Keeping costs down while maintaining the highest standard of safety and meeting building requirements is a goal for any project. In most cases, this is easier said than done, but following best practices in fire protection engineering can provide oft-overlooked ways to achieve this goal.
Fire-rated curtain walls can prevent a fire from traveling to or from neighboring buildings without restricting visibility. Unlike gypsum, masonry, and other opaque fire-rated materials, this multi-functionality can bring fire and life safety goals in line with the aesthetic design intent.
Glazed curtain walls are best known for their ability to visually integrate two otherwise separate spaces. Less talked about—though, perhaps more important—are curtain walls with the capability to retain visibility and access to daylight while standing guard against fire.
The 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design has several requirements that continue to surprise architects and specifiers. This article examines changes to door hardware operable force, use of low-energy automatic operators, protrusions into egress, and the need for proper maneuvering clearance.