Fire-Rated Glazing Council Forwards Position Documents to CTC
Glass Week, the Glass Association of North America's (GANA) annual
committee meeting, opened with a meeting of the Fire-Rated Glazing
Council (FRGC) on Thursday afternoon.
At the GANA Fall Conference in September in Dallas, the group had
agreed to look at the current labeling system for fire-rated glazing
and assist in guiding the International Code Council's (ICC) Code
Technology Committee (CTC) in recommending an appropriate marking
system for fire-rated glass for the next code cycle (CLICK
HERE for related story). Since that meeting, the Labeling Task
Group had reviewed the current labeling system and how it is being
used in the marketplace. Among the main concerns presented during
the task group session was that the information could be confusing
in how it is presented to the marketplace.
For example, "The problem I've had with the current marking
system is that it can be misconstrued as being tested and approved
for the end use," commented code consultant Kate Steel.
Task group chair Jeff Griffiths of SAFTI FIRST summed up the background
on the undertaking: "A system like this, a marking system that
can be manipulated based on interpretation of the code in some way
or a system that purports to be a guidelines as to what is a code-compliant
application of a product is not really serving this industry or
the end users. So we felt this was a shortcoming of the marking
One recommendation Griffiths said had been discussed to suggest
to the CTC is adding a column to the existing table in chapter 7
of the ICC's section on fire-rated glazing labeling that would define
the markings as needed. Because this was only one suggestion, and
the group remains split on the appropriateness of the current labeling,
system, a motion ultimately was made and passed to accept the position
documents the task group had put together on the topic and forward
it "without bias to the CTC."
The group did have some discussion on the system before approving
"Although not perfect the current letter designations to a
good job of addressing the reality of three different testing standards,"
commented Jeff Razwick of Technical Glass Products. Razwick added
that while he felt the current labels are a "fair and accurate
representation of test standards
there's room for improvement."
Hank Krueger of Anemostat added that whatever solution is found,
it will remain "an imperfect system" because it relies
on the expertise of the code inspector. "He's approving something
that he's really not an expert in." Krueger added, "We've
been labeling wired glass for 20 years-and still most of the
inspectors don't know it's supposed to be labeled at all."
While there was some hope of being able to put together a specific
recommendation for CTC, as opposed to background information, the
group ultimately passed the motion with the understanding that being
able to create a group-wide recommendation on the labeling system
would be unlikely at this time.
"I don't think that given the timeline we have to submit to
CTC we can come up with a consensus opinion," commented Steel.
"I believe it's obvious to the CTC study group, and most everybody
on our task group, that this marking system is somewhat of a Pandora's
box and it has to be reigned in in some form or fashion otherwise
us as manufacturers are going to get stuck in the middle,"
Griffiths added. "I don't think this is a topic where majority
"It's gotten to the point where this has to be reviewed by
an independent group other than us," agreed Bret Penrod of
Glass Week continues through Sunday, with a joint meeting of the
Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference; BEC continues through
Tuesday. Stay tuned to USGNN.com* for further updates.
HERE for the USGlass article on the fire-rated glazing
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