The National Building Code of Canada (NBC) requires glazing in certain applications in educational facilities to be fire-rated. Today’s advanced fire-rated glazing products make it possible to do significantly more than protect against the spread of fire.
For the past 100 years, developers and architects driven by the Modern movement have designed skeletal boxes skinned with glass for beauty and simplicity. Natural light, the diminishing of separation between interior and exterior, and open working environments were the result of these experimental glazing assemblies. This strategy continues to spread throughout the globe, in all climates.
In many large, urban areas of Canada, most of the population lives in apartment buildings. In the downtown core of cities like Toronto, the proportion is up to 70 per cent. With the current trend to intensify urban areas to limit sprawl into surrounding valuable farmland, the proportion of high-rise multi-family dwellers is expected to increase.
One of the strategies employed by architects to increase (or regain lost) glazing area to meet the performance objectives of building energy codes and standards involves using established building envelope elements such as window louvres, fins, and shelves, along with emerging technologies such as vacuum-insulated glazing and panels (VIGs) and electrochromic (EC) glass.
Watertight façades are critical for the longevity and durability of any building, especially in damp, coastal climates. Water, snow, and wind can cause premature failures of building enclosures and multi-layer façade systems—such as rainscreen assemblies—have been proven highly effective in controlling water infiltration into the building.