Winter  2003


Wired Glass Debate Continues, both Nationally and in the West

The past few years the question of whether wired glass should continue to be classified as safety glazing in various applications has been one of much debate. Throughout 2003 a number of developments concerning the matter have risen both nationally and locally in the state of Oregon. The issue is a concern to some who view wired glass as not a true safety glazing product, but rather one that was first used for fire-retaining purposes. Today there are a number of wireless products designed for fire-rated applications as well.

On the national level, an ANSI Z97.1 appeals panel unanimously denied an appeal made by Kate Steel of O’Keeffe’s concerning the inclusion of Class C wired glass language in the revision of ANSI Z97.1. Steel had appealed the Z97.1 committee’s ballot from earlier in the year to eliminate the Class C exemption on wired glass in the standard. While the proposal did receive more affirmative that negative votes, it failed to win the two-third majority necessary for passage. The respondent was Valerie Block, chair of the Z97 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC). The decision means the Class C exemption allowing wired glass usage will remain in the standard. 

Wired Glass in Oregon
In Oregon, founder of Advocates for Safe Glass Greg Abel’s fight to see the use of wired glass banned on the state level and nationally has continued. (Abel’s son was injured in a wired glass accident nearly three years ago.) Siding with him is Oregon Sen. Vicki Walker.

In May the circuit court judge of Marion County in Salem, Ore., denied a motion by AMA Glass, a distributor of wired glass based in California, and Pilkington U.K. against two governing bodies within the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS)—the Building Codes Division and the Building Codes Structures Board. According to the motion, Oregon’s statutes require that the public be made aware of deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information on which decisions are made. Plaintiffs allege that this policy was violated when the Building Codes Structures Board held a meeting March 5 without providing actual notice to plaintiffs “who are known by members of the board and its committees to be interested persons.” During that meeting, the board recommended two code change proposals, OSSC-02-54 and OSSC-02-55, which, if adopted, will eliminate the use of wired glass in Oregon.

Later, in August, a hearings officer for the state ruled that the code change administrator there “move forward with the filing of permanent rules” that ban the use of wired glass in hazardous locations. 

The ruling, by hearings officer Richard Rogers, directed the state administrator [to] proceed with the filing of permanent rules and printing of amendments to the Oregon Structural Specialty Codes as proposed, to be effective October 1, 2003 …” This means that wired glass in new construction of educational facilities up to the 12th grade and athletic facilities may not be used unless it complies with CPSC 16 CGR 1201. On October 1, 2004, the change will affect all new construction 
The code change proposals began moving though the system last August and had been forwarded for public hearing. 

In addition, a proposal to limit the use of wired glass was heard in September during the International Code Council’s (ICC) code hearings in Nashville, Tenn. Walker, who testified during the hearings, is the sponsor of an Oregon code change proposal that, if passed, would have limited the use of wired glass in building structures in areas subject to human impact. The ICC had previously adopted codes that limited the use of wired glass in educational and athletic facilities.

The proposal about which Walker testified was referred to the ICC Assembly for a vote on that same day, where it passed by a majority, but failed to obtain the necessary two-third for passage. The record will now remain open for written, public comment and a final action hearing before the full ICC membership will be held next spring in Overland Park, Kan.

Six-Year Old Crushed by Mirror in Department Store; 

A six-year-old boy died recently in a store in a suburban Chicago mall when a piece of mirror fell from a wall and crashed down upon him. Jonathan Villagomez had been visiting the Express Clothing Store in the Lincolnwood Town mall when a 10-foot high, 5-foot wide mirror, estimated to weigh at least 165 pounds, fell to the ground. Villagomez was killed as a result of “crushing injuries” to his head, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, which has ruled the death accidental.

The problem of improperly installed mirror is not an uncommon one in Chicago. 

“We have seen a number of cases where unqualified trades are using products such as ‘Liquid Nails’ to attempt to install mirror,” said one expert in the trade who preferred not to be identified. “There are a very limited number of products that can be used for proper mirror installation.”

While it is not known what type of problem caused the mirror to fall in this particular case, it is not the first time that the company’s owner, Limited Brands Inc., has been alerted to problems with mirror installations in its Chicagoland stores. The Architects’ Guide to Glass has learned of a number of instances in which mirrors in Victoria Secret stores have had to be replaced because of improper adhesives. Victoria Secret is also owned by Limited Brands Inc. 

Shoddy mirror installations are not limited to the Limited, however. Sources say the use of improper adhesives had also been discovered at other department stores in the area. 

“Guys come in and say ‘yeah, I can put your mirror up and do it cheaper than the local glass shop.’ And they do it cheaper, but they don’t do it safely,” the source added.

“Until you tell us who is making the charge, I will not comment,” said Anthony Hebron, spokesperson for Limited Brands Inc. “I will not have anything to say.”

GANA Publishes GIB for Laminated Architectural Glass
The Glass Association of North America has announced the publishing of its Glass Information Bulletin (GIB) titled Design Considerations for Laminated Architectural Glass. 

“Today’s market demands for safety, security and protective glazing applications are dramatically increasing the use of laminated glazing materials and as a result, owners, architects and contractors need to be aware of design considerations when specifying these products,” said Greg Carney, GANA technical director. “The new GIB provides the design professional a list of items that must be considered as they determine aesthetic requirements for their individual project needs.”
The bulletin addresses the following issues:
• Aesthetic color;
• Optical distortion;
• Multi-ply laminates;
• Iridescence; and
• Product awareness.
This is GANA’s first GIB that addresses design considerations when using laminated glass products.

ICC and ASTM Produce Codes and Standards Reference Book
The International Code Council (ICC) and ASTM International have jointly published a reference book that consolidates numerous volumes of standards that architects, engineers, builders and code officials use regularly. 

According to information from ICC, it worked with ASTM International to produce a document that combines all ASTM standards referenced in the 2003 International Building Code (IBC). The 2003 International Building Code-ASTM Referenced Standards include more than 260 ASTM standards—nearly half of all the standards referenced in the 2003 IBC.

TRACO to ContinueProviding Architectural Education

TRACO has announced that for 2004 it will continue to provide continuing education courses, approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), in select major cities.

Its 2003 14-city tour will conclude December 3 in Dallas. Other cities visited include New York, San Francisco, Miami, Boston and Washington, D.C.
Working with PPG Industries, Solutia and Azon, courses offered included the following: Architectural Window Technology, Paint and Anodize Finishes, “Green” Plants for a Sustainable Future, Impact-Resistant Glazing System, Anti-Terrorist Force Protection Blast Window Systems, Designing with Laminated Glass and Glass and Energy.

SashLite Introduces New Technology to the Insulating Glass Industry
Bob Hornung, president of SashLite LLC, believes his company’s technology is poised to revolutionize the insulating glass industry. SashLite features two lites of glass adhered directly to the extruded sash as opposed to the existing technology that requires two lites of glass be adhered to a spacer, which is then adhered to the sash.

A summary of the manufacturing process is as follows: the extruded insulated sash is cut to the required lengths; these are welded into one solid frame, desiccant is applied; muntin grid is assembled; sealant is applied; lites are adhered to each side of the sash and glazing beads are attached. 

“The largest benefits are performance, aesthetics and quality of the product,” said Hornung. “When you can make a better looking product with reduced space and power requirements, you have a great technology.”

He adds that flexibility and scalability are also great benefits and the fact that any size manufacturer can use the technology. According to Hornung, the only equipment needed is an upgraded glazing table and, potentially, a washer. 

He adds that since companies will be able to combine their insulating glass and backbedding departments, companies will reduce space and labor; thus significant cost saving will be achieved. 

PPG Names Kenny to Construction Market Team
PPG Industries of Pittsburgh has announced that Patrick J. Kenny will serve as business manager of the newly created construction market team. Previously, he served as director of marketing, flat glass. In his new position, Kenny will focus on directing construction market initiatives among PPG’s flat glass, architectural finishes and industrial finishes businesses. The team was developed to better serve owners, developers, architects, specifiers and contractors and will take a team-oriented approach to serving this audience. 

Energy Star Raises Its Bar

Windows and Doors

The new zones and qualifying 
criteria for windows and doors are:
Northern zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.35
North/central zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.40; SHGC less than or equal to 0.55
South/central zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.40, SHGC less than or equal to 0.40
Southern zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.65; SHGC less than or equal to 0.40

The new zones and qualifying criteria for skylights are:
Northern zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.60
North/central zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.60; SHGC less than or equal to 0.40
South/central zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.60, SHGC less than or equal to 0.40
Southern zone: U-factor less than or equal to 0.75; SHGC less than or equal to 0.40

“Architects often are working with more than one division for a single project and will now be able to access better and more readily available information through this cross-functional model,” said Richard A. Beuke, vice president, architectural finishes. “A greater number of knowledgeable representatives will be working together to help our customer’s specify and coordinated multiple products.”

Ketih Prins, industrial finishes general manager at PPG is confident in Kenny’s ability. 

“Kenny is uniquely qualified for this new assignment due to his proven track record in marketing, sales, strategy development and implementation and deep knowledge of the construction market."

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