Volume 46, Issue 4 - May 2011


Glass Gurus Meet in Vegas
GANA Volunteer Members Create New Resources on Glass
by Megan Headley, Debra Levy and Ellen Rogers

It was four grueling days in the Nevada desert, but someone had to do it. “It” being the hard work of writing glass informational bulletins (GIBs) and compiling other resources for their colleagues throughout the industry, creating educational presentations for architects on the properties and applications of a world of glass products, and learning about and disseminating information on the latest code and legislation updates that could affect the way glass companies do business.

The “someones” in question here are, of course, the dedicated volunteers who make up the Glass Association of North America (GANA) and meet regularly to work to better the glass industry. Their latest meeting was GANA’s annual Glass Week, which took place March 24-27 at the Paris Las Vegas.

Insulating Glass Division Hears IGMA, ASTM Updates
The Insulating Division and its related committees held sessions that culminated with a joint meeting between GANA and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (see page 42 for more on IGMA) about all things insulating.

The group turned its attention to updated and new standards during its joint meeting. John Kent of the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) talked about the rigors of the updated ASTM 2190 Standard.

“I want to make sure that everyone is aware that, for a variety of reasons, this standard is going to be much more rigorous than it has been in the past,” he said. “This is because we basically have two standards coming together as one and our procedure states that two failures mean removal from the list.”

Kent said a list of approved products has been created and that inclusion on the list will be limited to products that have 2190 reports filed with IGCC.

The issue of desiccant quantity also was discussed. Kent mentioned that IGMA has reformatted how it categorizes sealants to separate silicone sealants into two separate categories, one for one-part and one for two-part.

Fire-Rated Glazing Council Cautioned on NFPA 80
At the Fire-Rating Glazing Council meeting, Thomas Zaremba of Roetzel & Andress updated the group about the code-related activities of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that affect glazing. Chief among these is a pending proposed revision to NFPA 80 which, Zaremba explained, has gone through many incarnations. The proposed changes are an attempt to ensure that those replacing fire-rated glazing in wood doors are properly trained to do so.

“In most schools nowadays, this job falls to the janitors,” he said, “and there is really no way to know if they are properly trained or not. One proposal would have allowed the glass to be installed by manufacturers only … We asked NFPA to revisit the issue. The compromise is that on new wooden doors, the glazing will either be done by the manufacturers under label service or by listed personnel. This will require training and programs that do not yet exist, but they could be put in place in the future,” he explained.

Zaremba said the issue will be voted upon at the NFPA meeting in August.

Energy Committee Now Newest Division
The Decorative Division lost its claim as newest division during Glass Week, when the Energy Committee changed its status. As the Energy Division, staff will be able to provide additional help and a representative will be added to the GANA board of directors.

Nathalie Thibault of Prelco explained that the Solar Products and Applications task group has gathered too much information to continue its matrix of solar products. Instead, the group is working on an online database where people can search for applications and components used in them. For example, a search on building integrated photovoltaics would return information on heat treated glass.

Steve Farrar of Guardian, who chairs the Life Cycle Cost Analysis task group, suggested the group do some research to better quantify the “non-quantifiable” benefits of glass. The argument is often made that large expanses of glass are important in providing building occupants with a connection to the outdoors. Farrar suggested the group take on research into “all those benefits we know exist but when it comes time to defend ourselves in code” we don’t have something solid. Division members agreed to start a task group to discuss further, and look into existing research on this topic.

The group learned that GANA code consultant Tom Culp, of BirchPoint Consulting, has remained busy as ever in educating lawmakers about appropriate use of glass. Culp explained that California’s Title 24 is looking at a new visible transmittance (VT) requirement in its 2013 update in a way that brought earlier debates with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) (see November 2010 USGlass, page 10) bubbling into memory.

Culp is working to explain to the document’s writers that “We support daylighting, it’s very important, and VT is a component of that—but daylighting goes beyond VT.” As of Glass Week, California’s code writers had decided the highest VT was going to be its baseline, a requirement that would “essentially wipe out 90 percent of the market,” Culp reported. GANA is communicating regularly with the group, he added, to advise them on more appropriate ways to improve energy performance.

Decorative Division Develops New Resources
GANA’s Decorative Division focused on a number of resources for the industry. During the Product Color and Durability Subcommittee meeting, members discussed work that is being done on a list of color and appearance properties. This includes a glossary of terms, which subcommittee chair Jeff Nixon of Glass Coatings and Concepts LLC explained should describe the properties of the glass rather than the product itself. The group now is working to revise the document so it can next go to the Decorative Technical Committee for review. In addition, the subcommittee is working on a second list on product durability properties.

Matthew Tangeman of Custom Glass Machinery chaired the Digital Printing on Glass task group and provided an update on his group’s work in developing a “how-to” case study on digital printing on glass. This, he explained, will serve as a general guideline for digitally printing on flat glass.

During the Technical Committee meeting, Saroka noted that Kris Vockler of ICD High Performance Coatings will chair a new Standards Subcommittee, which will work on developing standards that pertain to decorative glass.

Tempering Division Considers Updates on Docs
The Construction Subcommittee’s new Distortion task group—actually, the new label for what had been the Roll Wave task group—worked toward creating a GIB on educating people on methods of measuring observed deviation in flatness of heat-treated glass. The group agreed the GIB would provide information about options for measuring, methods, etc.

The division also heard an update about ASTM C1048, the standard for Glass in Furniture currently in development. Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia said the document is going forward to ballot to become a voluntary standard. She also pointed out that furniture organizations are hoping to push the Consumer Product Safety Commission to mandate the document. Schimmelpenningh said the reports were encouraging as it would provide another market “that’s somewhat mandated in North America.”

BEC Division Drafts BIM Bulletin
The Building Envelope Contractors Division meeting opened with a request for a show of hands from people who had used building information modeling (BIM) on a project thus far; hands were scarce. George Petzen of LinEl Signature said his experience with modeling has not been great so far because “too many hands get on the finals.”

Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP, Technical Committee chair, said it looks like a lot of the general contractors are the ones setting the standards for BIM, rather than the architectural community. To do their part, the members of the BIM task group furthered their outline of a GIB on this topic. Knickerbocker noted that thought it’s still early, BIM use is going to roll down to glazing subcontractors eventually, and the goal is to have a GIB and additional resources available as needed. The group hopes to have its first draft completed by GANA’s Fall Conference.

Cerium Oxide Shortage Prompts Mirror Task Group Formation
GANA’s Mirror Division tackled the topic of the cerium oxide shortage during its Technical Committee meeting. China controls approximately 95 percent of the supply of this rare earth element used for, among many other things, polishing glass, and in the last year has further limited supplies, consequently drastically raising prices.

“It’s a serious issue,” commented Jim Ventre of Vitro in bringing this topic up to the group.

The other mirror manufacturers in the room agreed that they, too, were experiencing a shortage of this product, which also is used in cleaning the glass before it’s silvered.

Dave Evans mentioned Guardian Glass “is looking at other products ... I’m not aware we’ve put anything on the line yet to try, but we’re definitely talking about it.”

“We anticipate it to be this way for the next two years, easy,” commented Mike Willard of Salem Distributing. According to Willard, there are alternative mines to those in China, one in the United States and one in Australia—but neither is operational just yet. “The mines that are coming on board are not going to produce anything meaningful for at least two years,” Willard said.

Given this, the group agreed to form a task group to begin gathering information on alternative products to cerium.

In addition to this discussion, the Mirror Division’s LEED Informational task group began working to create a GIB on Recyclability of Mirror Products that would respond to questions from the marketplace about LEED properties of mirror.

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