Code-compliant FRP cladding for high-rise buildings

Kreysler & Associates has introduced a new glass fiber composite cladding material, called Fireshield 285, which its designers say solves the riddle of fire code compliance on high-rise structures.

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Kreysler & Associates (American Canyon, Calif.) has introduced a new glass fiber composite cladding material, called Fireshield 285, which its designers say solves the riddle of fire code compliance on high-rise structures. The cladding panel system recently passed one of the construction industry’s most stringent fire tests, NFPA 285, which involves testing a full-scale mockup of a multi-story façade system to gauge its flame-spread characteristics.

 Kreysler & Associates believes its cladding is the first to pass muster under NFPA 285.  Kreysler & Associates president William Kreysler says his company’s patent-pending process involves a “proprietary blend of synthetic resins and natural aggregate that provides an attractive but extremely durable, environmentally efficient and highly fire-resistant product.”

Fireshield reportedly turns designers loose to use the light weight and versatile plasticity of shape and texture afforded by composites reinforced with glass fiber or carbon fiber to create large façades of almost any shape, contour and texture, yet also meet all requirements under the International Building Code (IBC). Kreysler notes, “Shapes that have never existed outside of a computer model are now possible, both unique and repetitive designs.”

Panels can be merged to create large, seamless façades, such as the sculpted 10-story façade (see photos) on a new expansion at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Designed by Norway-based architectural firm Snohetta in collaboration with local urban design firm EHDD, the SFMOMA expansion’s Fireshield cladding will present a rippling horizontal texture said to be reminiscent of California’s San Francisco Bay just a few blocks away. Fabricated by Kreysler & Associates, the façade’s 700 panels have a skin thickness of only 0.1875 inch/4.8 mm and weigh, on average, only 5 lb/ft2 (24 kg/m2). Some of the project panels are as large as 5.5 ft by 30 ft (1.7m by 9m).

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