PGC Wraps Up Strong Fall Symposium
The Protective Glazing Council Fall Symposium finished early yesterday with
two afternoon seminars that explored different aspects of working
with customers who want protective glazing.
Up first was John Abruzzo with Thronton Tomasetti. In his presentation
he discussed what he has found to be the most important aspects
of working with and especially advising commercial clients who are
designing new buildings or planning upgrades to their current facilities.
"What the problem is we have no building code requirements
for blast and by blast I mean anti-terrorist codes," he said.
The best he can offer is for those involved in the planning aspect
to use existing codes from federal agencies, such as FEMA 426 and
Most importantly, he advised, was for architects, designers, suppliers
and the like to stay involved with the project even after the initial
recommendations have been issued.
"Present [a recommendation] to [a client] and they probably
won't understand 90 percent of it. So you need to follow up and
make sure they're following along with it.
Why? Because things
change. Things are changing all the time. Technology has been changing
over the last five years as far as what's available. Manufacturing
issues may arise. What typically happens is that existing things
aren't what you thought they were," he said.
When he opened the floor to questions, Abruzzo was asked what prompted
most of his customers to look into securing their buildings if there
were no codes or mandates requiring a level of protection or protective
glazing. He answered directly: the fear of litigation.
"Liability. What are they liable for? What we've found is that
this is more the case in New York, where they think they have more
of a potential threat. We see less of it in Philadelphia for glazing
but more for structure. They don't see themselves as being under
as much of a threat."
There are different kinds of threats, of course, and most of the
crowd at the conference stayed to hear the last speaker, Ron Waranowski,
discuss one of the more frequently overlooked threats: electromagnetic
attacks. Specifically, Waranowski renewed and updated his presentation
on the need for Electromagnetic countermeasures.
"Globalization has occurred down to the individual level,"
he began, explaining that we are more and more "connected"
due to advances such as Blue Tooth and WiFi technology.
"In 5 years you won't be able to have a computer with a wire
hanging out of it. BlueTooth with steroids is coming," he said.
After showing his audience a chart of the electromagnetic spectrum
and where different devices we use daily are in relation to one
another (CB radios are stronger than AM or FM radio, but cell phones
are stronger than CB radios), Waranowski explained that electronic
security is not always what it seems.
"If you want to steal information, don't worry about figuring
out the encryption, sit outside and figure out how to break into
the 2.5 connection," he said.
Part of the challenge for builders-and consequently, the protective
glazing industry-is that windows are very electromagnetically "open,"
making options for clear radio frequency and infrared barriers a
relatively unchartered territory for protective glazing.
"Certain low-E glasses give you some attenuation. Radio frequency
barrier-security by denial-we need to lock the glazing systems down
by perspective," Waranowski said.
While the threats of system hacking and electronic eavesdropping
may seem like something only exclusive groups would worry about,
such as the government, Waranowski also told his audience to check
their corporate insurance policies carefully.
"[Some] insurance companies are not covering damage to your
electronic assets due to electromagnetic interference," he
Look for a full wrap up of the PGC Fall Symposium in an upcoming
issue of USGlass magazine. Stay tuned to USGNN for more information
about the PGC Spring Meeting as it becomes available.
HERE for more information about the PGC.