Contracts and certification top BEC agenda

More than 500 glass industry representatives attended the Building Envelope Contractors Conference that began March 4 and will continue through today in Las Vegas. Contract risk management, ratings programs and green design topped the agenda for the meeting, hosted by the Glass Association of North America of Topeka, Kan.

Commercial concerns of NFRC activities unveiled
Of the near 520 attendees at BEC, less than half said they understand the responsibilities and activities of the National Fenestration Ratings Council of Silver Spring, Md. Only several dozen representatives reported to attending an NFRC meeting, and just a handful have attended a meeting in the past year.

The lack of understanding and participation from members of the commercial glazing industry mirrors lack of involvement from architects, general contractors and building owners, said Greg Carney, technical director for GANA, during his NFRC update March 5.

“The industry as a whole doesn’t know a tremendous amount about NFRC, and the commercial side of the industry is not well represented in the process,” Carney said.

Carney provided BEC attendees with an overview of NFRC activities, detailing the rating council’s Component Modeling Approach that will be used to rate fenestration systems in nonresidential applications.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, but there are issues and challenges ahead,” Carney said. “Everything is subject to change, and the [NFRC] Board of Directors has the ultimate power.”

Carney presented some of the largest concerns of the CMA program for the commercial glazing industry including:

  • keeping the program cost effective
  • not discouraging use of custom curtain wall because of certification costs
  • not requiring individual certification for identical systems from different manufacturers.

NFRC Board Member Kerry Haglund attended BEC and will relay concerns of the commercial glazing industry to the NFRC board.

“We have to connect with these people and listen to their concerns, “ said Haglund, who also serves as information technology specialist for the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

NFRC’s spring meeting is March 5-8 in Austin, Texas. Read about the meeting in next week’s edition of e-glass weekly.

Council to release model contract documents
The Construction Industry Contracts Council has developed a set of model contract documents as an alternative to those developed by the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C., said Colette Nelson, executive vice president of the American Subcontractors Association in Alexandria, Va. Nelson delivered the presentation “Managing Your Risk” March 5.

CICC is a collaboration of construction industry organizations that is developing consensus contract documents based on best practices and proper risk allocation. CICC contract documents for design-bid-build, design-build and construction management will be released in September, Nelson said.

AIA is set to release a new set of its own model documents in October. However, AIA’s documents do not take into account input from all players in the process, Nelson said.

“The industry has gotten together to develop a format and forum, and rules for format and forum, where all parties’ voices can be heard [in the CICC documents],” Nelson said.

Some participants include the ASA, the Associated General Contractors of America in Arlington, Va.; the Associated Specialty Contractors of Bethesda, Md.; the Construction Owners Association of America of Atlanta; and the Construction Users Roundtable of Cincinnati.

Nelson also recommended that subcontractors who reference AIA models in their contract documents should specify the previous AIA 1997 documents. The revised AIA documents do not protect subcontractor rights to the extent of the 1997 version, she said.

BEC Technical Committee to create bid document guidelines for glaziers

The BEC Technical Committee is working to develop general guidelines for glazing contractors regarding qualifications for bid documents.

“The [boiler plate qualifications for bid documents] are for glaziers to protect themselves against killer clauses,” said Max Perilstein, vice president of marketing for Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. of Tamarac, Fla. “This is to benefit the glaziers, not take away competitive advantages.”

Specifically, the document will help glazing contractors avoid pay-if-paid and pay-when-paid clauses in contracts.

William Keen, vice president of operations for Tepco Contract Glazing Inc. in Dallas, said the guidelines will list the “things to watch out for as an industry. We want to get a document that could be referenced as an industry to present to the general contractors,” Keen said. “The language will not refer to pricing, but rather to create a level playing field.”

The Technical Committee for the BEC Division also discussed its continued work to publish glass informational bulletins, and industry education of the AAMA 510-06 Voluntary Guide Specification for Blast Hazard Mitigation for Fenestration Systems.

Learn more about the BEC conference in next week’s e-glass weekly.

By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter Editor, e-glass weekly