Volume 6, Issue 4, July - August  2002

Dear Reader 

Penny Beverage                                                                                          

Code Calling

Recently I attended a meeting of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) for one of Window Film’s sister publications, Door and Window Maker. For those of you who have never attended an AAMA meeting, I can assure you that it is one of the most technical associations with which I have interacted. The association’s goal is to develop standards for the various building components of doors and windows—and these standards reach the utmost technical detail. 

As I listened to these manufacturers discuss the standards and how they would later fit into codes, I started thinking about window film. First, I wondered why film manufacturers aren’t involved in these standards; some of the standards had to do with hurricane and bomb-blast protection, along with how much sun enters the window at any given time. Window film fits right into the mix. However, I then figured out that since window film is an aftermarket product primarily, there are separate organizations that come up with their standards.

Then, I began to wonder why these standards are so important in the first place. As a consumer, as well as a reporter, I’m not very conscious of what the greatest point of deflection of my door is (in the case of AAMA), how much light enters my windows at any given second, or, as a Virginia native, how sturdy my windows will be in the event of a hurricane. But some are not so lucky and are compelled to worry about these issues.
In this issue, some of these concerns are highlighted. In Steve Sabac’s feature on page 20, “The Eye of the Storm,” he gives an update on the latest hurricane-protection codes instated in South Florida and how the industry can adapt to these and use them to its advantage. In addition, on page 14, Les Shaver provides a detailed look at the recent code changes involving wired glass in educational facilities. As he shows, the wired-glass industry may soon be very indebted—and in need—of the service you provide, as wired glass will soon be eliminated in the new construction of education facilities requiring impact-resistant glass.

I also realized something about involvement during the AAMA meeting. The companies involved in the code-development processes set the rules for everyone else, just as voters set the rules for the nation, state and so on. One of my favorite sayings has always been, “If you don’t vote, you certainly can’t complain about the president,” and the same goes for codes.

I urge you to get involved in the process of code development for the use of window film. For example, in the wired-glass debate, maybe you have information or experience that may help those at AIMCAL and the IWFA who are trying to figure out if window film is a possible solution. Or, maybe you think it’s a bad idea. You’re entitled to your opinion. Either way, I hope you’ll get out there and share it with those working on the decision. As I said before, if you don’t get involved in the process, you can’t complain about the end result. 

Penny Beverage is the editor of Window Film magazine. 


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