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IGMA – Standards documents are critical supports for the industry

December 3, 2015  By Bill Lingnel

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.

This will be a brief overview of some of the documents that IGMA has developed or upgraded since the merger of the Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA) and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada (IGMAC) in the fall of 2000. The documents referenced are mentioned with a brief summary of the content and comments on the use of IGUs in our industry.

North American Glazing Guidelines for Sealed Insulating Glass Units for Commercial and Residential Use, TM-3000 provides the designer and specification writer specific guidance on the framing criteria, glazing clearances, setting blocks and spacer shims, systems utilizing IGUs and a full complement of items significant to a proper system approach for insulating glass use.

The Technical Manual for Acoustical Glass Design, TM-6000 incorporates technical information and data on sound control, acoustics, background on sound transmission and a large list of glass selections that provide various sound reduction factors along with detailed background on glass and it’s response to acoustical principles.


In Guidelines to Reduce Instances of Thermal Stress, TM-1500 thermal stress considerations are presented in a practical manner to give the user information and guidance on many of the important items and issues that are important in the evaluation and study of thermal stress occurrences in IGUs. Specific topics such as altitude, design temperatures, glass kinds and types, framing conditions, shadows and heat traps, along with glass properties and edge conditions are covered in this publication.

Design Considerations for Multiple Cavity IG Units, TM-1300 was developed by IGMA to provide information on the growing use of multiple cavity IGUs in order to support the proper use of triple- and multiple-cavity insulating glass. The differences between the conventional IGU and multiple-cavity units are reviewed with respect to altitude, coatings, pressure/temperature/wind loading concerns, along with special glazing concerns regarding supporting of the units.

Vacuum Insulating Glass, TB-2600 was recently put together by IGMA to give an introduction to the topic of vacuum IGUs and the role they play in energy efficiency and development of the technology used. The history of vacuum IGU is reviewed along with concepts on that make this VIG unit construction different from conventional IGUs. The overview of VIG demonstrates the construction methodology used in the engineering and methodology of making the units and discusses the thermal efficiencies and heat flow mechanisms encountered with this technology.

Voluntary Guidelines for the Identification of Visual Obstructions in the Air Space of Insulating Glass Units, TM-3100 provides the industry with specific guidance on the observation of visual obstructions in the viewing area or daylight opening of insulating glass units. The quality requirements for sightline variances, dirt/debris, fingerprints, desiccant dusting, linear and point blemishes and optical effects are described along with inspection methods and conformance requirements to assist the user.

The six referenced documents are only a few of the many that have been developed by IGMA over the past few years. Stay tuned for additional information on the technical information available and what will be coming in the future.

To obtain any of these documents, contact the IGMA headquarters office and contact the IGMA executive director, Margaret Webb, at

Bill Lingnell has over 46 years of experience in the technical field of glass and architectural products. He holds three Masters of Science degrees in engineering: civil, mechanical and engineering science/ Lingnell is the technical consultant for the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance.

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