Volume 41, Issue 12 - December 2006

Guest Book

Meet and Greet
Getting to Know the Americas Glass Association
by Donn Harter

When it comes to anodizing there are many options to consider. In terms of brake metal on a job, considerations include coil-anodized metal, coil-painted metal, batch-anodized metal, batch-painted metal and sheet size.

Anodized metal and painted metal present many options for use, which may often depend on the environment in which the material is exposed. Many customers call us asking for some education on anodizing or just rely on what they’ve always used, which is usually the least expensive finish.

What works best depends on the individual job. Being educated in the kinds of architectural anodizing will work to your advantage.
In 2005, the Americas Glass Association (AGA) grew out of the California Glass Association (CGA) for two primary reasons:
• To continue code amendments for safety glazing throughout the Americas; and
• To represent the basic needs of the glass installation industry.

Code Concerns
In 1988, CGA created the first edition of the Source®. This was an interpretation of safety glazing codes for the 1988 Uniform Building Code (UBC) used in all or part of 39 states. Interpretations continued through the 1998 edition when the UBC printed its last publication in 1997. At that time, the three model code groups (the International Conference of Building Officials, the Building Officials Council of America and the Southern Building Codes Council International) formed one group called the International Codes Council (ICC). They produced the first International Building Code (IBC) in 2000. Since that time, most of the United States has adopted the IBC. California (one of the largest building jurisdictions in the world) has debated its adoption and is now adopting the 2006 version. This action has prompted the resumption of the Source for all of the United States and other nations following this international code. AGA is producing an interpretation for the 2003 and 2006 versions of the IBC; a two-cycle interpretation of the codes has never before been undertaken. While there are a few jurisdictions still using the 1997 UBC, many have adopted the 2000 IBC, and others the 2003 IBC.

AGA, along with ICC, will be advocating that states adopt the most current version of the IBC. This would mean that a state shall adopt, within 180 days of the publication, the current IBC, and that local jurisdictions within that state shall adopt the code within another 180 days. This only seems logical. Why should a local jurisdiction fall 12 to 15 years behind life safety provisions adopted by other jurisdictions? The public deserves better.
Life Safety Issues
The AGA also has formed the Fire & Safety Glazing Council (FSGC) to interface with members of the ICC to promote code clarification and meaningful amendments to promote life safety. This division of AGA is made up of a broad spectrum of building officials, retail and contract glazing firms, safety glass and metal manufacturers, fire glass and hardware manufactures, fabricators, architects, testing firms, allied industry associations, fire officials, public housing agencies and more.

The FSGC is constituted to promote life safety without dominance by any vested industry. Input from manufacturers is vital when it comes to keeping up with the codes and the development of life safety measures. The FSGC’s goal is to promote the development of codes and standards for fire and safety glazing and to educate the participants in the design, construction and inspection of all buildings to ensure life safety.

Glass Retailers 
The other major concern is the need for stronger representation of the glass retailer. Owners and managers of glass retail operations need daily access to problem solutions. Problems such as the following:
• Inconsistent codes interpretations;
• Availability of products from fabricators and manufacturers;
• Referrals to companies that can perform their services in areas beyond their reach and still preserve their reputation;
• Providing information and directing inquiries for specific standards that are vital to substantiating the quality of their work;
• Referring them to experts that can analyze a project to determine industry standards; and
• Regional seminars that address the manifold problems of shop fabrication and field installations.
Education, codes and resources: these are what the AGA stands for. We do not replace other fine national associations; we just fill a niche that needs to be filled. 

Donn Harter is the president of the Americas Glass Association based in Placerville, Calif.

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