Designing Fire-Rated Glazed Doorsets Glass Partitions: Key Considerations

Designing Fire-Rated Glazed Doorsets Glass Partitions: Key Considerations

By James Marchant, Senior Product Manager


As a senior product designer specialising in fire-rated doorsets and glazed partitions, I understand the importance of passive fire safety in building design. Fire-rated doorsets and glazed partitions play a vital role, by creating a safe route for occupants to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency and by protecting the building structure by preventing the spread of fire and smoke.

Here are some of the key considerations I think about in any project specification.


Regulatory Compliance:

As a product designer, it is essential to ensure my designs achieve full regulatory compliance. Approved document Part B specifies strict requirements for fire resistance, smoke containment, and emergency egress of a building. I must ensure that my designs meet or exceed these requirements to safeguard the welfare of the building and its occupants.


Fire Resistance Ratings:

BS EN 1364-1 & BS EN 1634-1 are the harmonised European test standards for non-load-bearing Fire-rated glass partitions and doorsets.  These standards set out the testing methods and criteria required for a fire rating.  There are two main fire rating types used within the UK, E (Integrity only) and (Ei) Integrity and Insulation with a numeric value in minutes of resistance. Fire test certification is an essential component of a satisfactory design.


Structural Integrity:

Whether I am designing for Integrity only (E) or Integrity and Insulation (Ei), I must ensure that my designs can withstand a fire's intense heat and pressure without falling or collapsing. I am careful to select materials and construction methods that will achieve the required fire resistance during testing, this includes using specially formulated fire-rated glass, fire-resistant framing materials, and intumescent seals based on my many years of experience to prevent the passage of flames and hot gases. 


Heat Radiation:

When designing specifically for Ei (Integrity and Insulation) screens and doorsets, in addition to creating a barrier preventing the spread of flames and hot smoke, Ei glass partitions and doors must also provide effective thermal insulation protecting building occupants from the heat radiation of a fire. Systems are therefore designed by selecting materials with high thermal resistance, incorporating features such as insulating glass and thermal breaks to minimise heat transfer through the framework and glazing to keep occupants safe in the event of a fire. Primary means of escape and protected shafts would be a primary example of such specification.


Ambient Temperature Smoke Control:

Smoke inhalation is a leading cause of injury and death during fires; therefore, it is beneficial to control the spread of cold and warm smoke within a building which is covered by BS EN 1634-3. Incorporating brush and wiper-style seals to door leaves and doorframes prevents the passage of smoke through the doorset, ensuring that building occupants have a clear and safe means of escape.


Aesthetic Considerations:

While fire safety is the primary concern, I also consider the aesthetic impact of my designs. Fire-rated glass partitions and doors are often used in high-end commercial and residential buildings where the design and finishes form an integral part of the aesthetics of the building. I balance the need for fire safety with the desire for sleek, modern, and visually appealing designs that complement the overall aesthetic of the building.



Designing fire-rated glass partitions and doorsets requires careful consideration of a wide range of factors; regulatory compliance and fire resistance, heat radiation reduction, smoke control, emergency egress and aesthetic considerations. By prioritising these key considerations in any design, based upon my many years of experience of fire testing and on-site installations, I create fire-rated glass partitions and doors that not only meet the highest standards of fire safety but also enhance the overall safety, functionality, and aesthetics of the buildings in which they are installed.