New Standard Test Method Paves the Way for Increasing School Safety

A new ASTM International document, Standard Test Method for Forced-Entry-Resistance of Fenestration Systems After Simulated Active Shooter Attack, was created through the ASTM F12 Security Committee. The standard will help school districts choose from a range of high-performance products that will add additional protection to schools.

Work on the standard test method began last November. It’s now pending a successful full ASTM International review before publication.

“This standard should yield a good selection of accessible high-performance products that when incorporated properly, may add a highly functional layer of protection for schools,” says Julia Schimmelpenningh, technical engagement manager for Eastman Chemical Co. in Springfield, Mass. and a member of the school security task group. “The goal is to help minimize the number of injuries or fateful occurrences by deterring active shooter scenarios.”

The push for a standard in security products follows a history of mass shootings in schools throughout the country. The most recent was at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, where a lone gunman murdered 19 children and two teachers with a high-powered rifle.

The new test method includes weakening the fenestration system with projectiles followed by mechanically-driven impact to simulate an active shooter weakening the system and trying to force their way in. Fenestration products are rated on eight levels of forced-entry resistance. The test gives a range of performance options with easy-to-assess
pass/fail criteria and will give specifiers performance and cost options to fit their needs.

“It’s a rating for full fenestration products and systems,” Schimmelpenningh says of the test. “It’s mechanically-driven. So, there’s no human variable, and there are very, very clear pass/fail criteria so we do not have to leave it for interpretation.”

The test includes 10 shots from a single weapon and ammo type that is fired onto the glazing in a tight burst. The only weapon that is used is the AR-15 with 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition. The AR-15 was selected because it is the most commonly used weapon in attacks, Schimmelpenningh says.

The test also includes impacts after the initial weakening. This is done with a 100-pound impacter at center mass. There are eight different drop heights with the impacter at the same weight.

Funding Approved to Update Three Canadian Glass Standards

The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) has announced funding approval to update three Canadian glass standards. The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a Standards Development Organization, selected three glass standards for which the SCC committed funding to update. This formal recognition is contingent upon CGSB providing a consensus process.
The three standards that will be updated are:
• CAN/CGSB-12.1-2022, Safety Glazing;
• CAN/CGSB-12.8-2017 (R2022), Insulating Glass Units;
• CAN/CGSB-12.20-M89, Structural Design of Glass for Buildings (withdrawn).

In 2019 and 2020, FGIA and Fenestration Association of BC attempted to secure funding for revision but were unsuccessful.

The CAN/CGSB 12.20, Structural Design of Glass in Buildings, was last revised in 1989 and is currently in a “withdrawn” status. According to CGSB, the information contained in a withdrawn standard may no longer represent the most current, reliable and/or available information on the identified subject(s).

Additionally, the CAN/CGSB 12.8, Insulating Glass Units, is the standard used for IGMAC insulating glass certification. The latter standard was reaffirmed in 2022 but not revised since 1997.

New Requirements Could Help Reduce Heat Loss, Gain

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released updated building energy code requirements for federal buildings that could help lower fenestration U-factors in climate zones 3-8. According to the Federal Register, this reduces heat loss and gain through doors and windows in six of the eight International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) climate zones.

The new codes and standards will save more than $15 billion in net costs over the next 30 years, per the DOE. The requirements will take effect in April 2023.

According to the Federal Register, “In creating the 2018 IECC, the International Code Council (ICC) processed 47 approved code change proposals to the 2015 IECC. Fourteen of these changes have a direct impact on energy use. The other 33 changes are administrative or impacted non-energy portions of the code. DOE found that changes resulting in decreased energy use outweigh any changes expected to increase energy use in residential buildings.”

The DOE states that new federal buildings and major retrofits constructed by the federal government must comply with the ICC’s 2021 IECC and the 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Standard 90.1 building energy codes. This measure alone will save $4.2 million in operating costs within the first year of implementation, according to the DOE.

ASTM to Develop Guide for Estimating Accuracy of Test Methods

ASTM International’s Committee on Building and Environmental Acoustics (E33) is developing a new standard guide for estimating the accuracy of test methods through interlaboratory studies (ILS). The acoustic test methods measure the acoustical performance of products, such as doors, windows and wall systems. The new standard guide (WK81571) will cover laboratory and field methods.

“Each test method is required to have a precision and bias statement but performing an ILS with fewer than six laboratories involves different statistical considerations than with larger groups,” says ASTM International member Robert Hallman. “Also, for many E33 measurement standards, the several measured results are algorithmically combined into a single number rating or classification. These classifications are the metrics our industry primarily cares about, but existing standards dealing with precision and bias do not address them within these classifications.

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