Attendees of the BEC Conference gather during the opening night reception.

The Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference is off and running this week in Las Vegas.

The three-day event kicked off Monday with the BEC Division meeting, which was dominated by a roundtable and discussion among industry members in the testing and consulting domain.

Jose Colon, industry manager of commercial glazing and façade at Intertek, gave a presentation on managing risk through field and testing and quality control testing.

Tony Cinnamon discusses performance testing at the GANA’s BEC Division meeting.

He stressed the importance of understanding exactly what project performance requirements are before starting the mock-up testing process, and he gave a rundown of what should be included in a mock-up. This includes accurate representation of the wall design, system transitions, support conditions and corner conditions. He said to apply the project’s longest spans to the mock-up.

“Sometimes these mock-ups can get pretty creative,” he said.

Colon also noted the importance of allowing enough time for the testing process to run its course. The schedule should include installation, visual inspection, sealant cure time, testing duration, remediation/retesting, reporting and dismantling.

“Ninety percent of mock-ups require some form of remediation during the testing phase, so the test schedule is always changing,” he said.

Glenn Heitmann, president of Heitmann and Associates, agreed on the significance of “giving it adequate time,” and he also supported Colon’s claim on the frequency of remediation in testing.

“Failures are OK—they happen,” he said. “In our company’s 50 years in existence, I can’t name five projects with performance mock-ups that passed the first time around, and there was always some pre-testing done.”

Heitmann discussed the importance of collaboration among all parties of a project, estimating that 80 to 85 projects he sees are design-assist. “The challenge is when the project team isn’t on the same page,” he said.

Tony Cinnamon, associate principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, touched on similar topics.

“Contrary to popular belief, consultants are not trying to make things leak,” he joked. “We like boring tests just like the rest of you.” Cinnamon gave an overview of key things to understand regarding in-the-field testing and chamber testing.

He too stressed collaboration.

“It’s about getting everyone together and involved early on, including the façade consultant, glazing subcontractor and architects, so you can have a successful project,” he said.

Curtainwall Design and Consulting principal Charles Clift also spoke, discussing some hot topics contract glaziers should be informed on, including deflection and reflectivity.

“This is more of a design issue,” he said regarding reflectivity, “but if you’re in the design-assist world and are helping architects pick the glass, you should know about this.”

He also touched on fritted glass and heat-soaking tempered glass, encouraging glaziers to take a good look at whether their competition is including heat-soaking in its cost.

Tuesday, GANA announced it has formed a joint task group with the National Glass Association (NGA) “to optimize service to members of both organizations, and to coordinate advocacy and technical support along with education and training initiatives for the glass and glazing industry.” The group will explore a combination of the two organizations and is charged with making a joint recommendation to the NGA and GANA boards within 90 days.

The BEC Conference runs through Wednesday. Stay tune to USGNN.com™ for continued coverage.