Offering choices so you can use the RIGHT product for the RIGHT application

Fairview Architectural North America has earned the reputation of being the innovator in the façade industry, even from manufacturers of competing façade products. Inventors and creators of unique materials and concepts come to Fairview when they have an innovation that could be introduced to the Building Facades market.

We hear from these visionaries that Fairview NA stands out as the partner of choice, a trustworthy partner to integrate their concept into the building façade industry in a safe and responsible way, creating realistic solutions.

By having many product offerings within the building façade industry, Fairview Architectural North America is in the unique position of having a much wider understanding of the industry than many of the manufacturers who have just a single product range. It is natural then that we get many questions relating to the results of our product development.

Some of these questions relate to our VitrabondG2 Non-Combustible Metal Composite Material and VitraPlate® Pre-Finished Aluminum façade panels. These products have been confirmed by independent analysis to be rated as Non-Combustible in compliance with current code requirements and definitions.

How can VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate® be considered non-combustible?

The IBC defines in Section 703.4 how to determine if a product is considered non-combustible. The code must have a definition like this, otherwise no manufactured or painted product could be considered non-combustible as defined by the ASTM E-136 non-combustibility test.

Does VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate® pass the ASTM E-136 test to prove that they are non-combustible?
The ASTM E-136 test is for elementary materials only and is therefore not for any painted product. As such, the aluminum used in VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate® have been tested and passed the ASTM E-136 and is therefore rated as non-combustible.

Has VitrabondG2® or VitraPlate® passed an NFPA 285 full scale wall assembly fire test?
The NFPA 285 test does not apply to VitrabondG2 and VitraPlate®. It also does not apply to the non-combustible wall assembly applications where we recommend using VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate®. The NFPA 285 is specifically made for combustible products, to allow their use in wall assemblies that are meant to use products rated as non-combustible according to the building code. Fairview Architectural North America has many products for many applications. Other MCM/ACM manufacturers with a single product range must try to make their product fit where it shouldn’t. By contrast, Fairview promotes VitrabondFR® where wall assemblies are permitted to contain combustible products and promotes VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate® for use in non-combustible wall assemblies.

Why not have VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate® tested in an NFPA285 wall assembly test? Wouldn’t that open up a greater market share?
It is not about market share – we simply develop the RIGHT product for the RIGHT application, and don’t try to promote saving pennies at the cost of life safety. Fairview Architectural North America were the first to discontinue the use of the flammable PE core ACM, and the first to develop two feasible non-combustible façade products: VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate®.

These images show Fairview’s VitrabondFR® ACM and a competitor’s FR ACM product after the NFPA285 test. Both tests passed because it is the wall assembly design that affects the result of the test more than the products used. Yet the burden and responsibility of testing is put on the product manufacturers, rather than those responsible for the wall design. VitrabondFR® is available for use where the code allows.

Is there a full-scale wall assembly fire test for VitrabondG2® and VitraPlate® in North America?
At this time non-combustible products themselves are not required to undergo full-scale wall assembly testing, and there are no full-scale fire tests for non-combustible products in the North American market. Fairview Architectural North America does not test products just to say it meets this or that criteria, but rather develops the RIGHT product for the RIGHT application and performs the RIGHT tests to meet the RIGHT criteria.

We envision a building façade industry free of flammable cladding materials. We all understand that buildings need paint, adhesives, waterproofing, paper backers on drywall, etc… and we are working with conscientious insurers, code consultants, fire marshals, and architects who have embraced our vision and are together leading the change to a safer, yet realistic, building façade industry.