Volume 41, Issue 7 - July 2006


Safety Measures
GANA Forms Protective Glazing Committee
by Ashley M. Charest

The 2006 hurricane season is off to a quick start, and many storms are expected as part of this cycle of increased tropical storm activity. GANA has responded to the demand for laminated glazing products by forming the protective glazing committee as part of its laminating division. Valerie Block of DuPont has been named chairperson of this committee, which was established after requests from GANA laminating division members at Glass Week 2006 earlier this year. 

Focus Areas

“Recognizing the growing demand for higher-value protective glazing, the laminating division decided to set up a committee that would focus on addressing the educational and development needs of this portion of the market,” said GANA president Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia Inc. “The backgrounds of the committee members span virtually all types of protective glazing materials, giving the committee a broad view of the protective glazing market trends and identifying areas where GANA needs to concentrate its educational efforts to ensure that consumers are aware of and receive the highest quality products they have come to expect.”

Protection against windborne debris from a hurricane is only one of many uses for laminated glazing products. Laminated glass has been a staple in blast protection and security for buildings, another portion of the committee’s scope. The committee will focus on laminated glass usage in seismic locations, as well as non-hurricane related storm forces, such as hailstones and tornadoes. The ultimate goal of the committee is to raise awareness of protective glazing technologies, which benefit the architectural community while also saving lives. This goal will be achieved by focusing not only on the technology side of security glazing, but also educational outreach and promotion.

The committee will work initially to create informational bulletins on laminated glass in blast-resistant applications, bullet-resistant glazing and detention glazing. These future bulletins will be discussed at the GANA Fall Conference, to be held in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, September 20-22, 2006.

“The committee will build on information already available in GANA’s Laminated Glazing Reference Manual to develop new materials that aid in the proper specification and use of protective glazing materials by designers and specifiers,” said Block.


The protective glazing committee will also work with other industry groups, such as the Protective Glazing Council (of which GANA is a member) in its efforts to educate the general public about benefits of the technology. The growth of the protective glazing market helps more than just the GANA laminating division members. We embrace the challenge to look past individual benefits for the betterment of all glazing architecture.

Through the development of standards and glass information bulletins for identified applications, as well as generation and compilation of technical information through physical testing programs, the committee will work to educate the industry. At the recent AIA Convention and Expo in Los Angeles, one of the most discussed topics in the GANA booth was protective glazing. More and more architects are specifying these technologies to achieve several goals, with protection being the most important.

The recent increase in hurricane activity and damages, in addition to the pervasive threat from terrorist activities, has created a demand for protection. Almost counter to this in the eyes of some is the evolution in glazing aesthetics being pushed to the forefront by architects such as Daniel Libeskind, known for his original World Trade Center Freedom Tower design in New York. These technologies literally allow architects to advance their designs to incorporate new daylighting strategies, LEED and “green” principles, all while offering increased protection to the occupants of the building who need a true sense of security.

Information created by the committee will be disseminated through various means including the GANA website at www.glasswebsite.com, and through other compatible industry organizations. As bulletins and other information are developed, look for them on our website or here in USGlass magazine. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact GANA. 

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