Volume 43, Issue 12 - December 2008
The Glass Association of North America held its Fall Conference in September in Dallas and, while each division had activities aplenty to keep them busy, the association also used the conference as an opportunity to develop some new programming. For instance, the group decided to create a group-wide Marketing Committee that will handle development of marketing efforts previously handled within each group.
It also established a new Energy Committee, which will focus on glass usage in solar power creation, photovoltaic technologies and more. Stanley Yee, a principal and building enclosure consultant with Portland, Ore.-based The Façade Group LLC, was named chair of the committee.
“Energy is quickly becoming an enormous factor in the glass industry,” explained GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek. “With opportunities ranging from mirror-enhanced solar power creation to ‘clean’ energy, our members are prepared to take the lead in converting these to new markets for the North American glass industry.”
Yee added, “The energy field is rapidly expanding into architectural glass, and our committee will be prepared to evaluate and act on the potential available to our industry.”
The Energy Committee’s first public action is to co-sponsor a panel discussion at Glass Week with the GANA Mirror Division. The panel will feature a presentation on “Requirements and Potential for Concentrating Solar Power Mirrors” by Cheryl Kennedy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as other experts in the emerging energy production industry.
Fire-Rated Glazing Labeling and Products
Thom Zaremba of Roetzel & Andress offered the group some background on recent changes in labeling, notably, the International Code Council’s (ICC) Code Technology Committee’s (CTC) decision to research the issue of how fire-rated glazing should be labeled (see August 2008 USGlass).
According to Zaremba, that decision may essentially “put a stop to further code changes until CTC has finished its review.”
However, since the outcome of the CTC’s research will directly impact the members of the FRGC (who represent many of the fire-rated glazing manufacturers) the group felt that it would be best to provide some input to the CTC.
“I think we need a voice in the CTC … we have a vested interest in whatever conclusions they make,” commented Jeff Griffiths of SAFTI FIRST, chair of the Labeling Task Group.
One of the reasons CTC decided to study the issue was because the industry has not presented a united front and, even during the fall conference, there was discussion of what Griffiths called the “two rather clear, disparate perspectives.” Some companies maintain that the system is suitable as is, while others would prefer what they refer to as a “simpler” labeling system.
“The sooner this issue can be put to bed once and for all the better this industry is going to be,” Zaremba said. With that goal in mind, it was proposed that a clearly defined scope for the Task Group be outlined prior to the next meeting so the group could begin to make some decisions on how to resolve this issue. In addition, Zaremba recommended that the FRGC make contact with the CTC at its October meeting to advise them that FRGC is working on this issue and request the CTC not make any final decisions.
The Council also heard from Yanek about a recent presentation he gave to the Americas Glass Association (AGA) about the FRGC (see October 2008 USGlass).
“The main thing is to work on these code issues and go as a united front,” said Fred Harter of AGA on working with GANA.
Among the items on which AGA has requested input from GANA is the creation of a fire-rated glazing product matrix. The groups would “put together [a guide for] glazing contractors, building code officials, perhaps even architects, where they could look at the fire-rated glazing products and the variety of materials available,” explained Jerry Razwick of Technical Glass Products, and Council chair.
While the goal would be to offer an inclusive list of products as an aide to construction professionals with little knowledge about the fire-rated glazing materials available, there was concern from members of the Council that use of specific product names would be overly promotional—and near impossible to categorize.
Yet in the end, per the unanimous outcome of an opinion poll, FRGC members expressed interest in assisting AGA in its efforts. AGA will send out a draft of the matrix to FRGC’s members to review and discuss at the next meeting.
During the Marketing Committee meeting members continued work on a Laminated Glass 101 presentation, which is being developed as an AIA course. The group also continued to develop a video on resin laminated glass production. The goal is to have a draft for review at Glass Week, which will take place February 12-15, 2009, at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The Laminated Glazing Reference Manual Task Group reviewed and approved updates and changes to the manual. The document was forwarded to the Technical Committee where it was approved for publication.
The Ball Drop Task Group also met and, ultimately, disbanded having completed its scope of developing the Standard Specification and Test Method for Ball Drop Impact Resistance of Laminated Architectural Glass (see October 2008 USGlass, page 26).
The Technical Committee members heard a presentation from Architectural Testing Inc.’s Eric Miller about the acoustical performance of glass products. Miller discussed a proposed research program to look at some issues that could affect the acoustical performance of glass panels only. There are three objectives of the research
“We want to know how repeatable all four [mounting] methods are,” said Miller.
After determining the most repeatable mounting apparatus, Miller explained they will then test and measure the sound transmission of different sizes of glass in the frame.
He expects there will be three to four weeks of lab testing.
The Technical Committee also worked on updating ASTM C1172, Standard Specification for Laminated Architectural Flat Glass. The goal is to revise the document’s wording so that it is more consistent with other ASTM documents.
In addition, the committee will also work on a number of new Glass Informational Bulletins (GIB). The first is on the revised hurricane substitution criteria as part of ASTM E 1996 (see July 2008 USGlass). The second bulletin will be on the approximate weight of laminated glass. A new task group was also formed to review and update the GANA GIB on emergency egress through laminated glazing.
“The good news is, we got a lot of good comments back, bad news it took us this long to get the feedback,” commented Joel Feingold of Strainoptic Technologies Inc., subcommittee chair.
And, indeed, there was lots of feedback to discuss during the meeting. The question quickly came up as to the intended audience for the presentation. While it was suggested that it would be used as an internal association resource for continuing education at events such as the Glass Fabrication and Glazing Educational Conference, many committee members agreed that the presentation is not as yet ready for further distribution or for use training new employees about distortion. Among the concerns of the presentation was that it did not rely heavily enough on recommendations set forth in ASTM C1048, Standard Specification for Heat-Treated Flat Glass—or, perhaps, too heavily.
“We need to get our head out of the sand … C1048 as it’s drafted today is insufficient for today’s problems,” commented one listener.
Others worried that what is intended as an educational presentation set what could be construed as requirements for how to inspect for optical distortion and roller wave measurement.
As division chair Cliff Monroe of Arch Aluminum & Glass explained, “I think it’s setting a precedent for what everyone should be processing their glass under … you don’t process 1⁄8-inch glass the same way you process 6-mm … it’s indicating a level of evaluation that could steer the wrong parties in the wrong direction and make it difficult to you to sell or market your product in the field. There’s a lot of innuendo [about the equipment you need to have].”
Feingold agreed to make some revisions to the presentation prior to the next meeting, which will be held during Glass Week.
The division’s Marketing Committee had the opportunity to review a draft of the tempering video during its meeting. Each division is producing an educational video on its product; videos already exist on producing float glass, mirror and laminated glass with PVB. Some group members expressed concern that the video shows only one technique for producing tempered glass so that while it would be suitable to show to architects and customers, it could not be used for training employees on tempering. The video will be sent out to the committee members for further review, so that dialogue can be strengthened for technical information.
Committee members also announced that the Design in Glass Awards for 2009 had been canceled due to lack of funds and submissions.
After an update on its recently released Caring for Today’s Architectural Glass position paper, the Construction Subcommittee declared an executive committee, closing the meeting to committee members only and removing the press, in order to provide an update on the group’s interaction with the window cleaning industry and, more specifically, the International Window Cleaning Association.
The division’s Technical Committee, chaired by Greg Saroka of Goldray Industries Ltd., met first. Task groups are working on a number of projects including a LEED position paper on decorative glass; a glossary of decorative glass terms and definitions; guidelines on product cleaning and handling; and updating some existing GANA documents, including section six of the Tempering Division’s Engineering Standards Manual, which covers the Specification for Fired-On Ceramic Enamel Decorative Architectural Flat Glass. A task group has completed its review and the manual has been updated to reflect its revisions.
The Decorative Division’s Marketing Committee also met. The group recently completed an online survey of architects, designers and installers about their experiences with decorative glass. Cathie Saroka of Goldray Industries compiled the findings and shared some of the results during the meeting.
Cathie Saroka, who serves as the group’s Membership Committee chair, suggested that the group not only be a resource to new member companies, but all member companies. This could include further informational enhancements to the group’s website.
Reaction from members was mixed. In recent years, member involvement in the mirror division has gotten smaller, and the since membership is limited to silverers and suppliers the group is limited in terms of bringing in new members.
Jim Ventre of Vitro America, who serves as the Mirror Division chair, suggested the possibility of opening membership up to mirror installers. Lee Harrison with Walker Glass raised the point that, as a group, they probably have more in common with other glass companies.
“We probably have more common interests with other glass producers than installers,” said Harrison.
Ventre added, “I’d like to see it work out [on our own]. I think decorative is very different than what we do,” Ventre said. “The only way we can be a stand-alone group is if we increase membership; we’ll have to open membership up to other groups; there’s strength in numbers.”
Another concern from members was that, if the division is combined into another division, the unique needs of the mirror industry might be lost in the mix. Yanek added that if the two divisions do eventually become one there would still be a place for true mirror activities, such as in a Mirror Technical Committee.
For now, though, the group is going to look for ways to increase membership and member involvement. If the division does open up membership it will involve changing the criteria at the board level, so Ventre will ask for board approval during the board’s next meeting.
Building Envelope Contractors
Ikerd presented an overview of the system (see May 2008 USGlass), and some cautions. “Industries that change to this type of modeling never go back,” he said, citing the automotive and aerospace industries.
He also noted, “This BIM adoption will happen faster than many will realize.”
While many presentations given in the last several months have provided overviews of the system, Ikerd spoke specifically to the role the contractors sitting in the room would play in design-construct teams using BIM.
According to Ikerd, “When someone’s talking about BIM you need to know their perspective of where they’re coming from.” Specifically, know which of the various databases the other party is referring to as there are systems that hold information on fabrication, dimensional control, value engineering, clash detection and other factors.
Ikerd also noted that BIM changes the working relationships among the individuals involved on a given project, since no one really “owns” the project model to which each group—architects, owners, general contractor and subcontractors—contributes. As a result, subcontractors are often brought into the process earlier than in traditional projects to contribute their knowledge to the model. “Instead of viewing [glazing contractors] as subcontractors you start viewing them as ‘specialty contractors,’” Ikerd said.
Since these projects become much more collaborative in nature, one of the questions surrounding BIM is exactly that matter of ownership. According to Ikerd, unique situations have arisen where the architect, owner and contractors essentially become a single entity through the collaboration, and even indemnifying one another for the work within the tri-party agreement. According to Ikerd, that can pose potential problems for subcontractors and sub-consultants who remain outside the agreement. As Ikerd pointed out, “It won’t be for all buildings, it won’t be for all owners.” But for those special situations, a glazing contractor may have little recourse should a problem arise.
Ikerd also noted that BIM is becoming increasingly more referenced by code- and standard-setting organizations. For example, on the topic of energy, Ikerd noted, “As BIM emerges more, it will go hand-in-hand with LEED.”
He also explained that the International Code Council (ICC) has used BIM to check for code compliance through the SMARTcodes™.