othing matters more than safety. offset the momentum for their use,” says require some education with regards to
That was the logic behind the Stachel. “I think the architectural com- product options,and the packaging and
2015 International Building munity understands the code change storing of laminated glass on jobsites
Code (IBC) revision, which made the and knows they can rarely use monolithic will be new to some customers.”
use of laminated glass a requirement in glass. Occasionally we run into a project
most glass railing applications. While with an older speciﬁcation, code, etc. … SeAanryctihminegthfeorer’s Aa ncosdwe echrasnge there
the code lays out the details in terms of but generally the design community has
what to use, when and where, it means made the shift.”
little until it’s adopted. Andrew Chatﬁeld, director of archi- certainly been true in the case of glass
Some jurisdictions still follow older tectural railing systems for the Wagner railing applications.
will be questions to address. That’s
versions of the IBC, but now many en- Companies based in Milwaukee, agrees
“Do I need a cap rail? How high can
force the 2015 version.One thing about the change has been positive, and says I go with the glass? How far can I space
codes, though, is they are not always awareness of the requirements is increas- the posts? The answers to these ques-
easily understood by everyone on the ing.“But there’s still some confusion as to tions are dependent on a few factors
building and construction team. And what they really should be doing and how such as the type of system being used,
that means there can be a lot of ques- it’s applied,how loads apply,etc.There are or whether the railing is for interior or
tions.As the popularity of glass railings still lots of questions.”
exterior use,” says Clifford of common
in both interior and exterior applica- For installers, though, they’ve questions he hears. “Other consider-
tions continues to grow, many in the adapted easily to the change in codes. ations include what building code is
industry are working diligently to keep George Harriott, general manager of being used, what the glass thickness
architects, fabricators and installers Harriott Contracting in Columbia, is, what substrate is present (e.g. wood,
educated about the products.
Md., says his company does a lot of steel or concrete),what type of interlayer
glass railing installation, including is being used, and is the railing being
WIht’sebreeenamreoreWtheanNtowwo y?ears since the many sports arenas. He says they have used as a guardrail or a simple divider?”
deﬁnitely seen an increase in the use of
Many of the questions Chatﬁeld hears
often relate to the glass, such as what’s
new code took effect,and so far the results laminated glass.
have been positive, according to some in
the railing industry.While the code may to 90 percent of it is easily laminated challenges, he points out, is there’s not
have changed the way some projects were glass,” he says. one speciﬁc point of contact the archi-
being designed, as Brian Clifford, direc-
As an installer, Harriott says the new tects can go to get all of their questions
“Probably on what we deal with, 70 the appropriate thickness? So one of the
tor, architectural railing and metals for code requirements have had little im- answered. In addition, he says he’s see-
Los Angeles-based C.R.Laurence Co.Inc. pact on their business, since the mate- ing more demand for test report data.
“I’m being asked to provide more sup-
“They are very attentive when it
rials come to them ﬁnished.
“We do have a lot more detailed in- portive data going forward. People are
comes to discussing codes and under- formation on the product itself,” he referencing ASTM and are now asking
standing changes in them. This is be- says, explaining they need the addi- more in-depth questions about calcula-
cause they have to deal with codes all tional information as often there are tions and the [system] support, as well
the time,”he says,explaining that codes more questions from the end user that as the other criteria to meet,”he says.
are always a topic of conversation.
they need to be able to answer. “We get
However, when it comes to overall a lot of support from the product team AeOsntehectoincceCrhnabnrgouegshttoabCoountsbiydethre
awareness around what’s required for beforehand,” he adds, explaining the
glass railings, that tends to vary.
suppliers provide the details they need new code relates to the design aesthetic.
Meeting architects’ desire for a clean,
“Some days it feels like everyone in to provide the end users, etc.
the industry is on the same page.Other
According to Annette Panning, di- smooth edge can be a challenge with
days it feels like no one is on the same rector, marketing and product man- laminated glass. In these applications,
page,”says Clifford.“It will take time for agement for Viracon, her company exposed edges aren’t necessarily as at-
everyone to be in agreement regarding supports the change and doesn’t expect tractive as monolithic tempered glass.
the latest codes in terms of adoption, the new code to create a signiﬁcant
compliance and interpretation.”
change, other than possibly providing building projects coded under IBC
According to Dan Stachel, vice presi- additional product information for 2015 with glass railings speciﬁed will
dent with SC Railing in Minneapolis,the some customers. require laminated tempered glass when
awareness of the new code is growing, “Not only does lamination provide a walking surface exists below (Section
and architects in particular are more the obvious beneﬁt of minimizing glass 2407),” says Clifford, explaining this
and more in tune to the requirements. particle fallout if there is breakage,it ex- means the glass lites will typically have
“Glass fabricators understand that
popular, and the code changes haven’t ings,” she says. “This change will likely
Glass railing systems continue to be pands the design options for glass rail-
continued on page 54
June 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing