Volume 50, Issue 11 - November 2015


Wired Glass Among Key Changes to ANSI Safety Glazing Standard
A half decade of work has resulted in the publication of the new ANSI safety glazing standard and the complete elimination of wired glass testing and rating language. The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z97 released the 2015 version of ANSI Z97.1, “Safety glazing materials used in buildings —safety performance specifications and methods of test,” in September.

According to Guardian Industries’ Kevin Olah, chair of ASC Z97, the new version of the standard is a culmination of five years of committee work and brings forward clarification and changes to the testing and rating of safety glazing.

Eastman Chemical Co.’s Julia Schimmelpenningh, secretary to ASC Z97, says one significant change to the standard is the elimination of wired glass testing and rating language.

“As a result of many years of discussion, incident and data review, the committee has resolved that wired glass should not be considered a safety glazing material by this standard,” she says. “The material is explicitly excluded from the standard in the scope, and the 12-inch drop height and Class C classification have been removed.”

Another significant change is the assignment of glass type breakage and the subsequent analysis of the materials after impact.

“This was added based on discussions during the last cycle that a mechanism was needed to understand the amount of glass that detached during and immediately after impact from laminated and organic coated glass,” says Schimmelpenningh. “The new type ratings will allow for much faster and clearer specification of glass type in projects. For instance, if tempered glass is acceptable, a Type 2 glass can be specified; if glass shard containment after breakage is a concern, as in the new International Building Code balustrade requirements, it is now easy to specify Type 1.”

Smaller changes, but still significant improvements, she says, include a complete revamp of the indoor-only weathering requirements—an upgrade to the thermal durability assessment. “Language has been provided on testing of composite laminates based on a perceived need by our committee members to address this growing glass trend,” she says.

According to a release from the committee, it will take a year-long hiatus as the standard begins to be adopted and will resume review of the document for industry applicability, methodology and product inclusion in 2016.

The newly published 2015 version of ANSI Z97.1 brought the complete elimination of wired glass testing and rating language to the standard.

Draft of Canadian Guard
Standard Out for Review

In recent years, the Toronto area has seen a number of building guard failures involving falling glass infill panels, in addition to other similar issues that have drawn scrutiny. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has worked to address those concerns, and a new related standard is now finally in front of the public eye.

After years of collaboration and development, a draft of the new CSA A500 Building Guards standard is available for public review at CSA Group’s website; the review period ends November 30.

According to the draft scope, the standard “specifies requirements for the materials, design, construction, testing, and performance of building guards.” It continues, “This Standard applies to all building guards required as protective barriers, with or without openings, around openings in floors or at the open sides of stairs, landings, balconies, mezzanines, galleries, raised walkways or other locations to prevent accidental falls from one level to another.”

Testing requirements in the standards include procedures, guard load, impact resistance, post breakage retention, anchors and fasteners, as well as on-site and documentation.

Once approved, it will be put forth as a reference document for the NBC.

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