IGMA Summer Meeting Wraps Up in Toronto

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) Summer Meeting met earlier this week, opening on Sunday, July 30, with a meeting of the certification and education committees.

The first topic of the day involved the addition of the certification aspect to the education committee, both in name and scope. The group decided to incorporate certification into the education committee, according to IGMA executive director Margaret Webb, because it would be beneficial to have documented IGMA stances on the issues of certification. The committee further defined its objective and goals in light of the addition.

The committee then turned its attention to the IGMA educational program. The "Preventing Insulating Glass Failures" educational seminar is scheduled to be presented at GlassBuild America in September, at Win-door in Toronto in November and again in Tampa, Fla., in December. IGMA next expects to offer a quality procedure course. Committee members discussed what the most important elements of the course should be and the language that would be needed to clearly and adequately address the objectives and goals within the program. A task group was formed to facilitate further refinement of the course content and present a proposal of the course curriculum at the next IGMA meeting in February 2007.

The committee also discussed specific certification needs. Members reviewed a report from the gas-fill working group, and discussed that group's recommendations regarding how much gas fill would be required in testing for both initial and final fill for a company seeking durability certification.

"What we're talking about is workmanship," said Webb. "This is the test method. We're testing a manufacturer's ability to make a good seal."

A consensus was reached to stress that the 90-80 percent requirements being discussed were merely testing requirements as proof that an IG system could retain gas fill to a given degree, and not a reflection of the percentages of fill a manufacturer is expected to use in the final product.

The technical working groups gathered that afternoon, starting with the glazing guidelines work group. The group reviewed amendments to the guidelines regarding the use of thermo-plastics and the compatibility thereof with sealants.

Moving on to new business led to a debate about whether capillary tubes should be sealed and, if so, how.
"I'm all for an industry position. I think we're all better off [with one industry position] than with many different positions," said Rick Wright of Oldcastle Glass.

A small working group was formed to draft a proposal of the appropriate language for an industry consensus on the sealing of capillary tubes.

Up next was the gas permeability working group, which discussed Phase 2 of the gas permeability project.
"Phase 1 is essentially done," said Bruce Virnelson of PRC DeSoto International, the group's chairperson.

The thermal stress working group took a look at the IGMA thermal stress field service inspection record and made a recommendation for changes to the language therein.

The byproduct was fine-tuning the one page document that works similarly to a checklist and allows glaziers in the field to report breakage. The data will be collected by IGMA for review, with hopes of determining the cause of some of the breakage and the more common types of breakage.

Wrapping up the first day of meetings was the visual quality working group. Most of the meeting centered around the definitions of industry language created by a task group, which were presented for review and were subjected to several changes. The next topic of conversation was the conformance requirements agreeing that adhesive residue, desiccant dusting, dirt/debris, fingerprints, fogging and suction/vacuum cup marks, all as defined by the group in the previous discussion, are not allowed.

Lastly, the group reviewed the environment and parameters that must be met when conducting inspection and were shown photos of visual obstruction that have been added to the appendix to help illustrate the definition.

On Monday, attendees gathered to hear technical presentations from Ray Wakefield of TruLite, Jeff Haberer of Cardinal and Andre Piers of TNO.

Wakefield was the first to take center stage, making a presentation on mock-up testing-what it is, why it's important and how mock-up testing works.

"The importance of the mock-up is that it provides invaluable information to the design team to assist them all--from the architect to the building owner to the glazing contractor and even us as glass suppliers. In giving us unique information about how that particular system is going to perform, it isn't like an off-the-shelf storefront assembly, this is a highly-engineered product and needs this type of testing to assure that it's going to work," he said.

Haberer presented the findings of Cardinal's residential field project comparing the energy efficiencies of clear glass, high solar gain low-E glass and low solar gain low-E glass. The company built identical houses in three different locations across the United States--two houses in Roseville, Calif., three houses in Windrose, Texas, and four houses in Fort Wayne, Ind. At least one house in each location was equipped with low solar gain low-E and each house was scientifically measured and monitored for energy used, solar heat gained and how much the air conditioning and heating units worked to keep the interior temperature at a consistent state.

Piers discussed European requirements for gas fill, explaining to IGMA members how gas fill is currently measured in Europe.

"In Europe, we have subsidized programs from the government so that homeowners can get price reductions if they replace windows with high-performance glass," he said. He explained that in Europe the U-value of the glass is taken from the center of the glass and "is only intended for comparison of performance of products under same condition and thus makes no statement for actual in-service of U-value."

Tuesday, the group heard presentations from Bill Lingnell of Lingnell Consulting Services and Andre Piers with TNO.

Lingnell told IGMA attendees how to go about conducting a complete investigation and showed results of his own field investigations into IG units that may have failed or needed a second look at performance levels.

Lingnell began his presentation with a list of different, but important, aspects and functions that architectural glass should provide: transparency, color, resistance to weather, enough stability to maintain shape, a resistance to atmosphere and chemicals, imperviousness to water, holds back air/wind, absorption radiation to limit heat gain, reflect solar energy, provide daylighting, changes in color and/or properties, and sizes, types, shapes.

"Investigation may be required when some of the main items listed [are not performing as they should]," he said.

Lingnell encouraged his audience to document the results of visual exam in notes and with photos and to take accurate measurements as they are necessary to validate conformance (or non-conformance) to specifications. Both are important, he said, because assessment can assist in a cost effective method for future replacements, to convey findings, conclusions and recommendations relating to the building condition and because a detailed condition assessment can help a building owner understand what remedial work or maintenance is required on a building.

Following Lingnell, Piers returned to discuss certification in the European market.

As he explained, the standards for IG certification in Europe vary somewhat from the standards in Canada and the United States, but the requirements also overlap in some ways.

One important difference is that every six months, a company's management representative files a report about the results of conformity control tests and manufacturers are required to keep these reports and results of any action points mentioned therein for at least five years, sometimes longer depending on the country. In England, for example, those reports kept for 12 years.

Additionally, part of the certification process in Europe requires the system manufacturer to submit sample units for testing that are representative of the units that are not perfect but that the company is still willing to sell to the public.
The next IGMA event is the annual conference, scheduled for February 21-25, 2007, at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza in Tampa, Fla.

Contact: IGMA at (613) 233-1510 or visit www.igmaonline.org.

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