Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2003


Oregon Code Committee Votes to Remove Wired Glass Exception

T he Oregon State Structural Code Committee has voted unanimously to remove the safety exception for wired glass in fire assemblies and hazardous building locations. 
“I am thrilled that the committee has accepted our recommendation that wired glass installations in hazardous locations is a life-safety issue and should be dealt with now rather than waiting for the full code review in 2005,” said Greg Able, co-chair of the ad hoc Safety Glazing subcommittee and chairperson for Advocates for Safe Glass.

The subcommittee views the December 18 vote as another victory following its October 2002 unanimous vote that recommended the adoption of a change to Oregon State Structural Code 240.63. The code change will require wired glass to meet the same safety-test standard applied to all other fire-rated glazings. It also will require compliance with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety glazing standards in all occupancies. 

Testimonies were heard from Abel, Kate Steel, code consultant for SAFTI; and Oregon State Senator-Elect Vicki Walker.

According to Walker, since the new code provisions will apply only to new construction, she will introduce a bill in the 2003 Oregon Legislative Assembly to eliminate or retrofit existing wired glass installations to meet the safety standard. 

The Structural Code Committee’s unanimous vote will be considered by the Oregon State Building Codes Structures Board at its next meeting on February 5. 

Nippon Sheet Glass Denies Bid Takeover Attempt of Pilkington
Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) of Japan reportedly has denied a story printed in the January 5 U.K. Sunday Times that said it was planning to bid for majority ownership of Pilkington plc. Currently, NSG is Pilkington’s largest shareholder, owning 20.4 

According to news reports, “the planned deal valued [Pilkington] at 1 billion GBP (approximately $1,611,183,609 USD).” 

“There is no truth to the report,” said an NSG spokesperson.

According to the reports, the Times also reported that NSG had “informally approached a Pilkington director last month with an offer of more than 80 percent.”

Pilkington officials had no comment. “We never comment on market rumors and speculations,” said Philip Webb, Pilkington corporate affairs manager.

News reports said analysts are skeptical that the deal is in the works, and this is not the first time there has been talk of Nippon taking over Pilkington. 

After the Times story, the value of Pilkington shares rose 3.7 percent on Monday, January, 6. 

Bystronic Acquires Armatec Vierhaus GmbH

Bystronic Inc. has announced the acquisition of Armatec Vierhaus Gmbh, effective January 1, 2003. Bystronic says the acquisition of Armatec, a company specializing in laminated safety glass and handling systems, complements its portfolio.

Ulrich Vierhaus, owner and managing director of Armatec Vierhaus, will continue to manage the company until a successor is appointed.

“With the help of Bystronic’s global distribution network Armatec will be able to expand its own international market presence,” said Vierhaus. 

Founded in 1983, Armatec Vierhaus, which has 40 employees, had sales of approximately $7 million in 2001.

In a release prepared by the company, Bystronic says there will be no job cuts.

“ … For us the acquisition of a company as renowned as Armatec is an important step toward market leadership,” said Rolf Honegger, Bystronic chief executive officer. “With Armatec’s top-quality products we can now offer not only comprehensive concepts for insulating glass, but also complete solutions for laminated safety glass.”


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