When considering windows for a school, unique requirements must be met, from energy efficiency to the security of the students. Glass Block is an excellent building material to meet these requirements.
Security for Students
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.
Glass Block can be used where there was a planned solid wall in a home, office, school or industrial building. Glass bricks provide effective protection against air pressure and flying debris. No other building material has the quality of a solid wall without blocking light from entering inner spaces. And Glass Block is also graffiti resistant.
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.
An example of Glass Block meeting a school’s sustainability requirements is River Crest Elementary School in Hudson, Wisconsin; an elementary school that was to be a highly sustainable and innovative education center. With an environmental theme that reflected the school district’s vision of a sustainable learning environment, River Crest Elementary created healthful, day lit spaces, improved energy and water efficiency, and decreased operational costs all the while emphasizing environmental education.
With sustainability and privacy a guiding factor, glass blocks was added to the Guidance office, computer room and story area, and cafeteria. The glass block allowed natural light into the areas providing bright spaces that restrict noise and offer improved visual capability teachers rely on when caring for children.
Pittsburgh Corning glass blocks enabled the elementary school to overcome the prerequisite challenge of acoustics to ensure classrooms are quiet enough for learning, and earn a LEED Gold certification. Glass blocks also increased sustainability by letting in more light and reducing energy costs, while still maintaining needed privacy.
A Building Material for Providing Security in a School
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.
Another great product for security is Pittsburgh Corning’s LightWise Architectural Tornado and Hurricane Resistant window. This window has successfully passed the highest standards of performance for FEMA 361 “Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms”, meet the large missile impact tests referenced in the International Building Code, and Dade County Approval Protocols. The window provides effective protection against air pressure and flying debris caused by tornado-force winds.
To learn more about creating a sustainable and secure environment for a learning institution, 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.