Americas' Glass Showcase™ Held in Vegas

Codes and safety were the hot topics at last week's Americas' Glass Showcase™, which was held last week, May 17-19, at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas. The event, sponsored by the Americas Glass Association, was co-located with the International Window Film Conference™, Spring Glass Show™ and the Independent Glass Association's annual Independents' Days. Ralph Nader, consumer safety advocate and former presidential candidate, keynoted the event on Friday morning with a discussion of the industry and its safety concerns.

In addition, Donn Harter, president and technical director for the association, discussed safety glazing codes, with a focus on the difference between the 1997 Uniform Building Code (UBC 1997) and the 2003 International Building Code (IBC 2003). For the most part, those in the attendance noted that they currently utilize UBC 1997, though a few use IBC 2003.

Harter focused a bit on wired glass and how each code views the material.

"Wired glass is not a safety glass and never has been a safety glass," Harter said. However, Harter said that even though wired glass use may be permitted, glaziers should still exercise caution.

"Be careful, even though wired glass is permitted in the fire code, look out," he said.

In an effort to help attendees digest the language used in current energy codes, Matt Manning of Oldcastle Glass followed up with a discussion of glass properties affecting the energy usage of buildings,.

Manning provided definitions of a number of terms, including transmittance, absorptance, reflectance, conduction, convection, radiation, U-values and U-factors and provided equations for calculating these when applicable. He also shared a program that assists customers with determining whether a project meets the requirements of ENV-1, California's energy code, with attendees, many of whom live and work in California. The program is available on Oldcastle's website.

In addition to the many seminars offered, which also included a seminar on frameless shower doors, "Get the Best Insurance," "Glass Sales 101" and Computer Systems for Designing Glass Today," a trade show offered the latest products in the glass industry.

Los Angeles-based C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. introduced its Diamond Notch and Saw Machine, which it says has a fast-cutting ring blade with 360-degree diamond coating cuts in all directions. Likewise, the machine produces notches and free-style pattern edge cuts.

Likewise, Miami-based Taco Metals introduced its new glass sliding panel system, which it says is ideal for shower doors, as a room divider or to be used in conference rooms. The system features a contemporary, full-glass look, smooth operation and durable brushed stainless steel, according to the company. The system can utilize heavy glass in standard, frosted etched or a patterned design.