July 14, 2016 - C.R. Laurence has introduced its Transpara Frameless Shower Door System. The new system eliminates the need for door hinges and vertical framing in order to secure large glass panels. This gives customers uninterrupted spans of glass, producing a definitive all-glass aesthetic.
July 14, 2016 - The AGC Group (AGC) and Kinestral Technologies have formed a strategic partnership to produce active glass capable of fast-switching between clear and dark mode. This glass will serve the building and transportation (trains) industries.
June 30, 2016 - In 2015, AGC Glass Europe created a new tool for measuring the thickness of installed glazing with a smartphone, using a special App.
Look here for the clear, the colour-neutral and the energy efficient products that will make your facades shine.
June 2, 2016 - Guardian Glass North America has introduced Guardian UltraClear glass, a low-iron product that delivers maximum clarity and color neutrality without the green tint of standard glass.
June 2, 2016 - C.R. Laurence has announced the release of its new Electric Strike with Bolt Position Sensor. By incorporating a bolt position sensor within the strike housing, CRL’s Electric Strike can electronically notify security and facility managers if doors on the premises are not properly closed and locked.
May 19, 2016 - Solar Innovations, Inc. has announced it has received a patent for its hybrid marine and stop glazing system. The unprecedented design for the marine and stop glazing system combines vertical marine glazing with horizontal stop glazing in order to create a much narrower vertical frame than conventional stop glazed doors.
May 5, 2016 - SolarWindow Technologies has announced that performance tests of its transparent electricity-generating coatings for glass and flexible plastics have produced favorable outcomes for glass-to-glass lamination processes. The test results are especially promising for expanding the application of SolarWindow coatings beyond standard window glass to include high-performance laminated glass – a fast growing segment of the commercial and architectural glass market.
May 5, 2016 - AGC Glass Europe has announced plans to carry out the cold repair of its Cuneo float glass line in Cuneo (Piedmont, Italy). This investment of around 25 million euros is prompted not only by the positive impact that it will have on the productivity of the plant and the expected environmental benefits, but also by the prospect of extending its current range of products.
April 21, 2016 - Major Industries recently expanded their product line with the release of IlluminPC polycarbonate multi-wall glazed wall systems. With this new addition, Major Industries is now the only daylighting manufacturer in the U.S. to offer distinct lines of FRP structural translucent panel systems, glass systems, and polycarbonate multi-wall glazed systems.
April 7, 2016 - CRL-U.S. Aluminum is proud to announce the launch of its new ArcticFront Series 45X Storefront, which delivers optimal thermal performance with the installer-friendly features of a traditional storefront. A key component of the storefront is its dual polyurethane thermal break points that act as a superior thermal barrier.
April 7, 2016 - Fonon Corporation has unveiled ten major updates to the Titan family of large, flat-bed multipurpose laser cutting machines, integrating multiple subsystems and introducing several evolutionary improvements which increase end-user productivity, lower costs over time, minimize the Titan’s floor space footprint and reduce its power consumption.
July 14, 2016 - CGA's initiative to provide online technical resources is underway. The new CGA online bookstore is live and electronic manuals provided by the Glass Association of North America (GANA) are available for instant download. Proceeds raised from online sales provide valuable funding for CGA, so order your copies today!
June 30, 2016 - articipants at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2016 Summer Conference heard about the past, present and future of the electrochromic (EC) glazing market, thanks to a presentation by Dr. Helen Sanders. Sanders leads technical development and training for Sage Electrochromics. Additionally, she contributed in large ways to the industry's recently created Window Product Category Rule.
June 30, 2016 - At glasstec, International Trade Fair for Glass Production, Processing, Products, the sectors’ leading international companies have confirmed their participation. With the strong exhibitor registrations three months before the start of the event, the number of exhibitors and occupied exhibit space already exceeds previous events’ levels (at the last staging of glasstec in 2014, 1,217 companies occupied 652,300 square feet). glasstec 2016 will take place from September 20 – 23, 2016 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.  
RPM Rollformed Metal Products has returned as a Silver Sponsor for Top Glass 2017, Canada's event for the architectural glass industry happening April 20, 2017, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont. RPM first became involved as a major show sponsor in 2016.
June 15, 2016 - The CGA is pleased to announce Multiver Limitee as a Silver Sponsor for the 2016 Glass Connections conference.
June 15, 2016 - The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) celebrated 16 consecutive years of furthering the careers and education of students pursuing a degree related to the building products industry by awarding seven scholarships to children of employees of AAMA member companies. The scholarship award winners were announced during the 2016 AAMA Summer Conference, held June 12-15, in San Antonio. The recipients of 11 AAMA Partner Scholarships also were announced.
When National Contract Glazing’s John Bastedo is asked what’s unique about the company, he doesn’t hesitate. “It’s the people,” the vice-president states firmly. “We have a process to put a job through, with many people involved. Each job is passed on, and this keeps us on top of jobs and also shows contractors we are on top of things, which builds our credibility. We are proud of our excellent track record of project completions ranging from less complex store-fronts and entranceways, to multi-story, multi-phase contracts in both the private and public sector.”
Commdoor Aluminum will once again be a big part of Top Glass, Canada's event for the commercial glazing industry, taking place April 20, 2017, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
Top Glass broke records on April 20 with 383 attendees, including a strong turnout of 150 architects, specifiers and building engineers. The four one-hour education sessions were standing-room only as attendees flooded in to appreciate the presentations, which were eligible for continuing education credits. Top Glass was supported by generous sponsorships from Gold Sponsors Alumicor and Tremco; Silver Sponsors Commdoor Aluminum and RPM Rollformed Metal Products; and livestream sponsor Sika Canada.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
The IGMA’s first IG Fabricator Workshop was held May 3 through 5 at the Intertek testing facilities in Plano, Texas.  IGMA plans to offer this workshop multiple times each year and at various locations throughout Canada and the U.S.  Oak Moser of Oak Hill Consulting is professionally moderating the workshop.  Oak, formerly a plant manager at a major fabrication facility, brings his years of experience to this new role.
Canadian Glass AssociationThe Canadian Glass Association has prepared a lineup of expert presenters for the 2016 Glass Connections conference. This annual event will be held in Ontario at the Westin Ottawa Hotel on Sept. 13 to 14. The event will open with an evening welcome reception followed by a full day of industry programming.
July 14, 2016 - Quanex Building Products Corporation and sedak have broken boundaries for large format insulating glass unit (IGU) production with sedak’s innovative, large-scale fully automated line, utilizing Quanex’s Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ warm-edge technology.
June 30, 2016 - Cost cutting, it is often said, is difficult in glass production and processing since this sector is characterized by manual processes. At the upcoming glasstec 2016 trade fair however, the industry will prove the opposite: further savings are to be expected through innovative approaches for automation, smart networking of production machines and value-creation stages as well as through new handling devices. This means that the glass industry should be well prepared for international competition.
April 21, 2016 - Modern, transparent and prestigious – large glass façades are very much in vogue for office complexes and industrial buildings. Yet their use only makes sense in terms of energy savings and cost effectiveness if they also have air-conditioning functions and help the energy supply. The glass industry is therefore keen to promote the development of multifunctional windows and façade elements – an area where it has already achieved numerous promising innovations.
How central are concepts such as Industry 4.0 – the “FOURTH INDUSTRIAL Revolution” – and Smart Factory among SMEs in the glass industry? Let’s have a glimpse at tomorrow’s processes which have partly become reality today and also at realities which are still a long way off in the future.
The passion in the room was palpable at times when Geza Banfai, a veteran construction lawyer with McMillan in Toronto, addressed a gathering of the Ontario Glass and Metal Association at Richmond Hill Golf Club to update members on the Ontario government’s review of the Construction Lien Act and the potential for prompt payment legislation in the province.
Jan. 14, 2016 - High costs, a lack of integration possibilities and interest on the part of architects – solar modules for building skin integration are still niche products. But this could soon change. Thanks to more efficient solar cells and new dimensions, shapes and transparency levels, modules are becoming cheaper and more versatile. This might make them a standard feature in new buildings.
Dec. 16, 2015 - A recording of the Glass Canada Winter Webinar "Energy code implications for spandrel design: Quantifying and mitigating the effects of thermal bridging" with Stephane Hoffman of Morrison Hershfield is now available online. Hoffman's Dec. 14 presentation educated Glass Canada readers on his latest research into thermal bridging in spandrel assemblies and addressed several challenges in meeting today's tough standards for energy efficiency in building envelope construction. In the presentation, Hoffman took several questions from the online audience.
fa·çade  noun the face of a building, especially the principal front that looks onto a street or open space. synonyms: front, frontage, face, elevation, exterior, outside “a vinyl-sided façade” an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.
"It’s an evolution, not a revolution.” That’s how James Janeteas, president of 3D printer provider Cimetrix Solutions, described additive manufacturing — or 3D printing as it is often called — at an event in Toronto late last year.
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory uses a hot press to make spinel into conformable optics, like this flat sheet. “Ultimately, we’re going to hand it over to industry,” says Jas Sanghera, who leads the research, “so it has to be a scalable process.” In the lab, they made pieces eight inches in diameter. “Then we licensed the technology to a company who was able then to scale that up to much larger plates, about 30-inches wide.”Imagine a glass window that’s tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn’t get scratched in a sand storm or a smart phone that doesn’t break when dropped. Except it’s not glass, it’s a special ceramic called spinel that the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been researching over the last 10 years. “Spinel is actually a mineral, it’s magnesium aluminate,” says Jas Sanghera, who leads the research. “The advantage is it’s so much tougher, stronger, harder than glass. It provides better protection in more hostile environments so it can withstand sand and rain erosion.” As a more durable material, a thinner layer of spinel can give better performance than glass. “For weight-sensitive platforms – unmanned autonomous vehicles, head-mounted face shields – it’s a game-changing technology,” he says.NRL invented a new way of making transparent spinel using a hot press, called sintering. It’s a low-temperature process, and the size of the pieces is limited only by the size of the press. “Ultimately, we’re going to hand it over to industry,” Sanghera says, “so it has to be a scalable process.” In the lab, they made pieces eight inches in diameter. “Then we licensed the technology to a company who was able then to scale that up to much larger plates, about 30-inches wide.”The sintering method also allows NRL to make optics in a number of shapes, “conformal with the surface of an airplane or UAV wing,” depending on the shape of the press.In addition to being tougher, stronger and harder, Sanghera says spinel has “unique optical properties. Not only can you see through it, but it allows infrared light to go through it.” That means the military, for imaging systems, “can use spinel as the window because it allows the infrared light to come through.”NRL is also looking at spinel for the windows on lasers operating in maritime and other hostile environments. “I’ve got to worry about wave slap and saltwater and things like that, and gun blasts going off. It’s got to be resistant to all that. And so that’s where spinel comes into its own,” Sanghera says. Says Sanghera, “Everything we do, we’re trying to push the mission. It’s designed to either enable a new application, a new capability, or enhance an existing one.”Spinel can be mined as a gemstone. A famous example is the Black Prince’s Ruby, which is actually spinel with a colour dopant. NRL chemists have also synthesized their own ultra-high purity spinel powder, and other synthetic versions are commercially available. “The precursors are all earth-abundant, so it’s available for reasonably low cost,” Sanghera says. The spinel NRL makes is a polycrystalline material, which means it is made of a lot of crystal particles all pressed together. With glass, “a crack that forms on the surface will go all the way through,” Sanghera explains. Spinel might chip but it won’t crack. “It’s like navigating through the asteroid belt, you create a tortuous path. If I have all these crystals packed together, the crack gets deflected at the hard crystals and you dissipate the crack energy.When scientists first started trying to make glass-like spinel, they were using a crucible instead of a press. “A big problem with growing crystals is that you have to melt the starting powder at very high temperatures: over 2,000 C,” Sanghera says. It’s expensive to heat a material that high, and “the molten material reacts with the crucible, so if you’re trying to make very high-quality crystals, you end up  with a huge amount of defects.” That’s why Sanghera and his colleagues turned to sintering. “You put the powder in a hot press then you press it under vacuum to squash the powder together. If you can do that right, then you can get rid of all the entrapped air and all of a sudden it comes out of there clear-looking.” If the press has flat plates, the spinel will come out flat. “But if I have a ball and socket joint and put the powder in there, I end up with a dome shape,” Sanghera says. “So we can make near-net-shape product that way.”NRL was not the first to try sintering. But previous attempts had yielded “a window where most of it would look cloudy and there would be an odd region here and there – about an inch or so – that was clear, and that would be core-drilled out.”So NRL deconstructed the science. They started with purer chemicals. “Lousy chemicals in, lousy material out,” Sanghera says. Then they discovered a second problem, this time with the sintering aid they were adding to the spinel powder. “It’s about one per cent of a different powder, in this case lithium fluoride,” Sanghera says. This “pixie dust” is meant to melt and “lubricate the powder particles, so there’s less friction, so they can all move together during sintering.” They were putting the powders together in shakers overnight, but “the thing is, on a scale of the powder, it’s never mixed uniformly.” Understanding the problem led to a unique solution for enabling uniform mixing. Now, “there’s only one pathway for densification,” and the spinel will come out clear across the press.To further increase the quality of the optic, “you can grind and polish this just like you would do gems,” Sanghera says. This is the most costly part of the process. “One of the things we’re looking at is, how do we reduce the finishing cost?” The surface of the press is imprinted onto the glass. “If we can improve upon that,” he says, “make that mirror finish, then – and so that’s where we get into a little bit of intellectual property – what’s the best way to do that?”For both the Department of Defense and private industry, “cost is a big driver, and so it’s important for us to make products? that can be affordable.”Unique applications for military and commercial use“There are a lot of applications,” Sanghera says. He mentions watches and consumer electronics, like the smart phone, as examples. The military in particular may want to use spinel as transparent armour for vehicles and face shields. A “bullet-proof” window today, for example, has layers of plastic and glass perhaps five inches thick. “If you replaced that with spinel, you’d reduce the weight by a factor of two or more,” Sanghera says.The military’s also interested in using spinel to better protect visible and infrared cameras on planes and other platforms. Glass doesn’t transmit infrared, so today’s optics are made of “exotic materials that are very soft and fragile,” and have multiple layers to compensate for colour distortions. “So that’s what we’ve been doing now, developing new optical materials,” Sanghera says. Spinel windows could also protect sensors on space satellites, an area Sanghera’s interested in testing.  “You could leave these out there for longer periods of time, go into environments that are harsher than what they’re encountering now, and enable more capabilities,” he says.NRL is also looking at spinel (and other materials) for next-generation lasers. “Lasers can be thought of as a box comprised of optics,” he says. “There’s passive and there’s active components. Passive is just a protective window, active is where we change the colour of light coming out the other end.” For passive laser applications, like exit apertures (windows), the key is high quality. “That window, if it’s got any impurities or junk, it can absorb that laser light,” Sanghera says. “When it absorbs, things heat up,” which can cause the window to break. Sanghera and his colleagues have demonstrated, working with “ultra high purity” spinel powder they’ve synthesized in NRL clean rooms, spinel’s incredible potential. For active laser applications, they’ve demonstrated how sintering can be used with materials other than spinel to make a laser that’s “excellent optical quality.” Instead of spinel, they use, “things like yttria or lutecia and dope them with rare earth ions.” NRL has transitioned both types of laser materials and applications to industry.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.glasscanadamag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria6d2da293ab Editor’s commentAlternative transparent materials in appliactions that require high impact resistance would be a welcome innovation in architectural glazing. Many designers have been looking for solutions to problems with traditional safety glass products. One example that springs to mind is balcony glass. There have been several instances in big Canadian cities of tempered balustrades in high-rise condominiums shattering and showering tempered glass “pebbles” into the street below, much to the concern of passers by and unit owners. The breakages were blamed on the expansion and contraction of nickel sulphide inclusions in the glass which are introduced as a normal byproduct of the primary float glass process. Heat soaking can ensure a lower percentage of inclusions in the glass that survives the process, but adds waste and cost without completely eliminating the problem. New standards for balcony guard construction and the use of laminated glass will probably ameliorate the issue going forward, but at the cost of some design restrictions. Sintered spinel panels would presumably be much stronger, offering increased protection to residents and pedestrians. Another area where safety glass has become not-so-safe is wired glass. Primarily used for fire resistance, wired glass has come under scrutiny lately following instances of people impacting the windows and cutting themselves on the metal wire interlayer. If spinel can take the heat of a laser without shattering, a regular fire should cause no problem. Of course, the cost of producing architectural-size sintered spinel panels is prohibitive right now. Perhaps some form of additive manufacturing process would offer a solution, as some kinds of 3D printers operate in a manner very similar to sintering. Again, technology that is some years off. So were smartphones in 1995. Sometimes it pays to keep an eye on what is coming next.  Reducing costsThe U.S. Naval Research Laboratory uses a hot press to make spinel, a process called sintering. It’s much less expensive than melting, and the size of the pieces is limited only by the size of the press. Lead researcher Jas Sanghera says, “You put the powder in a hot press then you press it under vacuum to squash the powder together. If you can do that right, then you can get rid of all the entrapped air and all of a sudden it comes out of there clear-looking.”  To further increase the quality of the optic, “You can grind and polish this just like you would do gems.”
Sept. 16, 2015 - More efficient production processes and constantly high quality standards: with a new insulating glass line, sedak based in Gersthofen, Germany further expands its leading position in the industry of oversize glass units. Machinery especially fabricated for the corporation, enables sedak now to industrially produce insulating glass units up to 15m. “The manufacturing time has been reduced and insulating glass units are therefore even more economical,” says sedak CEO Bernhard Veh.
Sept. 16, 2015 - AGNORA is providing architects with another tool to realize their dreams and enhance the aesthetics of their architectural glass designs. AGNORA has installed the largest ceramic ink digital glass printer in North and South America.
July 14, 2016 - The value of building permits issued by municipalities edged down 0.3% to $6.9 billion in April. This marked the second consecutive monthly decline and was largely the result of lower construction intentions in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
June 30, 2016 - The Strasbourg Cathedral, whose cornerstone was laid in 1015 and completed in 1439, has been standing proud and tall for a thousand years; but since 1683, it was missing a large part of its stained glass artwork. That is until September 2015, when the clear glass panels were refurbished and replaced by stunning, digitally printed glass.
Coast to coast, Canadian glaziers and glass fabricators continue to revolutionize the urban environment with incredible achievements in architecture. Here are six projects that caught our eye.
Not long ago I attended the Top Glass Conference and Exhibits show in Mississauga, Ont., put on by Glass Canada and spent the day between manning the OGMA booth and schmoozing with visitors, exhibitors, old and new customers and former employees. This year’s event was particularly busy with a big showing of architects who came to get Ontario Association of Architects learning credits for attending some of the seminars put on. It seems that’s what it takes to get architects to attend glass-industry related conferences. At any rate, the organizers and exhibitors were thrilled with the turnout and I would strongly recommend manufacturers and suppliers to the commercial glass trade to sign on for the next Top Glass event.
The procurement policies of government agencies and publicly owned corporations require them to take reasonable steps to obtain the best value for their money and as a result most of them use variations of what is commonly known as competitive open procurement or open tendering.
Canadian manufacturers retain one significant advantage over our competition.
April 21, 2016 - Resource price weakness pushed the economies of Regina and Saskatoon into recession last year and will limit real GDP growth to just 1.1 per cent in 2016, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Winter 2016. On the other hand, Winnipeg's economy is expected to expand at its fastest rate in 8 years, with a 2.5 per cent expansion forecast for 2016.
April 7, 2016 - Canada's Building Trades Unions (CBTU) and the National Construction Labour Relations Alliance (NCLRA) welcome the introduction of an Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (community benefit)   by MP Ahmed Hussen (York- South Weston).   Measures to improve the economic benefits of government spending are welcomed by industry stakeholders in construction.  The inclusion of apprenticeship and training requirements in federal infrastructure procurement shows the Government of Canada is serious about leadership in building the workforce of tomorrow.   
April 7, 2016 - Strong activity in British Columbia's construction industry is drawing skilled workers back to the province from Alberta and more young people are entering the trades, according to the 2016 Construction Industry Survey released today by the BC Construction Association, in partnership with Progressive Contractors Association and Construction Labour Relations.
Welcome to our April issue where the big focus is on Top Glass, our education and trade event for the commercial glazing industry. Interest and participation in Top Glass has exceeded all our expectations so far, and if the registration numbers and booth sales are any indication, we are in for another great show this year.
Mar. 10, 2016 - Last week, Finance Minister Charles Sousa released the Ontario budget for 2016. The masonry industry is happy to see that the Ontario Government is willing to continue investing in the province through pragmatic, balanced policy.
The early days of insulating glass in Canada were like the wild west. There were no standards, very limited technical knowledge, and upstart companies were beginning to spring up mindlessly slapping pieces of glass together and selling them to an unwitting public. The 30-storey B.C. Hydro Electric building in Vancouver was one of the first large scale projects to use sealed units and every unit failed within a year, giving the industry a black eye and raising questions about the future of this highly touted new product.
June 30, 2016 - Dip-Tech is pleased to announce the Dip-CMiX Ceramic Premix Colour Guide, which establishes the industry standard for matching color in glass. This pre-mix swatch book functions in a manner similar to RAL and Pantone colour guides. It is designed to effectively communicate colours for printed glass in numerical codes, thereby standardizing each shade for all decision makers in the supply chain.
June 16, 2016 - CSA Group has announced that its key accessibility standard has been referenced in the National Building Code (NBC), an important step toward the harmonization of accessible design requirements.
June 15, 2016 - The Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC), sponsor of the IGCC/IGMA certification program, North America's leading IG certification and quality assurance organization, is currently testing a pilot program that would enable IG manufacturers to provisionally certify their products in just 4 weeks. The existing full certification takes an average of 24 weeks. Provisional certification would enable the manufacturer to sell a certified product pending the outcome of full ASTM tests.
June 2, 2016 - The North American Contractor Certification (NACC) program continues it’s upward trend wrapping up a very successful beginning to 2016. NACC added three more contractors, bringing the total to ten that have gained certification in less than a year. In addition several more organizations are working through the process and certification with their approvals are imminent.
April 21, 2016 - The National Glass Association (NGA) has announced it has joined the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC).
Manufacturers can minimize their difficulties with on-site or “in-situ” testing by adhering to certain well-established quality-control principles, which can be important to reduce the chances of costly failures. Yes, on-site testing can be a complex undertaking. The number of components that that are encompassed within the scope of a typical on-site test may account for at least part of the complexity.
Mar. 10, 2016 - The National Glass Association (NGA) has published the newly revised Guide to the Glass and Glazing Requirements of the Model Building Codes—5th Edition, a valuable reference to federal glazing laws, local glazing regulations and how they are related to the model building codes. 
Feb. 11, 2016 - The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has updated and released a document laying out the process for determining the thermal performance characteristics of fenestration systems, specifically in commercial buildings. This document was last updated in 2012.
Architects and engineers are upping the game on building envelope design: unusual aesthetics, improved thermal performance and taking into account the human factor using daylighting controls.  The fenestration industry has felt the impact of these new designs and has risen to the challenge with complex products such as dynamic glazing and insulating glass configurations not seen before.
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) since it’s beginning has provided technical documents that support the glass design, specifications, energy efficiency, glazing procedures, performance data, testing, certification, quality assurance, field studies along with other guides relating to the manufacture, fabrication, design, and end use of insulating glass units.
If you haven’t already heard about accreditation programs in the glass industry, it’s clear you’re going to be hearing a lot more soon.One is the North American Contractor Certification (NACC) program, announced by the Architectural Glass Institute (AGI) in January 2015. In July, the names of the first NACC-certified companies were released – three U.S. firms, as well as Ferguson Neudorf Glass of Beamsville, Ont. Twelve more architectural glass & metal contractors are currently going through the certification process.The NACC program was created to provide baseline recognition for competency, business practices, and adherence to industry-accepted guidelines. The program “provides confidence to building owners as well as the design and construction community with defined processes, controls and procedures to help drive a higher-quality end product.” The NACC Board of Directors includes contractors, consultants, construction specialists and manufacturers. Administrative Management Systems (AMS) is the third-party certifier that administers the program. It has been doing this sort of work since 1997, for U.S. national associations such as the Safety Glazing Certification Council, Insulating Glass Manufacturer’s Alliance and the National Fenestration Rating Council. AMS President John Kent says NACC provides a differentiation that helps contractors, building owners, architects and the specification community to select competent companies and increase the likelihood of a successful project with lower re-work.Kent describes industry awareness of NACC in the U.S. and Canada as “likely minimal at present,” but points out that “the program is still very new. Eighteen months ago, it was just a concept.” Outreach to architects, builders and the specification community is underway through things like mailings and presentations, and an ongoing promotional plan was developed at the first NACC annual meeting in mid-September (in Atlanta, piggy-backed with GlassBuild). Additionally, as of August, Kent notes, “We were thrilled that through some really hard work by many people, the NACC program is now under ISO/IEC 17065 Accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (which has an agreement with the Safety Council of Canada).” Alberta glazing contractor Jim Brady shares his personal views on the program. “While I think that the idea has merit, it also has some underlying issues,” he says. “In Canada, construction processes are very regionalized...as a result, the architects and consultants for projects may or may not be onboard with NACC.” He adds that while he’s “all for” programs that recognize industry leaders, he fears that a program such as NACC might be a detriment to fair competition. “Just because one company doesn’t have NACC Accreditation doesn’t mean that they can’t give a good quality installation, and if not having that accreditation disqualifies them from quoting on the project, then it limits competition,” Brady observes, “thereby increasing prices to the end user (building owner). My guess is, most companies in Alberta would likely not participate in this program and they would only do so when backed into a corner.”Brady also wonders if the NACC board members include representation from smaller more regionalized companies. We asked AMS, and found out that of the five glazing contractors on the ten-person NACC accreditation board (the others being end-user companies such as building contractors), two companies are larger and three are smaller, with a good diversity of size always the aim. Other accreditation programsBrady notes that in Alberta, the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training is used to educate tradespeople, but that the glazier trade in that province is not compulsory certified and apprenticeship is not mandatory. “Personally, I think this is wrong,” he says. “It is mandatory for someone to get training on hairdressing, but not for someone to change a sealed unit into a four-sided structural silicone curtainwall ten storeys off the ground.” Currently in Canada, Brady notes, the provinces of B.C., Alberta and Ontario have glazier apprenticeship training with in class instruction. “I am unsure about Quebec,” he says. “The Maritimes, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Territories do not. Some companies in Saskatchewan and Manitoba use the Alberta program. Nationally, the Red Seal program is in place, but…an individual merely has to prove they have a certain amount of hours in the trade, write an exam, and if they pass, they are recognized as a Red Seal Journeyman.”Glazier has been a Red Seal trade since 1986, and the related standards and exams have been updated several times. Julia Sullivan at the Red Seal Secretariat says “Earning a Red Seal endorsement provides good job prospects and allows individuals to work anywhere in Canada. Completing an apprenticeship in a Red Seal trade also gives access to many of the benefits available from the government.”  Brady would be strongly in favour of getting curriculum delivered to tradespeople in jurisdictions where there is no program, and processes to measure skills with both written and practical exams. “In my years as a champion for education, I have heard many people say ‘I can’t afford to send my people to school, we’re too busy, others may steal them away from me, etc.’ and my only response to them is ‘You can’t afford to not educate your people.’ ” Although he had not heard of NACC, Brady did point out Green Advantage (GA), an organization based in Maryland that’s now working to launch a ‘Curtainwall Installer Certification’ (GACIC) program. It will include written as well as performance exams with standards created by the International Glazier Certification Board, a broad array of industry experts from the U.S. and Canada. Tough standards?As Brady has noted, accreditation carries concerns. It can be a controversial issue because large companies can afford to put their people on the boards of the associated groups and certification bodies, thereby driving tougher and tougher accreditation standards, which may squeeze out competition from smaller companies. On the other hand, good accreditation programs can help buyers avoid fly-by-nighters without having to embark on time-consuming due-diligence searches. In addition, these programs can help prevent governments from having to step in to protect the public from shoddy workmanship. In one firm’s view, accreditation also helps companies take their reputation to the next level. “Raising the bar and being an industry leader is something that Ferguson Neudorf strives for every day, so [going for NACC accreditation] was natural for us,” says Peter Neudorf Junior, director of field operations at Ferguson Neudorf Glass (FNG) in Beamsville, Ontario. “We want to be above the norm.” FNG (founded in 1986, and now one of Canada’s largest curtainwall contractors) became NACC accredited in July. Neudorf says he and other leaders at the firm started talking about third-party accreditation a couple of years ago. “I sit on the Ontario and American Boards of the Architectural Glass and Metal Contractors Association and there have been many discussions about a certification specific to our trade,” he explains. “There are certainly issues with quality and standards within our industry and not all companies are committed to improving these standards. The general thought was that it’s time for some kind of accreditation and it’s time for architects and consultants to put their support behind this concept. My brothers and I decided to look into it, and I joined the advisory committee that got the necessary information to AMS to develop the NACC.” When asked about the most onerous or challenging of the NACC criteria, Neudorf says it was improving overall production flow and communication between departments. “We needed improvement in how sales, purchasing, engineering, fabrication and installation connected with one another,” he notes. “It was a challenge to make changes. Some of our people were resistant to change and didn’t recognize the benefits of adding the extra paperwork required to be a little more organized. Our team just kept pushing to have the necessary changes made to our standard procedures and added some new ones, making sure our management team were committed to getting things done in the way that best suited each department. It’s about more accountability, in the end.” Those at Ferguson Neudorf consider the NACC cost to be very fair. Neudorf says they’ve paid at least the same amount for other third party services in the past, “and this time it really helped us streamline our business.”  Kent says the total NACC cost is currently a little under $4,000 per year, but notes that there will likely also be internal costs for a firm to change things so that they comply with program requirements. “We feel these costs are a fraction of the savings available from increased efficiency, greater recognition and lower rework,” he says. “In fact, the number one comment we have received from companies undergoing the process is that ‘this NACC process will make us a better company.’ ”  In terms of industry acceptance, Kent believes that while recognition of certification is never an overnight event, the value always becomes recognized by the user community. “Each of the [other programs we administer] has enjoyed steady increased recognition for over 30 years. We fully believe the NACC program will be a significant force both in the U.S. and Canada in the coming months and years.”  Neudorf agrees that awareness and industry acceptance is going to take time. “I’d say maybe half of our industry in Canada are moving towards certification at this point,” he says. “The other half either don’t see the value or think it’s not for them. But companies who are interested in being accountable will want this.” He adds, “We’ve found that it’s been very positive, an eye-opener and a learning opportunity. It’s not something to be afraid of – it is not an audit but rather an evaluation. You should welcome it if you want to become a better company.”North American certification programsHere are just some of the agencies offering to certify your company, your work or your people.CSA Fenestration Installation Techniciancsa.caThe certification addresses the need to ensure the knowledge, skills and abilities of individuals who install factory assembled windows, exterior doors and unit skylights in residential buildings three stories or less. To become certified, individuals will have demonstrated proficiency in understanding and applying manufacturer installation instructions, general building principles, the CSA A440.4 window installation standard and other industry standards and/or best practices.Green Advantagegreenadvantage.orgGreen Advantage offers the longest standing green building certification targeted specifically to construction field personnel across trades. North American Contractor Certificationtheagi.orgThe NACC Program was created to provide certification recognition as a means of creating a baseline for competency, business practices, and adherence to industry-accepted guidelines. The program provides confidence to building owners as well as the design and construction community with defined processes, controls and procedures to help drive a higher quality end product.Red Sealred-seal.caThe Red Seal Program is the Canadian standard of excellence for skilled trades. Formally known as the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program, it sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespersons across Canada. Tradespersons who meet the Red Seal standards receive a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial trade certificates.Window Wisewindowwise.caWindow Wise is a replacement window quality assurance program designed to give homeowners peace of mind that investing in window replacement will be a lasting one. We approve window replacement manufacturers and certify window installation contractors.Energy Starnrcan.gc.caThe Energy Star Initiative is a voluntary partnership between the government of Canada and industry to make high efficiency products readily available and visible to Canadians. NRCan formally enrolls manufacturers, retailers and other organizations as participants in the Energy Star Initiative. Participants help promote Energy Star and ensure Energy Star-certified products are prominent and readily available in the marketplace and to Canadian consumers.
Oct. 9, 2015 -  The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z97 announces the release of the 2015 version of industry standard ANSI Z97.1 Safety glazing materials used in buildings - safety performance specifications and methods of test.

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