Volume 43, Issue 4 - April 2008
One Week, All Glass
by Megan Headley and Debra Levy
This year’s Glass Association of North America (GANA) sponsored Glass Week took place February 13-17 at the Rio in Las Vegas—and hot on its heels was the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, which lasted through February 17-19. While the week began with hard-at-work GANA members discussing new business initiatives, it closed with a swelling tide of glazing contractors eager to sit back and take in detailed informational presentations.
G is for Green
The BEC Division likewise opened its meeting with green talk. “Daylighting is one of the biggest things out there and a lot of people don’t have a clue,” commented BEC Division chairperson Max Perilstein of Arch Aluminum & Glass. The group tossed around such ideas as developing a task group and creating a white paper on green construction. The Decorative Division heard the call as well and is creating a task group to focus on green efforts.
The Flat Glass Manufacturing Division took a different tack. As part of the division’s new business, Henry Gorry of Guardian Industries Corp. requested the division “create an ad hoc committee on climate change.” Per Gorry, the committee would identify the industry’s objectives in legislation or regulatory activities and aim to get its objectives incorporated in any legislation or regulatory activities. A six-to-one vote ultimately created this committee.
Tempering Division Cleans Up The Tempering Division’s Construction Subcommittee addressed the issue of glass cleaning, an issue that has seen much debate between the glass association’s members and the window cleaning industry (see January 2008 USGlass, page 18).
In particular, GANA has urged window cleaners not to use metal scrapers to clean glass, as it can result in scratches. The subcommittee members stressed that it is important to get the word out about the damage caused by metal scrapers. “GANA has taken the position that we are here to educate and will continue to educate the window cleaners,” said Brian Pitman, director of marketing and communications for GANA.
It was suggested that a static-cling applied sticker on certain glass products might help in this education process. The subcommittee expressed interest in the idea. Some individuals suggested having these stickers applied by the glazing contractor, although there was concern about liability should the contractor neglect to use the sticker. The Laminated Division Hears a Proposal John Kent of the Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC) presented the Laminating Division with a proposal for new guidelines for the certification of laminated glass. Historically, laminated glass has been certified per nominal thickness per ASTM C1036. However, Kent said, there are products that don’t fall into those nominal thicknesses. He explained that initial testing would be performed on each nominal thickness, per C1036, of at least one brand of each generic category of interlayer material that the company is aiming to certify. Ongoing certification would be by two thickness classes (standard or heavy) and per generic category of interlayer.
SGCC will maintain a list of accepted interlayer brands per generic category, and certification to one brand within the generic category will allow switching to other brands within the generic category on the list. According to Kent, this new method would mean that, on an ongoing basis, there will be fewer tests for a wider range of products.
FRGC Takes Charge of Labels
The committee sent a Glass Informational Bulletin (GIB) on the approximate weight of architectural flat glass to the board for its approval. The group’s Specifiers Guide to Architectural Glass, now known as the Guide to Architectural Glass, has gone out to members for revision.
The Protective Glazing Committee sent a new GIB on detention facility glazing out to its members for review. Two drafts, on protective glazing earthquakes and on how glazing can prevent melanoma, were prepared to send.
The Mirror Division’s Technical Committee now has a draft outline of its GIB on Installation Techniques Designed to Prolong the Life of Mirror. The group touched on concerns about offering actual installation guidelines, which the group typically does not provide. The Product Handling and Cleaning Task Group’s GIB had gone out to the Decorative Division’s Technical Committee following the last meeting. One comment had been made and the group had since resolved it, leaving it to send to the full division for approval. Next up is GANA’s Fall Conference, scheduled for September 8-10 at the Wyndham DFW Airport North in Dallas.
GANA Staff Passes Torch During Glass Week
Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius treated Smith to a subdued “roast” that brought chuckles from his audience. In addition, Debra Levy, publisher of USGlass magazine presented Smith with a personalized cover in recognition of his frequent contributions to both the industry and the publication.
During the dinner, as well as throughout the week, Glass Week attendees and GANA members were introduced to incoming executive director William Yanek (see September 2007 USGlass, page 22), who has worked closely with Smith for the past six months.
The GANA members next turned their attention to honoring an industry legend. William Coddington of W.S. Coddington Consulting was brought to the stage where he was formally presented with a GANA Honorary Membership due to his valuable work over the course of 40 years in the industry (see September 2007 USGlass, page 124).
BEC Crowds Come to Las Vegas
Max Perilstein of Arch Aluminum & Glass, chairperson of GANA’s BEC Division, welcomed the audience before turning the stage over to keynote speaker Shep Hyken. Hyken noted that, “People want to do business with people they know, they like and they trust.” Those words seemed to be exemplified by the networking opportunities for which the BEC conference is known. Hyken’s advice gave way to more technical sessions later in the morning. Joseph Solinski, president of Stone & Glazing Consulting, presented the audience with a thought-provoking case study during his presentation, “Structural Glazing Survey and Repair.”
He walked the audience through the examination of a building with a 500,000-square-foot unitized curtainwall system—and a history of loose glass and leaks. A survey of the building revealed structural sealant concerns. Later, Bruce Werner of Curtain Wall Design and Consulting Inc. and Peter Poirier of Tremco Inc. formed a panel about four-sided structural silicone glazing. As Werner pointed out, the talk in Las Vegas was apropos as the City Center project on the Strip is the largest structural silicone glazed (SSG) construction project in the world. Since the first SSG building was constructed in 1971, it has become “a mature technology,” Werner said. Ted Derby of Pohl Inc. of America touched on a newer technology: rainscreens.
Pohl made a case for the use of vented walls, or walls that allow air to move around but still manage water. One question that comes up is whether energy efficiency can be maintained with vented walls. According to Pohl, continuity in installation is the key to improved energy efficiency.
He also noted that rainscreens can be incorporated into unitized curtainwall systems. “A lot of pre-engineering is done with these systems,” he says, adding that this can help quality control.
Richard Green, P.E., and Stanley Yee of The Façade Group also discussed new technology. The duo went through the design, development and implementation of a 300,000-square-foot point-supported glass wall at the new Bangkok International Airport. One of the ten largest airports in the world, its curtainwall system incorporates a number of new technologies, including point-fixed, heat-strengthened laminated glass and intricate stainless steel components. Patrick Muessig of Azon USA focused on the topic of energy modeling.
Muessig introduced his audience to some of the tools available for this topic, as well as an overview of some of the federal legislation pointing toward requirements for energy-efficient buildings, including the recently passed Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (see March 2008 USGlass, page 46).
He suggested COMFEN—a software tool from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for calculating heating and cooling energy use of fenestration products in commercial buildings—is the next generation of energy modeling. Raj Goyal of Graham Architectural Products presented information about designing for blasts per the new UFC-DOD standard. His videos of flying glass shards following test explosions impressed upon his audience the importance of following the 2007 document and thoroughly understanding its requirements.
During his presentation Mike Burk of Edgetech IG touched on the topic of window cleaning, which had been discussed earlier during Glass Week. He called today’s high-performance glass products and metal scrapers “a disastrous combination.” He suggested plastic films that protect glass during the construction process as one way to avoid problems. Jim Fairley of Colonial Glass Solutions presented “Systems and Glass … Which System Fits Your Business.”
For lean manufacturing—which focuses on waste removal to increase throughput—he suggested each member of management write something they considered wasteful on a post-it note. After everyone had put three or more post-its on the wall, the overlap could be considered items to look at cutting right away. Fairley explained that following Six Sigma means focusing on reducing variation and reworks to increase throughput. He pointed out one area: “Think about how much time is wasted on the bidding process.”
The theory of constraints he summed up as “one hour lost at a bottleneck is an hour lost for the whole process.” Finding the bottleneck is the starting point, whether it’s a machine in the facility or an idle group on the jobsite. Then it’s necessary to explore the constraints to find a solution. Richard Kalson and David White of Thorp Reed & Armstrong LLP talked about a “new hot clause” showing up in subcontracts during their presentation on “Construction Law Developments in 2007.”
The pay-when-paid clause has a big difference from the pay-if-paid clause, the pair noted during their talk. White explained that a pay-if-paid clause more or less says that a subcontractor will only be paid if a general contractor is paid by the owner, implying that if the general contractor is not paid the subcontractor suffers that fate as well. “Don’t agree to this,” White insisted. “It’s important because once that risk of payment shifts from the general contractor being paid by the owner to you, the subcontractor, then you are completely at the mercy of the payment by owner and you don’t ever want to get into that situation,” he said. “That should always be a deal breaker.”
While the “pay-if-paid clause can result in your never ever ever being paid by the general,” White explained, the pay-when-paid clause “sets a reasonable amount of time, say a year,” after which point the court will usually make a decision that the subcontractor must be paid. A highlight for many attendees was the keynote speech from Mike Eruzione, who was the team captain of the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal hockey team. Despite the success of the packed seminars, many attendees were most interested in networking opportunities.
Either way, there was something for everyone at the conference. “BEC continues to be the ultimate networking and educational event for the contract glazier. We had great feedback from the attendees and I am confident that we will continue to work to make that event the best one around,” commented Perilstein.
Dates for next year’s BEC Conference will be announced later this year.
Megan Headley and Debra Levy are the editor and publisher of USGlass, respectively.