can now supply larger panes of glass for 30mins and 60mins using 32mm product. Also, it means a reduced thickness for 90mins from the current 38mm to 32mm, which means reduced weight – having the added benefit of easier installation on site.