July Glass Conference Offers Reviews and Updates of Various Activities and Efforts 

Despite more than a year without in-person meetings, the industry has continued to advocate for and work toward the betterment of the industry. That was part of the discussion this week when the National Glass Association (NGA) hosted part one of what would historically have been the Fall Conference. The event took place virtually, with part two planned for September, in-person, alongside the GlassBuild America show in Atlanta.

This week’s event included reports and updates covering the committees’ various activities. These efforts include work on new glass technical papers (GTP), manuals, presentations and more.

Paul Bush with Vitro Architectural Glass, chairs the Advocacy Committee. He reported that the group publishes one-page documents designed to give legislators, stakeholders, etc. information on key issues. Two that are currently in the works will focus on school security glazing as well as fire-rated glazing.

He also noted the Buy Clean California Act (CA AB262) has now passed into regulation. AB262 establishes maximum acceptable Global Warming Potential (GWP) limits for various materials, including flat glass. The Advocacy Committee developed a one-page document that was beneficial in having the California Department of General Services agree with its GWP recommendations. As of July 1, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is required for flat glass used on these projects.

Similar actions are taking place in other jurisdictions. In Colorado, for example, there’s the Buy Clean Colorado Act, and Bush said they will be looking into sending the same document/recommendation.

Another effort for the committee is a proposal within the International Building Code to establish a minimal level of daylighting in educational facilities. This will be addressed during the code hearings in September.

Aaron Thompson with Viracon chairs the Fabricating Committee and next gave a review of his group’s activities. These include the publication of a GTP about school security glazing, as well as an update to the reusability and recyclability of mirror products GTP, and also the paper on installation techniques to prolong the life of flat glass and mirrors. In addition, a number of papers are in various stages of development. In the decorative task group, the group is working on a Decorative Glazing Manual, which it hopes to publish late in 2022. Likewise, the mirror task group is also working on a Mirror Decorative Design Guide.

The Forming Committee, chaired by Jon Griggs of Guardian Glass, published two GTPs. These include one on general EPD education and one on the recyclability of architectural glass products. The group is also working to develop the flat glass and processed glass categories for an Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator. This will be a tool for benchmarking sustainability data.

News from the Installing Committee, chaired by Matt Kamper of Woodbridge Glass, was the publication of the new Commercial Fenestration Systems Manual and the updated Guide to Glass and Glazing Requirements of the Model Building Codes. In addition, the content of  Frameless Shower Enclosure Design Guide is currently being balloted.

Code consultant Tom Culp provided a quick update on various energy and green activities including updates coming to the ENERGY STAR  program, which is currently out for review. Also, updates related to thermal bridging and energy credit proposals in ASHRAE 90.1 will soon be available for public review, and ASHRAE 189.1/International Green Construction Code is revising the Life Cycle Analysis and EPD requirements.

Culp also noted a new initiative called the Partnership for Advanced Window Solutions (PAWS), led by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, which is pushing for advanced windows and glazing, focusing first on residential and then on commercial. The group will work toward seeing advanced materials used more broadly.

Also in the works, the Charles Pankow Foundation is organizing a research project on better modeling of spandrel performance.

The NGA’s next Glass Conference will take place September 13-15, 2021, alongside GlassBuild America.

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