A GANA Committee
In the early 1970s, the National Safety Council and a national injury data base reported that approximately 320,000 injuries occurred each year involving glass in doors and windows. Responding to these injury reports, state and local jurisdictions began to enact a hodge-podge of safety glazing laws. Because of the growing influence of the model building codes over the content of state and local building codes, glass and fenestration interests became active participants in the model code process. They hoped to ensure uniform, reasonable safety glazing laws and code provisions would be enacted at the state and local levels.
At the federal level and in response to Congressional prodding, in December 1977, the newly formed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) promulgated its federal safety standard for architectural glazing materials, 16 CFR 1201. It required the use of safety glazing in defined hazardous locations in all commercial and residential buildings nationwide.
In 1983, Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC) was formed to interact with the model building code organizations upon behalf of the nation’s glass and glazing industry. GICC quickly became the industry forum for developing consensus-based industry positions and the instrument for advancing those positions before the building codes. GICC’s code consultants act as its advocate in front of the model code organizations, attending model code hearings and reporting regularly to the GICC members regarding changes, or proposed changes, potentially affecting the use of architectural glass and glazing products.
In order to expand the membership of GICC and provide more efficient, economical management, GICC relinquished its independent status at the end of 2009 and, beginning in 2010, became a part of the Glass Association of North America as a stand-alone, semi-autonomous “committee,” open to all qualified companies and other trade associations serving the glass, glazing and fenestration industries and having business in front of the ICC, the I-codes, and NFPA. GICC’s involvement with the model code community has expanded under the GANA umbrella and has become even more effective, thanks in large part to the invaluable assistance of GICC’s two top-notch code consultants, one addressing industry energy and other “green” issues and the other, glass and glazing fire and structural issues. GICC membership has grown significantly, now reaching many voting-member companies and trade associations.
Its membership is diverse, but the preponderance of the members of GICC are involved in the manufacturing, fabrication, distribution, or installation of curtain walls, windows, doors, and sunrooms and the glazing systems for those architectural products. This diversity enables GICC to analyze and pursue code actions on a wide range of glass and glazing issues. Model code staff and building code officials regularly contact the GICC office within GANA and GICC’s code consultants for advice and answers to questions regarding glass and fenestration usage.
The mission of the Glazing Industry Code Committee (“GICC”) is to create among model code and building code organizations and officials, federal, state, and local regulatory agencies, and the general public greater knowledge and acceptance of architectural glass, glazing materials, and glazing systems as safe, efficient, effective, and economical construction products and to become better informed as an industry about the activities of these organizations, officials, and agencies as they relate to the glass and glazing industry. To this end, GICC shall, among other objectives, endeavor:
A. To create and promote a more enlightened understanding by such code organizations, officials, agencies, and the public of the attributes, properties, uses, and benefits of all types of architectural glass, glazing materials, and glazing systems;
B. To review the agenda and monitor meetings and other activities of the code organizations, standard-setting groups, and other agencies and organizations with respect to matters affecting the glass and glazing industry;
C. To propose and support such model and building code provisions and such federal, state, and local regulations of and standards for architectural glass, glazing materials, and glazing systems as may be necessary to minimize exposure of building occupants to unreasonable risks of injury associated with such building products and, at the same time, to provide for and ensure proper applications and uses of architectural glass, glazing materials, and glazing systems, including the health, life, and fire safety of building occupants, the security of buildings, and the conservation of energy resources; and
D. To appear on behalf of the glass and glazing industry before model and building code organizations, governmental departments and agencies, standards-setting bodies, and other organizations in matters affecting the industry, not, however, to act in the capacity of an attorney.
The following leaders are recognized for the considerable impact they’ve had both on the glass and glazing industry and towards the progress of the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC). Their work is greatly appreciated.
W. Belles, P.E
Donald W. Belles is a registered professional engineer in the states of Tennessee and Pennsylvania with over 40 years experience working in the industry. Previous employers include Factory Mutual Engineering Association, the State of Tennessee, Belles & Associates, Inc., and finally Koffel Associates, Inc.
Mr. Belles’ specialties include forensic engineering, fire modeling, analysis and protection, life safety and building code analysis, loss analysis, training and education and code development and representation.
Mr. Belles is a member and active participant in ASTM, NFPA and SFPE. He has also published or provided technical information to over seventy papers, manuals and seminars.
Mr. Belles was the code consultant for the Glazing Industry Code Committee for over ten years, beginning in the early 1990’s.
Laminated Glass Consultant
Peter M. Draghetti has nearly 50 years experience in research, marketing and consulting positions in the laminated glass segment of the glazing industry. Mr. Draghetti is a retired Colonel in the Military Intelligence division of the U.S. Army Reserve. He served in active project management for the Science and Technology Directorate of Defense Intelligence Agency.
His background includes over 36 years of employment in a variety of research and marketing technical service positions for Monsanto Company, including the Industrial Technical Specialist serving the laminated glass markets. Mr. Draghetti was a professional member of BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI Building Code Groups. In addition, he served on several ASTM Committees and in 2000 was named an ASTM Fellow. Mr. Draghetti was a past chairman and Board of Director for the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC).
Treasurer and former President of Karas & Karas Glass Co.
Leo Karas began working at Karas & Karas Glass Co. during the summers of his high school years in warehouse and aluminum fabrication roles. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1952, Mr. Karas returned to Karas & Karas Glass Co. to work full time. He worked in the contract division from 1965-1990, and in 1990 he became President of Karas & Karas Glass Co. Mr. Karas is currently the Treasurer while his son Joe has assumed the President’s position.
Mr. Karas spent 10 years as President of the Glass Employers Group of Greater Boston and was involved in multi-employer negotiations with the Glaziers’ union over the course of 35 years.
Mr. Karas has been active in the Flat Glass Manufacturer’s Association (FGMA) / Glass Association of North America (GANA) for over 30 years. He served as President of GANA for 2 years and was a co-creator of what is now the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference. Mr. Karas participated in the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC) since its inception in 1983 and served as its Chair for 2 years.
J. Vild, PE
Donald J. Vild was a registered professional engineer with over 40 years experience in the practical and theoretical aspects of glass used in buildings and special applications. His background included employment at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning, Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co. (now Pilkington North America) and finally as a consultant offering comprehensive service to all segments of the construction and design industry.
Mr. Vild was a member and active participant in twelve industry trade associations and societies. He also published or provided technical information to nearly fifty papers, manuals and seminars. Mr. Vild served as the code consultant for the Glazing Industry Code Committee before his retirement.