It’s easy to write about what goes on at GANA’s Annual Conference and/or BEC after they occur. But, since the annual conference starts next week (March 5), and BEC occurs right on its shirttail, here are some interesting developments, discussions, and other items of general interest I’m looking forward to hearing about what’s happened to since the last set of meetings. Read on, and let me know what you’re looking forward to at these meetings.
One rumbling that appears to be getting some legs: a discussion about whether ceramic frit weakens glass. Since ceramic frit is commonly specified for spandrel glass applications, this is getting some serious attention – as it should. IGMA discussed this at length last month at their annual meetings, and now it’s going to be discussed in the Tempering Division meeting.
The Insulating Division, in conjunction with IGMA, is working on cold forming or warping glass. There’s a lot of crazy architectural designs out there that don’t want flat glass any more, but altering glass in these ways has its limits before damage occurs to the IGU edge seals.
The Insulating Division is also putting together some recommendations for use of insulated glass units without frame members behind them. Typical cable or point supported glazing applications are doing this now. There’s no metal at the glass-to-glass joint, but some glass fabricators are not allowing the use of IGUs without a back framing member supporting the glass edge.
As sure as the sun sets over the Olympic Mountains in Seattle (assuming it’s not raining), if the architects catch wind that frame members don’t need to be behind every glass joint, they’re going to ask (and we at TGP have had some requests) to delete the horizontals. To carry the dead load of the glass, setting blocks at the corners, hidden in the glass-to-glass joints, has to be addressed, given the common industry practice of putting the blocks at 1/8 or 1/4 points.
Laminating glass in handrails is still pressing its way to the fore. The Canadian standard is about to be issued any day, and how that will translate to the rest of North America will be interesting. A meeting last week of GANA’s task group within the Laminating Division looked at this, but a lot of the effort has been to address the risk of falling glass. A question that needs to be addressed just as importantly is: How do the codes need to change so that someone doesn’t fall through a glass handrail? Keeping the glass from falling and hitting pedestrians below is only one-half of a very important question, but keeping the glass intact and strong enough that someone who trips on something on a balcony, doesn’t fall through the handrail even though the glass may break. It’s analogous to a blast or hurricane load that may result in broken glass, but doesn’t evacuate the opening, which in the case of a handrail, then prevents the occupant from being on the wrong side of the rail.
We’re going to review a lot of these and any other points discussed during annual conference in the Technical Committee that kicks off BEC on Sunday, March 8. But, it’ll only be a cursory review. Also, Dr. Dudley McFarquhar is going to review the challenges faced in the New Parkland Hospital construction project recently completed in Dallas.
I hope you’ll join us there. And, please let me know if there’s any perspective you think should be represented that isn’t. We can certainly use and always appreciate the feedback, and will promise NOT to assign you to any committee. Others at GANA might entice you to do so, but I can’t speak for them.
See you in Vegas, baby!