GANA Members Work to Get Ahead of Energy Issues During Glass Week

April 6, 2010

It's perhaps a tribute to the Glass Association of North America's (GANA) Energy Committee that its first act of business during Glass Week, in Las Vegas last week, was to create a second tier of membership called a corresponding member. Because the popular committee could not always assemble all of its busy voting members for a quorum, the second tier allows GANA members to participate in the nearly two-year-old committee as they like, while those dedicated members participating in every meeting and conference call hold the right to vote.

When it came to work items during this year's meeting, at the top of the list was a discussion of the American Society of Hearting, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) updated 2010 standard, and the association's potential appeal of several of the standard's key issues.

The 2010 revisions to Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings would change the prescriptive path to, among other things, limit the window to wall ratio from 40 percent to 30 percent (CLICK HERE to read the related article). The association has worked tirelessly to prevent this and other revisions that would ultimately limit the types of glass products used in buildings. Due to these efforts ASHRAE is considering some compromises - but becausethe timing of such compromises might not be soon enough GANA is looking to submit an appeal insisting upon changing these new requirements that could hurt the industry.

As Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting, and now GANA's Glazing Industry Code Committee commented, "For now, the 2010 version will have a 30-percent limit and the 40-percent version will not be ready in time. That's one reason we should bring forth this appeal. The 40 percent path that they're working on, it's not clear that they'll finish that - ever," Culp added. "We're back to where we were, which is just to fight before they pass the 30-percent window to wall ratio as is."

The committee agreed to create a task group to take on the task of preparing that appeal to ASHRAE.

Thom Zaremba, who also now represents GICC, said there will be a number of appeals to the updated standard from other industries before it is adopted. As Zaremba pointed out, if the codes are driving to a 30-percent increase in energy efficiency this cycle, where are they going to go next cycle?

Culp added with an attempt at optimism, saying, "Not everything is negative on the ASHRAE side. We have opened their eyes to daylighting and they're starting to make headway there."

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