Volume 42, Issue 11 - November 2007

USG Only Online
Think Big
More Members, More Bulletins and 
More for the Industry—Key Themes 
During GANA Fall Conference
by Ellen Giard Rogers

Industry-wide membership growth was the big push for the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) 2007 Fall Conference, which took place September 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. In 2007 GANA welcomed 43 new members, and all of its seven divisions are keenly focused on working to further increase association-wide membership. In fact, GANA hosted a reception earlier in the week for prospective members to mingle with current members and learn more about the association and its efforts to serve and educate the architectural glass and glazing industry. Ashley Charest, GANA account executive, said the association did gain a few new members immediately as a result of the reception, and expects at least ten companies to join in January 2008. At the meeting, current GANA members were hard at work for the two-and-a-half day conference, creating documents and bulletins, standards, websites and more.

Flat Glass Discussions
Reports from the flat glass manufacturing division (FGMD) opened this year’s conference. Steve Farrar of Guardian Industries gave the educational committee report and said the group has been busy working to complete two projects: finalizing the online version of the document titled “Glass in Today’s Architecture” and also completing a presentation on coated glass. Both were approved in early October. Next, Charest provided the website committee report. She announced that the group’s website had received a good amount of traffic and many documents continue to be reviewed and downloaded. She reported that the online document, “Specifer’s Guide to Architectural Glass” had been downloaded 2,297 times and the video of the float glass process had been viewed 2,476 times.

Greg Carney, GANA technical director, gave the technical committee report. The group is in the process of developing a glass informational bulletin on the weight range for architectural flat glass. It is still in the draft phase. Carney explained that the document is being developed because GANA receives numerous inquiries from architects and designers about the weight of glass. This information is important to such groups, as it helps them calculate the construction of the project.

“We’ve collected inquiries from the North American manufacturers and published the low to high weight range,” Carney said. He explained that so far they’ve pulled together the most frequently used glass thicknesses and are working to create a document that will provide the approximate weight range for each. The document will be discussed further during Glass Week, February 13-17, 2008. The FGMD will also be reviewing and updating the “Specifiers Guide to Architectural Glass” in February. New sections will be added, including ones on coated and spandrel glass.

Tempering Talks
The tempering division is working on several glass informational bulletins and presentations that are focused on providing education and information about tempered and heat-treated glass. One project in the works is the development of a tempered glass 101 PowerPoint presentation that would serve as an introduction to heat-treating and explain the reasons for doing so. One member questioned what would be done with the presentation upon its completion. Carney suggested it be sent to the membership for feedback. The group agreed, however, that the eventual goal will be to submit the presentation to AIA for accreditation; GANA member companies also could use the presentation to educate new employees.

Ongoing communications with the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) were also a discussion topic. A concern is that there are some window cleaners, advocating the use of metal scrapers to clean glass. Some also incorrectly believe that microscopic window debris, which can result from the heat-treating process, actually makes the glass defective. GANA has explained that these particles cannot be eliminated completely, as they are an inherent part of the tempering process. Division members have stressed the fact that there are procedures that can make the glass better, and they work to promote this to the tempering industry. The division will form a small task group to develop a statement of GANA’s position on the matter.

Several glass informational bulletins are also being developed. Included in those efforts is a document about post-fabricated heat-treated glass. According to discussions, post fabrication of certain products, such as shower doors or exterior applications, can weaken the glass and GANA does not endorse this. The bulletin was approved and forwarded to the board of directors for publication. Also during the meeting, a task group was formed that will review changes to revise the existing GANA bulletin on proper procedures for cleaning architectural glass. 

Laminating Spotlite
Presentations, videos, bulletins and more were all part of the laminating division’s working points. Specifically, a laminated glass 101 presentation, which will be sent to AIA for accreditation, is nearing completion. A video about laminated glass production was released earlier this year, and a section on resin laminating production will soon be added to the video.

The ball drop task group is continuing to work on the development of the Standard Specification for Ball Drop Impact Resistance of Laminated Architectural Flat Glass. The group has been working to correlate data from the 1977 and 2006-2007 ball drop and shot bag impact tests. The members agreed that they are comfortable with the results of both tests and are now working to complete the standard specification.

The laminating division also approved a bulletin about glass floors and stairs. The intent of the document is to warn of possible complications and considerations of glass flooring—it is neither a design nor a specification tool. The Laminated Glazing Reference Manual is also being revised. A task group finalized an updated topic list and the new version will be printed in mid to late 2008.Mirror MattersThe North American mirror industry may be struggling to survive, but GANA’s mirror division is going strong and working to bring mirror back into the mainstream when it comes to architectural design. How so? Through articles, design competitions, websites and many other promotional efforts.

The design awards, for example, have traditionally been exclusive to the mirror division, but this year the awards are open to all divisions. Tim Crawford, division chair with Donisi Mirror, encouraged everyone to participate. “It really helps get the use of mirror out there,” said Crawford. Earlier this year an article titled “Mirrors Making a Comeback,” authored by GANA director of marketing and communications Brian Pitman, was distributed to various nationwide newspapers, websites and magazines in an effort to further encourage the use of mirror. At the time of the meeting, the article had received a total circulation of more than 5 million.

During the technical committee meeting the group discussed revisions and updates that are in the works for a number of documents, including ASTM C1503-01, Standard Specification for Silvered Flat Glass Mirror. The standard was published in 2001 and, since ASTM requires all documents to be reviewed and/or updated after five years, a task group has been working on this effort. The group is trying to keep the updates consistent with ASTM C 1036, Standard Specification for Flat Glass. In other mirror division news, a glass informational bulletin about proper fabrication of flat glass mirrors is being sent out for balloting. A task group was also formed to work on a bulletin that will focus on installation. Insulating Insights Like many of the other divisions, the insulating division is also working to develop a number of documents. The bulletin, Describing Architectural Glass Constructions, was finalized and sent on to the board for approval. An outline for “Edge Seals for Insulating Glass Units” was discussed and Randi Ernst of FDR Design was chosen as chair of that task group.

Other insulating efforts include an IG 101 presentation, a white paper on green building initiatives and a video on the production of insulating glass.

Decorative Discussions
The members of the decorative division are a lot like their products: lively, colorful and full of energy. The decorative division also has seen more membership growth than any of the other divisions. In order to continue growing, and recognizing that many start-up decorative glass companies struggle the first few years, the group discussed lowering the due structure for those smaller, start-up companies in hopes of not discouraging new members.

A task group is working on further developing types of decorative glass as part of the technical committee. They are reviewing a glossary of terms so future project focus areas can be segmented into specific working groups based on type of glass.

The product handling and cleaning task group completed its bulletin titled Guideline for Handling and Cleaning Decorative Glass. It will now be sent to the technical committee for review.

Next Meeting
Glass Week, which will be co-located with GANA’s annual Building Envelope Contractors Conference, will be the next GANA meeting. The event will take place February 13-17, 2008, at the Rio in Las Vegas. More information is available online at www.glassweek.com


Talking Points
In addition to its seven divisions, the Glass Association of North America has two industry-wide committees that are not affiliated with specific divisions: the fire-rated glazing council (FRGC), chaired by Jerry Razwick of Technical Glass Products, and the protective glazing committee, chaired by Valerie Block with DuPont. Both groups met during the Fall Conference.

The FRGC met first of the two groups, and Thom Zaremba, who represents Pilkington, opened with a discussion of the International Code Council cycle as it that relates to fire-rated glass.

“We know this will be an active year in codes for fire-rated materials,” said Zaremba, who explained that a number of the current proposals for the 2009 edition relate to fire-rated glass. With so many related proposals, Zaremba said it could also mean greater pressures on the costs of buildings.

Also during the meeting, the group talked about finding ways to work closely with other related groups and organizations. Razwick said they want to avoid putting out conflicting information. One suggestion was to tailor the focus areas to meet the specific needs of different segments, such as the glaziers, architects and code officials. Razwick noted that their [members’ of the council] products are all code-driven so it’s possible to educate by the codes. “It’s a common ground,” he said.

In addition, the group is looking at a variety of avenues to provide education and information about fire-rated glazing. Possibilities include creating a manual, website development and publishing glass informational bulletins.

The protective glazing committee also met and discussed a number of glass informational bulletins that are in progress. The first bulletin about bullet-resistant glazing was published in July and is available from the GANA website. The group is now working on documents about blast-resistant glazing and detention glazing.

In addition, the committee has a running wish list of future projects and goals. Some future projects may include the development of an AIA-accredited presentation; a glass informational bulletin on earthquake glazing; working with researchers and universities on topics such as hailstorms, tornadoes, etc.; and how hospital designs are changing with protective glazing. Also during the meeting, Paul Whitaker, AIA, with Rosser International Inc. gave a presentation titled “Issues in Security Glazing for Justice Architecture.” He explained that “justice architecture” refers to jails, prisons and other detention areas. 

Whitaker talked about how detention glazing is different from other types of protective glazing. “Our primary threat is typically something improvised … [prisoners] may pry apart a table or stool—things that are not very sophisticated.” Different types of glazing, testing and compatibility were also covered during the presentation.

Ellen Giard Rogers is a contributing editor for USGlass magazine.

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