C Debate Resurfaces with Ongoing ANSI Z97.1 Revisions
September 23, 2009
The publication of ANSI Z97.1-2004, Safety Glazing Materials Used
in Buildings - Safety Performance Specifications and Methods
of Test was not without controversy, as debating, re-balloting
and appealing centered around whether the standard should continue
to include Class C, which classifies wired glass as a safety glazing
material. The proposal to eliminate the Class C, which saw much
support, failed to earn the 2/3-majority vote necessary to pass.
Now, revisions are underway to update the standard and once again
the issue of whether Class C should remain in the standard has risen.
According to Jeff Griffiths, director of business development for
SaftiFirst/O'Keeffe's Inc., one concern with the Class C is that
the 100 foot-pound impact resistance standard it requires is below
that of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) standard
of 150 foot-pound for safety glazing. Safti is currently lobbying
for ANSI committee members to vote negatively on ballot B09-0130.01.R
as it includes Class C.
"The CPSC performance requirements are the basis for post 2003
International Building Code requirements. Despite being woefully
inadequate, the inclusion of the 100 ft-lb rating within a recognized
safety-glazing standard has been used by wired glass manufacturers
to substantiate the use of their product in fire-rated doors and
sidelites," says Griffiths. "The continued inclusion of
this performance class within the ANSI safety glazing standard undermines
the legitimacy and relevance of the overall test standard. It also
allows glazing manufactures and distributors to misrepresent the
true shortcoming of their product with respect to impact safety
by simply saying that their product meets ANSI impact standards."
While there are those against the inclusion of Class C, the standard
is also supported.
"There are many non-hazardous locations in a building where
wired glass can still be used and as a result it is both appropriate
and responsible for the ANSI Z97.1 Accredited Standards Committee
to retain Class C in the standard to ensure that a standard continues
to exist for the product," explains Thom Zaremba, an industry
consultant. "While the building codes have, appropriately,
limited the number of applications where wired glass can be used
in favor of new and more technically sophisticated products, that
fact bears no real relevance to whether or not an impact standard
against which to test wired glass should continue to exist."
Voting is currently underway to revise the standard with ballots
due by October 16. The ANSI Z97.1 committee plans to submit the
revised document to ANSI later this year.
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