Falling Into New Opportunities
GANA’s Fall Conference in Review
By Megan Headley
Even as members of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) made
progress on educational bulletins they provide to the industry at large
during the association’s annual Fall Conference in August in Kansas City,
Mo., these attendees learned themselves about potential changes to the
industry and new ways to promote glass usage.
CPSC Proposes Requirements for Testing Programs
Last August, GANA members listened to warnings that the Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) would soon require that safety glass fabricators
include new information on their certificates of compliance (see March
2010 USGlass, page 34). As of February 11, 2010, when the last change
went into effect, a “reasonable testing program” was not defined.
This year’s Fall Conference attendees learned that in May 2010, CPSC proposed
adopting mandatory requirements for testing programs to provide just that.
“Taken literally, this will radically change this industry,” John Kent
of the Safety Glazing Certification Council (SGCC), told the membership.
“We hope literal isn’t what they meant and there will be some clarification.”
Of the several proposed testing requirements, SGCC and GANA have focused
comments on one point. GANA requested that, for in-plant failures, which
CPSC would require be tested, an alternative be used to the full-blown
16 CFR 1201 impact test. GANA also has asked in its comments to CPSC for
clarification on what constitutes a change where a new test would be required.
Safety check: CPSC updated its labeling requirements in February to require
more information from
fabricators of architectural glazing materials installed in hazardous
locations – see page 34 of
the March 2010 USGlass for more information.
“For example, taken literally, this says every time you adjust your furnace
you’ve got to do an impact bag test,” Kent said. “We’re going to have
to figure out what a minimum acceptable level of production testing is.”
Kent said that the CPSC is expected to issue the proposed rule some time
next year, and then the industry will have six months to comply.
“Right now it’s just a proposal, nothing’s finalized,” Kent assured listeners,
adding, “but if it goes the way it’s written now, it’s a big deal.”
Tempering Division Offers OSHA Input on Suction Cups
During a meeting of the Tempering Division, attendees learned that the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was accepting comments
on whether or not to adopt ANSI I14, which addresses rope descent systems
for window cleaners, among other items.
Add your input: In its efforts to dissuade window cleaners from using
metal scrapers on glass, GANA is
seeking input from glass companies about the cleaning products they recommend
using to clean construction debris from glass.
GANA technical director Urmilla Sowell shared a video demonstrating one
example of this form of descent, where the window washer used a suction
cup to latch onto the glass. In some instances the suction cups are used
for “anti-sway” to keep the window cleaners stationary while they work.
Several division members expressed concern that, with adoption by OSHA,
it will become much more difficult to stop this potentially dangerous
practice. Division members discussed the potential for damage to the glass.
The biggest concern, of course, was the possibility that this practice
could lead to glass breakage, a danger to the window washer and passersby
Members agreed that it should not be approved by OSHA as a safe practice.
A motion was ultimately passed to go on the record with OSHA to simply
say that GANA does not endorse the use of suction cups as a personal safety
The group also discussed its continuing work with the International Window
Cleaning Association (IWCA). As representatives of the association have
become more receptive to GANA members’ insistence that scrapers should
not be among the tools used to clean glass, IWCA is asking for suggestions
of what to use in their place. GANA is asking members for their own suggestions.
Kansas Cop Argues for More Protective Glazing
Members who turned their security alarms on before leaving home for Kansas
City found themselves shaking their heads by the end of the Protective
Glazing Committee meeting. Officer Michael Betten of the Overland Park
Police Department gave a presentation on “Securing Houses of Worship with
Betten explained that he focused on houses of worship specifically because
many people think of churches as “soft targets.” Churches aim to provide
a feeling of openness and trust; glazing materials can enhance that feeling
of openness but can also allow quick, easy access to intruders.
“Security is a lot of commonsense, but there are a lot of misconceptions
out there as well,” Betten said. According to Betten, security systems
can promote a false sense of security. As Betten explained, a security
alarm going off is an indication that the offender is inside. “By the
time we get there, your stuff is already on eBay,” he said.
As he explained, the offenders already assume an alarm is on. Moreover,
they already know they can get through a window. What they are looking
for is whether that window will provide a great deal of visibility from
the outside while they are inside committing the crime. As a result, Betten
actually promotes the use of “more glazing” in churches. He encourages
a great deal of visibility so people can easily see in—and potential offenders
have no place to hide.
Moreover, he noted, laminated glass is important “if we have to initiate
a lockdown, we want a barrier.” Another benefit, he pointed out, is that
laminated glass “works whether there’s electricity or not,” as opposed
to alarm systems.
The concern for use of laminated glass in residences, the audience agreed,
is that most homeowners question whether firefighters are able to get
in through laminated glass.
Betten pointed out that compensating for lack of protective glazing with
extra deadbolts and other measures can, in fact, be more dangerous for
homeowners. “But,” he said, “[knowing] that comes with education.
“I’ve probably sold more laminated glass than anyone in the country,”
Betten joked as he closed his otherwise sobering presentation to a round
of applause. It was an educational meeting for the GANA members, who,
during the session, began considering educational opportunity for customers.
Attendees Discuss Energy, Environment Issues
Energy issues continued to be a topic of conversation for each of GANA’s
Under new business, GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek proposed
that the Energy Committee consider creating an Energy Manual. The guide
would act as a 101 introduction to the topic of energy, with sections
ranging from solar to daylighting and topics in between. The committee
agreed to first survey the existing literature on these topics to see
what type of resources could be used.
The group also heard a proposal from Guardian’s Steve Farrar on behalf
of the Flat Glass Manufacturing Division that the committee consider life
cycle assessments. “One of the ideas that has taken hold among the green
and a lot of the related institutions is the idea of life cycle assessment—figuring
out how much energy your product uses from ‘birth’ to ‘death.’” Farrar
said. Groups look at data such as energy information from the production
process, to shipping, to, in some cases, even energy used by employees
to get to work. George Petzen of LinEl pointed out the consideration should
be for ‘cradle-to-cradle’ analysis, to account for recycling and reuse
“It seems to me we should think about how we would answer this before
we’re forced to come up with an answer,” Farrar said. He added,
“I think it’s a real blind spot in our industry.” The committee put together
a task group this question and to consider existing work along these lines.
In addition to these projects, the Energy Committee, now chaired by Helen
Sanders of SAGE Electrochromics, brainstormed about other issues for future
consideration. Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting and GANA’s Glazing Industry
Code Committee suggested that the group take a position on whether or
not there should be an Energy Star program for commercial windows.
Culp also suggested getting more involved in green codes. Sanders pointed
out that these “above-code-codes” are to some degree setting the direction
the codes themselves likely will take down the road. Sanders also suggested
the group look at additional efforts to educate the building community
on the energy benefits of glass.
Later, during the Decorative Division’s Technical Committee meeting, a
task group was initiated to look at the recyclability of architectural
glass products at large. Committee members pointed out that their division
covers a gamut of glass products that can be recycled, but also discussed
the opportunity to merge their work with the Energy Committee’s work,
potentially in its own new life cycle analysis task group.
The Mirror Division, too, addressed energy and environmental topics. The
division is among the first in the association to have published a LEED
white paper. “We’re ahead of the game,” commented Marc Deschamps of Walker
Glass on the publication.
The division also sought to get “ahead of the game” in addressing the
use of mirrors in concentrating solar power, rather than waiting for the
topic to come up before the Energy Committee. Staff is working to compile
a list of manufacturers of solar mirrors and component suppliers in an
effort to begin reaching out to this newly recognized segment of the glass
On an environmental note, Deschamps told the group that he has been receiving
questions regarding the VOC content in mirrors. He suggested that the
group look into creating an industry position paper on, essentially, “What
do we tell the market?” As the Technical Committee discussed creating
a task group on this topic, other frequently asked environmental questions
came up. Ultimately, it was decided that the newest task group would “look
into the questions that are being asked from a LEED perspective about
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