Volume 40,   Issue 10                          October  2005


CGA Proposes Voluntary Standard for
Heavy Glass Shower Enclosures

Nearly 30 months ago the California Glass Association (CGA) established a task group charged with developing code and voluntary standards for heavy glass shower enclosures. 

“The current International Building Code (IBC) has no mention of showers at all,” said Donn Harter, director of technical services for the CGA. “Our efforts were aimed at developing a code amendment for the 2009 IBC.”

According to Harter, the group’s work was precipitated by several building jurisdictions that had placed a moratorium on the continued installation of frameless shower units. 

“The building officials were concerned with an ‘excessive’ amount of deflection from many installations,” said Harter. “Since there were no codes or standards, CGA launched into a program to rectify this situation.”

The CGA’s program addresses two major areas: the code and substantiating tests for safety standards (displays can be found on the CGA’s website, www.caglassassociation.org).

Tests were done on 3/8-inch and ˝-inch glass to determine amounts of deflection and damage to the mounting clips. Results, according to Harter, found that in no case did the tempered glass destruct under extreme torquing pressure; the clips and channels failed first. 

“From these tests, size and weight parameters were established for safe design of shower enclosures,” said Harter. “There were a number of life safety factors taken into consideration, such as hinge testing and rating, clip location, inside towel bars, sliding door jump retainers, substrate penetration, screw fastener penetration to structural surround frame design.”

The CGA is now sending the proposed code and pictorial manual to all building jurisdictions, and will also be submitting it to the IBC Code Change Committee for adoption (2009 edition). 

While the Bath Enclosure Manufac-turers Association (BEMA) says it recognizes the efforts of the CGA to develop codes governing shower enclosures, it is currently developing its own voluntary industry specifications that encompass the shower enclosure industry as a whole.

“After speaking with several industry leaders and the Gl0azing Industry Code Committee (GICC), it became apparent this was not a code issue but rather a standards issue,” said Chris Birch, BEMA executive director. “We will continue to develop our specifications in a standards format with the understanding that ASTM can approve them upon completion.” 

“BEMA always has been and will continue to be the voice of the industry,” said John Veras, BEMA president and standards sub-committee chairperson. “It is important that we, as the industry, dictate how our products will be used and not allow code officials, government agencies or regional groups to speak for our business.”

Neither the Glass Association of North America or GICC had comment on the matter. 

Announcing the First Edition of Who’s Who in the Glass Industry
Key Communications Inc., publisher of USGlass magazine, has announced it will publish the debut edition of Who’s Who in the Glass Industry this year. This exciting publication will recognize and honor leaders of the architectural glass and glazing industry for their accomplishments and achievements—only the most important industry leaders were considered for this honor.
Who’s Who in the Glass Industry will be published in December and will feature more than 250 listings. It will also be printed as a hardcover edition.
Additional information and an order form are available on page 59 or online at www.glass.com/who.php.

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