Designed by Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel, the hotel and museum space features a fire resistive glass floor that also acts as a lightwell. This allows light to penetrate further in the building while meeting all fire-rated requirements.

Indeed, ever since the introduction of ASTM E-119 rated fire resistive glazing, designers have been using it to bring light, openness, and elegance to rated stairwells, elevator enclosures, exit corridors, occupancy separations and curtainwalls while still providing maximum protection against smoke, flames, and radiant heat. Today, they are bringing this technology to rated floors.

Although the design of fire resistive glass floor assemblies can vary between manufacturers, they all have three main components: a walkable surface, fire resistive glazing, and structural beams.

The walkable surface is the top-most layer that is exposed to foot traffic, furniture, or other objects occupying the floor. If used in exterior applications, it may be exposed to UV rays, rain, or snow as well. Because of this, heat-strengthened or tempered laminated glass are typically used for strength and durability. Since glass’s hard, smooth surface poses a slipping hazard to pedestrians, anti-slip surfaces or abrasive ceramic frits are added for traction. Decorative elements or varying degrees of opacity can also be added for privacy while still allowing light to pass through.

Fire resistive glazing that meets ASTM E-119 allows the floor assembly to be used in fire barriers (IBC Section 707) and fire-resistance-rated horizontal assemblies (IBC Section 711).

The structural beams form a support grid that holds the assembly in place. Steel is typically used to achieve the level of strength needed support live, dead, seismic, and wind loads. The structural beams must also have the same fire rating as the fire resistive glazing used in the floor assembly.

The three components above, together with sealants and other materials comprising the fire resistive floor system, are tested as an assembly in a nationally recognized, independent testing laboratory. The assembly is secured to a large scale horizontal furnace and thermocouples are placed on the non-fire side to measure the amount of radiant heat passing through the assembly. The furnace follows the ASTM E-119 time-temperature curve and a load (typically 100 psf) is applied to the assembly for the entire duration of the test. If the assembly remains intact and limits the temperature rise to less than 250 F above ambient on the non-fire side (despite temperatures in the furnace reaching 1,800 F and the continuous load throughout the test), the assembly passes. Today, fire resistive floor assemblies are available with ratings up to two hours, including SAFTI FIRST’s GPX FireFloor System.

This rigorous test ensures that fire resistive floor systems can provide occupants with a safe and reliable means of egress as they exit the building in the event of a fire.

For more information on SAFTI FIRST’s 2 hour GPX FireFloor System, visit or call 888.653.3333.