Building Management Hawaii - February/March 2012 - (Page 28)
How Safe Is Your SAfety Glass?
By Shawn Moseley
I want to replace the glass block on the sides of the main entrance doors into our lobby to get more ventilation, but I’m being told I have to put back safety glass if I do. What’s the best type of glass and window to use?
Cross-section of Laminated Safety Glass
Tempered, Heat Strengthened and Annealed glass can be laminated Typical lite thickness 1⁄8 ”to 1⁄4 ”
First of all, safety glass is a building code requirement that governs all window styles and glazing located in doors, next to a door, in showers, tubs or within 18" of the ground. The only window exempt from this code is a jalousie window. They can be installed in all these locations without requiring safety glass, probably because tempered louver blades have not been an option in the United States. Now, as to what window and glass to choose there are a few factors to consider. First, a standard Category II safety glass is either going to be a 3⁄16" laminated glass or 1⁄8" tempered. When you consider
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the strength differences of these two options, the tempered is a much stronger glass as it is a single sheet, where laminated is two thin sheets sandwiched over a plastic interlayer that keeps the glass glued together, like the windshield of your car. Using the tempered glass will allow you to put a larger pane of glass without having any wind load deflection in the glass. This is important if your glass is over nine square feet. It is important to note however that there are very thick laminated glass options that meet hurricane and military requirements that work well, but these types of laminated glass are very costly and typically not necessary unless you are building a hurricane or bomb shelter. Now the second consideration would be how much air flow you are trying to obtain from your windows. The only systems that will give you 100 percent air will be a jalousie or a casement in the fully open position. Going further down the list an awning window will typically give you 60 percent air, where sliders and hung windows give you 50 percent or less. If you put an insect screen on, you can take away 15 percent to 30 percent ventilation depending on the type of screen. So, if air is critical you should strongly consider these facts. Something else to bear in mind is that the new windows will also be in a walkway, having something protruding from the wall next to the door might not be a good idea. The last and almighty consideration should be your budget. When buying laminated or tempered glass that has to be tempered in the mainland and shipped in, that comes with a higher cost, a cost that typically depicts the final decision. Be sure, that if you do opt to use laminated glass that you check the glass, usually on the lower right hand side, for the manufacturers stamp detailing that it is laminated and what class, either Class I if a single pane is less than nine square feet or Class II if it is greater than nine square feet.
Shawn Moseley is the Territory Manager Hawaii for Breezway North America Inc. He has 18 years experience in the residential, commercial and military window market.
Bonded Materials CoMpany
Kailua Kona (808) 326-2477 / Honolulu (808) 832-1155 / www.BondedMaterials.net
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - February/March 2012
Movers and Shakers
Aimee Harris, Trade Publishing’s New Editorial Director
Rooftop Evolution: The Convergence of Roofing and Energy Technologie
Being Smart About PV Systems
Hawaii Energy and You
Solar Leasing Programs Lower Costs and Maintenance
Shifting Winds: The Changing Shape of A/C
How Safe Is Your Safety Glass?
Window Glazing as a Source of Water Leaks
Technologically Advanced Window Films Provide Smart Solutions
Hawaii Buildings, Facilities and Property Management Expo 2012
Building Management Hawaii - February/March 2012