Would a certification program for individual contract glaziers be good for the glass industry? That was a question addressed yesterday during the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) 2016 Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference taking place this week at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The discussion was part of the BEC Technical Committee meeting, chaired by Chuck Knickerbocker of Technical Glass Products. While there seemed to be a lot of interest in such a program, those attending also agreed there is a lot of work to be done.

Following the BEC Technical meeting, attendees gathered for a jam-packed welcome reception.
Following the BEC Technical meeting, attendees gathered for a jam-packed welcome reception.

Tracy Rogers with Quanex Building Products led the discussion, explaining that unlike the North American Contractor Certification program, this one would be developed specifically for individuals, rather than a company. It would be fashioned, he explained, much like the American Architectural Manufacturers Association FenestrationMaster and FenestrationAssociate program.

Speaking of the program’s potential, Knickerbocker pointed out that it would expose the individual contract glazier to all of the elements involved; they still need to learn how to apply the principles correctly.

BEC Division chair Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning also attended. He said that a program like this at the very basic level tells you they can understand the basic principles [of contract glazing]. “That makes them attractive as an employee,” he said.

Bob Price of JE Berkowitz also attended the meeting. He pointed out that this type of certification would provide a way for companies to help their employees. “We all want our employees to find ways to better themselves,” he said.

However, before a program like this can be developed, Knickerbocker said they will need more input from the contract glaziers, who are the primary intended target. Then, he said, it’s a question of how it is put together. The group plans to survey contract glaziers to hear more from them on the potential development of this type of certification.

Also during the Technical Committee meeting, Knickerbocker provided an update on the development of a number of Glass Informational Bulletins (GIB). He said the one on building information modeling (BIM) is complete and will soon be sent to membership for review. It should be published within the next couple of months. He said that while BIM is not yet a major detail for the contract glazier, it could be soon. “BIM is one of those things that if it catches on, it will really catch on,” said Knickerbocker.

A GIB on building enclosure commissioning (BECX) is also in the works and a draft will be reviewed next week during the GANA Annual Conference in Palm Springs. BECX is a process of whole building testing; Knickerbocker said there have even been whole building tests for air penetration in Canada in Britain—where they’re literally attempting to blow air through the entire building.

BECX involves bringing an agent onto the project very early on; the design team as a whole will work to address any issues.

Stanley Yee of Dow Corning is heading up the group working on the GIB and he said much like BIM, where BECX is going in North America is still unclear, “but if/when it catches on, it will catch on quickly.”

Knickerbocker added that the GSA, for example, has been a big driver for both BIM and BECX as they are writing both into their jobs.

Serge Martin of AGC Glass Company kicked off today’s festivities with a presentation. Read USGlass publisher Debra Levy’s five take-aways from the presentation here.

The BEC Conference will take place through tomorrow. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for daily news and updates.