From educating architects, to engaging code officials, to influencing legislation, efforts to promote and protect the glass and glazing industry dominated the conversation at the National Glass Association 2020 Annual Conference in La Jolla, California.
“NGA champions the benefits of glass and glazing, and works to promote and defend the use of glass,” says Nicole Harris, president and CEO. “The collaboration and hard work of committee members across the supply chain at this conference are key to making that happen.”
Among those collaborative efforts is the recently published Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for flat glass products sold in the United States. Available for download, the EPD covers flat glass produced by the four member companies of the NGA’s Forming Committee: AGC Glass North America, Guardian Industries, NSG Pilkington and Vitro Architectural Glass. With that milestone behind them, committee members agree the next step is to educate architects on how to best use EPDs when specifying products.
When it comes to defending the glass and glazing industry, many of those battles are fought on the code and legislative fronts. As a result, the NGA Advocacy Committee is developing a “strike team” to advocate for glass and glazing at the legislative and regulatory levels, supported by the association’s code consultants. “When urgent code or legislative issues come up, we need to be able to quickly and effectively communicate the industry’s best interests to code and/or government officials,” says Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell, NGA director of technical services and advocacy. “This group will enable us to do so.”
One such is issue is bird-friendly glazing: the subject of heated debate at the conference. With New York City looking to adopt legislation requiring bird-friendly glass on all new construction, the issue is becoming of increasing importance to the industry. “We’re not anti-glass; we’re bird-friendly glass,” said Christine Sheppard of the American Bird Conservancy, who spoke to a packed educational session. “I like windows like everyone else,” agreed Dr. Daniel Klem, an expert in the field from Muhlenberg College. “I just want to make them safe for birds.”
The NGA Annual Conference continues this week, with code updates and Fabricating Committee activities on the agenda.