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USGNN Original StoryFire-Rated Glazing Labeling and Products Discussed at GANA's Fall Meeting

The Fire-Rated Glazing Council (FRGC) was the first meeting of the day as the Glass Association of North America's Fall Conference opened yesterday in Dallas. Among topics discussed were the goals and scope of the labeling task group.

Thom Zaremba of Roetzel & Andress offered the group some background on recent changes in labeling, notably, the International Code Council's (ICC) Code Technology Committee's (CTC) decision to research the issue of how fire-rated glazing should be labeled (CLICK HERE to read more about this story).

The Fire-Rated Glazing Council was the first group to meet during the Glass Association of North America's Fall Conference.

According to Zaremba, that decision may essentially "put a stop to further code changes until CTC has finished its review."

However, since the outcome of the CTC's research will directly impact the members of the FRGC (who represent many of the fire-rated glazing manufacturers) the group felt that it would be best to provide some input to the CTC.

"I think we need a voice in the CTC … we have a vested interest in whatever conclusions they make," commented Jeff Griffiths of SAFTI FIRST, chair of the labeling task group.

Of course, one of the reasons CTC has decided to study the issue is because the industry has not presented a united front and, even at yesterday's meeting, there was discussion of what Griffiths called the "two rather clear, disparate perspectives." Some companies maintain that the system is suitable as is, while others would prefer what they refer to as a simpler labeling system (CLICK HERE for more on these two perspectives).

"The sooner this issue can be put to bed once and for all the better this industry is going to be," Zaremba said. With that goal in mind, it was proposed that a clearly defined scope for the task group be outlined prior to the next meeting so it could begin to make some decisions on how to resolve this issue. In addition, Zaremba recommended that the FRGC make contact with the CTC at its October meeting to advise them that FRGC is working on this issue and request the CTC not make any final decisions.

The Council also heard from GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek on a recent presentation he gave to the Americas Glass Association (AGA) about the FRGC (CLICK HERE for that story).

"The main thing is to work on these code issues and go as a united front," said Fred Harter of AGA on working with GANA.

Among the items on which AGA has requested input from GANA is the creation of a fire-rated glazing product matrix. The groups would "put together [a guide for] glazing contractors, building code officials, perhaps even architects, where they could look at the fire-rated glazing products and the variety of materials available," explained Jerry Razwick of Technical Glass Products, and Council chair.

While the goal would be to offer an inclusive list of products as an aide to construction professionals with less knowledge about the fire-rated glazing materials available, there was concern from members of the Council that use of specific product names would be overly promotional-and near impossible to categorize.

Yet in the end, per the unanimous outcome of an opinion poll, FRGC members expressed interest in assisting AGA in its efforts. AGA will send out a draft of the matrix to FRGC's members to review and discuss at the next meeting.

The conference continues through tomorrow. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for further updates.

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