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Glazing advocacy for the industry

Your industry advocate, NGA promotes and defends the use of glass in the built environment.


  • works with domestic and international standards and codes bodies

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

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

Review NGA’s current activities by topic

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From NGA's Advocacy & Technical Services Department 

May 2020

Special note: We hope this newsletter finds you healthy and safe. Here are the latest updates on the important technical and codes work NGA is focusing on.

Advocacy Update

AB262 FAQ’s
The Forming Committee developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that address compliance of glass in buildings in accordance with California AB262 legislation, also known as the Buy Clean California Act. The FAQs explain:

  • The definition of a public works project and how it fits into CA AB262

  • Key legislation dates that affect eligible materials accepted

  • Definitions of flat glass and processed glass according to the legislation verbiage

  • Requirements to bid on a California state-funded project

  • Methods to locate data and address questions surrounding data for Global Warming Potential and compliance with AB262

View and download the FAQs for Glass in Buildings in Compliance with California AB262, available on NGA's Advocacy webpage.

ASTM Glass and Glazing Standards for the Building Industry 
NGA members, the association and ASTM International worked collaboratively to curate a special set of ASTM standards and specifications specific to the glass and glazing industry. This compilation is updated regularly as existing standards are re-approved. Order your copy today!

ASHRAE 90.1 Virtual Meeting 
The ASHRAE interim meetings were held virtually during the week of April 20. Our full technical and advocacy team attended, representing the entire glass and glazing industry: Thom Zaremba, Nick Resetar, Tom Culp and Urmilla Sowell. Defending window to wall ratio was again a critical topic. NGA will expand available resources related to the benefits of Daylighting and Views with a new AIA presentation.

IGCC Virtual Spring Conference 
Urmilla Sowell participated in the IGCC Certification Committee meeting virtually on May 5. The Insulating Glass Certification Council was established in 1977 with a focus on the safety of commercial and residential insulating glazing products.

NGA Committee Update

National Volunteer Week 
We celebrated our volunteers in April for National Volunteer Week, which is dedicated to celebrating the impact of volunteer service. Thanks again to our many members who lend their time, talent, voice and support to the initiatives of the association in our glazing and glass building products community.

Task Group Upcoming Virtual Meetings: Our active task groups meet virtually every four to six weeks to develop new technical resources and revise existing resources. Task group meetings generally last 30 to 60 minutes, with additional time on a volunteer basis to draft content. We invite you to join by contacting Amber Johnson.

Fabricating Committee Active Task Groups

  • Defining an Industry Acceptable Color Variance for Decorative Glass

  • Measuring Color of Decorative Material in the Field

  • How to View Decorative Products in Interior and Exterior Applications

  • Best Practices for Installed Painted Decorative Glass

  • Develop a new School Security Standard

  • Best Practices for Bird-Friendly Glazing Design

  • Assessment of the Weatherability & Durability of Decorative Glass

  • Durability and Testing of Painted Decorative Mounted Glass

  • Decorative Glazing Manual

  • Fabricator Considerations for Large Glass Products

  • Vacuum Insulating Glass (VIG)

  • Evaluating Post-Finishing for Heat-Treated Glass Edges

  • Frameless Shower Enclosures

  • Glass for Personal Protective Barriers

Installing Committee Active Task Groups

  • Frame and Perimeter Insulation Issues

  • Commercial Fenestration Systems Manual

  • Specifications

  • Thermal Bridging

Upcoming Events 

May’s Thirsty Thursday webinar will feature the most current updates and changes impacting glass railing in the International Building Code (IBC). Join us for “The Latest IBC Railing Requirements” presented by Vicente Montes, Curtainwall Design and Consulting, Inc. on May 21 at 1:00 pm ET. Click here to register for this webinar. 

In June, Thirsty Thursday will cover Building Code Updates, presented by NGA’s Code Consultant Tom Culp. Get the latest updates on the energy standards, ICC residential and commercial codes, Canadian building codes and progressive state building codes.

Thirsty Thursday is provided by NGA as a free educational opportunity once per month for the entire glass and glazing industry. We also encourage you to visit our library of over 20 previously-recorded Thirsty Thursday webinars.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming NGA Glass Conference, being held July 28-30. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic implications and many company-enforced travel restrictions, the event previously planned to occur in Northbrook, IL, will now be hosted via private online video conference using the Zoom platform. Registration will open the week of May 18. Members and non-members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Stay tuned for more information at; FAQs on the new conference format can be found HERE

GlassBuild America is slated for September 15-17 in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s theme: “Forward Focus: What’s Now, What’s Next in Glass and Fenestration.” Check out the new for details. The Glazing Executives Forum will be held September 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in tandem with GlassBuild America. 

In 2021, NGA Glass Conference: Clearwater Beach will be January 18-20 at the Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL. 

Published Resources: Most Popular in April/May 

NGA committees develop and update Glass Technical Papers (GTPs) and Manuals to reflect the latest developments and trends within the industry. We would like to recognize the top six publications having the most downloads during the last month. Congrats to the task groups who worked on these resources.

  • Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass Products- Architectural glass products must be properly cleaned during construction activities and as a part of routine maintenance in order to maintain visual and aesthetic clarity. Since glass products can be permanently damaged if improperly cleaned, glass producers and fabricators recommend strict compliance with the suggested procedures outlined in this document for properly cleaning glass surfaces.

  • Approximate Weight of Architectural Flat Glass- Design professionals, wall system manufacturers, and construction managers often need the weight of materials for engineering and construction site considerations. The table within this document gives approximate weights of architectural flat glass by thickness designations as published by North American manufacturers.

  • Assessing the Compatibility of Glazing Materials and Components- Assessing the compatibility of materials and components in glazing systems is essential to ensuring the long-term performance of these systems. However, given the number and diversity of materials and components, it is challenging to test every possible combination against every conceivable factor. This document is intended to serve as a guideline to conduct performance testing on specific configurations, ultimately leading to more effective consideration of the factors involved in compatibility testing of glazing materials. This GIB is intended for glazing professionals or anyone with an interest in evaluating the compatibility of glazing materials and components. Note that even when compatibility is confirmed, in applications where adhesion of materials is critical for the performance of the glazing system, such adhesion must be verified independently.

  • Bid Considerations for Contract Glazing Proposals- Today's business climate requires glazing subcontractors to take steps to reduce their agreements to writing, clarify those agreements and limit their exposure. The purpose of this document is to list optional inclusions, exclusions and qualifications for glazing subcontractors to consider adopting. This is not a comprehensive list; it is a tool to assist subcontractors in evaluating their bid proposals.

  • Describing Architectural Glass Constructions- Architectural glass products used in commercial construction applications often incorporate multiple lites of glass with different colors, thicknesses, strength, coatings and other surface and edge treatments. NGA with GANA recommends the terminology and practices for describing the construction of architectural glass products to be used in windows, doors, skylights, window walls and curtain walls contained within this document.

  • Employee Safety Guide- A reference guide to help your employees protect themselves and your company. Information includes forklift and scaffold safety, OSHA regulations, and how to protect yourself and others from blood borne pathogens.

Click on the links above to download these documents and see our other technical resources here

AIA-Approved Presentations – Also Eligible for Live Webinars 

NGA is an approved AIA Provider and, thanks to the involvement of its volunteer members, has nine (9) approved presentations as part of its resource library. Members may use these presentations as a resource when reaching out to architects and other interested parties. They are approved for live presentation either in person or virtually

Find more information and become an approved presenter. Contact Sara Neiswanger with inquiries. 

NGA’s advocacy and technical initiatives respond to the relentless, ever-changing challenges to our industry. NGA is the glass and glazing authority; we are a resource for our members and the industry at large. Our mission is to defend and protect as we champion the benefits of glazing and glass building products. 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.

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:

CSA A460 Bird Friendly Building Design

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.

ASHRAE 90.1-2019

For the last two 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  

Tom Culp serves as co-vice-chair of the ASHRAE 90.1 committee and helped lead the effort on updating the fenestration requirements. Culp commented, "This was a long effort over 2½ years involving many parties from industry, energy efficiency advocates, architects, building code officials, and more. I'm proud to see the final result where we were able to negotiate values that advance energy efficiency while being cost effective and practical for the industry, resolved arguments that have been going on for 15 years, and achieved nearly unanimous support at both ASHRAE and ICC." 

School Security

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 is working on a glass technical paper on school security.

California AB262

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.

Known as the Buy Clean California Act, AB262 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 supporters of the bill 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 video, “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 CA AB262, EPDs, PCRs and more.


NYC’s “Green Deal”

In April, 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. With voices from the code, architect, and glazing contractor communities, the NGA has organized a panel discussion at the 2019 Glazing Executives Forum to address how initiatives like the Green New Deal can hurt the glass industry, and what glass companies can do to comply with this requirement. Read, “What You Need to Know about the Green New Deal.”

This June, the NGA launched the new Glass & Glazing Design Academy, made available to architects and industry professionals through a new partnership with Architectural Record. The academy is hosted online in Architectural Record’s Continuing Education Center and will feature nine one-hour LU/HSW accredited courses. The courses, which were developed by NGA and its member volunteers, cover a range of topics including insulating glass, laminated glass, protective glazing, fire-rated glazing, decorative glass, and more.

“This new academy, and partnership with Architectural Record as a whole, speaks to NGA’s commitment to upholding our education and advocacy strategic goals,” says Andrew Haring, vice president of Business Development for NGA. “We graciously accept the responsibility of promoting and protecting glass as the building material of choice. Educating the architectural community and simplifying the specification process is paramount. The Glass and Glazing Design Academy accomplishes this.”

Join NGA's Advocacy Committee!