On Thursday 18th February, the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) Document B Working Party held a Members-only Webinar on the GGF’s response to the Government ban of the use of Laminated Safety Glasses: Regulation 7 / Statutory Instrument 1230. The ban applies to building attachments in buildings over 18m high in England and Wales and over 11m high in Scotland.
Since this ban was introduced in 2018, the GGF has been working on behalf of Members to respond to Government Consultations surrounding this issue and working towards facilitating a lifting of the ban via exemptions in, Regulation 7 for the use of Laminated Safety Glass in Balconies and Balustrades.
In late 2019, the GGF set up the Document B Working Party and with the help of the GGF Members the GGF has undertaken large scale testing on Laminated Safety Glass.
The resultant GGF Test Report was submitted to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for consideration in Jan 2021 and is now being submitted to the devolved Governments of Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.
The Webinar, titled “Laminated Glass used in External Facades including Balcony Applications – GGF Response to Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Ban on Use of Laminated Safety Glasses: Regulation 7 / SI1230”, proved extremely popular, with 75 GGF Members logging in, including most of the major companies in the sector, from glass manufacturers and processors through to components companies and installers.
Ben Wallace, GGF Senior Technical Officer, opened with a presentation on the issue and reported on the GGF’s work in producing a comprehensive response to the Government Consultation and an in-depth report on the testing of Laminated Safety Glass. The GGF continues to engage with MHCLG to present the case for Laminated Safety Glass to be exempt from the list of banned products.
Following the presentation, the GGF Approved Document B Working Party then took questions from the audience. The Working Party included:
John Agnew, GGF Managing Director
Ben Wallace, GGF Senior Technical Officer
Tony Smith, GGF President
Chris Davis, HB Fuller: Kommerling
Steve Bond, Pilkington UK
John Beddoes, Independent Glass Company
On the Webinar, Tony Smith, GGF President commented,
“I was delighted with the attendance at this GGF Webinar. Whilst we are restricting circulation of the report until further work on the testing of standard safety glass laminates on behalf of MHCLG is complete, we wanted to ensure that members got some significant insight into the testing process carried out with NSG Pilkington and subsequent outputs.
I would also like to thank H.B. Fuller / Kommerling, TuffX Processing Ltd. Glassline Gmbh and Independent Glass Company for their support in this project which I believe contributes significantly to the understanding of the behaviour of Standard Laminated Safety Glass in a Fire scenario. The team believes that the case for lifting the ban imposed as a result of changes to Regulation 7 SI1230 is strengthened by this GGF led activity.
I feel that it’s also significant that GGF continues to work with Consortium lead – OFR (Fire Safety Consultants) and MHCLG to bring a conclusion to this issue on behalf of the Glass Industry.”
John Agnew added, “The GGF has put a lot of time, planning and thought into this very important issue that affects many of our Members. We will continue our engagement with Government and update Members as and when we have more information on this matter. My thanks to all who attended and especially those Members in the Working Party who have been an enormous help throughout the consultation, the testing and reporting findings to Government. Fire safety in buildings is of paramount importance to the GGF, but a fair and reasonable approach should be adopted, not just for the benefit of the glass and glazing industry, but also for the wider construction sector and end users.”
Ben Wallace summarised, “It was great to see such a high attendance at this Webinar and the feedback so far has been very positive. Undertaking such a large scale project remotely in such difficult times, has been extremely challenging. It is crucial that we keep up the hard work and keep working with Government to get the right outcome for our Members, the industry and consumers. My thanks to all the GGF Members in the Document B Working Party. Without them, we would not have been able to come so far with this campaign. We will of course keep working on this issue and continue to communicate any developments to our Members.”
For more information on the GGF’s campaign on the Laminated Glass Ban for External Facades including Balcony Applications, please contact Ben Wallace, firstname.lastname@example.org