Officials Get Safety Glazing Codes Update During Viracon Tour
The Americas Glass Association's director of technical services,
Donn Harter, recently had the opportunity to educate 25 building
inspection personnel about the 2006 safety glazing codes-onsite
at Viracon's one million-square-foot fabrication plant in Owatonna,
Russell Thornburg, program chairman for the S. E. Minnesota Chapter
of the International Codes Council and building inspector for the
City of Owatonna, arranged for the tour and the following presentation.
Roger Skluzacek, technical services manager for Viracon, led the
building inspectors through the tour of company's fabrication facility,
including its horizontal tempering line, pyrolytic glass coating
application line, autoclaves for the production of laminated glass
and the fabrication process for insulating glass units. Following
the tour, Harter presented the building officials with a seminar
on the major changes for safety glazing in the 2006 International
Building Code (IBC). This included information on:
- The declassification of ¼-inch wired glass as a safety
glazing product. However, Harter said, wired glass is being fabricated
with a polyester film that meets the Category II requirement for
- A new requirement about "bugging" states that the
temperer shall permanently etch all tempered glass, while laminated
glass shall be bugged by the manufacturer or the installer. Harter
said the code permits the omission of the bug on laminated glass
where the building official approves a written statement that
safety glazing has been used. Harter strongly opposes this exception,
saying that the inspector and industry depend on the bug for safety
glazing identification and documentation can be lost. He proposes
instead that multiple lite assemblies of less than 1-square-foot
may have one lite with the full bug applied, while all other lites
in that assembly shall be identified by CPSC 16 CFR 1201.
- Harter also told attendees that residential sidelites perpendicular
to the door on the latchside need not be safety glazed, a requirement
that he said is a "poor code exception."
- Glazing in elevators is an inconclusive addition referring to
the use of laminated glass. According to Harter, the code should
have referred to the ANSI Standard 17.1. In reality, most elevator
plan check and inspection is done by state having jurisdiction
and follows the National Elevator code using the ANSI 17.1 standard.
- Interior "air-gap" glazing, he explained, limits
the amount of deflection that potentially can cause scissor-like
- Harter recommended guidelines for design limitations for safe
frameless shower installations.
- One of the fastest growing areas of the architectural glazing
trade is that of fire-rated glazing, he told his audience. He
explained that it is designed to resist fire passage and reduce
radiant heat transmission. In addition, this sophisticated product
must meet safety glazing, energy, earthquake and hurricane force
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