IGMA Conference Covers Potential Combination, EPDs and More

By Jordan Scott

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) Winter Conference 2019 provided members with committee and task group updates, presentations and networking opportunities—all in the Lone Star State’s capital of Austin, Texas. Some of the major topics discussed at the February meeting were the potential combination with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), AB 262, nanotechnology and oversized glass.

The IGMA/AAMA Update

IGMA and AAMA announced in June 2018 that the organizations are considering forming one combined association. At the winter conference, IGMA executive director Margaret Webb and AAMA executive vice president Janice Yglesias explained what the proposed structure of the combined organization would look like. Both encouraged members to voice their opinions or concerns on any aspect of the potential combination.

“It’s not a done deal,” said Webb. “This is a membership decision by both organizations. If one votes for it but the other doesn’t it’s over.”

IGMA and AAMA will hold a joint meeting in June to allow members to experience how the other organization works. A vote will be held in July. According to the IGMA bylaws, only manufacturers can vote on the combination. Many members expressed their desire to expand that to suppliers as well.

If approved, the combined organization will meet three times a year, as
AAMA does now, instead of two times a year as IGMA does currently. Two
meetings would be held in the U.S. with the third located in Canada.


The new California AB 262 law requiring an environmental product declaration (EPD) for flat glass was discussed thoroughly by the Emerging Technology and Innovation task group. The new law states that all state buildings must have a global warming potential (GWP) report for four major materials: structural steel, carbon steel rebar, mineral wool insulation and flat glass.

The California Department of General Services (DGS) is requiring the
industry to develop a maximum allowable GWP. Helen Sanders, who serves
as IGMA vice president and in strategic business development at Technoform Glass Insulation, said that an EPD will be required not only for each manufacturer, but each facility.

She said the issues are that flat glass is not the final product in the building and that if an industry-wide EPD for flat glass is done, half the manufacturers would be above the average and thus the maximum allowable GWP.

As of January 1, 2019, California has been requesting EPDs from contractors. In January 2020 the state will require EPDs and in January 2021 the DGS will provide a report to the legislature with the maximum allowable GWP.

Creating an industry-wide EPD for processed glass was discussed. This
would require fabricators to create EPDs as well.

If an industry-wide EPD is created, only fabricators and manufacturers
who participate can use the EPD. If companies don’t participate in the industry-wide EPD then they can’t do their own and then compare it to the industry-wide EPD; only those who participated can compare themselves to it.

Nanotechnology and Glass

Larry Eichel, sustainability director at DryWired, a nanocoatings company,
gave a presentation about how nano-technology can impact the glass industry. He explained the potential benefits of nanocoatings on glass. He said these can allow the glass to be self-cleaning, self-sterilizing and self-healing. Nanocoatings can be made more hydrophobic than standard coatings, said Eichel, so the glass would need to be cleaned less often. The current industry standard can achieve a 91-degree contact angle but nanocoatings can achieve a 160-degree contact angle.

Eichel also explained that these can clean the air and convert volatile organic compounds.

“Every 200 square feet of coated surface equals the air cleaning power of
one poplar tree,” he said.

They are also more scratch-resistant than standard coatings, according to Eichel. These coatings can also decrease solar heat gain, boost UV blocking capabilities and shield from radiation. Eichel said nanocoatings are more cost effective than window film for retrofit applications and can be integrated at the OEM level.

Smart Glass

Juha Lilja, CTO at Stealthcase, gave a presentation titled, “Connected Smart
Glass for Selectively Repeating Wireless Signals.”

He explained that people are using more wireless signals, but the signals
can have a hard time penetrating the building envelope. Low-E coatings
can prevent wireless connections from being as strong as they would be passing through glass without a low-E coating. Invisible laser ablated antennas on glass can allow the signals to pass through the glass, according to Lilja.

Oversized Glass

Roland Rossmann, project leader at Garibaldi Glass, discussed the challenges associated with oversized glazing. He related experiences from his own company’s journey to produce oversized glass lites as the demand and specification of big glass grows.

Deciding to make the large capital investment in a large oven is the first
step, but many other considerations follow. Figuring out how to store the
large lites in addition to the other substrates and sizes of glass the company
offers was a major consideration. The rest of the equipment in the facility
also has to be able to handle the large glass sizes.

Education and Safety

Mike Burk, North America technical representative for Sparklike, emphasized the importance of training maintenance workers in safety. He said that maintenance workers should have a total comprehension of plant-wide lock out/tag out requirements.

“A lot of injuries happen because someone didn’t do lock out/tag out,” said Burk.

He said that maintenance workers must be able to operate all equipment,
software and adjustments. They should also be what he calls a “jiggler catcher,” or someone who is on the lookout for unauthorized equipment alterations such as sensor bypasses, disabled interlocks or fixing anything with duct tape, rope or wire.

Standard Updates

IGMA technical director Bill Lingnell of Lingnell Consulting Services
updated members about the insulating glass thermal stress standard.
Because of the variety of framing systems, edge constructions and different glass constructions, creating the standard will be more complex than standards for monolithic glass. Lingnell hopes to have a draft completed this year.

Dave Cooper of Guardian Glass, also a member of the IGMA board of directors, told members that the ISO 19916-1:2018 standard, “Glass in building —Vacuum insulating glass—Part 1: Basic specification of products and evaluation methods for thermal and sound insulating performance” has been approved and is available on the ISO website. The task group is now working on part two, which will focus on mechanical behavior.

The combined IGMA and Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC)
provisional certification is still in the works, according to an update from
John Kent, president of Administrative Management Systems (AMS). The goal is to provide a shorter alternative to ASTM E-2190 and ASTM E-2188.

Kent said he is still working on testing an effective rapid assessment chamber for the test. He explained that previous versions of the test had bias for some designs over others and the task group is working to mitigate bias.

IGMA Updates

The IGMA board will remain as is until after the IGMA/AAMA vote in
July. A member webinar will be scheduled to review the current combination
plan and to solicit more feedback from members.

Webb also introduced the bird deterrent glass fund benefitting the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). Donations will fund a second tunnel for testing bird-friendly glazing solutions. The new tunnel will be pilot tested against the existing tunnel. All contributions will go to ABC completely, however donations are not tax deductible. The target goal of the fund is $225,000, the cost required to build a new tunnel. The ABC will keep any funds raised beyond the target amount.

The Summer Conference 2019 will be held June 17-20 at the Fairmont
Empress in Victoria, British Columbia.

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