Fenestration that Offers Fire and Smoke Protection

Aluminium remains the most widely specified material for commercial windows, doors and curtain wall so it should come as no surprise that leading European systems company, Aluprof, offer a comprehensive range of fire rated systems.

Until a few years ago, material choices were limited to timber and steel systems, but with advances in design and materials, aluminium framed products are now quickly becoming the specifiers choice. Aluprof have designed each of their fire rated products to perfectly complement their standard systems.  So, for any part of any screen, window, door or curtain wall aluminium framing can be fire rated and can still retain the slim sight lines of standard systems.  Some solutions are unique to the industry and available only from Aluprof such as the fire rated, capless silicon joint curtain wall system, MB SR50NEI EFEKT tested to EI60 class.

Aluprof’s technical brochure entitled, ‘Fire Rated and Smoke Exhaust Systems’, explains in detail each product and rating. Aluprof systems offer some of the highest fire protection ratings in Europe, some reaching EI120 – that’s two hours fire and smoke protection.  Each system has been tested according to UK industry standards with various specialist glasses and most are fully covered by the UK’s ‘Certifire’ certificate of approval.

The company’s fire rated MB-60E EI system offers a cost effective solution for fire doors. With just a 60mm frame depth, the MB-60E EI can achieve a fire resistance class of EI15 or a EI30 according to DIN EN 13501-2 + A1. Complete with polyamide thermal breaks, the door system is ideal for use in both external or internal applications. Door sets can be manufactured with both fixed lights and opening, single or double doors, to create extensive screen assemblies.

For specification flexibility, the MB-60E EI door can be specified with glazing thicknesses of between 5 to 41 mm and can be manufactured up to 2,300 x 1,300 mm in size per door leaf.  Being fully compatible with Aluprof ‘MB’ systems, specifiers do not have to sacrifice constant sight-lines between fire rated areas and normal glazing requirements.

The competitively priced MB-60E EI system joins a wide range of windows, doors, screens and curtain wall systems which can achieve ratings of up to  EI60.  Aluprof also offer a comprehensive RIBA approved CPD for specifiers titled ‘The Use of Glazed Screens to Control the Spread of Smoke and Fire in Buildings’.

Bringing together more than eight decades of technical industry experience, fire glass experts Pyroguard have completed an ambitious testing programme in partnership with Aluprof a new, cost-efficient, non-insulated, slimline fire-resistant glazing system for the UK and European market.

Following two years of collaboration, the new MB-45EW framing system has been developed and rigorously tested for applications where non-insulated screens and doors are required.  A first for the UK market, the slim system exceeds the current ratings of E30 and EW requirements with additional radiation reduction.  Suitable for internal applications, the framing system also offers a smoke-proof screen arrangement with doors, compliant with EN13502-2.  Pyroguard Integrity Plus glass is the first fire glazing tested and certified for the new system delivering El 15 and EW30 fire performance along with 1B1 impact protection.

Wojciech Brozyna, Managing Director at Aluprof UK, commented:  “As we strive to deliver a solution which is effective, cost-efficient and aesthetically pleasing to suit the needs of specifiers today, we had to overcome several challenges.  The expertise of Pyroguard has been invaluable and by combining our efforts throughout the testing phase we have created a solution which exceeds current safety requirements to deliver advanced protection.”

“Glazing often plays a vital role in modern buildings, but meeting functional safety requirements needn’t come at the expense of aesthetics,” says Vince Crook, Technical Director at Pyroguard.  “By collaborating with Aluprof, we’ve been able to develop a fully-accredited and certified framing solution which utilises the key characteristics of our high-performing products – namely design and 1B1-classified impact protection, in addition to essential EI 15 and EW30 safety requirements.”

In what is believed to be a first for the industry, the cap-less, fire rated curtain wall system MB-SR50N EI EFKT has recently been specified on a refurbishment development in Manchester.  The project, known as ‘The Core’, is located at 24-30 Brown Street in Manchester city centre.

Originally built in the mid-1980s as the headquarters for law firm Halliwells, the building, also formerly known as St James’s Court, has been given an £8 million overhaul to replace the facade and re-fit the internals.  The Core comprises 48,000 sq.ft of office space over six floors including a new 7,500 sq.ft roof-top extension.  It is this new upper floor that proved a challenge for the architects PRP as the planners insisted on parts of the new facade would need to be fire rated due to the proximity of other buildings and future developments.

A fire rating of EI60 was required on part of the new cap-less, curved glass facade on the top floor.  Aluprof’s new system, MB-SR50N EI efekt, enabled the architect to have a cap-less fire rated system whilst at the same time seamlessly blending in with areas which did not require a fire rating.  Dan Holden of facade specialists Casu Consulto who designed and installed the facade takes up the story, “We were going down the route of a steel system for this project until we were introduced to this new system by Aluprof.  To achieve a cap-less fire rated curtain wall system is a big development for the industry, but to be able to have the fire rated system on one side of a mullion and non-fire rated on the other side in a seamless transition, is truly impressive.”

With the old heavy red brick facade removed and window openings made much larger, the new office development has been finished to shell to allow tenants to customise their space, following the trend for more individually designed workspaces.  The central light-well has been opened up and windows enlarged to further add light into all floors.

The project team for the refurbishment, managed by OBI, included PRP Architects, Russells Construction, Tier Consult as structural engineer, and REDS, M&E advisor.

Serving the whole of the UK and Ireland, Aluprof UK’s head office and warehouse facility is located in Altrincham, Cheshire.  Aluprof systems are increasingly being specified on a wide range of residential and commercial projects across the UK.  Systems are designed, fabricated and installed by selected, specially trained local companies, to ensure each fabricated product meets Aluprof’s exacting standards.  Further information is available on the company’s website at www.aluprof.co.uk and specialist advice is available directly from Aluprof’s UK head offices on +44 (0) 161 941 4005 or from their London office, based at the Business Design Centre, Islington, on +44 (0) 207 288 6415.