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USGNN Original StoryEducational Opportunities Discussed as IGMA Opens Annual Conference

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) opened its 8th annual conference yesterday afternoon at the Sundial Beach Resort in Sanibel, Fla., and right away it was off to business as the Certification and Education Committee sat down to discuss its goals. Specifically, the committee looked at educational opportunities that have been offered since its last meeting in June and potential courses for the future.

The committee first analyzed its last educational seminar, a presentation on preventing insulating glass failure made at GlassBuild America in September.

"I would not say the last preventing insulating glass (IG) failures educational seminar was a resounding success," said Margaret Webb, IGMA executive director. "I've never seen comments so all over the map …"

Since, as committee chair Tracy Rogers of Edgetech IG pointed out, "We got excellent reviews every other time we presented," group members advised against presenting at the meeting next year. That led to the discussion of other options. Should the courses be offered only online? Should a course be developed for the American Institute of Architects? A survey of manufacturers or members interested in continuing education was suggested (CLICK HERE to make your own suggestion of a location for the next IGMA educational presentation).

What presentations to make was the next question; that is, the group looked at further developing a seminar on IG quality procedures.

"This thing has been stalled for basically two years," Webb said.

At a previous meeting the preparation of this seminar had been handed to an outside group, who has since withdrawn.

Webb added, "I personally think we need to do this. The most common question we get is on quality procedures."

"This has been talked about in China and other places and all around the world now," added IGMA technical consultant Bill Lingnell.

According to Webb, one of the things that makes this potential seminar so tricky is that it isn't just teaching a skill, it's teaching a way of thinking.

"One of the things you actually have to transfer is a different way of thinking; a different commitment," Webb said. "Give a larger picture as to what would happen if you fill your spacer bar with super saturated desiccant"—as opposed to simply saying "don't do it."

"The biggest problem is not the how to run a desiccant test, but why to run a desiccant test," said John Kent of the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC).

Webb added, "In the long haul what it means is [that] you'll have better-performing IG units."

Rogers and Webb agreed to work on putting together an outline to distribute to everyone interested in a working group for this seminar; Rogers is aiming to get an introduction to the seminar out by its next meeting.

"First one should be the why—why is it important to do this?" Kent said.

"That's objective number-one," Webb agreed.

With education covered, the committee meeting turned toward certification.

With regards to harmonization of IGMAC and IGMA certification procedures, Kent said, "We're not quite there yet, but we're a lot closer than we were three or four years ago."

Kent also provided information on current participation levels and IG certification activities. In an interesting note on participation, Kent noted that in August the first non-North American lab, in Beijing, was approved. In answer to a question from the audience, Kent said this lab would be able to test product sent to them from other countries.

In other certification news, Webb briefly noted that Keystone Certifications has terminated its relationship with IGMA.

"The only administrator for IGMA now is IGCC," Webb said.

The meeting continues through January 31. Stay tuned to™ for daily updates.

The next IGMA meeting will be held June 16-19, 2008, at the Westin Resort and Spa in Whistler, British Columbia.

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