Specifier Review

Fire safety makes an entrance

Glazing solutions from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain have provided high standards of fire protection for a striking new atrium at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The Atria Building adjacent to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has a stunning glass atrium which has been created using CONTRAFLAM by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain.

CONTRAFLAM has a class A safety rating consisting of two sheets of toughened safety glass which are separated by a transparent advanced intumescent interlayer. When exposed to fire, the interlayer turns opaque and expands to form a fully insulating heat shield. This effectively reduces the transmission of radiated and conducted heat. The layers also provide an integrity barrier against smoke, flames and hot gases for maintained integrity in excess of 120 minutes. The opaque insulating interlayer blocks the view of the fire helping to minimise panic and acts as a guide for emergency services to indicate the presence of fire.

CONTRAFLAM can be used for internal and external applications, for installation into steel, aluminium or timber frames, partitions and doors.

Manufactured by Vetrotech, at its dedicated Coventry production facility, two types of CONTRAFLAM were supplied for the EICC project to suit the different requirements within the new atrium.

Installed by leading facade designer and contractor Charles Henshaw & Sons, the fire rated glass atrium provides a light and spacious reception point to allow access to the venue’s 1,600 m2 multi-purpose Lennox Suite which accommodates up to 2,000 people.

Henshaws installed 1,500 m2 of EI30 CONTRAFLAM (30 minute integrity and insulation) in screens within the main atrium and 250 m2 of EI60 CONTRAFLAM (60 minutes integrity and insulation) in screens on the ground floor areas.

Graham Chung, Sales Director at Henshaws, said: “The EICC was already a landmark Edinburgh building, but the impressive new Atria building makes it very special and it’s a project we’re proud to have been involved with. CONTRAFLAM has enabled us to meet the demanding brief extremely well thanks to working with Vetrotech.”

The £85m extension to one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings was designed by BDP Architects and completed by main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, with project management by Mace Group.

Vetrotech is a leading producer of fire resistant glass products. Being a member of the Saint-Gobain Group, Europe’s biggest producer and processor of glass, Vetrotech knows all aspects of this material. With innovative research and development and state-of-the-art production technologies, solutions of the highest level of quality and complexity can be created. Vetrotech products comply with the strictest impact safety requirements and are also suitable for multi-comfort applications and meet the aesthetic demands of modern architecture.

CONTRAFLAM is one of three product ranges in the Clear Fire Resistant range by Vetrotech. PYROSWISS, VETROFLAM and CONTRAFLAM STRUCTURE make up the portfolio of products. Vetrotech also provides blast, bullet and attack-resistant glass with its PROTECT range.

All Vetrotech UK-manufactured products are UV stable and carry a Class A safety rating as standard. Available as single-pane or double-glazed units, they can incorporate acoustic or solar control options for added comfort, safety and practicality. There are also additional aesthetic options, including patterned, tinted and acid-etched glass.

Since July 2013, it has been mandatory for all UK construction products placed on the EU market to carry the CE mark and Vetrotech products are CE marked as standard. Additionally, all Vetrotech products come with a Declaration of Performance (DoP) – an official document that contains the data relating to the performance of the product.