I have read several articles on the newer impact window films as they apply to safety glazing and meeting building codes and I have a question.
It appears that applied after-market window films such as ones manufactured by 3M and Vista theoretically will meet ANZI Z97.1 and CPSC 16 CFR 1201 requirements.
However, since they are field-applied, they will not meet CPSC 1201 requirements. Is that correct?
Do any of the major Building Codes such as 2003 IBC allow annealed glass to have field-applied safety films applied to the "daylight" portion of the glass in lieu of replacing the glass with tempered safety glass?
I can't seem to get a reasonable explanation that our building inspectors will accept.
I doubt we will see a time when glass shops can make annealed glazing equal to "safety" glass using films of any type. This issue almost "mirrors" the wire glass vs. new type fire rated glass issue. While it appears the precident has been established if you examine the "new" fire rated glazing that utilizes film to meet "code" for impact glazing applications. Those films are applied at my wholesaler's location and carry a "bug" for verification purposes.
I imagine there are at least two roadblocks to allowing film to meet safety code; policing efforts ensuring film meets standards, and secondly the shift in existing revenue streams.
How would we police the industry, it would be a similar situation to autoglass where butyl is still being used in place of urethane. What would ensure companies are using the correct film? This is an argument that will keep markets as they are.
Can you imagine the loss of revenue that may be experienced by glass tempering facilities if glass shops were able to produce their own "safety" glass by simply adding security film?
It will take suppliers of window films with deep pockets a considerable amount of time to get codes adopted to allow tint to become equal to "safety" glazing.
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