Two large internal glass screens which balance aesthetics with assured fire protection have been created using Promat SYSTEMGLAS® F1 within a new multi-million pound facility to support the day-to-day operations of a major UK airline.
The twin 6m wide by 2m high glass screens feature inside the purpose-built 150,000 sq. ft ‘retail operations centre’ in Cheshire. The facility has been constructed to enable the airline to store, manage and distribute millions of in-flight retail products including food and drink, along with products sold in its onboard shops, including duty-free items.
Described as the first facility of its kind in the UK and expected to handle over 25 million items every year, the centre provides the airline with an extensive building for items to be securely stored, picked and loaded onto thousands of bar carts, each of which is screened by one of four X-ray scanners. The whole facility and its processes have been through a strict security process to comply with all relevant regulations, including approval by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Visibility and connection between the office spaces and the main warehouse and logistics zones has been maximised through the installation of two large, slim-framed fire resistant glazing screens, each formed of five panes. These were manufactured using the Promat SYSTEMGLAS® F1 Ferro steel-framed glazing system following the architect’s specification, and installed by leading glazing contractor MD Glass Partitions.
Both screens offer EI120 (insulation and integrity) fire resistance and feature double glazed units manufactured by Promat which are filled with a highly UV-stable, water based intumescent gel. This type of glass unit provides excellent clarity and can be manufactured in sizes up to 1500mm wide x 3500mm high without being excessively heavy – the F1 glass units are, in fact around 30% lighter than the equivalent EI120 laminated glass.
The Ferro frame used in this project was manufactured using high quality steel, powder coated to give a stylish white finish. And with only 50mm of the framing visible, the overall result is twin screens that maximise the amount of light transmission and visibility.
Tasked with installing the F1 glazing for this project was Promat SYSTEMGLAS® installer MD Glass Partitions, a highly experienced company that has successfully delivered numerous glass elements for commercial projects across the UK. One of their biggest challenges was the lifting of the F1 glass units to a height of three metres during installation as Richard Lawrence, Project Co-ordinator at MD Glass Partitions explained.
“The layout of the building was such that the glass screens are positioned high above the main floor area,” said Richard. “This made installation quite challenging, but we were able to overcome any access or handling difficulties by using special lifting equipment, and our installers were kitted out with safety harnesses.
“The end result looks superb, and the client has the added peace of mind with Promat’s 360-degree ‘wheel of assurance’. This meant Promat was able to provide the client with a certificate of conformity to reflect the fact that the glazing has been manufactured and installed to the standard required to meet the system’s stated fire protection level.”
All systems in the Promat SYSTEMGLAS® range benefit from the 360-degree wheel of assurance which offers traceability throughout the supply chain in line with the golden thread. Promat can trace the system from its raw material origins, through manufacturing and processing to installation and post-completion checks to significantly reduce the margin for errors.
In addition to the F1 Ferro steel framed system, architects can use SYSTEMGLAS to create fire resistant glass screens, with or without doors, and numerous other glazing elements with timber frames or frames which can be over-clad, painted or concealed in the surrounding walls, floors and ceilings to give a virtually frameless look.
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