PGC International Holds Annual Symposium
Experts from various government and private agencies talked about how
best to fight natural disasters during the Protective Glazing Council
International’s annual symposium on October 26 at the National Institute
of Standards (NIST) headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md.
“Natural and technological disasters cause [the United States] an estimated
$57 billion in damages each year,” said Stephen A. Cauffman, deputy chief
of Materials and Structural Systems at NIST.
Among the causes of damage during hurricanes is water. Detailed studies
have to be conducted to identify mechanisms for water ingress into buildings
during hurricanes, and improved building envelope construction and cladding
systems have to be developed to resist water ingress, Cauffman said. “Moving
forward, we will need risk consistent, performance-based codes and standards
for resilience, and a comprehensive approach to design guidance for the
In his presentation, “Testing for Tornadoes and its Influence on Codes,”
Larry J. Tanner, P.E., of Texas Tech University said, “Seventy percent
of insurance dollars [in the U.S.] go to storm-related damages; another
25 percent goes to earthquake damages.” It is Tanner’s experience that
during a storm the glass that stays in is the inner lites of double-glazed
windows. “That’s not saying that double-glazed panes are tornado-proof,
but they do seem to provide some semblance of holding up,” he said.
Errol Bull, P.E., with Momentive Performance Materials in Waterford, N.Y.,
gave a presentation entitled “Sealants in Glazing Systems for Earthquake.”
Designers can either choose structural silicone glazing (SSG) or a dry-glazed
system, he said. “The ASTM C1401-09a Standard Guide for Structural Sealant
Glazing suggests that there are potential intrinsic benefits to using
SSG systems in seismic regions, such as controlling and, in some cases,
eliminating breakage normally experienced during a small to moderate earthquake,”
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