Volume 45, Issue 5 - May 2010


Making Way for Progress
GANA Holds Technical Meetings During Glass Week
by Megan Headley and Ellen Rogers

This year’s Glass Week, which took place in March at the Paris in Las Vegas, brought together a bigger cross-section of the industry than ever before. Members of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) met to make further progress in creating new resources for the glass industry.

Flat Glass Manufacturing Discussions
The Flat Glass Manufacturing Division (FGMD) opened its meeting with a discussion on climate change. Stephen Farrar of Guardian presented the Climate Change Committee Report, noting, “Climate change has obviously been one of the top two or three issues for GANA over the last year.”

Regarding the message glass manufacturers have been aiming to present, to not be disadvantaged with having to pay carbon credits when foreign manufacturers aren’t so burdened, “I think we’ve gotten that message through reasonably well,” he said.

Also during the meeting, the Membership Committee reviewed updates to its Guide to Architectural Glass. Several items also were reviewed in the draft Physical and Mechanical Properties of Soda Lime Float Glass glass informational bulletin (GIB).

The newest GIB is one thus far titled Daylighting that has been adapted from an article by the Efficient Window Collaborative. This mandated document from the division’s Education Committee presents information on how daylighting and expansive use of glass can reduce use of electric lighting in buildings, in addition to other benefits, as well as information on picking the right glass. “It’s a very important issue as it ties into efforts to tighten the building codes,” commented Farrar.

The Technical Committee made plans to review the draft.

Under the topic of “new business,” GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek proposed to the division a future project to consider: pulling together information on capacity utilization. Kim Mann, GANA’s general counsel, noted that the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have guidelines that do allow trade associations to compile such sensitive information, so the question remaining for the group at large was one of their interest in such a project.

As one member pointed out, “If [a survey were] conducted today—we’re talking about capacity utilization—a week later all of the information might be obsolete.”

Mann agreed that it would need to be an ongoing process that would eventually show tendencies within the industry.

Other concerns were that not all float manufacturers are represented within the association (an invitation to participate would be extended, was the staff response) and that the term “capacity” would need to be better defined as the cullet to sand ratios differ among manufacturers.

Ultimately the discussion was suspended—at least until GANA staff has further researched the topic.

IGMA Working Groups Proceed on Projects
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) opened its 10th annual meeting—co-located with Glass Week—with the Glazing Guidelines and Gas Permeability working groups. The first item on the agenda during the Glazing Guidelines working group meeting was to further review TM 3000, North American Glazing Guidelines for Sealed Insulating Glass for Commercial and Residential Use, and a proposal to increase the minimum heights of setting blocks.

“What we are seeing in the residential market is that the setting blocks aren’t high enough and we’re getting water trapped in the glazing channel,” commented Margaret Webb, executive director of IGMA.

Rather than adopting a proposal to increase the minimum setting block height, to 6.7 mm for aluminum extrusions and 6 mm for PVC extrusions, the group ultimately decided to elaborate upon the current language in the document to better clarify for readers the importance of setting blocks—so those users can make their own determinations as to what’s appropriate.

The meeting of the Gas Permeability working group revolved around discussions of the group’s research project on gas permeability of edge seal assemblies (see August 2009 USGlass, page 14, for related story). With components to test assembled, the lab, CAN-BEST, is working to improve the testing process itself to establish a thus far elusive normal baseline for testing.

Elie Alkhoury of CAN-BEST walked listeners through the laboratory’s testing apparatus and process, and the inconsistent results received thus far in the baseline testing. As Alkhoury explained, “There’s something there that’s causing us to vary.” The group began, and agreed to continue, to brainstorm ways in which to resolve the challenges and move the stalled research project forward.

The thermal stress working group continued to solicit examples of thermal stress breakage and reviewed its field service inspection form and results. The group also reviewed contributions to the thermal stress bulletin in the making, which is pulling from various companies’ information on the topic with the goal of creating a matrix of risk factors leading to thermal stress.

The day ended with further work on the Design Consideration for Multiple Air Space IGUs document by the task group of the same name. The group reviewed for the first time together those sections that have been drafted, and the largely editorial comments on those sections, before assigning the remaining sections to group members to complete.

IGMA Members Address New Business
IGMA members also looked at some future projects. Dan Haglin of FDR Design Inc. gave a presentation on a topic that could become a new research project for the organization. He explained that his company had begun working with the company MOCON on a new technology it is making available for testing gas permeability. The technology is based on optical fluorescence; a fluorescent sticker essentially is placed within the IGU and when a certain light is shined on it the tester is able to determine gas loss or decay. Haglin said that the device, officially rolled out for use by the glass industry on April 1, provided fast and accurate readings of gas permeability during his testing.

Webb reminded her listeners’ of the testing IGMA had undertaken to research the effectiveness of the GasGlass device and suggested that the same might be done with MOCON’s new technology. The technical services committee agreed that Webb, Haglin and others might start to pull together some information on this topic before the group at a future meeting.

In other new business, John Kent forwarded a request from the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC), asking if IGMA would be interested in developing a test specification for bent or curved IGUs. Based on a request he had received, he suggested that IGMA might be the best place to begin to undertake research on bent IGUs, their relationship with flat IGUs and whether or not it is reasonable to say that testing of flat units covers bent units as well.

“There needs to be some research into the topic and IGMA is the place to do this,” he said.

The committee agreed to create a task group to further investigate the need or possibility of creating such a specification.

Finally, during a joint IGMA-GANA Insulating Glass Division meeting, members received an update on a new project to create a joint web page that will house glass technical documents from these two associations, hopefully in addition to others. The site would be a resource of links for anyone looking to find any glass-related publication.

GANA Members Work to Get Ahead of Energy Issues
When it came to work items during this year’s meeting of the Energy Committee, at the top of the list was a discussion of the American Society of Hearting, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) updated 2010 standard, and the association’s potential appeal of several of the standards key issues.

The 2010 revisions to Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings would change the prescriptive path to, among other things, reduce the window to wall ratio from 40 percent to 30 percent (see November 2009 USGlass, page 14, for a related article). The association has worked tirelessly to prevent this and other revisions that would ultimately limit the types of glass products used in buildings. Due to these efforts ASHRAE is considering some compromises—but because they may not be considering these soon enough GANA is looking to submit an appeal insisting upon changing these new requirements that could hurt the industry.

As Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, now GANA’s Glazing Industry Code consultant, commented, “For now, the 2010 version will have a 30-percent limit and the 40-percent version will not be ready in time. That’s one reason we should bring forth this appeal. The 40-percent path that they’re working on it’s not clear that they’ll finish that—ever,” Culp added. “We’re back to where we were, which is just to fight before they pass the 30-percent window to wall ratio as is.”

The committee agreed to create a task group to take on the task of preparing that appeal to ASHRAE.

Thom Zaremba, who now also represents GICC, said there will be a number of appeals to the updated standard from other industries before it is adopted. As Zaremba pointed out, if the codes are driving to a 30-percent increase in energy efficiency this cycle, where are they going to go next cycle?

Culp added with an attempt at optimism, saying, “Not everything is negative on the ASHRAE side. We have opened their eyes to daylighting and they’re starting to make headway there.”

Next on the agenda, Nathalie Thibault of Prelco gave a report on the Solar Products and Applications task group, explaining that the group had finalized its scope and objectives. The group also has started working on matrix of products they’d like to address. “The matrix is to try to help us see what products we’d like to address, as there are quite a few out there,” Thibault explained. The matrix would also help clarify how glass fits into, for example, various photovoltaic products.

Yanek provided a brief update on GANA: Energy. To begin, he summarized GANA’s work on making improvements on behalf of the commercial glass industry to the proposed Building STAR legislation (see April 2010 USGlass, page 18, for related article). “You’re going to be hearing more about this,” Yanek commented. As he pointed out, the association’s proposed changes are basic and technical in nature, and wouldn’t cost extra, so the group is optimistic that these changes will be adopted.

Decorative DivisionDiscussions Take Place
The Decorative Division was busy preparing a number of information documents, presentations and even a new website.

The Glazing Material and Compatibility Task Group, chaired by Michelle Burns of Ferro Corp., met first and worked on completing a GIB titled Assessing the Compatibility of Glazing Materials. The task group passed a motion to move the document to the technical committee for review and ballot.

The group also discussed putting together a list of tests that are done on decorative glass. Prior to the meeting the division had approached one testing agency about the types of test, as well as companies that use them. The agency voiced concern that the document would not be able to be inclusive because the field of decorative glass is so large. Greg Saroka of Goldray Industries suggested that members submit information on their problem areas to create a list of things to be aware of as potential concerns.

The Product Color and Durability Subcommittee meeting, chaired by Jeff Nixon of Glass Coatings and Concepts, met next to review a “properties glossary” that will focus on color and appearance terminology. In addition, the group discussed a document about durability characteristics. Nixon said this has been hard to formulate as these terms are more involved than color terminology.

“We have opened their eyes to daylighting and they’re starting
to make headway there.”
—Tom Culp,
Birch Point Consulting, on ASHRAE

“The goal is to create a benchmark way for fabricators to assure that durability is being addressed properly given where the product will end up,” said Kris Vockler of ICD High Performance Coatings, division chair.
Nixon added, “We want to provide definitions and test methods to allows us to communicate effectively about these properties.

Mirror Division Updates GIBs and Goals
Several projects are in the works for the Mirror Division, and one discussion during its Technical Committee meeting centered on the group’s Mirrors: Handle with Care document, which was published more than five years ago. Mandy Marxen of Gardner Glass Products currently is working on updating the document. The plan is to take the existing document and put it into the format of a GIB. The group also discussed re-orienting the focus of the document to better address mirror handling.

The group also is continuing to explore the subject of concentrating solar panels and how it can become more involved in this area.

“Concentrating solar panels are still evolving and there is still much to learn,” said Jim Ventre of Vitro, who serves as the division chair.

During the group’s division meeting, discussion focused primarily on the development of a new website. These efforts are being spearheaded by Marxen.

“The goals for the re-design include a simple, streamlined process, a modern appearance and to address the concerns of the architectural and design community,” Marxen said. “The new site will provide a way to help people easily find the information they need.”

New Resources on Safety Glazing
As the use of and demand for laminated glass grows due to ever-increasing security requirements, groups within GANA are making an effort to make available information and education about the use of and designing with protective glazing and laminated glass, particularly the Protective Glazing Committee and Laminating Division.

As a means for educating the architectural community, the Protective Glazing Committee has created a Protective Glazing 101 presentation that currently is being reviewed by the American Institute of Architects. The script for the presentation is in draft form and covers areas such as bullet and bomb blast resistance, among others.

“Presently, it is mostly focused on standards and test methods and how to understand performance in these areas,” explained Valerie Block, chair of the committee.

In addition, the committee is working with the Protective Glazing Council International to jointly develop its Protective Glazing Manual. The task group has one last section to finish and is reviewing edits, with publication expected in the near future.

The group also is working on a draft of a GIB on screening out ultraviolet radiation with laminated glass. With edits reviewed during the meeting, the draft will be sent out for a final review before it is balloted.

The Laminating Division also has been hard at work and has published three GIBs: Emergency Egress, Hurricane Substitution Explanation and Laminated Glass Weight. In addition, a 2009 version of the Laminated Glass Reference Manual also was published last year.

Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia Inc. provided an update on ASTM working group 22334, New Specification for Consumer Safety for Glass Furniture. She explained that the group is focusing on horizontal, non-uniformly supported applications, such as tabletops.

“The group is saying that all safety glass used in these applications must meet ANSI Z97.1. They also do not want to have to label the glass,” Schimmelpenningh said.

A draft of the specification currently is being reviewed; Schimmelpenningh said the intent is to publish it as a voluntary standard and not move it on to CPSC.

Recognizing the importance of educating the industry on safety glazing in furniture applications, the division formed a task group that will write a GIB on glass in furniture.

Tempering Division Talks with IWCA
The Tempering Division’s Construction Subcommittee began with an update on its communications with the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA).

“Over the years we’ve talked a lot about these communications with the IWCA,” said Greg Carney, a GANA consultant for the Tempering and BEC divisions. “We’ve had good dialogue and challenging dialogues at times. We’ve also felt that the IWCA wanted to foster good relationships with us and the last four IWCA presidents have been very positive to work with.”

The two groups plan to hold a conference call to further identify things they can do together to benefit both groups. This includes the development of a best practices document on construction site protection of architectural glass, which is currently at the task group level. Another focus area is the development of a best practices document for window cleaners that will focus on heat-treated glass.

Fire-Rated Glazing Council Prepares for Code Updates
Education committee chair Jeff Razwick of Technical Glass Products reported that the fire-rated glazing chapter of the Protective Glazing Manual, which GANA is co-developing with the Protective Glazing Council International, is completed, and they are also working on a script for the online version of a fire-rated glazing presentation.

In addition, Zaremba provided an update on some building code issues, focusing on a number of proposals to the International Building Code. Referencing last year’s code hearings, Zaremba said there were a number of rulings “that have been challenging during the public comment period.” These include FS 0004, which proposed eliminating the use of automatic sprinklers to establish compliance with ASTM E119 or UL 263. Zaremba said there have been two public comments on this proposal, so it will be heard during the International Code Council (ICC) hearings taking place this month.

Another code change proposal is FS21, which essentially says that if two buildings are constructed in a single block within a certain vicinity they must have a certain percentage of fire-rated glazing on the exterior. The proposal was disapproved during the last round of hearings, but it has received two public comments, including one from GICC, so it will be heard again. Zaremba also discussed proposal FS100, which would eliminate the exception that says a maximum transmitted temperature end rise is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system. The proposal was originally approved, but UL has since challenged, so it, too, will be heard in May.

Megan Headley is the editor and Ellen Rogers is a contributing editor of USGlass.



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