Volume 37, Issue 6, June 2002

Information Overflow

        Glass Industry Educates Architects on Its Products
by Tara Taffera

Architects from all over the country traveled to Charlotte, N.C., in May to attend the American Institute of Architects (AIA) annual convention. More than 15,000 individuals attended the show, and more than 500 exhibitors were on-hand to showcase their products. Exhibitors from all aspects of the glass industry were present from glass manufacturers to storefront and entrance suppliers.

Glazing Systems
In fact, companies representing the latter category were in full force at the show. Steve Green, director of sales and marketing for Tubelite Inc., in Reed City, Mich., gave a simple answer as to why his company exhibits at AIA. "We're just trying to get in the specifications," he said. 

Juba Aluminum Products of Concord, N.C., a full-service supplier, offers a brand-new calculator on its website called Juba Vision. Michele Juba-Chambers, director of human resources and communications, said numerous attendees stopped by to look at the product in action. "They couldn't believe that there is something like this available," Chambers said. 

According to the company, the calculator allows the user to choose from a variety of curtainwall systems, a variety of glass types and finishes, etc. Once all the specs are entered into the calculator, the user is given an estimated price—which includes furnish and installation. 

Kawneer Company of Norcross, Ga., featured a variety of products, one of which was its new 1600 PowerShade, which the company says provides optimal shade while generating solar power and reducing energy use. The pre-engineered sunshade provides a dual-position pivot system for optimal angle and extension for shading any location. 

Naturalite Skylight Systems, a division of the Vistawall Group, based in Terrell, Texas, was featuring its Solar Megaphone, the company's new collimating skylight. According to the company, the product is an inexpensive way of reaping daylighting benefits. The skylight directs the light to the workspace beneath the luminaire, instead of on the wall. The Solar Megaphone is designed for applications utilizing a drop ceiling, and the product fits into a T-bar ceiling grid in either 2-by-2 foot or 4-by-4 foot sizes, according to the company.

Wausau Window and Wall Systems featured its new 3250HP Hurricane Series thermal barrier aluminum windows which offer large fixed lites and in-swing casements. The windows utilize a single-locking handle located near the sill to actuate three multi-point locks used at jams, head and sill. Side-hinged, in-swing casement operations provide for both ventilation and an easy means of window cleaning from inside the building, according to the company. 

Glass Products
Many of the primary glass manufacturers were on-hand: Saint Gobain, Visteon, PPG and Pilkington, to showcase their products. Pilkington has been busy traveling to a variety of trade shows lately to promote its Activ self-cleaning glass, and the AIA show was no exception. PPG was featuring its Versalux green glass products

Also on the glass side, Southwall Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., announced that it has expanded its XIR product family with its new XIR Laminated 72-41. Southwall says that its new product offers a .41 solar heat gain coefficient performance rating. 

"With an improved solar shading performance, designers will be able to use clear glass where, in the past, tinted heat-absorbing glass may have been necessary," said Graig Young, vice president of architectural products. "Clear glass combined with XIR Laminated 72-41 film minimizes heat absorption, often eliminating the need for tempered glass."
C.R. Laurence of Los Angeles was featuring its all-glass doors. "We knew that would be the hot ticket here," said the company's Doug Derusha.

Product Variety
If packaging solutions was what attendees were looking for, a variety of exhibitors had products to meet those needs as well. One of these companies was Pactiv Building Products of Atlanta. The company was featuring its new 7/16-inch thick plygood—Ultra, a special reinforced facer that holds nails and staples and prevents breakage. According to Pactiv, the product is an economic alternative to OSB and plywood. It is available in 4-foot-by 8-foot or 4-foot-by-9-foot sheets, and each sheet only weighs 9 pounds, according to the company. 

GE Sealants was at the show to promote its new SilPruf series one-part sealant, a product used as a weatherseal for concrete, metal and plastic substrates. The company's Cecil Conner said that a number of architects stopped by the GE booth to ask what types of sealants they can use for particular projects. "Architects are always asking what's new," said Conner.

According to GE, the sealant offers superior adhesion and movement capabilities allowing building joints to withstand continuous extension and compression cycles. The company adds that the product allows a 30-minute tooling time. 

Some AIA exhibitors, like Atofina Chemicals, exhibit at the show to educate architects about glass products. "Architects don't even know the basic facts about low-E," said John Siegel, global business manager, flat glass coatings additives. 

A Successful Show
There were numerous exhibitors who said that they received quality leads from AIA attendees. Mike Vizcarra, executive vice president/sales for O'Keeffe's Inc. in San Francisco, said the company received 60 leads on the first day. "Usually if you receive 100 leads from all three days that is a good show," said Vizcarra. 

Mike Descoteaux, e-commerce manager for E-Skylight.com Inc., said the company had 115 leads at the end of two days. "This is the first time we are exhibiting at the show," he said. "We will definitely be here again." 

Dupont Benedictus Winners 

Left:  Night view of the winning house at the ground level.  Right:  View from the river level showing the old vault and new construction of the winning design.

The Dupont Benedictus Awards, an annual international competition for professional architects and students, recognizes innovative architectural uses of laminated glass. The winners were announced at the AIA convention in Charlotte. 

The grand-prize winner was Dirk Jan Postel of the Netherlands. His project, Talus du Temple, is set on a triangular site near an 18th-century tower and it was transformed into a summer residence for a client. Today, in addition to a glass pavilion, the temple contains one bedroom and a kitchen quarter. 

The goal of the design was to express the magic of the roof "floating on nothing." The roof was built first, about 50 mm higher, then lifted on to a structurally stable scaffolding. The glass perimeter was then constructed and the roof was lowered on to the glass to evenly build up the pressure in the construction.

The cantilevered roof consists of a timber stressed skin construction, weighing approximately 4,400 pounds, and with two glass panels on either side carrying the load. Lateral stability and the fixing on the ground is provided by 2-by-2 full height laminated glass panels with four small side panels contributing to the rotation stability. 

Not wanting to apply steel cross bar for stability, the architect installed laminated glass panels that were fixed to the soil. Additional features of the structure include four toughened glass doors, which give access to the pavilion and allow for ventilation, and a laminated glass hatch, which covers the manhole and provides light to the room below. 

In the student competition, entrants were challenged to address architectural issues surrounding the use of laminated glass in a theoretical design problem while exploring the various uses and applications of laminated glass as a building problem. 

First prize of $5,000 was awarded to Tsz-Tin Chik and Ariana Rinderknecht from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. The students proposal created a system of six walls, spanning the entire length and height of a library. 

DESIGN This design by Dirk Jan Postel won first place in the competition.


AIA Attendees Get Briefed 
on the New NFPA 5000 
Building Code

Nancy McNabb from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) conducted a seminar at AIA to inform attendees of the new NFPA 5000 Building Code. According to McNabb, the final document of this new building construction and safety code will be available in September. She added that the NFPA will provide a handbook concerning the new code, and if adopted statewide, the association will conduct free training to jurisdictional 

So, with all the codes in existence, why was there a need for a new one? According to Mcnabb, the NFPA did not address structural design, materials and building systems in any of its codes. "The new codes addresses those construction, protection and occupancy features necessary to minimize danger to life and property," she said. She added that the NFPA had certain health goals it wanted to address in the new code such as controlling moisture, molds, vibrations and other health hazards. The association also had public-welfare objectives including energy efficiency, cultural heritage, mission continuity and the environment. 

She added that NFPA 5000 will apply to both new and existing buildings. "Rehabilitation is not an afterthought," she said. "As architects—we have to think of that."

While the NFPA believes there is a need for this code, not all in the building industry may agree. "Architects will say that it is good to have more than one code," said McNabb. But there were at least two architects in the audience who nodded their heads in disagreement. 

TARA Tara Taffera is the editor of USGlass magazine. 


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