Cost Effective Solution: Safety Glazing Film
Recently on an industrial expansion project we designed, the contractor made some revisions to the storefront system and stairs of the building in the office area. Due to the proximity of the stairs and stairs landing, the glass, which previously did not need to be safety or tempered, was now falling into an area that requires safety glazing per Ohio Building Code (OBC) Section 2406.4(10).
Unfortunately when this happens, there is usually no choice but to change out the panels of glass that fall into the area of protection with safety glazing glass, a process that is time consuming and costly. However, there is an innovative product on the market now to alleviate this issue at a lower time and cost commitment: safety glazing film. This glazing film can be applied to existing windows, so it’s not necessary to replace previously purchased windows. The film meets all the criteria of OBC Section 2406 and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 16 CFR standard for impact test.
At first being skeptical is natural, but after researching the product on the International Code Council’s Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The ICC-ES has been researching products for decades through technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials, making it easier to determine whether a product or material is code compliant and enforces building regulations.
For this product, the ICC-ES Report ESR-2487 from August 2014 evaluates Llumar SCL SR PS4 Safety Film. When the film is job-site applied, it meets the requirements of OBC Section 2406 and CPSC 16 CFR for glazing in hazardous locations. Also, the approximate cost of this film installed is $7.00/SF. That figure is considerably less than the cost of a new safety glazing panel change out and installation to address areas where glazing may need to be upgraded; a panel change out could be as much as $20.00/SF.
I always find it encouraging when products are developed that provide a simpler and more cost effective solution in addressing code issues which may occur during construction. Don't you? Have you worked with this material before or come across this same setback? Share your comments below and what solution you found.
by Jim Mitchell
Principal, Executive Vice President, Director - Civic/Community Studio
As a registered architect for over 27 years and a State of Ohio Certified Master Plans Examiner and Chief Building Official, Jim is a wealth of knowledge regarding building codes. His favorite place to eat is Polaris Grille, and his favorite movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.