Pulp It

Thoughts from Bernard Lax


The other day I was searching for something on the web when I came upon the site of another glass company. As I was checking it out I noticed something that seems to be an ongoing problem within our industry, DECEPTION! Deception in the claims that companies make that are misleading or just plain lies. The most glaring on this site was the claim they use RECYCLED content in their glass products, implying that the recycled material is post consumer content. Just about every glass professional knows that there is really no such thing when the product is float glass. Float glass has to always be made of virgin content or the cut offs from the float line (post industrial content) in order to comply with the producers standards.

Yet, on this site for all the world to behold is the claim of this southern California company, “Available with 100% recycled glass”. They even have their samples marked as “100% Recycled Glass”. Yikes!
So are they completely ignorant or using deception to make sales? The irony is that I am sure that there are many designers out there that believe this lie and use these products because they believe this lie. Either way the owners of this company should be ashamed of themselves for using this deception to generate sales or they are just plain stupid. (Sorry, the only word I could think of to describe them).

So here in lies the bigger issue. Anybody can write anything they want on their webpage. They can lie about Recycled content, they can lie about their products LEED attributes, they can lie about anything they want and the design community eats it up.
I don’t have the answer to the question, so I will continue to get aggravated when I read this stuff, and hope that one day people will have some morality in their marketing efforts ( I just made myself laugh).

Your Safety is Right Around the Corner

If you remember it was reported back at the end of 2012 that there was a significant code change passed to be implemented in the 2015 issuance of the IBC. That must have seemed like years away back then, but here we are! Three years later and we are on the precipice of the implementation of this change. I can’t tell you how many architects are still unaware of this impending change and the shock of higher costs associated with handrails will be something bound to be a surprise for both architects, developers and general contractors who haven’t paid attention.

The code change calls for the laminated glass to be constructed of either single-fully tempered glass, laminated fully tempered glass or laminated heat-strengthened glass and to comply with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1. The proposal noted that the glazing used in railing in-fill panels must be of an approved safety glazing material that conforms to the provisions of Section 2406.1.1. For all glazing types, the minimum nominal thickness must be 1/4 inch (6.4 mm). Fully tempered glass and laminated glass must comply with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1. An exception is provided for single fully tempered glass complying with Category II of CPSC 16 CFR Part 1201 or Class A of ANSI Z97.1 used in handrails and guardrails if there is no walking surface below or the walking surface is permanently protected from the risk of falling glass.

This is a critical time to educate the industry, so let’s get to it.


Once again we see another project where glass has been supplied for handrails and is failing. Nobody has rendered a definitive cause but if it smells like a fish, and tastes like a fish, then it must be nickel sulfide inclusions. I have started to realize that you really can’t blame these Chinese suppliers. This is the quality of glass that some of them make and if it is inferior so be it. The blame lies with the specifier and the General Contractor who fail to vet these items, and more importantly who ignore the news. It isn’t like this potential issue hasn’t been an issue in the past two years. Instead ignorance is bliss and they many of these folks play the risk game. If they can get it cheaper then throw caution to the wind. Maybe this costly lesson will be driven home by the insurance companies. This could be the start of something big!