Wrightstyle, the Devizes-based glass and steel systems specialist, is again at the forefront of a major contract in the Far East, having undergone large-span fire testing on its approved SR curtain walling system “that far exceeded expectations.”
The company has become a specialist in the provision of all-in-one glass and steel systems, offering its complete and guaranteed systems on a bespoke or standard-size basis through a network of licensed fabricators worldwide.
The Hong Kong fire test, at the prestigious HOKLAS accredited RED Fire and Façade Consultants, not only greatly exceeded the test requirement for 60 minutes by 150% but involved an area of glass far in excess of the required contract dimensions.
The fire test now allows Wrightstyle to offer its technically-advanced and one-stop glass and steel system for between 30 and 90 minutes integrity and insulation using a single pane of 32mm glass – and in large sizes up to 5.5 sq metres.
The fire test was in support of a contract to supply glass and glazing systems for the Architectural Services Department (ASD) of the Hong Kong government, and which involved some 1,000 sq metres of glass with either 30 minutes or 60 minutes of integrity and insulation glazing.
The project itself, now nearing completion, was a joint transport and education initiative to create a new resource centre for children with special educational needs, built over the busy Kowloon Tong public transport interchange – a strategic interchange on the rail, metro and bus network, and a key transport route from the New Territories into Hong Kong itself.
Given the large traffic volumes, and its strategic importance, the huge infrastructure project on the Kowloon Peninsula incorporated runs of fire-rated glazing around the perimeter of the building from floor to ceiling, with both internal and external elements, and with a maximum dimension of 3.1 metres in height.
Instead of testing to the contract specification, Wrightstyle pushed the test envelope to a 1500mm wide by 2930mm high pane of 32mm F60 glass, to BS476: Part 22, using their highly-successful SR curtain wall glazing system.
The successful test has allowed Wrightstyle to increase its maximum glass dimensions for 32mm glass to 5.5 sq metres (30 minutes) and to 4.4 sq metres (90 minutes) – meaning lower costs, reduced weight over heavier glass thicknesses and, not least, easier installation on site.
“A significant architectural trend is towards larger spans of glass but without the visual intrusion of transoms. At Wrightstyle, we understand the needs of specifiers and we work closely with customers both here and overseas to make sure that we are at the forefront in meeting their requirements, without compromising the safety of the systems,” said Lee Coates, Technical Manager, Wrightstyle.
“In that respect, this project-related fire test exceeded our expectations, but once again demonstrates the importance of using a specialist steel system coupled with fully-guaranteed and tested glass to provide a complete and guaranteed solution. With that combination, almost anything is now becoming possible,” he said.