Blast mitigation, daylighting, sound attenuation, highlights of educational seminar
The much-discussed issue of anti-terrorism and blast-mitigation glazing systems was the topic of presentation for Douglas Penn, director of management, YKK AP, Austell, Ga., at Architects of a Better Mind.
The educational program was hosted by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association of Schaumberg, Ill., Sept. 18, at the Las Vegas Convention Center and had 45 participants.
“Anti-terrorism isn’t necessarily blast mitigation, but terrorism has become a way of life in many areas of the world, such as the United Kingdom and [the Middle East], and these days in the United States,” said Douglas Penn, director of management for YKK AP in Austell, Ga. He spoke at Architects of a Better Mind, an
educational program hosted by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association of Schaumberg, Ill., on Monday Sept. 18, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The program had 45 participants.
The objective of the seminar was to enable the participants to make more educated decisions when designing projects protect building occupants from terrorism.
“Explosives are a weapon of choice,” Penn said, “and 80 percent of injuries from a blast are caused by flying glass.”
However, if the glass doesn’t break, it transfers the load to the window frames, which in turn transfers it to the anchors, and from the anchors to the building structure. The glazing and frames need to work as a system together, and the glass needs to absorb the energy from the blast and produce minimal flying debris, he said.
Jeff Frank, chief executive officer for Wasco Products Inc. of Sanford, Maine, and a member of the AAMA Skylight Council, made a presentation on daylighting in commercial buildings.
“Skylighting can be a form of art,” Frank said. Skylights “provide a means for sustaining life and growth, provide vivid colors and high illumination level, add life to dull space, and enhance performance of the people inside.”
Recent studies have shown that retail stores with unit skylights sell more. “A Wal-Mart in Lawrence, Kan., had 40 percent higher sales in the store after adding skylights,” he said. “It enhances the buying pattern of the people. A grocery chain highlighted its produce section with skylights and received up to 2 percent more transactions and up to 6 percent higher sales.”
There has been a recent resurgence of interest in daylighting design, Frank said. “There are two basic strategies: Side lighting from windows and top lighting from the roof.”
Common glazing materials for unit skylights include glass and plastics, Frank said. Kinds of glass used include: tempered, laminated, sand-blasted, low-emissivity, chemical-etched and ceramic frit. “The choice of glazing material can have enormous impact on the quality of light provided and energy efficiency of design.”
Designing Windows for Improved Sound Attenuation was the topic of Jim Plavecsky’s presentation. A consultant with Edgetech in Cambridge, Ohio, Plavecsky explained the ways to maximize sound control with glass through basic design. “Use thicker glass as opposed to thinner; use insulating glass; argon filling; laminated glass; structural foam spacers; sound-deadening materials at edges; and control air leakage,” he advised.