Glass Association Meets with Fire Administration, Glass Association
Donn Harter, director of technical services for the Americas Glass
Association (AGA), reports that the association's July board meeting
saw opportunities for forging alliances with two different groups.
On July 29, members of AGA's Fire and Safety Glazing Council (FSGC)
steering committee met at the Orange County, Calif., Airport Hilton
with Robert Neale, deputy superintendent of the U. S. Fire Administration
(USFA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose
of this meeting was to promote dialogue between the glazing industry
and the USFA to develop on-going educational programs on fire-rated
During the meeting, Neale offered the following four major goals:
- Educate architects and code officials to make knowledgeable,
consistent and confident decisions about glass and ceramic products;
- Improve relationships between fire and building officials for
applications and interpretations of the use of glass and ceramic
- Educate architects and code officials about the capabilities
and limitations of fire-rated glazing, intumescent and ceramic
- Keep code officials informed of new products and techniques
in the use of glass and ceramic products.
Neale and the committee members discussed several means of implementation
for these items, including coffee break training sessions, online
training, two day courses for building officials through the International
Code Council (ICC) and the development of a brochure outlining a
glossary of terms, types of glass and standards that apply.
Harter described the FSGC's development of one tool, the "Matrix,"
a listing of all of the manufactured fire-rated glazing products
and their rated use for protection, radiant heat resistance and
safety glazing. This brochure is expected to be available online
in the near future.
Representatives of the glass association agreed that the opportunity
to work more closely with the USFA in forging close working relationships
between building officials, the National Fire Protection Association,
testing laboratories, architects and fire officials with the glass
and glazing industry was a priority challenge.
At the July AGA Board meeting, GANA Executive VP Bill Yanek presented
to the board an overview of current GANA efforts. Additionally,
Yanek discussed with the AGA board areas where GANA and AGA should
contemplate collaborating. These areas include:
- Joint advocacy efforts by GANA and AGA on fire-rated glazing
issues. Such efforts could include a close alliance between GANA's
Fire Rated Glazing Council and AGA's Fire & Safety Glazing Council;
- Development of joint educational seminars;
- A concerted effort to harmonize advocacy on building and fire
code amendments to the building code between the Glazing Industry
Code Committee (GICC) and the AGA;
- Developing a united advocacy effort on energy issues, which
could include producing a workable solution for meeting the Department
of Energy onsite glazing requirements and joint efforts on issues
being debated by the National Fenestration Rating Council;
- Establishing a realistic means of offering each association's
publications through their respective bookstores;
- Offering GANA the opportunity to present an educational seminar
at AGA's Glass Showcase and potentially having AGA present its
code seminar at a GANA meeting.
"Whether the issue involves building codes, industry education
or energy, AGA and GANA should forge a closer working relationship,"
Yanek told USGNN.com/USGlass regarding the discussion on
the associations' relationship. "Importantly, AGA boasts a significant
California membership. State level efforts in California impact
the rest of the country. With GANA and AGA collaborating on advocacy
efforts, both the AGA and GANA will impact California and national
issues more effectively."
The AGA board continued its meeting with a report on the progress
of the Matrix, membership evaluation, codes and industry standards
report, and plans for the May 15-16, 2009, Americas Glass Showcase
at South Point Casino & Resort in Las Vegas.
The next AGA board meeting is scheduled for November 11, 2008,
in San Diego.
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