Two organizations, one certification

Dual IGCC-IGMA trademark offers manufacturers strong market recognition of both programs in Canada a
Pat Bolen
March 31, 2009
By Pat Bolen
Several years of negotiations between the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) and the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) came to fruition on Feb. 3 with an agreement to combine their insulating glass certification programs into one.

“IGCC is well known in the United States…IGMA is well known in Canada and now they’re together,” says IGCC president Ray Wakefield of Trulite Industries.

The agreement harmonizes the Canadian CGSB 12.8 and US ASTM E773/E774 standards resulting in the ASTM E2188, E2189 and E2190 for insulating glass testing. It represents the more stringent requirements of each program offering insulating glass manufacturers one program labelled with the a dual IGCC-IGMA trademark for strong market recognition of both programs in Canada and the U.S.

Wakefield says the process started with an announcement in June 2004 that the two organizations would work closely together to harmonize their respective program requirements, although he adds the process went back as far as 2000 and has been the result of compromises on both sides.

Wakefield credits IGMA executive director Margaret Webb and IGCC administrative manager John Kent, who he says worked hard to arrange the merger.

Webb says “the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) was formed by members of the Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA), one of the predecessor organizations to IGMA, in a response to a need for an independent certification agency.

“In Canada, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada (IGMAC), the other founding organization took over the Canadian program from the Canadian government. Both programs have closely mirrored each other in terms of process, procedures, industry and public interest involvement and program requirements. The IGMA program was launched by IGMA in 2003 and specifically offered product certification to the ASTM E 2190 harmonized insulating glass standard for manufacturers who looked for certification in both Canada and the U.S.”

Wakefield says the IGMA program was launched for companies like Trulite, which sells on both sides of the border, while companies that chose not to sell in the U.S., did not have to meet the new certification. After the launch of the program, Wakefield adds there were friendly discussions with the IGCC to come up with similar terms, which was followed by a look at the two programs to see if they could be merged and a lot was seen to be similar.

Webb also states “IGMA and IGCC have set the bar for insulating glass certification in North America as well as setting an example of what can be accomplished when two organizations work closely together for the benefit of the entire industry.”

One of the compromises that Wakefield says made the merger possible was the agreement that testing, which in the past had been done every year by the IGCC and every two years by the IGMA, after initial certification. ASTM E2190 testing can occur annually after the first two years; if no failures occur, then testing may occur once every two years at the discretion of the participant.

The advantages of one certification program, says Wakefield, is that when a company bids on contracts in the U.S., it simply says it is certified under IGCC rather than explaining its IGMA certification process details.

“This shows you belong,” says Wakefield. “It’s just that much easier.”

With the establishment of a common North American standard accomplished, Wakefield says the same process is already well advanced in terms of coming to an agreement with the European Union ISO standards.

*Pat Bolen is a professional writer based in Ontario.

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