PGC Spring Meeting Winds Down Today
- The Protective Glazing Council's (PGC) Annual Spring Meeting finishes
today, winding down two successful days of seminars.
Breaking from lunch after Ron Waranowski's seminar on electromagnetic
protection yesterday, the group reconvened in the afternoon first
to hear Michael Duffy with the HNTB Federal Service Corp. expound
upon the benefit and connection of LEED criteria and protective
"You will recognize immediately that you are producing a better
building. The rule of thumb is that, on average, buildings that
are certified up to silver level will show a 20-year payback of
10 to 1 on a 2-percent investment, especially on the low end of
the spectrum," said Duffy. "It's more than wanting to
go hug a tree or pet a bunny."
Duffy explained that the energy efficiency demands of LEED criteria
and the aspect of security glazing particularly come together where
the U.S. Department of State Overseas Building Operations' (OBO)
demands for U.S. embassies are concerned.
"Embassies are supposed to be representative of our society,"
Duffy continued, showing photos of the U.S. embassies in other countries
before the events of September 11, 2001, since that time and projections
for the future. Some older embassies, such as that in Oslo, Norway,
had hardly any stand-off distance in a full side of fenestration.
Duffy noted that since 2001, the design of several United States
embassies contained significantly less glazing and more resembled
penitentiaries. That said, Duffy then showed slides of designs for
embassies yet to be built, noting that many of the designs are incorporating
more and more glass.
However, the OBO criteria for these new designs include meeting
the goal of having all new facilities designed to LEED-certified
levels and complete energy savings performance projects while still,
of course, having the protective glazing element to secure building
Rounding out Wednesday's seminars was Dan William with the Chicago
chapter of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who discussed
threat assessment in Chicago.
"Chicago has the largest number of tall buildings over any
metropolitan area. If you try to look back over the history of terrorist
attack both in the U.S. and overseas, [terrorists] are looking to
make a statement, have a high body count. Obvious targets are the
Sears Tower-for its size and visibility-then the Hancock Tower,"
William discussed some of Chicago's vulnerability, as well as how
the local FBI unit handles tips for terrorist threats and some of
the general and more common concerns of building owners and managers
that he and his coworkers field regularly. Opening the floor to
questions, his audience did not disappoint; asking some thoughtful
questions, ranging from the differences in studying domestic versus
international terrorism to what percentage of blast-related tips
they receive. (The answers are: a separate division handles domestic
terrorist threats and, though he has no actual numbers, William
estimates that the majority of the threats they receive are blast
The Thursday morning general session began with a panel discussion
titled Quick and Dirty: A Job Analysis from Alpha to Omega. The
panel, comprising of Daryl Barker (ABS Consulting), Michael Lowak
(Baker Risk) and Joseph Smith (Applied Research Associates), took
questions from the audience.
Discussion began almost immediately, with a question about how protective
glazing implemented in the Gulf Coast stood up to Katrina and other
devastating hurricanes of 2005. Questions rolled on to those ranging
from technical advice to simple inquiries such as what information
consultants are looking for to help them help clients. All three
panelists noted that the more they work with a client, the more
they know and understand the client's needs.
"Now you guys tend to ask two days before the bid is due if
you can send it over earlier, we may be able to point out things
[you may have overlooked]. There are questions I might notice that
you need to ask and if I don't get the bid early enough I can't
help you ask those questions. We give vendors an idea of what it's
going to take to meet that spec plus we add in what it would cost
us to help them with what they'll need when they get that bid,"
Wrapping up, each panelist was asked to summarize his thoughts on
"Based on all the questions, the key is knowing what you need
to do to provide the product you want to provide," said Lowak.
"I'd just add that the area you're working in with protective
glazing and window systems, is a boutique industry. Think of yourself
not as a products provider but as a solution provider," said
"Education is a real key and something that's missing. The
PGC has been great about that for a long time, educating clients,
but vendors need to educate their own sales staff. I talk with lots
of clients who are inundated with claims that are just bogus because
the salesmen are a little overzealous," said Barker.