Bill Yanek opened this morning's GANA membership meeting in San Antonio.
Bill Yanek opened this morning’s GANA membership meeting in San Antonio.

A round-up of activities for the Glass Association of North America (GANA) opened the final day of the group’s 2015 Fall Conference. The meetings have been taking place this week at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio.

GANA general counsel Kim Mann gave his report, providing an update on a number of programs that have been discussed at the past few GANA meetings. This included the CPSC Certification Rule, upon which Mann said there has been action; it has been pending for almost three years. Mann explained the issue is that CPSC is changing certification obligations. The focus is on the importer of record and foreign products, including foreign safety glass imported into U.S. It is also considering a shift in certification obligations for domestic safety glass products. This would move the certification obligations for domestic safety glass producers from the fabricators (such as temperers and laminators), downstream to their customers. GANA has submitted comments opposing the shift. Mann said it could be months, though, before there is a final rule.

Mann also explained that there has been a proposal within CPSC to substitute the ANSI Z97.1 testing procedures. One concern is that CPSC proposes adoption of the 2009 edition, rather than the recently completed and published 2015 edition. GANA submitted comments that it should not call out a specific years as protocol of testing, but rather just the most recent version. This, also, is still waiting for a final ruling. Mann said he would not expect anything until early next year.

GANA technical director Urmilla Sowell provided an update on the group’s many technical activities. She said year-to-date, approximately 600 technical documents have been sold so far this year. She added that all of the divisions have been busy working on a number of glass information bulletins, manuals and various other items. Within the laminating division, for example, this group is taking a look at the development of a GIB focused on tornado glazing.

Likewise, the tempering division is continuing to work jointly with the International Window Cleaners Association (IWCA) on updating the Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass GIB.

Sowell also talked about activities external of GANA, such as the work taking place within ASTM International. This includes a new electronic version of a compilation of 92 glass/glazing related standards that’s now available. Also in the works, she said, is a new test method for bird collision deterrence material threat factor. This document is still in draft form.

Also during this morning’s session, John Kent with AMS provided a certification program update. The most recent program is the North American Contractor Certification (NACC) program, which was developed earlier this year through the sponsorship of the Finishing Contractors Association and is administered by AMS. According to Kent, five companies have now been certified and there are 11 applicants.

In addition, consultant Thom Zaremba provided a fire, structural and safety update. He said the industry was successful in the last round of code hearings in defeating a proposal involving the use of sprinklers. If it had passed it would have allowed a sprinkler-protected assembly as an alternative to a fire-resistive assembly requiring approval of the building official, as opposed to being a fire-resistive assembly.

In addition the Canadian General Standards Board is reviewing safety standards. These will be issued for public comment either later this year or early next year.

GANA’s Fall Conference concludes this afternoon with the Decorative Division meeting as well as the marketing committee meeting. Stay tuned to™ for more news and reports from San Antonio.