Volume 36, Number 9, September 2001


Deflection Issue Lingers On; More Research Needed

When the American Architectural Manufactur-ers Association (AAMA) met in June, one of the big items on the agenda was deflection limits. While much data was presented on the subject, AAMA says more research needs to be done before a final decision on deflection is made. According to Carl Wagus, AAMA’s technical director, the association will probably not make a decision for more than a year. 

The practice of limiting deflection to a measure of L/175 has been around the architectural community for years, but some in the industry suddenly began to question where this number originated (see USGlass, June 2001, page 56). AAMA commissioned a research project with the goal of developing technical data on this issue using mathematical analysis. Bill Lingnell of Lingnell Consultants headed up the research efforts, which looked at 120 glass configurations and load conditions.

Lingnell’s preliminary research was presented at AAMA’s summer meeting, held June 10-13 in Denver, during a glass and frame deflection limits symposium. A draft of the detailed report was sent to all AAMA members following the meeting . 

“I don’t feel there was enough information presented that will allow us to make a proposal concerning this issue,” said Wagus. “Some people asked questions that couldn’t be answered, which tells us we need more information in certain areas.

“This issue is very important to the industry. Something of this magnitude is best addressed by having long discussions and debates,” he said. “This takes time—especially when we only meet three times per year.”

Bill Deuschle, chairman of the AAMA deflection limits task group and director of engineering/quality operations for TRACO, agrees more research needs to be done. He added that Lingnell’s research proved some type of deflection limit is needed. 
“With something as important as this, almost everyone wants to have his say,” said Wagus. “I’m almost positive that the comments will be that we need to do more research.”

The deflection limits task group was asked to offer feedback on Lingnell’s research. The comments were due at the beginning of August, but as of press time, Deuschle had only received one comment. (Deuschle attributed the poor response to the fact that it is a very busy time in the industry.) Once the comments are received, the group will decide what additional research Lingnell needs to conduct. 

Deuschle said he agrees more research needs to be done. “We’ve waited this long [without a limit],” he said. “We might as well make sure it is correct.”

South Carolina Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Glazing Contractors to be Licensed 
South Carolina legislature has passed a new law, which became effective September 1, that requires everyone in the state who handles glass and glazing projects totaling more than $5,000 to be licensed. Ralph Davenport, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, House District 37, wrote the bill that passed earlier this summer. Davenport has also been a contract glazier for more than 25 years.

“The law says the contract glazier knows the law and knows the codes,” said Davenport. “There are a lot of glaziers who know very little about glazing codes, wind loads, safety glazing, etc. The law is an attempt to clean up the industry.” According to Davenport, South Carolina is the first state to pass such a law.

Missouri Closes in on Retainage Reform
The Missouri Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee passed a retainage reform bill on May 10, which had already been approved by the House and recommended to the full Senate. 

If enacted into law, the bill will:
• Limit retainage on private work to 5 percent and cap retainage held from subcontractors at the same percentage the owner holds from the general contractor;
• Allow only owners who pay contractors within 30 days to retain funds;
• Require owners to release retainage if the contractor provides a “substitute security,” or at least the same amount;
• Require retainage and income/interest on retainage be held in trust to the parties to which they are owed;
• Transfer retainage released to the contractor for the subcontractor’s completed work to the subcontractor within five working days of the contractor’s receipt of a substitute security.

Building Construction Bill SB 428 Approved; Removal of Construction Exemptions Fails in Florida
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush approved construction bill SB 428 June 13, 2001. Effective July 1, 2001, the law provides alternative applications to statute of limitations for certain “actions to enforce claims against payment bonds and revises indemnification and holds harmless restrictions for certain construction agreements, contracts and guarantees.” Approved earlier in the session, the bill was sent to the upper chamber for reconsideration when the House added the indemnity agreement amendment.

Since the closing of Florida’s 2001 legislative session, one of its casualties was the legislature’s inability to balance the lowering of the employers’ workers’ compensation premiums while increasing benefits to injured workers, stated a report prepared by R. Bruce Kershner, lobbyist for the Southeast Glass Association. 

According to Kershner, a key in controlling premiums was a plan to eliminate the construction exemptions. 

California Court Rules Subcontractors Can Sue for Prompt Pay
A California appeals court has ruled that subcontractors can now sue general contractors for money owed under a subcontract, plus 2 percent per month in penalties and interest under the California Public Contract Code. The decision came after original steel and concrete subcontractors defaulted on a job to build a gym. General contractor Stanley Douglas Patscheck then hired Morton Engineers & Contractors to complete the job, but due to financial difficulty, was unable to pay Morton the $31,520 it was due. Morton then sued Patscheck for the amount due as well as an additional 2-percent-per-month penalty under the California Public Contractor Code Sec. 7108.5. Morton was in turn awarded $111,316 in damages, interest and penalties. Patscheck appealed.

The court ruled that the law requires contractors to pay subs within ten days of payment, or be subject to discipline by the Contractors State License Board, and have to pay a 2-percent-per-month penalty. 

ASA Puts Information for Subcontractors Online

With more and more subcontractors concerned about risk transfer, the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) has developed the Subcontractor’s Risk of Transfer Action Plan (STRAP). According to ASA, the information packet, which can be downloaded from its website (http://www.asaonline.com), provides subcontractors with tools to better negotiate insurance language and contract terms and conditions. 

STRAP includes risk-transfer frequently asked questions and answers, a subcontractor’s guide to commonly used insurance terms and other advice and information subcontractors may find helpful. 

ADCO Announces Distribution Agreement with Wacker

Based in Michigan City, Mich., ADCO Products Inc. has completed a distribution agreement with Wacker Silicones of Adrian, Mich. According to the agreement, ADCO will now be responsible for the North American distribution of Wacker’s one- and two-component silicone sealants for the IG manufacturing industry.

“With the exit of Wacker’s previous distributor, Rohm & Haas, from the IG market, an opportunity developed for us to step in and take over,” said Randy Braun, ADCO business manager for the window assembly market. “Plus, the silicone products complement our existing product line of polyurethanes, hot-melts, PIB’s dessicant matrix and tapes.”


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