G3: Industry Insiders Talk Glass
Joe Marks, director of business development, Architectural Glass & Aluminum
“One of the more significant code changes we feel has to do with the implementation of the latest ASHRAE standard, which continues to drive the minimum U-value for glazing assemblies downward. The requirement for substantial improvement in U-value has necessitated changes in system design exceeding performance levels of traditional thermally-improved or thermally-broken glazing systems.
For a number of years now, project LEED objectives have guided our efforts to offering systems that meet the demand for improved energy performance. As a result, our organization has the technology and resources internally to adapt to the changes mandated by the new ASHRAE standards. Fortunately, the projects in the [commercial] segment of the market tend to require design/build or design/assist delivery methods, and have schedules that allow for custom design and new extrusion dies, as well as testing.
Where the new standards undoubtedly become a significant challenge is on those projects requiring compressed schedules that do not have the time for system design and testing. Those applications previously could have lent themselves to traditional systems; however, the glazing contractor that may be relying on a stock supply source could very well be unable to meet the improved thermal performance requirements.
In order to maintain the desired amount of vision area and natural daylighting in building facades, the demand for further improvement in the glazing system’s overall U-value will undoubtedly increase. The challenge to us is to stay out ahead of that demand in order to be able to continue to offer innovative, costeffective, high-performance designs.”
Dean Swatkowski, owner, Banning Glass, Mirror & Screen
“When homeowners are thinking about energy efficiency, window replacement is in the top three best investments. As certified masters-level installers of retrofit windows, we are challenged to supply the city’s required International Energy Conservation Code for solar heat gain coefficient and U-factor, while also satisfying the consumers’ wants and demands.
We provide our services in Southern California, where cities are separated by a street. The challenge is understanding the international/ industry code and navigating the numerous self-governing cities’ interpretation of the codes. The geographical area we cover has a broad range of seasonal temperatures that create a broader range of U-factor and SGHC for efficiency.
In a popular desert resort, we had to supply dual-glaze units with a U-factor of .40 max and an SHGC of .35 max that required [the use of] an expensive, specialty low-E glass. Few glass manufacturing companies carry the IECC level of efficiency-rated glass required by the city government. The remodeling homeowners want energy efficiency and demand the ability to choose the level of efficiency not allowed by the IECC and city government. Our job is to listen to the customer while keeping each city’s codes in mind to deliver the best product possible.”
Joe Carlos, director of sales and marketing, Triview Glass Industries
“As a fabricator, the biggest challenge we face is determining if the glass type being considered for a project is suitable and able to meet code.
One example would be deflection. When we look at a bid and suspect that the glass may be too thin for its size, we ask if wind-load has been considered. If not, we run a basic calculation to determine the deflection. Sometimes, the deflection is so high that a different type of glass must be considered, or the size reduced. Or, we might recommend using a wider spacer bar in an insulating unit. This can be a problem when the job is ready to be fabricated and installed.
Another example would be glass floors. When we look at a project, we want to determine if the glass has been engineered to meet local codes and has the required slip resistance. When we are asked, “Will this work?” alarm bells go off.
Ultimately, we want to supply glass that will function properly and that we can warranty.”