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Behind the scenes – the development of Pyroguard Balustrades

2022 saw us launch Pyroguard Balustrades, our new safety glass solution for balustrade and balcony applications.

In this blog, we caught up with Andy Lake, our Sales Director UK & IRE, to learn more about its development and what this means for the industry.

Pyroguard Balustrades

Q: What role do glass balustrades play within modern and contemporary buildings?

It’s no secret that glass is a popular building material, helping to create light, bright and open spaces – all key architectural demands when it comes to modern-day buildings.

Glass balustrades can have numerous applications, whether on landings and stairs to create more of an open plan feel, or installed on high-rise apartment balconies. Not only can glass balconies help to bring more natural light into a building, they can also offer a striking and contemporary exterior feature.

 

Q: What was the reason behind the development of Pyroguard Balustrades?

Following the Grenfell disaster of 2017, Approved Document B of the Building Regulations underwent various changes and amendments. One of those was a ban on the use of laminated glass on any high-rise residential balcony or terrace over 18 metres tall. This was due to the traditional glass interlayers acting as a combustible material when tested independently from the laminated pane, with the burning droplets and particles something that could lead to a fire spreading further through a building.

This change in Building Regulations had massive implications for the whole construction industry. As a result, it became clear that research and development work was needed within the fire safety and glazing industries, on how glass could be brought back into these applications safely – which is where Pyroguard came in.

 

Q: How did the development process work?

Together with one of our framing partners, we set about researching and developing an alternative that would be fully compliant with the new changes to Building Regulations Document B.

After coming up with a proposed design solution, this then led to physical tests being performed for each component of the framing system and our fire safety glass at a third-party UKAS accredited testing facility in the UK.

A key part of the process was being able to take advantage of our 30 years’ experience in fire safety glass and utilise the intumescent gel interlayer from our existing range of fire safety glass products.

 

Q: What does Pyroguard Balustrades deliver in terms of performance and building safety?

The final Pyroguard Balustrades product is a combination of expert design and our special laminated glass gel infill. Manufactured to classification A2-s1, d0 (according to BS EN13501), this means that it ticks all the boxes for:

  • Showing no noticeable contribution to the spread of fire
  • Generates little or no smoke
  • No burning droplets or particles

Going a step further, the glass itself is fire-rated too, providing Integrity and Radiation (EW) and Integrity and Insulation (EI) protection.

Pyroguard Balustrades also offer excellent light transmission and is certified to the 1B1 impact resistance rating (according to EN12600) – two factors that are key considering its application.

 

Q: What does this mean for the architectural and building industry, moving forwards?

At Pyroguard, we’re so proud to be one of the only glass manufacturers to offer such a product (patented), with our work helping to re-establish glass as a design solution.

With Pyroguard Balustrades, the door is now re-opened for architects and specifiers to be able to opt for glass in their building designs and deliver on the desire for light, open and contemporary spaces.

For further information on Pyroguard Balustrades or to discuss your next project, please contact us.

Further reading

Pyroguard unveils 2024 Technical brochure

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Fire door insight from ‘the door guy’: a Q&A

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Combine performance and aesthetics, with the help of our new Smokeguard brochure

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