Facilities Planning

Newsletter 73 – March 2006

Face to Face Review Appointments:

During the past few months we have been scheduling Face-to-Face reviews reflecting the eight week backlog of projects.  The backlog is now 12 weeks and the Face-to-Face reviews will be scheduled to with the backlog in mind.  Many architects and engineers are finally taking advantage of these reviews.  So much that we found we are not often getting to the review of other projects.  By scheduling Face-to-Face reviews with the backlog in consideration we are able to keep the remaining projects flowing through the office. 

Eugene Minton is taking over scheduling Face-to-Face reviews from Barbara Castracani.  If you have questions regarding scheduling an appointment please ask for Gene. 

NYSERDA $mart Forum:

During the month of March NYSERDA is presenting a series of Energy Forums in different locations around the state.  The intent of the forums is to “Explore Energy Cost Saving Ideas and Programs”.  This program is for Businesses, Colleges/Universities, Municipalities, K-12 Schools, Building Owners/Managers, Homeowners and Renters.  These events are FREE for New York Energy Consumers and include refreshments.  For the Forum locations, schedule, and to sign up on-line go to http://www.nyserda.org/eventsroadshows.asp External Link Icon.  NYSERDA wants to hear your energy concerns and questions.

Wire Glass:

This is an important advisory concerning the use of wire glass in schools. 

It has come to our attention that the 2003 International Building Code, which will eventually be adopted by New York State as the 2006 Building Code of NY State, requires that all glazing in impact areas in educational occupancies be impact resistant.  This prompted us to research the issue and the results were quite startling.

It appears that there is a common misconception that wire glass is impact resistant.  This is not true, and in fact wire glass is only half as strong as regular plate glass.  In 1977 The Consumer Product Safety Commission established standards for impact resistant glass.  Because, at that time, wire glass was the only product that could meet the fire resistance requirements for vision panels, it was granted an exemption from the impact requirements.  And apparently, since the perception was that wire glass was also impact resistant, there was very little opposition to the exemption.

Recently the parent of a child, who suffered permanent nerve damage from broken wire glass, successfully spearheaded a grassroots effort to remove the impact resistance exemption.  The State of Oregon was the first to change their codes and the International Code followed suit. 

New York State will soon adopt this provision and new installations of glazing in hazardous locations in schools will be required to be impact resistant.  There are several fire-rated and impact resistant glazing options available today and school districts and architects should research the advantages and disadvantages of all options.   Wire glass will not be an available option.

Now for the difficult part, what do we do with existing wire glass installations?  We strongly recommend that all existing wire glass locations be evaluated for potential impact and injury.  There are several alternatives available to remedy locations determined to be at risk, such as replacement with impact and fire resistant materials, coating the glass with specialty films and installing protective bars or railings.  


Environmentally Sensitive Products for Schools:

As promised last November, in preparation for the implementation of the new green cleaning rule for public and nonpublic schools, a Q&A document was developed by the State Office of General Services, the State Education Department, State Department of Health, State Department of Environmental Conservation, and State Department of Labor.   It is available on our website.

Additional questions on green cleaning may be directed to: nysogsesu@ogs.state.ny.us.

An Index of our Newsletters is available on our web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/facplan/NewsLetters.htm.

If you would like to have this Newsletter sent directly to you by e-mail, please send your e-mail address to Joe Levy at jlevy@mail.nysed.gov.

Please continue to send in your comments and requests.  If you have a subject you would like addressed, feedback on the material you read, input or general comments we are happy to hear from you.

Last Updated: May 28, 2009