Volume 7, Issue 2, March - April 2003

PGC UPdate
    Scott Haddock

GSA Makes Strides 

The following memorandum was issued by Bruce Hall, structural engineer for General Services Administration (GSA), in Washington, D.C., on January 7, and is re-printed with their permission. I am using it as my column for this month as a good opportunity to get the word out about what GSA is doing.

In an effort to provide for the safety and security of the people who occupy and visit U.S. government facilities, GSA is striving continually to improve the methods and the technologies available to the protective design community. The GSA has recently reviewed its test method for evaluating window performance when subjected to explosive forces. Since 1996, the GSA—and many vendors who supply products to the GSA—have tested windows and glazing systems in accordance with the “U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) – Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Air Blast Loadings.” The review of this document indicated that while adequate, the document required an update to reflect the lessons learned during the period of 1996 to 2002. In addition to many technical advances in that time, criteria has been officially adopted. For example, the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) Security Design Criteria Document was adopted officially on May 28, 2001.

We are hereby pleased to provide the updated test protocol, “U.S. General Services Administration – Standard Test Method for Glazing and Window Systems Subject to Dynamic Overpressure Loadings,” dated January 1, 2003. This revised test standard replaces the previous GSA test method. All products and specimens tested prior to January 1, 2003, in accordance with the earlier standard, shall be deemed to comply fully with the new test protocol. The new explosive test standard is compatible with and may be used to evaluate window response to meet the ISC Security Design Criteria performance-based requirements.

The new explosive test protocol may be distributed and used without restriction, and will be posted for public download on the GSA website www.oca.gsa.gov. Vendors, consultants and government agencies and departments are authorized to distribute the test protocol with their test reports and on their respective websites. 

Scott Haddock is president of the Protective Glazing Council and GlassLock of San Jose, Calif.


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