Volume 14, Issue 2 - March 2013

What's News

New Orleans’ Other Big Event;
IGMA Masquerades in the Big Easy

Sandwiched between the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras in New Orleans was the meeting of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers’ Alliance (IGMA’s) annual conference. The group embraced the city’s history by hosting a masquerade ball to balance out the hard work the various committees devoted during the day when members met February 5-7. (For all of DWM’s coverage and slideshow of the ball visit dwmmag.com).

Dr. Werner Wagner of Sika Services AG, based in Zurich, Switzerland, presented his findings on “European Gas Loss Testing and Related Benefits.” Most notably, Wagner posed the question of how to reach an international standard for insulating glass units (IGUs) as well as potential, theoretical solutions for a global standard.

“By the end of the day we have to come to a conclusion to compare performances,” he said.

According to Wagner, a German professor has developed a concept for reaching a global standard theoretically based on the calculations of the isochoric pressure of the IGU. In this theoretical solution, the pressure is always constant and determined by increments such as temperature, atmospheric pressure and altitude of both production and installation of the IGU. Essentially, it consists of two main steps: calculation of isochoric pressure and transformation to real load on the IG seal.
Wagner closed his presentation by suggesting that potentially a mix of the European and U.S. standards could present a feasible solution toward a global standard. Further, he noted that IG edge sealants do have room for improvement and a chance for both long- and short-term improvements.

Another popular presentation was the “Use of Fourth-Surface Coatings in a Cold Climate,” presented by Tim Clancy and Lisa Green of Guardian Industries. The presentation, which was based on a study Guardian conducted, noted that the main goal of the study was the investigation of “real-world implications of the National Fenestration Rating Council 500 condensation resistance (CR) number as it pertains to the use of fourth-surface low-E coatings in cold environments in conjunction with a low-E on the third surface of a dual-glazed insulating glass unit (IGU).”

For the study, which took place between fall 2011 and fall 2012, six double-hung windows with vinyl frames were examined. The windows had a 16-mm gap with 90-percent argon, 10-percent air fill.

An interior temperature was maintained at 70 degrees Fahrenheit with three different relative humidity levels of 30 percent, 40 percent and 50 percent. Outdoor conditions included a 12.3-mile-per-hour wind, temperatures varying between 65 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, held steady between 0 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

The presentation included videos of the condensation tests performed to show the differences in condensation between the traditional low-E window and the traditional low-E with surface 4 coating. Results of the 30-percent tests showed relative consistency in the levels of condensations, similar to the results seen for the 40-percent condensation tests. The 50-percent test showed that the fourth surface coated window had condensation which appeared much more quickly and grew at a faster rate than the lower humidity tests.

“The condensation front only differed from about a ½- to 1-inch with the addition of the surface four; when you get to higher humidity you see the fully condensed surface,” said Green. “The basis of this study was to determine if condensation resistance was a good method for determining condensation; we found it was a fairly good predictor.”


How Online Voting Could Change Code Development
Airline reservations, hotel rooms and other travel arrangements will no longer be necessary for some who want to participate in the International Code Council’s (ICC) code development process as the association has adopted online voting. The ICC says this will also benefit those who don’t have the time to be out of the office for up to two weeks to attend the hearings.
“As code enforcement officials, our job is safety in the built environment,” says William D. Dupler, code council board immediate past president and current chair of the cdp committee. “It’s not just about having the funds to attend the hearings; it’s also about having the time to do it.”

The International Code Council’s (ICC) board of directors approved final recommendations from its cdp ACCESS Steering Committee which is designed to increase participation in ICC’s core function: code development.

The committee’s final recommendations outline several key elements for expanding participation in the ICC Code Development Process, including:
• Online collaboration for stakeholders in the development of code change and public comment submittals as well as collaboration in preparation for participating at hearings;
• Establishing a two-week period following the committee action hearings for online voting on assembly motions by all ICC members.
• Establishing a two-week period following the public comment hearing for online voting by governmental members based on the actions that occurred on the individual consideration agenda at the public comment hearing.
Testing of the online vote will occur in October in Atlantic City at the 2013 public comment hearings. After system and process adjustments the 2014 cycle for the international green construction code (IgCC) will be a binding beta test for the entire cdp process, according to the ICC.

Jeff Inks, vice president of codes and regulatory affairs for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, is a permanent fixture at the code hearings each year. He addressed this proposal back in 2012.

“To put this in a little better perspective, the number of code officials who now make the final decision on whether to approve or disapprove any given proposal at the final action hearings ranges from 125 to 400, on average, according to ICC,” said Inks. “Those vote counts are but a small fraction of the approximately 15,000 ICC code official members who are actually eligible to vote and could potentially do so under the new voting process. The low number of officials voting under the current existing process is primarily because in-person participation at the final action hearings is required and budgets or other constraints keep many voting-eligible code officials from attending. That low representative vote count is what ICC is trying to change with the proposed new process and could change it dramatically. While vote counts approaching the upper thousands are probably not likely, they could still easily go from several hundred on average to several thousand.”

He added that the new process will also likely change other aspects of code development.

“In short, many advocates will probably place greater attention on engaging code officials at the state and local level in advance of the hearings and subsequent ballot vote, in addition to submitting public comments and participating in the hearings,” said Inks.


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