Volume 27, Issue 2 - March/April 2013

All in a Day’s Work
Architects’ Forum Attendees Gain Glass
Knowledge During ’13 Event

by Ellen Rogers

espite ongoing snow storms, approximately 100 architects traveled to Hauppauge (Long Island), N.Y., on March 7 to further their knowledge of glass products. They attended the Architects’ Forum 2013, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Long Island. The day-long event, organized by the Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal magazine, included six continuing education courses, a table top exhibition, lunch and admittance into the Glass Expo Northeast trade show, which took place concurrently. Event sponsors included Fenzi North America, Guardian Industries, J.E. Berkowitz L.P., Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, SAFTI First and YKK AP. Lunch was sponsored by Quanex Building Products. The courses were all accredited by the American Institute of Architects and provided attendees not only with learning units, but also a number of health, safety and welfare credits.

Fabrication and Design

John Krawjewski, national architectural account manager, from J.E. Berkowitz, opened the program with his presentation on glass fabrication and design issues. He explained that glass is a major design component in architecture, and said understanding glass issues can help lead to fewer design changes and improved cost value, among other benefits. Some of the design issues he covered included aesthetics, LEED, optical distortion and safety, among many others.

David Warden, brand manager for YKK AP, next presented “Ensuring Compliance of Fenestration with Today’s Energy Code and Green Standards.” He told attendees that one of the biggest changes of late in terms of the codes has been decreasing the window-to-wall ratio. So, what is the fenestration industry doing to try and make for a better product? He said this has come in the way of extra thermally-enhanced products that will help meet the new prescriptive codes.
Speaking of the evolution of glass, Leigh Anne Mays, architectural design manager with Guardian, told attendees that glass is one of the oldest fabricated materials.

“It really did start with the lightening strikes,” she said, explaining that the type of glass used for construction today is basically soda lime glass, though there are other types of glass for other industries.

She explained that glass is basically liquidized sand, among other materials: soda ash, salt cake, dolomite, rouge/iron oxide and cullet (broken glass).

Specific Details
Joe Effertz, director of architectural development for Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, presented “Blast Mitigation – Understanding the Environment, Protection Level and Design.” He told attendees that the connections actually must be designed to twice the capacity of glass.

“The glass must break first,” said Effertz.

He also talked about testing and showed videos to illustrate various blast tests. He explained that full scale arena tests typically are done for the large, monumental jobs as they can be expensive. For smaller projects, a static approach is fine, he said.
Paul Chackery, Fenzi North America product manager, next talked about “Selecting Insulating Glass Sealants for Durability and Energy Efficiency.” The course provided an overview of the characteristics insulating glass sealants must provide to ensure long-term thermal performance, structural durability and longevity of insulating glass units.

“You must balance three principles: structure, beauty and practicality,” Chackery said. “Windows add beauty and structure to a building.”

He explained that the use of aluminum spacers can create a thermal bridge and that warm-edge spacers are an option for improving the thermal properties. Likewise, gases used in the IG, such as argon and krypton, increase a unit’s thermal performance.

Tim Nass, vice president of national sales for SAFTI First, was the final day’s speaker with his presentation, “Code Considerations in Fire Rated Glass.” One message he stressed was the differences in fire-resistive and fire-protective products. Fire-protective glass is designed to compartmentalize smoke and flames and is subject to application, area and size limitations under the International Building Code. It does not block radiant heat transmission. On the other hand, Fire-resistive glass is not limited in application or size. This type of fire-rated glass compartmentalizes smoke and flames, and blocks the transmission of dangerous levels of radiant heat through the glazing.

Well-Worth It
Many of the architects who took part in the program said they were able to take away valuable information and resources pertaining to architectural glass.

Architect Claude Hurt Jr., based in Roosevelt Island, N.Y., said the program was very timely, as he was in the process of working on an expansion and renovation project that involved replacing many of the existing windows as well as the addition of new windows.

“I will be able to take away [from this] enough information to make a wise decision on how to move forward on the glazing for the project I’ve been working on,” he said.

Likewise, architect John Kinnear based in New York City, said with so many changes involving topics such as LEED and energy performance, Architects’ Forum 2013 offered the perfect opportunity to learn.

“It seemed like a great way to get lots of information in one day,” he said.

Get Ready for More
Plans are currently underway for the next Architects’ Forum, so be sure and look to to find our when the dates and location for the next event will be announced.

Ellen Rogers is editor of the Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal magazine. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AGGMagazine and like AGG magazine on Facebook to receive updates.

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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