Home Safety Solutions Critical Ventilation

Critical Ventilation

The BILCO Company of New Haven, Connecticut, provided 93 smoke vents for the construction of a rocket manufacturing facility in Florida.

Smoke vents are a critical piece of roofing equipment for nearly every manufacturing and commercial facility. Besides providing daylighting, vents also allow smoke, heat, and hot gasses to escape, giving workers a visible route for a safe and swift exit in the event of a fire.


Smoke vents were especially essential in the construction of a new rocket manufacturing facility for Blue Origin in Florida near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Blue Origin, a commercial company innovating on reusable rocket technology, needed a high quantity of vents with special 20-inch curbing to construct its 750,000-square foot facility. The BILCO Company of New Haven, Connecticut, provided 93 vents for the project.

Ray Breedlove, of Atlanta-based Compton Sales, was contacted by Heely Brown, a distributor in the Atlanta area, to discuss smoke venting requirements for the facility. While the initial scope of work for the facility was vague, Compton Sales and Heely Brown worked to verify specifications and to develop a quote for the roofing contractor. They contacted Jeff Smith from Building Specialties, the BILCO representative in Florida, and discovered the roofing contractor who won the project. Smith, Breedlove, and Heely Brown officials collaborated to sharpen BILCO’S pricing and secure an order for 93 Lumivent Smoke Vents.

“Robert Riley at BILCO helped us get multiple quotes in a timely manner as more information came in about the project,’’ Breedlove says. “TR Beurer was also instrumental in helping us offer the right price and lead-time to secure the order.”

The architect required a 20-inch curb on the 48-inch x 96-inch smoke vents. The standard curb size is 12 inches, but BILCO moved swiftly to meet the request. “Robert and TR did a great job in addressing the size of the job and the changes that occurred during the quoting and requoting process,’’ Breedlove says. “They fine-tuned the price and the specifications.


As with all BILCO automatic fire vents, the Lumivent is designed to open automatically in the event of fire, allowing smoke, heat, and gases to escape from a burning building and assisting firefighters in their containment efforts. Fire vents are ideally suited for buildings with large expanses of unobstructed space such as factories, warehouses, and auditoriums.

The Lumivent features translucent Lexan® Thermoclear® glazing, which maximizes light transmittance while minimizing solar heat gain and is surface treated to prevent ultraviolet degradation. Vent actuation is accomplished with BILCO’s patented Thermolatch® II latching mechanism. This mechanism, the heart of BILCO’s automatic fire vents, provides reliable vent operation and prevents inadvertent opening of the covers that can be caused by wind or building vibrations. The curb-mounted Thermolatch II also allows the covers to be reset from the roof level in a safer, more expedient manner.

The Lumivent features flat polycarbonate panels that are incorporated into a sloped cover design to meet both UL 793 and International Building code requirements. The sloped design encourages embers to roll off the covers rather than burn through, which is the intent of the fire protection standards. Compliance to both standards provides a high level of defense and makes the Lumivent one of the safest daylighting vent options on the market.


With all the chemical compounds involved, rocket manufacturing is an especially dangerous business. Workers at the facility can feel safer knowing that the structure will be properly ventilated should a fire occur.


For more than 85 years, The BILCO Company has been a building industry pioneer in the design and development of specialty access products. Over these years, the company has built a reputation among architects, and engineers for products that are unequaled in design and workmanship. BILCO—an ISO 9001 certified company—offers a line of roof hatches, automatic fire vents, floor access doors, natural ventilation products, smoke and fire curtains, and a complete line of residential access products. BILCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of AmesburyTruth, a division of Tyman Plc.


AmesburyTruth™ is a leading manufacturer of window and door extrusions, hardware, and sealing systems, which are used by leading window and door manufacturers throughout North America, for both residential and commercial markets. Based in Edina, Minnesota, the company has facilities throughout North America. The company is a subsidiary of Tyman Plc. Tyman Plc, headquartered in London, is a leading international supplier of components to the window and door industry.

For more information:

For more information about The BILCO Company and the products it offers, visit www.bilco.com. For more information about AmesburyTruth™, visit www.amesburytruth.com.

Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2018
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