Volume 46, Issue 10 - Novmeber 2011


GGCA to Develop Architectural Glass Repair and Scratch Removal Standard

Officials at the Global Glass Conservation Alliance (GGCA) in Washington, D.C., are working to create an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for architectural glass repair and scratch removal. ANSI has publicized the call for members to join the new committee, and notes that stakeholders include scratch removal practitioners, scratch removal suppliers, building owners and managers.

Currently there is no standard in place for the repair or removal of scratches to architectural glass.

There are many reasons behind the creation of this standard, says Kerry Wanstrath, GGCA president. “Just to give a few, first to preserve the integrity of the legitimate service provider of glass restoration. As with many new innovative ideas or products, there are those that would degrade the service or technology by performing below the industry standard. A standard can make sure people are not taking shortcuts, or not taking proper safety precautions. An example might be not using proper safety precautions if a work area is exposed to the public. A standard can elevate the level of work quality.”

Keith Beveridge, senior vice president of NOVUS Glass in Savage, Minn., and chair of the group’s other ANSI standard committee, adds to Wanstrath’s reasons. “A standard would help define what glass repair and scratch removal really is, and more specifically what it isn’t,” he says. “It would help remove the hype and general misinformation of what really happens during the process, and would hopefully show how best to measure success. Doing this will add more legitimacy to the industry and help in the awareness that glass can be repaired and scratches can be removed. Saving damaged glass from ending up in landfills, especially types that cannot be easily recycled, should be important to everyone in the glass industry.”

“A call for volunteers involved in the industry with some level of expertise will be made,” Wanstrath says. “Once a committee is formed, we will begin the development of a code of best practices considering the various technologies used within the industry. The committee will meet throughout the year, until it is ready to submit for public input. Then public input will be addressed as the standard will be sent to ANSI.”

Anybody who has an interest in architectural glass restoration with some level of experience is welcome to join the committee, Wanstrath says.

“Participation from all sectors of the industry—including end users, trade associations, regulatory bodies, manufacturers of equipment and glass, and anyone who has a vested interest in the outcome—would allow the standard writing group to determine the shared goals, set out the roadmap for the standard and, most importantly, pool scientific resources,” Beveridge says. He adds, “Writing a standard is often about individual agendas and how you compromise your point of view to create an overall stronger standard. Agreeing on compromises and creating a standard that is not only fair, but one that can objectively measure success is the hardest part, but it is also the most important part.”

Most standards are voluntary, and this one will be as well, Wanstrath says. “It is a code of best practices, and if someone is not interested in meeting that level of practice, then it is up to the market to determine their success or failure. That is how it works,” he says.

Those who wish to be on the committee can contact Katie Hodge at khodge@nwrassn.org.

GGCA also is the umbrella organization that includes the National Windshield Repair Association.

San Francisco Mandates Use of Bird-Safe Glazing
Many glass installers are used to coordinating with other trades on the job—for example, working with electricians to install hardware or active glazing—but now glass professionals working in San Francisco may have one other party with which to coordinate: biologists.

That’s because the recommendation of a qualified biologist would be required to waive an exception to the city’s new law, which mandates the use of its Standards for Bird-Safe Buildings.

“Over 30 years of research has documented that buildings and windows are the top killer of wild birds in North America,” says the standard, which goes on to describe how to prevent future such deaths. The standard defines bird-safe glazing as “fritting, netting, permanent stencils, frosted glass, exterior screens, physical grids placed on the exterior of glazing or UV patterns visible to birds. To qualify as Bird-Safe Glazing Treatment vertical elements of window patterns should be at least ¼-inch wide at a minimum spacing of 4 inches or horizontal elements at least 1/8-inch wide at a maximum spacing of 2 inches.”

The law regulates two hazard types for new construction and replacement facades: location-related hazards and feature-related hazards.

The law went into effect November 7.

“We’ve had a very positive response from glass companies such as Arnold Glas and Viracon,” says Erika Lovejoy, senior environmental planner with the San Francisco Planning Department. “They’ve both done testing on bird-safe treatments and they have offered technical assistance to local designers on products they have available. We anticipate working with them and other glass companies in the future to compile a comprehensive list of treatment options.”

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