FAQ on new formaldehyde emissions regulation, fire safety training expansion, the cost of too much parking, and a new guide for structural silicone glazing
New Design Guide for Structural Silicone Glazing Released
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) recently released a new document that describes proper guidelines and glazing procedures for structural glazing. AAMA SSGDG-1-17, the “Structural Silicone Glazing (SSG) Design Guidelines,” delves into a type of glazing that “offers a unique appearance and simplicity of construction that often cannot be achieved any other way,” according to a news release. Prior AAMA publications included TSGG-04, two-sided structural glazing for skylights, and CW-13-85, a structural glazing design guide.
The new guide combines those publications into a single document regarding structural glazing, for both vertical and sloped applications. “Combining two documents that discussed structural glazing made learning about the process simpler for those seeking that information,” said Kelly Broker (Dow Performance Silicones), chair of the AAMA Structural Sealant Design Guidelines Task Group.
Properly designed and installed, structural silicone has performed well in the presence of UV exposure, adverse weathering conditions, and in extremely harsh environments, the release says. These qualities allow structural silicone sealants to continue as the only type of sealant approved for structurally adhered glazing applications.
Too Much Parking in U.S. Cities Proving Costly
A new study that looks at parking in five U.S. cities—New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Des Moines, and Jackson, Wyoming—quantifies the amount of parking capacity and estimates the cost to communities. Parking density per acre ranges from about 10 spots in New York to 53.8 in Jackson. The two smaller communities, Des Moines and Jackson, have a lot more parking spots per household—19 and 27 respectively—than the larger, more densely populated cities. By comparison, New York has 0.6 spots per household.
To get a handle on the cost of all that parking, the study includes the cost to replace existing capacity. This cost, when calculated by household, ranges from $6,570 per spot in New York to a whopping $192,138 in Jackson.
“America devotes far too many of its precious resources to parking,” writes Richard Florida in a post at City Lab. He points out that driving seems to be in decline. The share of Seattle households with a car is falling for the first time in at least 40 years, and the percentage of U.S. high school seniors with a driver’s license is down from 85.3% in 1996 to 71.5% in 2015. What’s more, ride-sharing is gaining popularity. Florida argues that some of the space devoted to parking would be better utilized for housing and other uses.
OSHA Says Screen Workers for Heat Stress When Index Rises to 85 Degrees
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration now recommends that employers screen workers for heat stress when the heat index reaches 85 degrees—instead of the previously recommended 91 degrees. A recent analysis by OSHA that examined workers’ personal risk factors, heat acclimatization status, clothing and workload, along with environmental heat, led to the change.
The agency recommends a heat stress prevention program that includes an acclimatization schedule, first aid training, provision of fluids, shaded areas for rest breaks, and engineering and administrative controls.
Fire Safety Training for Residential Solar Electricity and Storage Expanded
The National Fire Protection Association has updated and expanded its Energy Storage and Solar Safety Training for firefighters. NFPA says that the number of residential battery energy storage system installations during the first quarter of 2018 increased nine-fold over first quarter 2017 figures.
First responders are more likely than ever to encounter emergency calls involving ESS or photovoltaics. The new course provides detailed guidance on handling failure modes and potential hazards associated with these technologies, including pre-incident planning, systems shutdown, battery thermal runaway and re-ignition, ventilation, and other emergency response procedures.
FAQs on New Formaldehyde Emissions Regulation
The EPA’s new regulation to reduce formaldehyde emissions from wood-based products raises some issues that builders should know. California’s Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for Composite Wood Products was used as a guide for the national regulation.
Particleboard, MDF, and hardwood/decorative plywood are the products impacted by the regulation. These products labeled as TSCA Title VI or CARB ATCM Phase II are in compliance.
Structural plywood, OSB and other wood structural panels, and other structural engineered wood products such as wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, and glued-laminated timber are not subject to the regulation.