Choosing a Window Building Material for a School
New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia
When considering windows for schools, many challenges need to be met because of their unique requirements. Unfortunately, schools are often designed with very few windows because of these challenges, creating a learning environment filled with artificial light.
So, what are these unique requirements of learning institutions? First and foremost is the safety and security of the students. The physical threats that need to be considered are extreme weather events, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. In addition there are the unforeseen catastrophes such as explosions outside the building or perpetrators with intentions to harm. So, the windows need to be safe and secure meeting hurricane-resistant and blast-resistant requirements.
Along with providing a secure environment for the students, the internal spaces should be optimal for learning. Natural light must fill the inside spaces occupied by the students. Sounds from the outside, especially in urban settings, should be kept to a minimum. And, building materials that are graffiti resistant need to be used. Energy efficiency must be a priority while also providing Daylighting needs and meeting LEED guidelines.
A glass building material that fits these unique combination of requirements is Glass Block.
There are many Glass Block products available that can be chosen for different applications. For instance, THICKSET is a glass block from Eastern Glass Block that is manufactured by Pittsburgh Corning and is ideal for use in schools. These Fire Rated Glass Block products include the Thickset 60 and the Thickset 90. All THICKSET 90 (thick-faced) and solid glass blocks have fire ratings of up to 90 minutes, and the THICKSET® 60 glass blocks have fire ratings up to 60 minutes, when used as window assemblies and when permitted by code.
THICKSET Glass Block include;
- superior sound transmissions ratings,
- a range of visibility options from clear to opaque depending on your privacy needs,
- graffiti resistant with easy to clean and durable glass surface,
- Fire Rated by Underwriters Laboratories.
Eastern Glass Block provides Windows that meet these requirements and more:
- FEMA 361–Air Pressure and Tornado Missile Impact Test– Two hits: 15 lbs., 2 x 4 @100 mph
- FEMA 320–Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business
- ICC/NSSA 500-2008
- ASTM E330-02 – Standard Test Method for Structural Performance
- Passed air pressure tests (+309/-413) psf., which equates to a wind speed of over 400mph (with a 1.5 safety factor).
In a previous post called Tornado and Hurricane Resistant Glass Block, you can see a short video demonstrating the impact resistant qualities of Glass Block.
To learn more, call us at Eastern Glass Block. We have over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial Glass Block installation services. We love to share our knowledge.