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Advocacy

nga advocacy & technical services banner that reads, an update on important technical work by NGA's advocacy and technical services team

Your industry advocate, NGA promotes and defends the use of glass in the built environment. NGA’s advocacy and technical initiatives respond to the relentless, ever-changing challenges to our industry. We thank our volunteer members, industry partners and expert consultants who work tirelessly to ensure glass and glazing is at the forefront of all discussions impacting building regulations and innovation in construction. 

We are:

  • working with domestic and international standards and codes bodies

  • providing education on the benefits of glazing and glass building products

  • representing the glass industry’s best interests on key issues

Review current activities

Codes & Standards

NGA is actively involved with standards and codes bodies including the International Codes Council, ASTM International and ASHRAE, among others, to promote and defend the use of glass in the built environment. Recent activities include:

For the last several years, the NGA advocacy team has worked with other industry associations and public officials to successfully work new performance requirements for windows, doors and skylights into the ASHRAE 90.1 energy standard for buildings, which were approved in Spring 2019. Read more.

ASHRAE 90.1-2019, published in October 2019, includes the following revisions: 

  • Updated commercial fenestration criteria  
  • No reduction in window area 
  • Increased daylighting controls  
  • Cleared barriers for use of VIG in walk-in coolers and freezers 
  • Commissioning requirements including more focus on air leakage  

ASHRAE 90.1 SSPC 90.1 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings held their Spring Interim meetings in April and October 2021, where the NGA Advocacy Technical team represented the glass and glazing industry. The meetings included discussion of a simplified method for the design of buildings and building envelope materials.

ASTM Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings and Committee F12 on Security Systems and Equipment work group topics include Design of Glass Railings, Guards and Balustrades, Sealed Insulated Glass, Security Glazing, Glass Floors & Stairs, and Impact Resistance. Several security standards and glass strength standards were reviewed and updated in 2021. 

The NGA Advocacy Team participated in the ASTM E06 and ASTM C14 committee weeks in October 2021  and the Glass Strength meeting in January 2022. C14 updated and published several new standards for the glass industry.

  • C1036-21 Standard Specification for Flat Glass
  • C1901-21e2 Standard Test Method for Measuring Optical Retardation in Flat Architectural Glass
  • C1914-21 Standard Test Method for Bake and Boil Testing of Laminated Glass
  • New Test Method for Bird Collision Deterrence Material Threat Factor (working through negatives)
  • Pummel Adhesion testing of two-ply laminated architectural glass (will be published)
  • Center-Punch Fragmentation of Fully Tempered Glass (working through negatives)

NGA’s Thirsty Thursday session Standards for Laminated Glass addresses the latest updates to ASTM standards affecting laminated glass. Watch a recording of the session.

In August 2021, the California Energy Commission approved a resolution adopting the 2022 Energy Code, commonly known as Title 24. The 2022 Energy Code will go into effect on January 1, 2023, following expected approval by the California Building Standards Commission. NGA’s advocacy team has been providing feedback on proposed changes to the teams developing the Title 24 update over the last two years. Overall, the new version of Title 24 will make significant advancement towards the state’s energy efficiency and climate change goals while also meeting their cost effectiveness requirements.

This includes new provisions that will push towards electrification and decarbonization, including a new prescriptive requirement for PV and battery storage systems on both new nonresidential and multifamily buildings. For the fenestration requirements in nonresidential buildings, there are no changes to the window area limits and only small updates to the curtain wall and fixed window U and SHGC. On the residential side, there are no changes to the window requirements in single family homes since they were just updated last cycle, but there will be a brand new separate standard covering multifamily buildings of all heights. To address the product differences in 1 story to 50+ story multifamily buildings, it lists separate fenestration requirements for curtain wall / storefront, AW class windows, and all other windows.

The pandemic has brought about a lot of changes to the way we occupy our existing building stock. Rehabilitating existing buildings to meet these new demands requires flexibility in the Existing Building Codes. Currently, California’s Existing Building Code has only one path for building rehabilitation: prescriptive path. The American Institute of Architects has called for California to adopt the three different compliance paths--prescriptive, work area and performance--that are now incorporated into the International Existing Building Code. Doing so would undoubtedly provide greater flexibility in the design and rehabilitation of California’s existing building stock. This effort is slated for California’s mid-term code cycle in early 2022.

NGA has submitted comments designed to promote and protect new and current glass technologies in Canada’s CSA A460 standard, which covers bird-friendly building design in both new construction and existing buildings. Learn more

Download Bird-Friendly Glass Design Strategies for further information on glazing designs to protect birds. 

Over the years, scientists and citizen scientists dedicated to bird conservation have amassed a significant body of knowledge on causes and prevention of bird collision with glazing structures. A set of simple design principles has been demonstrated to be effective at reducing the risk of bird strikes through tests, studies and research that support a prescriptive approach to bird collision deterrence. Download Best Practices for Bird-Friendly Glazing Design Guide to learn more.

United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced new Department of Energy initiatives to help reduce emissions and energy inefficiency in residential and commercial buildings, including availability of highly efficient windows. Read the press release.

NGA’s Energy Code Consultant, Dr. Tom Culp, Birch Point Consulting, Co-Vice Chair ASHRAE Std. 90.1, presented at the virtual DOE Building Energy Codes Program in the panel discussion “Looking to the Future - What's in Store for ASHRAE Standard 90.1.” Tom’s presentation focused on the onsite renewable energy requirements in 2022 ASHRAE 90.1. Other topics covered in this session are thermal bridging, envelope back-stop and HVAC metrics. Watch a recording of the session. See the full program and download presentation slides at energycodes.gov

In February 2022, the EPA released the ENERGY STAR Version 7.0 Residential Window, Door, and Skylight Draft 2 Specification. NGA’s advocacy team has been involved with the Energy Star process from the start and filed comments in support of the proposed update which will promote higher performance glazing in all parts of the country, including triple pane glazing and 4th surface low-E in the north.

EPA and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory completed over 600,000 new analysis runs which confirmed the prior energy analysis and actually showed improved payback periods. As a result, EPA is maintaining the proposed prescriptive window criteria, and only making small changes to the northern equivalent energy performance levels as well as combining the sliding and swinging glass door criteria. EPA is accepting comments through March 28, and assuming the criteria are finalized this summer, the version 7 program would be implemented a year later in summer 2023. For more information, read an analysis of triple-pane glazing.

The International Code Council (ICC) is considering changes to the code development process based on issues presented to the Board Committee on the Long-Term Code Development Process (Blue Ribbon Committee). The board has approved two updates so far- cost impact and assembly consideration. NGA submitted public comments to the ICC Board in support of a proposal to use ANSI Consensus Procedures for future development of IECC. Read the comments here. 

ICC 2021 Group A Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV) opened October 15 and closed November 1, 2021. The final outcome of the proposals (what will end up in the next official Group A codes) is now final.
 

ICC Group B Hearings 

The International Code Committee (ICC) Committee Action Hearings for updates to Group B of the model building codes was held March 27 to April 6 in Rochester, New York.  

Group B includes:  

  • Admin (Chapter 1 of all the I-codes except the IECC, IgCC and IRC) 
  • IBC Structural provisions in Chapters 15 – 25 and IEBC structural provisions 
  • IEBC non-structural provisions 
  • IgCC Chapter 1 
  • IRC Building provisions Chapters 1-10  

NGA Code Consultants Thom Zaremba and Nick Resetar of Roetzel & Andress and Tom Culp of Birchpoint Consulting will represent NGA and the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC) at the hearing, advocating on behalf of the glass industry. 

Remaining schedule

  • May 9: Results of the Committee Action Hearing will be posted on the ICC website
  • June 20: Deadline for online receipt of public comments
  • August 4: Public Comment Agenda will be posted on the ICC website
  • September 14-21: Public Comment Hearing, in person in Louisville, KY
  • Early October: Online Governmental Consensus Vote open for two weeks
  • Approximately November: Final Action posted following Validation Committee certification of Online Governmental Consensus Vote and ICC Board confirmation

Key to Abbreviations used in the Model Building Codes:

  • CAH Committee Action Hearing
  • GICC Glazing Industry Code Committee (within NGA)
  • IBC International Building Code
  • ICC International Code Committee
  • IEBC International Existing Building Code
  • IECC International Energy Conservation Code
  • IgCC International Green Construction Code
  • IRC International Residential Code
  • Group A & Group B the ICC divided the model building codes into 2 parts for the purposes of reviewing code provisions. 
  • PCH Public comment hearing
  • OGCV Online Governmental Consensus Vote

Learn more about the codes in NGA’s Guide to the Glass and Glazing Requirements of the Model Building Codes.

The 2024 IECC is now being developed with a consensus committee process similar to ASHRAE and ASTM to allow more technical consideration of proposals. This process is well under way with multiple committee meetings occurring every week considering different proposals. There are several proposals potentially affecting both residential and commercial fenestration criteria that will be heard in the coming months. NGA is well represented with our code consultant Tom Culp holding a voting position on the main commercial consensus committee as well as chairing the Envelope and Embodied Energy subcommittee. The committee actions will result in a second draft of the 2024 IECC for public review in late summer or early fall.  
 
Also, the ICC Code Correlation Committee recently met and confirmed that the final results of the residential 2021 IECC includes a “NR” or no requirement for SHGC for residential fenestration in zone 5 in the main U-factor criteria table. This corrects and removes an erratum that incorrectly stated that there was a 0.40 maximum SHGC in zone 5 in the U-factor table. The 0.40 SHGC was added to the R-value table by one proposal, but not in the main U-factor table, which remains as no requirement. This decision also removes a potential conflict for the Energy Star program, as a maximum SHGC of 0.40 in this northern zone can actually hurt energy efficiency, as confirmed by LBNL’s updated energy savings analysis.

2024 IECC Consensus Committee Wrapping Up Round 1

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) residential and commercial consensus committees are wrapping up their review of over 400 proposals in the first round of development of the 2024 IECC. In this new process, NGA’s consultant Tom Culp holds a voting position on the commercial consensus committee – the only one in the fenestration industry – and also chairs the commercial envelope subcommittee.

Over the winter and spring, there have been multiple calls each week of the various residential and commercial committees and subcommittees discussing, modifying, and voting on proposals affecting all aspects of the energy code. All approved proposals will result in a new revision of the IECC that will go out for a 2nd public review later this summer, and then the second round of public comment proposals will be considered by the committees and result in the final 2024 IECC.

So far, the residential committee strongly approved a GICC proposal to update residential fenestration requirements that was modified in a consensus proposal together with WDMA, FGIA, the New Buildings Institute, and 2050 Partners.

The commercial committee has approved new default U-factors for different spandrel assemblies, incentives for higher performance fenestration under expanded new “additional energy efficiency credits” requirements, tighter air leakage requirements, new requirements for on-site renewable energy including BIPV, and new thermal bridging requirements similar to ASHRAE 90.1.

The committee has rejected proposed envelope backstops that would restrict design flexibility, separate fenestration U-factors for midrise and high-rise residential occupancies, and a proposal that would have allowed NFRC ratings at actual project sizes to be used in the performance path. Dr. Culp will be reporting on the full details at NGA Glass Conference: Chicago and to the Glazing Industry Code Committee.

ISO International Standards Organization Technical Committee 160: Glass in Buildings held a meeting of the Chairman Advisory Group (CAG) on April 12, 2021. The CAG discussed updates to ISO TC 160 standards for Glass in Buildings including BIPV, dynamic glazing and glass strength.

While current building codes do not require security glazing in schools, a growing number of school districts nationwide are looking to meet voluntary security glazing standards to provide additional protection for their buildings. NGA is participating in a multi-industry effort with the National Fire Protection Association, ASTM International and ICC to provide guidance in this effort. In addition, NGA presented this topic as part of its Thirsty Thursday webinar series and published a glass technical paper on school security in February 2021. NGA’s school security task group drafted a consensus-based, repeatable test standard that is currently at ballot at ASTM.

NGA has the answers and resources you need. Members have exclusive access to our Codes & Standards Help Center. Log in to your account to access or join the NGA today.  

Legislation

NGA’s Forming Committee issued public comments on California AB262, voicing concerns about the bill’s technical flaws which will affect the flat glass manufacturers and the industry. NGA also responded regarding facility specific data for the implementation of CA AB262, now known as the Buy Clean California Act.

Implementation Dates of Buy Clean California Act Extended to 2022

A new assembly bill was signed into law on July 16, 2021 extending the implementation date of the Buy Clean California Act. New key legislation dates include:

  • January 1, 2022: DGS published the maximum acceptable GWP for eligible materials. Previously posted GWP limits are no longer in effect. The CA DGS GWP established a limit for flat glass of 1.43E+03 kg CO2-eq. (equivalent to 1.43 MT CO2 eq./MT. Note MT refers to metric ton.)     
  • July 1, 2022: Awarding authorities will gauge GWP compliance of eligible materials with the required Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

See our GWP one-pager on this topic.

The Buy Clean California Act asks bidders on public works projects in California to submit an EPD, or Environmental Product Declaration, for specified flat glass products. NGA continues to work with CA DGS to clarify the language, ensure they understand the effects, and educate them about the glass and glazing industry.

To learn more about EPDs and their potential impact on your glass company, watch “The Why, How and Business Value of LCA and EPDs.”

Download NGA's Building Compliance FAQs to learn more about the use of glass as it relates to the Buy Clean California Act, EPDs, PCRs and more.

In April 2019, the glass industry witnessed this jarring headline coming out of New York City: "NYC’s ‘Green New Deal’ to Ban Glass, Steel Skyscrapers." And while research revealed the mayor was not actually announcing a ban on glass and steel buildings in New York City, his anti-glass statements and over-simplistic labeling of glass as a poor energy performer were harmful to the glass industry. Since then, the NGA, relying on voices from the code, architect, and glazing contractor communities, has addressed how initiatives like the Green New Deal can hurt the glass industry, and educated the industry on what glass companies can do to comply with this requirement. Read, “What You Need to Know about the Green New Deal.”

NGA provides advocacy one-pagers to format advocacy requests related to glass industry issues into a quick-reference format to help stakeholders and legislators easily understand issues at hand. Download NGA's advocacy one-pagers below.

Sustainability Initiatives of the Flat Glass Industry

Flat Glass PCR (pdf)

GANA PCR for Flat Glass was published by NSF describing the requirements for LCAs and EPD of flat glass, valid through September 30, 2025.

Flat Glass EPD: Industry Average (pdf)

NGA flat glass member companies (members of the NGA Forming committee) published an industry-average EPD for flat glass produced in the US in December 2019 (ref: ASTM-EPD121) valid until December 20, 2024.

Processed Glass PCR (download from UL)

The processed glass PCR Guidance for Building-Related Products and Services Part B: Processed Glass EPD Requirements was established August 17, 2016.

Cradle to Gate Window PCR (pdf)

The Cradle-to-Gate Window Product Category Rule was established September 10, 2015 and is valid through September 30, 2021. This PCR is currently being updated to include fenestration products.

NGA’s energy code consultant, Tom Culp of Birchpoint Consulting answers the question- in a triple glazed insulating unit, is the embodied energy in the added third pane of glass paid back by the extra energy savings realized by the triple glazed unit? Read his analysis and conclusions.

Get Involved

Our active task groups meet every four to six weeks to develop new technical resources and revise existing publications. Task group meetings generally last 30 to 60 minutes, with additional time on a volunteer basis to draft content.

NGA Fabricating Committee

  • AIA presentation: Decorative Glass- Designing with Decorative Glass – Cast and Heat-Formed: This presentation will complement our newly updated AIA presentation Designing with Glass for Privacy and Translucency.
  • Alignment in US Energy Conservation Codes ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC- This new GTP highlights the increase in stringency requirements in ASHRAE 90.1-2019 and IECC 2021 for commercial and residential fenestration products. Changes in the climate zone maps are shown, along with historical energy performance criteria tables for 2009-2021 versions of the energy codes. Estimates of glazing products required to meet the current energy code versions for each climate zone are also included for reference.
  • Benefits of Decorative Glass in Daylighting Applications. Join this new task group to update this GTP.
  • Challenges Faced by Fire-Rated Glazing- This new GTP will discuss the advantages fire-rated glazing can offer.
  • Design Considerations for Laminated Glazing: Modern architectural designs often require glazing materials that provide enhanced levels of security and safety performance properties. These properties include: resistance to ballistics, blast, hurricane/cyclic wind pressures and physical attack. Applications may also require desirable properties such as sound reduction, fade resistance, and solar & thermal control. Design professionals and building owners should be aware of the considerations contained within this document when selecting and specifying laminated glazing constructions.
  • Dynamic Glazing for High Performance Buildings: Designs that do not take the sun's influence into account can subject the occupants of the building to conditions such as uncomfortable glare, solar heat gain, variable temperatures, and the early decay of fabrics, and surfaces that fade over time. This document discusses the characteristics of dynamic glazing which can mitigate against the influence of the sun.
  • Fire-Rated Multi-Chambered Glass- This new GTP will specifically discuss fire rated multi chambered glass with intumescent layers.
  • Glazing Manual- Frequently referred to as the "industry bible, “ NGA will be updating the Glazing Manual in 2022. The Glazing Manual is recognized as the definitive source in the glass and glazing field. This manual includes complete information about primary and fabricated glass products, quality standards, design considerations, general and specific glazing guidelines and glazing in hazardous locations.
  • Guidelines for Use of Capillary Tubes. Join this new task group to update this GTP.
  • Installing Committee Specifications: This active task group is updating the Glass & Glazing section, MasterSpec Division 08, in collaboration with Deltek.
  • LEED Recycled Content for Glass- LEED v4 and v4.1: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials provides opportunities for credit achievement through participation in an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program. We will update the existing GTP with details on how to set up an EPR program.
  • LEED White Paper – Decorative- The intent of this Paper is to address areas of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) Rating System that are relevant to the use of Decorative Glass. This document describes the ways in which decorative and mirror glass products are consistent with the intent of the LEED Rating System. Although individual building products do not in themselves constitute conformance to the LEED criteria, depending on the amount and type of glass used in a project, this versatile material has great potential to help achieve LEED credits. Also found within is a comparative analysis between LEED® 2009 and LEED® v4. 
  • Performance Improvements of IGUs: We will update the existing GTP. The center of glass thermal performance of an IGU is a function of glass type, coating, and size and gas fill of cavity gap. This document will address these areas only and does not address IGU edge conditions. 
  • School Security Test Method: This task group created a consensus-based standard test method for Active Shooter scenarios for schools: ASTM WK78966 - Standard Test Method for Forced-Entry-Resistance of Fenestration Systems after Simulated Active Shooter Attack. The test method is being balloted at ASTM. The task group will continue to promote the use of glazing for visual awareness and entry deterrent in a meaningful way to address the risk, threats and vulnerabilities of educational facilities.
  • Secondary Sealants: This will be a new GTP that discusses the design considerations for the structural bite dimension of a silicone secondary sealant in a dual sealed IGU.
  • Thermal Comfort- This new GTP will discuss the benefits of glass or windows with thermal comfort.

NGA Installing Committee

Contact Amber Johnson to join any of these groups.

See All Current Committee Members and Task Groups

GICC works directly with NGA’s code consultants to build greater knowledge and acceptance of architectural glass, glazing materials, and glazing systems as safe, efficient, effective, and economical construction products. GICC seeks to educate model code, standard-setting, and building code organizations and officials, as well as the general public.

The GICC meets virtually to discuss updates to the ICC Building Code and the Canadian Model National Building Codes. GICC is led by the Executive Committee:

  • GICC Chair - Devin Bowman of Technical Glass Products replaces Greg McKenna of Kawneer Company
  • GICC Vice Chair - Steve Thomas of Guardian Glass replaces Darrell Smith of IWFA
  • GICC Secretary/Treasurer - Ron Hull of Kuraray continues his service in this role

Thanks to our GICC leadership for their time and dedication to serving the glass and glazing industry interests in the building codes.

If you are interested in joining GICC, contact Sara Neiswanger for details.

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