PGC Annual Symposium wraps up with sessions on materials, design

Sahely Mukerji, Glass Magazine
November 4, 2010

On the last day of PGC International’s Annual Symposium, members heard the following presentations: "Sunburn: A Protective Coatings Weatherability Perspective" by Chris White, research chemist, Materials & Construction Research of the Engineering Lab at NIST; "Smithsonian Institution Glass Hazard Mitigation Case Study" by Doug Hall, associate director, Office of Protection Services, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. and John Talkington, program manager, Security Engineering, OPS; and "Integrated Finite Element Design of Blast Resistant Façade Systems" by Peggy Van Eepoel, senior associate, and Scott Wood, project engineer, Weidlinger Associates, Washington, D.C.

The symposium took place Nov. 2-4 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md.

To ensure protective glazing longevity, use materials that absorb energy, such as sealants, and polymeric films that retain debris, White told the group. “Do typically polymeric materials change/degrade over time?” he asked. Sealants represent a $50 billion a year industry with 420,000 tons produced per year and 58 million kilometers of 5/8-inch bead, but 55 percent fails within 10 years, and 95 percent fails within 20 years. Water intrusion is one of the most cited homeowner problems, he said. According to the NAHB, $65‐75 billion per year is spent on maintenance repair and replacement in U.S homes. To solve this problem, meet ASTM, RILO and ISO requirements, he advised.

Hall and Talkington discussed renovating and replacing windows at the National Museum of Natural History and the Arts and Industries Building in Washington D.C. “Multiple technologies were needed even in one building, Talkington said. “Mitigating the highest risk first is not always the best way to go. It may take a while for the best solutions: design, funding, phasing all take time. One size does not fit all.”

Eepoel and Wood discussed the benefits of integrated façade design approach. “This approach is a potential for significant cost savings in materials and connections for both windows and balance of façade system,” Wood said. “It requires early coordination among general contractors and façade subcontractors or 'partnering' subcontractors; also calls for improved overall coordination, and is most beneficial with flexible façade systems,” he said.