Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2004


Answering the CAll
Industry Gathers in D.C. for PGC Fall Symposium

by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

Recognizing the Need
With the goal of providing education and information, a number of presentations took place during the course of the meeting.

As the first presenter, Mignon Anthony of the U.S. Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) provided a case history of the ATF’s relocation efforts. She explained that political climate and social conditions (such as the Oklahoma City bombing) created the need for the organization’s new structure.

According to Anthony, the agency wanted to strengthen its building structure, including the glazing. It also knew it didn’t want the structure to look like a box. She said this meant it could not have curtainwall. However, when the architectural firm Moshe Safdie was told curtainwall could not be used, it designed the structure to have curtainwall that meets the performance requirements. The curtainwall is on a six-story, curved structure about 600 feet across. The new ATF building is expected to be ready for occupancy by the fall of 2005.

Chris Anderson with DuPont spoke next about hurricane codes.

“There are a lot of similarities in the hurricane market and what’s occurring today (i.e. blast-resistant glazing),” said Anderson. “They are event-driven—Hurricane Andrew and 9/11 changed the way we view how to build a building.”

He explained that while the two are similar, there are also differences. For example, hurricane-resistance/windborne debris is driven on a state-by-state basis, whereas as bomb blast is more agency-by-agency driven .

“Bomb blast is typically focused on certain areas; hurricane-resistance is an all or nothing approach.”

Anderson encouraged the growth of bomb-blast protection, comparing it to the growth of hurricane-resistance.

“[We’ve gone] from three counties in Florida to 15 states and counting,” he said. “We need to take that same energy and initiative and apply it to bomb-blast protection.”

Standards and Design
From the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Curt Betts next discussed DOD standards and criteria. DOD Standard 10, he said, is for windows, skylights and glazed doors. He offered some specifics. At a minimum, the window would have ¼-inch laminated glass with a .030-inch PVB interlayer.

“A glazing alternative is allowed if [it] meets the required loads,” said Betts. “Film is not considered an alternative except for retrofit applications.”

Framing, he said, must be either steel or aluminum, but if other types can meet criteria then they can be used.

Dennis Kelly of Graham Architec-tural Products talked about the development of protective fenestration systems. Kelly is chairing the Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems group and provided an update on what they had done since its development. 

The group was formed in June 2001 as an AAMA committee, but those involved agreed it needed the experience and knowledge of others outside of AAMA. So in June 2003 they began working with the Glass Association of North America, the PGC and the National Institute of Building Sciences. By using existing test protocols, the group is working to create a rating system for blast-resistant products and also develop a related certification program that would include analytical programs.

“The scope is constantly changing,” said Kelly. “Our mission is to use existing protocols—not develop new ones—and develop a rating system and certification program to qualify test reports from one product to another/one lab to another.”
The next speaker was James T. Brokaw of Applied Research Associates who discussed blast-resistant design, assessments and testing.

While there are a number of steps in blast assessment, such as on-site inspection, knowing the loads and threats, Brokaw said concerns also involve the installer.
“What’s been done to certify installers?” he asked. “There’s nothing out there [for that] today. But we believe the installation is as critical as the product; it takes a team of people to implement these products.”

Afternoon sessions on the first day focused on window film applications and installations (see sidebar).

Also speaking on the first day were Moty Emek of Oldcastle-Arpal and Jared B. Lawrence of the Smithgroup.

Emek’s presentation focused on new protective window systems and installations. Lawrence discussed the challenges of glass shard retention.

Making a Statement
Many people—those in the glass industry and those who are not—are familiar with Aren Almon-Kok, a spokesperson for the Protecting People First Foundation (PPFF). Almon-Kok’s daughter Bailey was killed during the Oklahoma City bombing. Now, the foundation has a second spokesperson, Tim Brown, a New York firefighter who was on duty during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11. Brown spoke on the second day to tell people about his experiences.

“I’m not standing here for any other reason than to help people,” he said. Brown said one of his goals is to educate firefighters on protective glazing so they aren’t surprised when they try to break the glazing and cannot get through.

“Improve the glass,” he said, “and we can save lives.”

Talking about the versatility of glass in extreme loading was David Smith of Arup Security Consulting. 

“Glass, to survive a blast, must be versatile,” he said. He added that in order to determine the threat you have to have an idea of what type of resistance is needed.

Window Film Goes on 
Display at PGC Meeting

In addition to the focus on glass products that promote security, window film was also a prominent topic at this year’s PGC meeting.

Among the lengthy list of speakers was Glasslock president Scott Haddock, whose company manufactures an attachment system for use with window film. Haddock serves as PGC president in addition to being the International Window Film Association’s (IWFA) new president. He spoke along with Madico’s Jay Larkin and IWFA executive director Darrell Smith, who introduced them both.

Haddock talked about attachment systems and the various kinds that are available. Larkin discussed how to film in general—and, more importantly, discussed some of the basics of security film. He compared it to “installing a giant credit card on a piece of glass” and gave the audience a hands-on opportunity to hold the very sturdy squeegee used to apply security film. 

Smith was followed by Sean Nolan of U.S. Bulletproofing Inc. Nolan talked about ballistics and forced-entry standards and technology. 

To stop a bullet, he said, you must look at the whole system—it’s not just the glass.
“Both the glazing and the framing must be certified by an independent testing lab,” he said.

He talked about different standards and testing procedures including that of the State Department, ASTM F 1233 and H.P. White.

Holly Stone of Hinman Consulting Engineers Inc. of San Francisco and Willie Hirano of the U.S. General Services Administration provided an update on the ingress/egress testing demonstrations (see the August 2003 USGlass, page 56 for related story). The testing was designed to see how easy or difficult it would be for firefighters to break through protective glazing.

The testing included three phases: blast-resistant windows; ballistic windows with curtains; and live fire testing. Tests were timed by how long it took for the glass to break, vent and be ready for access/egress. 

Test one had 28 samples, which included films, single- and double-pane laminated glass and different annealed and tempered configurations. Results showed that with daylight film there was no perceived delay; attached film did increase access time, especially with tempered glass. Once single-pane laminated glass was broken it became flexible and could be broken through with a standard tool. With the insulating laminated glass firefighters had to first break the non-laminated glass in order to get to the flexible mass.

In the second test there were nine samples, including ballistics. These samples were more difficult to break through. With ballistics, an ax, for example, did not work and they had to use CO2. Even the power saws, which did work, were still slow. With blast shield, firefighters had to use a serrated knife to get through.

The next phase will be live-fire testing.

The final presentation came from Mark Oakes of Intellimar Inc. Oakes talked about ways companies could add value to their products and services.

The PGC’s next meeting is currently scheduled to take place May 18-20, 2004, in New York. To learn more visit www.protectiveglazing.org. 


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