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GANA comes to Canada

GANA’s Fall Conference delivers substance in Toronto.

October 16, 2014  By Patrick Flannery

It had a certain synergy to it. After 20 years, the Glass Association of
North America finally held a conference in Canada, specifically at the
DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown in Toronto starting Sept. 23.

It had a certain synergy to it. After 20 years, the Glass Association of North America finally held a conference in Canada, specifically at the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown in Toronto starting Sept. 23. And at that conference GANA announced its management company, Centric, has also been hired to manage the Canadian Glass Association. GANA and the CGA will now share an executive director and the resources of a national association management firm.

After 20 years in operation, GANA chose to celebrate with its first-ever full conference in Canada.


Over 50 member companies sent about 100 delegates to participate in technical discussions and network with colleagues and suppliers. Delegates attended technical meetings over three days interspersed with informative lunch-hour presentations.


The Technical Committee of the Building Envelope Contractors Division, chaired by Chuck Knickerbocker of Technical Glass Products, heard a presentation on reflected glare and solar heat from Vincente Montes of Curtainwall Design Consultants. Then the committee got updates on the progress of several technical publications from the various authoring subcommittees.

Bill Yanek of Centric Management told the lunch crowd about its association management provider and described Centric’s activities across the continent with various other associations. Ashley Charest, GANA and Canadian Glass Association executive director, introduced the CGA as Centric’s newest client and announced it would now be accepting memberships from individual companies in the Canadian glass industry regardless of whether they were members of their provincial association. She also introduced the CGA’s new social media channels: @CanadianGlass on Twitter and on Facebook under CanadianGlassAssociation.

The Energy Division convened after lunch with Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting giving members an update on energy codes and standards. He said 2015 promises to be a big year with a number of major updates to such standards as LEED, the International Green Construction Code and the International Energy Conservation Code due to be released. There do not appear to be many major challenges for the glass industry in the proposed updates now that GANA and IGMA have seen off the attempts to lower window-to-wall ratios in ASHRAE 189.1.

Energy Division chair Helen Sanders of Sage Electrochromics updated members on the progress of the Life-Cycle Assessment Task Group which is close to completing its work to develop Product Category Rules for Environmental Product Declarations for windows and commercial glazing products. She warned members to get familiar with EPDs as they may soon become mandatory for green building projects. A lab was selected to
develop the final framework of the GANA-approved PCR.

A subcommittee was formed to build a library of research on the effects of daylighting on occupant health and productivity.

The Decorative Division chaired by Marc Deschamps of Walker Glass convened on Sept. 24. Delegates discussed the potential for weakening of glass when ceramic frit is applied and how to quantify this and communicate it to the industry. A task group was formed to generate a Glazing Information Bulletin on cleaning acid-etched glass, which is something professional glass cleaners have been asking about. The NeoCon committee reported strong growth in interest in glass at the Chicago interior design show and recommended GANA’s continued involvement. Committee chair Mandy Marxen of Gardner Glass Products said fabricators should consider exhibiting at the show and bring their most creative designs.

Michael Mesure of FLAP Canada raised awareness of the importance of bird-friendly facades over lunch. Preventing bird collisions with glass is not as straightforward as it seems and many common ploys do not work. Plastic owls are useless, Mesure reported, as are hawk-shadow decals. Angling glass and planting trees very close is also ineffective. Bird-friendly glass products on the market are still of limited effectiveness because designers have not yet discovered the correct frequency of ultraviolet light that is most visible to birds. Mesure said marking the glass is still the only proven solution, and markings need to be spaced no more than two inches apart horizontally and four inches apart vertically. The markings also need to be put on surface one of multi-lite units or else the window will still reflect enough to attract birds. Mesure pointed out that protecting birds is now a matter of law in Canada, where building owners can be held criminally responsible if their buildings cause the deaths of endangered species. The good news is properly marked windows will reduce bird strikes by 70 per cent or more, and buildings so marked will not attract prosecution for the owners when birds do hit them.

Valerie Block of Kuraray chaired the laminating division meeting and reported on progress in developing a deflection table for laminated glass. The decision was taken to only consider PVB interlayer for the compression guidelines since it is the most common. The team developing guidelines for heavy door installations is seeking a hardware supplier that can help them mount doors and do compression testing so laminated glass can be included in the heavy door guide. The topic of edge treatments of laminated railings was raised, with members pointing out that wet-glazed balconies might have issues with exposed interlayer and that heat-strengthened, tempered, laminate edges can’t be polished the way architects often want. A task group was formed to look at developing guidelines for this process.

On Sept. 25, the insulating division met chaired by Nathalie Thibault of Prelco. Members took a look at the draft GIB for insulating glass performance with a new table listing different types of IG and their relative performance characteristics. It was decided that this document was ready to go to ballot. A presentation on multiple cavity units is being developed to help address confusion among architects about when and how to apply multi-cavity options. A bent-glass GIB is also in development and there was some discussion of whether to include cold-bent. The task group working on a PIB migration GIB attracted a great deal of discussion even though no members of the group were present. The problem is very complex and it was difficult for members to even agree on a scope for the GIB. Tracy Rogers of Quanex opened a discussion of focused solar reflectivity and suggested GANA form a strategy to counter claims by the U.S. Vinyl Siding Institute that low-E coated windows can cause damage by reflecting solar heat onto nearby buildings. The division voted in favour of producing a document to educate the public on the root causes of focused reflected sunlight and to make recommendations to help homebuilders avoid the problem.

At lunch, Dwayne Torrey of the Canadian Standards Association introduced members to the CSA and discussed progress on its A500 standard for “building guards” – railings, balconies, balustrades etc. The standard will be broad-ranging, covering more than just glass railings. Quite a bit of detail will be included on railing systems with diagrams of approved designs. It is not anticipated that the standard will mandate laminated glass. Wind load requirements will not be included in the initial version of the standard, but may be in future amendments. Torrey estimated A500 will be ready for publication in the spring of 2015.

Veteran glass consultant, Bob Maltby, regaled the tempering division with tales of flat glass experimentation. Maltby has written a book titled Bob Maltby’s Glass Book and was signing copies at the conference. The book is a huge compendium of Maltby’s knowledge gained over 54 years in the industry. The tempering division heard that iridescence is a hot topic and should be addressed. The heat soaking GIB will probably be restrained to a descriptive document introducing the process to architects. Chuck Wenci of Viracon gave a spirited presentation on the topic of optical distortion in glass, urging members to reject the word “distortion” in favour of simply pointing out that all glass has varying optical qualities.

After each division meeting, GANA executive director Ashley Charest reminded members that nominations are open for the Division Member Of The Year awards. Many divisions also have chairpersons who will reach the end of their terms at the GANA Annual Conference in Las Vegas in March and will need nominations for new candidates.

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