My client is a school board looking to create a safe facility that can be secured against active-shooter type events. Can a non-ballistic application of ACE laminates help prevent breach into the school?
In short, YES. A non-ballistic application of ACE 200 Series or 300 Series laminates can help retain the structural integrity of a window or entranceway even if penetrated by gunfire and provide resistance against an intruder thereby giving occupants time to move to safety and buying time for law enforcement to arrive.
As always, ACE cautions that no window security laminate (and in fact, no building product) can be considered break-proof, bullet-proof or bomb-proof. A breach may ultimately occur depending on the method and violence of the attack. However, ACE 300 Series laminates have been tested to the UL-S332 standard test method for Burglary Resistant Glazing Material and shown to be effective at reinforcing glass.
My clients include school boards and municipal agencies who are concerned about fire ratings. Are ACE laminates fire tested?
ACE security laminates have been tested to the ASTM E84 Standardized Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials which is the test methodology generally cited in American building codes. ASTM E84 is considered generally comparable to ULC-S012 which is the methodology cited by most Canadian building codes. Tested to the ASTM E84 protocol, ACE laminates have demonstrated a slow burn rate and smoke generation rate. Genuine copies of ACE testing reports are available upon client request.
In the United States, the 2006 International Building Code (IBC) effectively banned the use of Wired Glass. Across North America, thousands of schools have legacy doors and windows which have been grand-fathered despite these changes to the building code.
The wires embedded in wired glass act as a discontinuity which actually makes the glass weaker. Further, in events of breakage, it can create a mesh entrapping limbs and resulting in injury.
While the ideal solution lies in the full replacement of wired glass in schools, the prevalence of legacy windows and doors presents a logistical and financial challenge in doing so.
ACE’s 200 Series SL09 or 300 Series SL14 security laminates can be an effective means of reinforcing your currently installed legacy stock of wired glass.
ACE’s SL14 security laminates are tested to both the ANSI-Z97.1 and CPSC Title 16 CFR Part 1201 standard test methods for impact resistant glazing which are the test methods cited by the US Building Code for safety glazing systems.
Further, ACE security laminates are tested to the ASTM-E84 surface burn and smoke generation test standard.
Copies of these tests are available to school boards, consultants and architecture firms upon request.
Together, this body of testing will meet the needs of most school boards and municipalities when it comes to testing of building materials used in public spaces.
Call ACE for further details.
There are primarily two things you will wish to know about specifying ACE security laminates. First, you will want to protect clients from the use of counterfeit products and un-authorized product substitution. Second, you will want to determine and document clearly the security level you wish to attain.
Counterfeiting of ACE security laminates and un-authorized product substitution are serious problems faced by ACE and its clients. Given the security implications involved, you will wish to ensure your clients are protected from these threats by unethical or merely confused contractors.
Document clearly on project specifications that general contractors will be required to contact ACE through its head office which can be found at USace.com. Require that the winning contractor be required to demonstrate proof of purchase which can be confirmed by ACE.
If the project is for a government facility where sole-sourcing is not permitted, document clearly the performance criteria specified and require that general contractors procure products from security laminate and/or film vendors who are able to supply verifiable true-copies of the performance test results as tested by an accredited laboratory. Advise clients that they will wish to contact the testing laboratory to confirm the authenticity of the documentation provided.
How do I put ACE 300 Series laminates in a project specification? Part 2. Documenting threat levels.
You will wish to document clearly the threat level your client wishes to meet and mitigate.
Essentially, there are three levels of threats clients seek to protect themselves with when using ACE security laminates. These are:
- Burglary / aggressive forced entry
- Bomb blast / IED protection
- Ballistic threats
ACE 200 Series SL09 or 300 Series SL14 security laminates provide excellent protection from forced entry, burglary and bomb blast / IED threats. Both products have been used extensively for these threats by clients including embassies, major corporations, government agencies, retailers, schools and homeowners.
In terms of relative strength, ACE 300 Series SL14 is approximately 50% stronger than the 200 Series SL09. ACE can advise on strategies and approaches which will help clients meet their goals in the most cost-effective way. Call us during North American business hours at 888-607-000 or 613-237-0000 to discuss your needs with one of our engineers.
Regarding ballistic threats, ACE 300 Series laminates can be applied in a customized manner to mitigate a variety and range of threats. In specifying threat levels, you will ideally wish to cite a recognized standard such as the UL-752 or NIJ 0108.01 ballistic standard.
Also, you will wish to note that ACE security laminates work in conjunction with the base glass to form an overall ballistic-resistant glass-laminate assembly. As such, the composition of the base glass is an important factor in determining the level of ballistic resistance that can be attained.
Call us during North American business hours at 888-607-000 or 613-237-0000 to discuss your needs with one of our engineers.
For our first call and initial assessment, it will be very helpful if you send us the following:
- pictures of your building and the windows and doorways you wish to protect; If possible, also provide us with an interior view which shows the frames around the windows and doors and the gaskets.
- if you have elevation drawings, architectural drawings or plans, they can be helpful for our analysis,
- for our analysis ACE will need to know the thickness of the glass or the types of windows you are protecting. Most commercial buildings in North America have double pane windows known as IGUs (insulated glass units). These are generally comprised of ¼ inch thick glass panes which are then separated by a ½ inch air gap. Some offices may have single pane units or windows of different construction. For instance, hurricane rated windows (which are common in Florida) can be comprised of 9/16th inch glass. Shopping malls and commercial lobbies can have single pane glass that is ½ inch or ¾ inch in thickness. If you are unsure of your glass construction, send us the information you have available and we can help with the assessment further.
- the dimensions of the windows / doorways;
- the desired level of protection (for instance, if it is a ballistic application, the level of bullet resistance ideally to be attained). Further, you have undertaken a threat risk assessment, please let us know. Otherwise, we can provide input based on our experience.
- finally it can often be helpful to understand the approach to your building that a potential attacker might take. Pictures can also help inform this perspective.
Further, you have undertaken a threat risk assessment, please let us know. Otherwise, we can provide input based on our experience.
How can ACE safety laminates help protect me in natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes?
During natural disasters, flying glass can be a significant contributor to human injury and/or fatalities. Although nothing can completely stop the destructive force of extremely violent natural disasters, ACE security laminates can potentially reduce the risk of injuries by helping to keep the glass inside its frame and the building envelope intact. The vibrations resulting from earth-quakes can also be highly damaging to glass. ACE safety laminate helps to dampen vibrations and therefore have the potential to reduce damage.
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