Volume 43, Issue 1 - January 2008

USG Only Online--Expanded
Reviews & Previews

PGC Annual Symposium
New Times—New Opportunities

2008 represents more than just a new year for the Protective Glazing Council (PGC). For one, it has changed its name by adding “International.” The Council presented its latest plans and news, including a global outlook and greater member participation, during its Annual Symposium held November 28 – 29 at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, Va.

“We want to encourage more international membership and also enlighten our membership on international opportunities,” explained Ron McCann, director of sales, specialty products, for Viracon and incoming PGC president. After ten years of service, Scott Haddock, previous president, passed the torch to McCann at the symposium. He will remain on the group’s board of directors as its vice president.

After performing a strategic assessment in 2007, PGC International developed a revised mission statement and initiated a number of new committees. Haddock and McCann both stressed the Council’s plans for increasing member participation as they outlined its new mission statement and the purpose of new committees.

“It’s high time we actually did this,” Haddock said. “We probably should have done it sooner, but no better time than the present.”

According to Haddock, PGC and its Annual Symposium provide more than an update on the latest protective glazing issues, they’re about creating collective opportunities. And both say the Council is making a concerted effort to be more inclusive.

“[The new mission statement] was needed to define PGC’s goals. But it also needed to define the scope of the Council,” Haddock explained. “Before it was just glass, but we needed to open our arms to the other parts of the protective glazing industry.”

McCann referenced the window film industry specifically in his comments.

“You know, I didn’t know the window film industry,” the incoming president admitted. “From what I understand, there may have been some friction in the beginning, but this is a very cohesive group today.”

McCann assured attendees that PGC’s new mindset is allowing all areas of the protective glazing industry to work together more effectively.

“We have very spirited discussions in our board meetings,” he admitted but then assured, “We’re not always on the same page; we’re not always unanimous in our decisions; but we’re united when we make decisions.”

McCann’s first address as PGC’s president was spirited. He made the Council’s intentions clear as he insisted on immediate participation.

“Give me one of these,” he requested, while showing a thumbs-up to attendees and insisting they react. “If not, give me one of those [showing a thumbs-down]. But active participation is what we’re looking for. I like a thumbs-up, but I’m happy to get anything.”

After the event, McCann said he felt the resounding answer was, in fact, a thumbs-up.

“I was encouraged by the enthusiasm from the audience and their desire to assist in growing the value of the PGC to our members,” he explained. But McCann says there are still plenty of holes to fill in the Council’s new plans.

“Our committees are still looking for additional volunteers as there is a lot of work to be done to accomplish our goals,” he explained.

PGC’s new committees were finalized this January.

Be a Resource
Lt. Patrick Devlin of the New York Police Department Counterterrorism Division said Haddock walks his talk. Devlin said his department has received significant help from PGC and Haddock specifically.

“Because of that help,” Devlin explained, “I will always be there to help this organization further its outreach.”

According to Devlin, immediately following the events of September 11, 2001, property developers and owners began “throwing concrete everywhere,” in an effort to increase blast protection. But Devlin says this knee-jerk-reaction wasn’t a viable solution because concrete cuts down on access points for emergency personnel and regress options for building inhabitants. Haddock and PGC provided his department with information on protective glazing options—options he says are now opening doors in safety and security design.

“I feel like I’m trying to tell Derek Jeter how to play short-stop!” he joked, while discussing protective glazing. He was enthusiastic, as he explained how his department benefits from its relationship with PGC.

Devlin concluded by providing his personal contact information and repeatedly urging attendees to get in touch with him for information, advice or questions.

The Public Eye
Henry Munford, executive vice president for SafeAmerica of New York City followed Devlin. He said officials aren’t the only ones with an increased interest in safety in a post-September 11-world. His organization is a 501(C)3 nonprofit that forms partnerships with corporate, governmental, public and private sector organizations, and other nonprofits, to improve safety awareness and preparedness. Munford said the government realizes it can’t fill every need on its own and the public is realizing the same. As a result, he said there has been a significant upswing in gift giving among Americans in recent years, and specifically to organizations focusing on public safety and security.“501(C)3 foundations have been formed to support the widest possible range of causes and issues,” he explained. “We save lives that otherwise might be lost to crashes or disasters that occur in every aspect of our lives.”

Munford said window safety was among his organization’s top interests for 2008.“I’m not offering a great deal of expertise,” explained William Holley, chief engineer for the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Building Security Technology Program. “I’m here more to help get your products into U.S. GSA projects.”

Holley assured attendees that, while there are numerous hoops of required paperwork associated with GSA’s programs, opportunity awaits the protective glazing industry.

GSA owns approximately 1,500 public buildings for which it oversees public building safety. It also leases a total of approximately 350 million square feet of space and is present in more than 2,100 communities. According to Holley, GSA’s increased awareness of the safety benefits associated with protective glazing could spell tremendous opportunity for PGC’s members.

And opportunities aren’t limited to matters of safety, either. Holley pointed to several of GSA’s needs, many of which are ripe for window film. He said GSA is increasingly conscious of the need for daylighting and there also is a growing concern about workspace lighting conditions, including glare. Last but not least, Holley also said a growing concern for the environment and energy consumption has lead GSA to focus on reducing heat gain. He advised manufacturers and dealers to focus on specific GSA regions in order to gain access to opportunities and further advised contacting the director for a specific region in order to get products on GSA’s registry.

Shake It Up
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) had representatives from its Jacobs School of Engineering at the symposium. In 2002, the University received a $5.9-million grant from the National Science Foundation, and additional funds from private contributors, to construct a $10.9-million shake-table facility. The table is capable of supporting up to a 25- by 40-foot building structure weighing up to 2,200 tons and reaching as much as 60 feet in height. Hydraulic actuators capable of shaking at speeds of up to 6 feet per second enable researchers to produce accurate simulations of the most devastating earthquakes ever recorded and part of the university’s upcoming efforts could provide the window film industry with much-needed evidence.

“In the past, there’s been no standard to test to for proving the effectiveness of window film in these situations,” explained Darrell Smith, PGC’s treasurer and executive director for the International Window Film Association (IWFA).

Smith said the University of California San Diego plans to construct a multi-story commercial building in its laboratory to a fully finished state—including furnishings—for the sole purpose of destroying it through a series of seismic tests. Part of the study will specifically examine the effects of window film and will result in a testing protocol for seismic performance. Funding for the protocol’s development was provided by the manufacturer members of the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) Window Film Committee. Tests will include films of various thicknesses, in both attached and non-attached models and will examine the effectiveness of window film in earthquake conditions.

Back to the Hill
PGC International will gather for its Spring Meeting March 12-13 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport. Meetings will be held for several of its new committees and the council will revisit its strategic plan. 

Protective Glazing Incentives
“Anything Mother Nature can throw at you, we can throw at your product,” explained Jeffrey E. Gould, P.E., senior engineering specialist for FM Approvals. A division of FM Global, a commercial and industrial property insurance provider, Gould’s company provides third-party product testing and certifications.

He said the primary concern for insurance agencies continues to be water intrusion and related damages. While pointing to a chart illustrating the expected affects of various category hurricanes, Gould explained that the insurance industry does provide incentives for protective glazing features, but it’s “not always a deal killer.” He said opportunities exist between the protective glazing and insurance industries and explained that his company prefers to partner with companies that take measures to decrease the risk of property loss through methods such as protective glazing.

Drew Vass is a contributing editor for USGlass magazine.

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