A green focus at Glass Fabrication
About 170 industry representatives gathered in Pittsburgh April 16-18 for Glass Fabrication, an annual educational conference from the Glass Association of North America of Topeka, Kan.
The program included general seminars about trends and updates for all glass fabricators, and break-out sessions for the insulating, laminating and tempering sectors of the industry.
Green is for comfort
The green building trend provides energy efficiency and occupant comfort, said Tammy Amos, business development manager for DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions in Wilmington, Del., during her presentation, “Green Building—What’s in it for the Glass Industry.”
“Building green is just as much about how occupancy can be improved. … One critical part of this is how people are affected when they’re in buildings that allow for more natural light,” Amos said.
Glazing-related additions to a project, such as skylights, provide this needed daylight and reduce reliance on a building’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, she said.
The U.S. Green Building Council of Washington, D.C., included indoor environment quality into its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program. Projects earn points for daylighting, as well as an increase in filtered outside air and effective ventilation, Amos said.
A building’s glazing can help a project earn LEED points in those indoor environmental quality areas, as well as in other LEED categories such as energy and atmosphere, and materials and resources.
“This building trend is going to help the glass industry sell more glass and promote more value-added products,” Amos said.
Read more about the glass industry’s role in green building in the e-glass green Special Series here.
Owners, architects demand bigger, greener, more dynamic glass
“Architects want to create masterpieces with their designs, and you’re going to have to find ways to do it,” said Don McCann, architectural design manager for Viracon of Owatonna, Minn., during his presentation, “Glass: Trends in the Industry.”
McCann said new projects will require more from glass suppliers, as architects and building owners want their glass to be bigger, energy efficient and flexible, and they want it faster and cheaper.
While glass manufacturers are making glass larger, it can present issues to fabricators, he said. “They want these lights as large as we can get them, but without distortion,” he said. “The trend is floor-to-ceiling glass. But this requires better coating products for energy efficiency, and it has to be thicker to allow for higher wind loads.”
Demands for more energy efficiency also have increased the use of low-emissivity coatings and color tints on projects. Energy-producing glazed products such as photovoltaics, and user-controlled tint products such as electrocromic glass, also are becoming more popular, McCann said.
“We’re moving from an environment of static glazing products to one of dynamic coatings, some of which will be producing energy to power the building,” McCann said.
Other developing products include radio frequency shielding glass that prevents spying and bird-friendly glass that keeps birds from unknowingly crashing into windows, he said.
Two ASTM standards gain ground
Mark Gold, manager of applications development for Saflex, a division of Solutia Inc. in St. Louis, provided an overview of codes and standards that affect the glass industry, and their importance.
Two standards receiving attention in the industry include ASTM E 2395 and ASTM E2353, both from standards developer ASTM International in West Conshohocken, Pa.
ASTM E 2395 covers voluntary security performance of window and door assemblies with and without glazing impact. “This standard bridges the gap between using no standard at all and using the prison standard for high-security applications,” Gold said. “It is a new standard, and hopefully we’ll start to see people looking to it for applications like residential security.”
ASTM E2353 addresses test methods for performance of glass in permanent glass railing systems, guards and balustrades. “You’ll start hearing more on this as people take notice,” Gold said.
To learn more about the codes and standards that affect the glass industry, visit www.glazingcodes.org.
— By Katy Devlin e-Newsletter Editor, e-glass weekly