Going Steady: AAMA and IGMA Joint Meeting Tests the Waters

By Jordan Scott

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) and American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) used their joint summer conference in Victoria, B.C., in June as a way for members of both organizations to get a feel for the other. It was the final step in prepping members for the vote on the organizations’ potential unification.

IGMA executive director Margaret Webb and AAMA executive director Janice Yglesias began the conference with an overview of the proposed unification process. Webb described the joint conference as a date, allowing members of both organizations to experience how the other works. Yglesias spoke of the importance of both organizations’ brands.

“Preserving the extensive brand equity that exists today for both AAMA and IGMA emerged as a topic of critical importance to both memberships,” she said.

Voting took place over the month of July. AAMA balloted all category 1 members. At least 30 members must have responded and approved or disapproved of the new organization name and bylaws. Of the total responses, two thirds must have passed for the unification to be approved.

IGMA balloted all fenestration and insulating glass manufacturers, as well as suppliers and auditing and testing members. A response rate greater than 15% was required and more than 50% of the responses must have been approvals for the unification to pass. Both organizations must approve the unification for it to be implemented.

“Change is scary. No one likes change, but it’s inevitable,” said Webb.

If both organizations approve the unification, then the two existing boards will be combined to govern the unification implementation steps collectively for the remainder of 2019. A strategic planning meeting would be held, most likely in October, to look at the vision and priorities for the new organization and to create a three- to five-year strategy. They will also complete brand development work.

If one or both organizations disapprove the unification, then the AAMA board will hold a board strategic planning meeting to review its three- to five-year strategy for the organization on its own. The IGMA board would then meet to review alternative options to address Webb’s upcoming retirement and the future management of the organization.

As of press time, the results of the vote were expected to be announced on
August 1, 2019. For more information about the results, visit usglassmag.com.


IGMA’s Emerging Technology and Innovation Committee kicked off its session with an update on the Insulating Glass (IG) Thermal Stress Standard. IGMA technical director Bill Lingnell explained that the standard would consider different frame types, spacers and edge bites. Different configurations are being tested.

Joanne McKinney of Administrative Management Systems (AMS), a certification administrator, provided an update on the rapid assessment chamber, which would provide a faster way to certify products than the current ASTM E2190 testing method. The project’s goal is to determine cycle parameters which would indicate relative durability of IG units (IGUs) in two to three weeks rather than in six months.

AMS has been testing different IGUs to different temperatures, pressures, UV-exposure levels and humidity levels. McKinney said the next step is to move away from trial-and-error and to move toward a formalized research and development testing plan.

Dave Cooper, an IGMA board member and quality assurance and product technical manager at Guardian Glass, gave an update on different vacuum insulating glass (VIG) standards. He emphasized the need to create a standard for VIG to test its structural and thermal performance.

“VIG isn’t going to lay dormant. It’s something we’re going to have to get ahead of,” he said.


Robert Jutras, principal engineer for UL/CLEB, gave a presentation explaining the Canadian CSA A500 Building Guards Standard. One major part of the standard applies not only to new construction but to guards, which include glass railings, that need to be temporarily removed or replaced. Those reinstalled guards must meet the Standard.

Guard assemblies and components must be tested for both service load and ultimate load. The standard requires a test of rigidity and resistance under a load, as well as post-breakage retention testing. Infill panels in the guard assembly or the panel portion of the guard assembly must be tested as part of the assembly for the impact load test.


Sparklike North America technical representative Mike Burk gave a presentation on safety. He addressed recent fatalities, accidents and near misses, emphasizing the importance of having a plan in place when unloading glass so that no one is hurt or crushed in the process.

Burk also said that trips, slips and falls make up the majority of industry accidents and 15% of all accidental deaths, second only to motor vehicle accidents. He recommended that companies be on the lookout for extension cords, air hoses, garbage and other hazards that could cause someone to fall. He also suggested that companies check the bottom of their employees’ shoes to make sure they still have traction.


AAMA codes and regulatory affairs manager Kathy Krafka Harkema led AAMA’s regulatory affairs update. She gave members an update on the rain-screen industry. Rainscreen representatives met in Las Vegas on June 5 with the goal of bridging the gap among manufacturers, designers and installers to influence rainscreen codes. AAMA technical director Steven Saffell pointed out that AAMA has documents referencing rainscreens. He made the rainscreen representatives aware that their involvement and input can influence the relevance of these documents.


Webb informed members of IGMA’s Technical Services Committee that the Edge Pressure Task Group has struggled to address its scope. The group plans to put out a request for a proposal with the intent to partner with a university or other entity on the scope.

Brian White with H.B. Fuller updated the committee about the polyisobutylene (PIB) compatibility testing. PIB was tested with compatible and incompatible materials and observed after four weeks of aging. White said the test results were as expected.

However, he noted that the viscosities had an inverse relationship with temperature. At room temperature the samples showed the most degradation and at 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) they showed the least degradation. White theorized that the compounds in the incompatible samples were volatile and evaporate off at high temperatures rather than causing further degradation.

The Joint AAMA/IGMA Prequalification Testing of Glazing Infill for Hurricane Products Task Group developed a new scope: to develop a method of testing and/or certification for glazing manufacturers to assure best practices for glass used in the hurricane impact market. The goal is to create more quality control on the laminated glass side so that the bar is raised, and systems suppliers can be confident that the product will be equivalent to what was tested. The scope was approved.


During the AAMA governance meeting, Yglesias gave members a look at the fenestration certification program, FenestrationMasters 2.0. It includes updated content, is more engaging and effective, and has a more modern look, according to Yglesias. She told companies that if they don’t have a dire need to complete the first part of the program to wait until version 2.0 is launched.

AAMA will hold its National Fall Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines in Austin, Texas, September 30 through October 3. If the proposed combination of the two organizations is approved, AAMA and IGMA will meet jointly at the Marriott Harbor Beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., February 10-13. If the combination is not approved, AAMA will meet in Ft. Lauderdale at that time and IGMA’s winter conference will likely be held in New Orleans.

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