CGAStanley_formatSomething code, something new and what can we do? That’s how Stanley Yee of Dow Corning opened his keynote discussion yesterday during the Canadian Glass Association’s (CGA) Glass Connections Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He provided an overview of the various codes that relate to the glass industry and why it’s important to be aware of them and how they are evolving.

Yee began by saying that “knowledge of how the energy codes work can give you power to help your customers.” Specifications, he said, start with the codes, even LEED and the other green codes.

Speaking of code trends, specifically energy and green code trends, Yee said there’s been an overall increased code adoption and enforcement component even where it’s perceived to be lax these codes will still be seen in specifications and product offerings

He also said the industry is seeing increased stringency in the base energy codes, as well as continued expansion of green codes and standards. “Be cognizant and have knowledge of these requirements,” said Yee. “Knowledge is power.”

Continuing to focus on stringency, he pointed to U-value requirements within ASHRAE 90.1 and said this has decreased since 2004. He said there is a three-year cycle to refresh code and each time it has dropped 5 to 10 percent every code cycle since 2004.

Yee explained that U-value requirements in, for example, colder regions of the U.S. compared to those in Canada are comparable. In both cases fenestration requirements are lagging a bit behind opaque walls.

Yee said that energy codes are going the same way, calling for double glazing, low-E, thermally broken frames almost everywhere as well as triple-glazed or two low-E coatings (second and fourth surfaces) in the far north.

Looking at windows in energy and green code, these, Yee said, are calling for increased daylighting. The International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1 require toplighting for certain large spaces with high ceilings, etc. The codes are also calling for daylighting controls in more spaces and plan submittals to show daylight zones.

The green codes require these same features plus minimum side lighting in schools and offices.

So, where are the codes headed? He stressed they are continuing to become increasingly stringent, particularly in terms of U-factors and Solar Heat Gain Coefficients. Fortunately, at this time, there has been no change to the window areas.

Other items still under discussion include different glass types on different building orientations; whole building air leakage testing; thermal bridging; thermal modeling and building enclosure commissioning.

Yee said that building enclosure commissioning is basically inspection and observation. A commissioning agent, hired by the owner ensures the building is designed and built as the owner intends. The agent, he explained, “ensures the owner’s performance requirements are met.”

An ASTM standard has been published and standard guidelines are currently being developed.

Enforcement, along with increasing stringency and green programs, code compliance and verification are all areas, Yee said, to expect to see more of in the future.

The Glass Connections conference concluded yesterday afternoon.