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  1. #1
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    Default Code question - safety glazing

    New home built under 2006 IRC.

    Can anyone see where any of the windows adjacent to the stairs in the photos below would fall under any of the exception rules for IRC 2006 R.308.4 Hazardous locations. I am having a hard time with the reading of exception 9-9.3 of this section. Any input would be appreciated.

    Also, the flashlight in the photo is 10 inches long for some idea of scale.

    Thanks

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    Last edited by Eric Shuman; 07-25-2007 at 10:26 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    2000 IRC §RR308.4 Hazardous locations. The following shall be considered specifichazardous locations for the purposes of glazing:
    10. Glazing adjacent to stairways, landings and ramps within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface.11. Glazing adjacent to stairways within 60 inches (1524 mm) horizontally of the bottom tread of a stairway in any direction when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the nose of the tread.

    Looks like it should be safety glazed to me.

    RR


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Thanks Richard,

    The issue I am having trouble with is the exceptions to the requirements (In IRC 2006) which are as follows:

    "9. Safety glazing in Section R308.4 , Items 10 and 11, is not required
    where:

    9.1. The side of a stairway, landing or ramp has a guardrail or handrail,
    including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with the provisions of
    Sections 1013 and 1607.7 of the International Building Code ; and

    9.2. The plane of the glass is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the
    railing; or

    9.3. When a solid wall or panel extends from the plane of the adjacent
    walking surface to 34 inches (863 mm) to 36 inches (914 mm) above the
    floor and the construction at the top of that wall or panel is capable of
    withstanding the same horizontal load as the protective bar."

    I do not think any of the exceptions apply to the window in the first photo, but exception 9.3 may apply to the window facing the stair head (right side window) in the second photo, as the wall from the stair step to the bottom of the window sill appears to be 34 inches or greater.

    The left hand windows in the second photo do not appear to meet the requirements of the exceptions.

    Thanks,

    Eric

    Last edited by Eric Shuman; 07-25-2007 at 10:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Let's put it all together so we can follow what it is saying.
    (bold is mine, my notes/explanations are underlined)
    R308.4 Hazardous locations.
    The following shall be considered specific hazardous locations for the purposes of glazing:
    - 1. Glazing in swinging doors except jalousies.
    - 2. Glazing in fixed and sliding panels of sliding door assemblies and panels in sliding and bifold closet door assemblies.
    - 3. Glazing in storm doors.
    - 4. Glazing in all unframed swinging doors.
    - 5. Glazing in doors and enclosures for hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, bathtubs and showers. Glazing in any part of a building wall enclosing these compartments where the bottom exposed edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) measured vertically above any standing or walking surface.
    - 6. Glazing, in an individual fixed or operable panel adjacent to a door where the nearest vertical edge is within a 24-inch (610 mm) arc of the door in a closed position and whose bottom edge is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the floor or walking surface.
    - 7. Glazing in an individual fixed or operable panel, other than those locations described in Items 5 and 6 above, that meets all of the following conditions:
    - - 7.1. Exposed area of an individual pane larger than 9 square feet (0.836 m
    2).
    - - 7.2. Bottom edge less than 18 inches (457 mm) above the floor.
    - - 7.3. Top edge more than 36 inches (914 mm) above the floor.
    - - 7.4. One or more walking surfaces within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of the glazing.
    - 8. All glazing in railings regardless of an area or height above a walking surface. Included are structural baluster panels and nonstructural infill panels.
    - 9. Glazing in walls and fences enclosing indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs and spas where the bottom edge of the glazing is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above a walking surface and within 60 inches (1524 mm) horizontally of the water’s edge. This shall apply to single glazing and all panes in multiple glazing.
    - 10. Glazing adjacent to stairways, landings and ramps within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface. (Jerry's note: "Glazing adjacent to stairways ... within 36" horizontally of the walking surface and where less than 60" high above the tread". That glazing in your stairway photo meets that, safety glazing is required.)
    - 11. Glazing adjacent to stairways within 60 inches (1524 mm) horizontally of the bottom tread of a stairway in any direction when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the nose of the tread.
    - Exception: The following products, materials and uses are exempt from the above hazardous locations: (Jerry's note: The above do not apply *IF* the following are met.)
    - - 1. Openings in doors through which a 3-inch (76 mm) sphere is unable to pass.
    - - 2. Decorative glass in Items 1, 6 or 7.
    - - 3. Glazing in Section R308.4, Item 6, when there is an intervening wall or other permanent barrier between the door and the glazing.
    - - 4. Glazing in Section R308.4, Item 6, in walls perpendicular to the plane of the door in a closed position, other than the wall toward which the door swings when opened, or where access through the door is to a closet or storage area 3 feet (914 mm) or less in depth. Glazing in these applications shall comply with Section R308.4, Item 7.
    - - 5. Glazing in Section R308.4, Items 7 and 10, when a protective bar is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 36 inches ± 2 inches (914 mm ± 51 mm) above the floor. The bar shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1
    1/2 inches (38 mm) in height.
    - - 6. Outboard panes in insulating glass units and other multiple glazed panels in Section R308.4, Item 7, when the bottom edge of the glass is 25 feet (7620 mm) or more above grade, a roof, walking surfaces, or other horizontal [within 45 degrees (0.79 rad) of horizontal] surface adjacent to the glass exterior.
    - - 7. Louvered windows and jalousies complying with the requirements of Section R308.2.
    - - 8. Mirrors and other glass panels mounted or hung on a surface that provides a continuous backing support.
    - - 9. Safety glazing in Section R308.4, Items 10 and 11, is not required where: (Jerry's note: Section 9 above does not apply *IF* ... the following are met.)
    - - 9.1. The side of a stairway, landing or ramp has a guardrail or handrail, including balusters or in-fill panels, complying with the provisions of Sections 1013 and 1607.7 of the
    International Building Code; and (Jerry's note: I.e., there is a guardrail separating the stair from the glass, if you can't fall through the guardrail, don't worry about the glass - that's all that is saying. Don't forget the "AND" right there.)

    - - 9.2. The plane of the glass is more than 18 inches (457 mm) from the railing; or (Jerry's note: This one is an "OR", if this one is met instead, it's okay.)
    - - 9.3. When a solid wall or panel extends from the plane of the adjacent walking surface to 34 inches (863 mm)to 36 inches (914 mm)above the floor and the construction at the top of that wall or panel is capable of withstanding the same horizontal load as the protective bar. (Jerry's note: I.e., instead of the guardrail in 9.1 and 9.2, you can build a solid wall 34" -36" high there where the top of the wall is as strong as the guardrail. Makes sense, right? Either the solid wall or the guardrail - either will separate the person on the stairs from the glass adjacent to the stairs.)
    - - 10. Glass block panels complying with Section R610.

    Those above exceptions only make sense - no need to provide safety glazing as you have now taken that safety glazing and removed it from a hazardous location. Kind of like taking a shower enclosure door and building a wall separating it from the shower - it is no longer a hazard ... right? (Of course, though, that is a bad example, because, how would you use the shower with a wall there? )


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    How about this window? More than 9, less than 18 from floor and deck on opposite side.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Jerry, thanks for the notes. The last exception was the one I was having trouble with. I felt that it was intending a "guard wall" instead of a guard rail as you noted, but the wording, as it often is, was a little vague to me.

    So in my opinion based on the applied code, safety glazing is required in all of these windows pictured as long as the less than 60 inch vertical and 36 inch horizontal measurements are accurate for this situation, and as there are no guard rails or "guard walls" in place.

    Do you agree?

    Thanks, Eric

    Last edited by Eric Shuman; 07-25-2007 at 04:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    Do you agree?
    Yes. 5

    (Dang error message said I had to have at least 5 characters.)

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    Question Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Eric
    May I assume you wrote up the lack of a safety handrail serving that stairway and the 45 degree step (tread) as a hazardous to foot traffic?
    But I'm sure you did. Safety glazing adjacent stairs is often missed by designers, architects, builders, and plans examiners and may be one of the most common safety items overlooked?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Jerry M,

    Sure did. I also wrote up the lack of a handrail at some exterior stone stairs by the porch that had 6 risers.

    And your right about the designers not including that stuff, the builders agent said (about the exterior steps handrail) "But there was no hand rail incoroporated into the design, where should we put it?" To which my reply was "Adjacent to the stairs as required by current building standards"

    Eric


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    The window in the picture is less than 12 inches above the floor and roughly 36-40 inches from the bottom of the stair case. There was no acid etch marking or sticker on the window of a 7 year old home.

    Is there some method of determining it is safety glass if there is not acid etch or sticker? I could break the window and check the size of the remenents but not sure if the seller would approve .

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Is there some method of determining it is safety glass if there is not acid etch or sticker?
    Yes.

    I could break the window and check the size of the remenents but not sure if the seller would approve .
    You had the answer.

    The window in the picture is less than 12 inches above the floor and roughly 36-40 inches from the bottom of the stair case.
    What you describe *does require* safety glazing. (underlining is mine)

    10. Glazing adjacent to stairways, landings and ramps within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface.

    At 36-40 inches from the bottom of the stair, it *does not* clear the walking surface (the landing) by 36 inches.

    Stairways are required to have landings at their top and bottom, and the depth of the landing (in the direction of travel) is required to be at least the width of the stairway. If the stairway is 36" wide, the landing need only be 36" deep. If the stairway is 38" wide, the landing needs to be 38" deep.

    With the window being within 36" of the bottom landing, the window needs to be safety glazing.

    I always told my clients, and wrote it up in the report as, 'safety glazing is *REQUIRED* to have the safety glazing mark visible after glazing, and, when the mark is not visible, a ball peen hammer will quickly determine if it *WAS* safety glazing or *WAS* not' ... with "was" being past tense and the key word in there.

    Never had anyone tell me to go ahead and test one, but the point was not lost on my clients - that it needs replacing *regardless*.


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Posted before, but IMO worth posing again for it's excellent diagram of safety glazing requirements at stairs: http://www.deckmagazine.com/pdf/2007/0707/0707stru.pdf

    Michael Thomas
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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    In my attached photo are the glass blocks OK? Art glass in tub area OK, or not OK? (the art glass is attached to a tempered/safety glazed window)
    Yes, this is a test………… read the applicable codes very carefully before answering.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    In my attached photo are the glass blocks OK? Art glass in tub area OK, or not OK? (the art glass is attached to a tempered/safety glazed window)
    Yes, this is a test…………
    From the hip.

    Blocks Yes, Considered Structural.

    Glass No [ attached to whatever ] It needs to be Safety Glass.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Michael,

    That drawing has three errors, all related to each other but located in different places.

    Starting at the bottom landing: The 36" shown is the minimum for a 36" minimum width stairway. However, if the stairway is wider than 36", the depth of the landing in the direction of travel (the 36" shown) must be at least that of the stairway.

    As an example, let us presume that the width of the stair is 38". In that case, that 36" shown must now be 38", not 36".

    Now go up to the 36" shown under the right window at the intermediate landing. The same thing I just stated above applies to that 36" dimension.

    Now go up to the upper landing. The same thing applies there too.

    Thus, at the upper landing, the area shown as 36" + 36" would be (for a stairway which is 38" wide) 36" + 38".

    The limitation on the depth of a landing being the width of the stairs is for straight stairs, and the depth of a landing for a straight stair need not exceed 48". That straight stair exception means, to me, that for the stairway shown, the bottom landing (and all landings) would not need to exceed 48" even if that stair was 60" wide. This is because it is separated into two flights of stairs and each flight of stairs is a "straight stair".

    If that were a curving stair (winders all the way), then the depth of the landing is the width of the stair, no maximum depth limitation. 60" wide curving stair requires a 60" deep landing.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    In my attached photo are the glass blocks OK?
    Not as installed.

    Glass blocks are exempt if (*IF*) installed in accordance with R610 and R610.5.2 requires lateral support for the sides and tops. That glass block wall does not have lateral support either at the top or the sides.

    Thus, as installed in that photo, the glass block is not exempt from the hazardous locations requiring safety glazing.

    Art glass in tub area OK, or not OK? (the art glass is attached to a tempered/safety glazed window)
    The art glass falls within the requirements for hazardous locations, for some hazardous location, art glass which meets specified size requirements are exempt, that does not appear to meet the size requirements, however, be that as it may be ... the art glass (decorative glass) exemption ONLY APPLIES TO locations 1, 6, and 7, and bathtubs are under location 5.

    Thus, the answer is: both are required to be safety glazing.

    Okay, tell me what I missed and where I screwed up.

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  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Safety glazing would not address the issue of support for the glass block. So as I read it even with safety glass, unless the glass were to be built as a toltal shied, would still not comform, would it


    Decorative glass you say is attached to safety glass. Obviously the decorative is inside the bath or is it sanwiched between safety glass? (Not usually without concerns)


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Ah Jerry, I thought the same as you on the decorative glass, but not on the glass blocks. This situation was brought up at a designer/engineering/building-officials group code meeting and the final consensus after much debate was both where OK. The glass block meets the exception in 610.5.2 and the deco-glass over the tub meets 308.4, Exception 8 in that the safety glazed window behind the deco glass provided continuous backing support for the deco glass.
    You have to admit that building codes can be fun, yes?

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    In my attached photo are the glass blocks OK? Art glass in tub area OK, or not OK? (the art glass is attached to a tempered/safety glazed window)
    Yes, this is a test………… read the applicable codes very carefully before answering.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    --both where OK. The glass block meets the exception in 610.5.2 and the deco-glass over the tub meets 308.4, Exception 8 in that the safety glazed window behind the deco glass provided continuous backing support for the deco glass.
    Oh So Now It's Continuously Backed.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    The glass block meets the exception in 610.5.2
    Buuuuttttt ... (he stammers) ... *it does not* meet the exceptions to R610.5.2.



    and the deco-glass over the tub meets 308.4, Exception 8 in that the safety glazed window behind the deco glass provided continuous backing support for the deco glass.
    Being as that backing is another piece of glazing, it does not meet the requirements for "continuous backing SUPPORT" ... at least not in my opinion.



    You have to admit that building codes can be fun, yes?
    Yes.

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  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    So, you can slip and fall and break the decorative glass with your face and and get cut all to hell and that's OK because its continuously supported. I guess that's OK, I have never slipped on the soapy bottom of a tub in 54 years anyway. Right!!!!!!! Soooooo, safety glass breaks in little bitty pieces but the decorative glass does not. So when you fall thru it you only get cut by the big pieces of glass and 4 quarts of blood pumps out your neck.

    Hmmmm, I don't know guys. This all sounds kinda fishy to me.

    Entertainment

    And you folks think I say foolish things sometimes. I know. Just goin by the code.


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    Entertainment

    And you folks think I say foolish things sometimes.
    .
    Uh, I think that was you. that said that.
    .

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    EC Jer

    R308.4, Exception: 8: Mirrors and other glass panels mounted or hung on a surface that provides a continuous backing support. So a solid sheet of tempered safety glass is not providing a continuous backing support? Hmmmm…..

    R308.4 under Exception 10: Glass block panels complying with Section R610... Under 610 we have R610.5.2: Except for single unit panels lateral support shall be provided yada, yada…. And Exception: 1 Lateral support is not required at the top of panels one unit wide.

    Hey, it took me a while to get my mind around these issues and I’m not saying these opinions came from the holy mount, but came from some pretty darn good code experts that I respect. As you and I have discussed before it nice to agree, but not always necessary.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    R308.4, Exception: 8: Mirrors and other glass panels mounted or hung on a surface that provides a continuous backing support. So a solid sheet of tempered safety glass is not providing a continuous backing support?
    Nope, that why it has to be safety glass, even with that decorative glass in front of it.

    Now, if that decorative glass in front of it removed the glazing behind from the hazardous locations requiring safety glass, then, okay, I could go for it (but we both know that putting decorative glass in front of that window is not going to remove the window from being required to be safety glazing).

    If the window is at risk of being broken and is required to be safety glass, then the assumption can be made that ... however ... the window can be broken ... so it would no longer provide backing or support. Right?

    R308.4 under Exception 10: Glass block panels complying with Section R610... Under 610 we have R610.5.2: Except for single unit panels lateral support shall be provided yada, yada…. And Exception: 1 Lateral support is not required at the top of panels one unit wide.
    WC Jerry,

    From the IRC - the exceptions for that glass block being required to have lateral support for the top and the sides:
    - Exceptions:
    - - 1. Lateral support is not required at the top of panels that are one unit wide.
    - - 2. Lateral support is not required at the sides of panels that are one unit high.

    That glass block shown is:

    1. not "one unit wide", it is 18 units wide

    2. not "one unit high", it is 8 units high

    Thus neither exception applies to that glass block.

    We do occasionally disagree, and sometimes you are right and sometimes I am right, this is one of those latter times.


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nope, that why it has to be safety glass, even with that decorative glass in front of it.
    [B]Jer, that's what I've been saying, the glazing behind the deco glass is tempered/safety glass.[/B]
    Now, if that decorative glass in front of it removed the glazing behind from the hazardous locations requiring safety glass, then, okay, I could go for it (but we both know that putting decorative glass in front of that window is not going to remove the window from being required to be safety glazing).

    If the window is at risk of being broken and is required to be safety glass, then the assumption can be made that ... however ... the window can be broken ... so it would no longer provide backing or support. Right?



    WC Jerry,

    From the IRC - the exceptions for that glass block being required to have lateral support for the top and the sides:
    - Exceptions:
    - - 1. Lateral support is not required at the top of panels that are one unit wide.
    - - 2. Lateral support is not required at the sides of panels that are one unit high.

    That glass block shown is:

    1. not "one unit wide", it is 18 units wide How did you get 18 units wide?
    2. not "one unit high", it is 8 units high Agree
    Thus neither exception applies to that glass block. EX #1 does IMHO
    We do occasionally disagree, and sometimes you are right and sometimes I am right, this is one of those latter times.
    Check response.

    Jerry McCarthy
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Seriously gentlemen. I know you are going tit for tat on the code and I respect that but. If you can slip into the art glass (whether or not it is continuosly supported) and you can break the art glass and SERIOUSLY injure yourself, why would the code writers even concider a way it can PASS code compliance?


    Just a question gentlemen

    Ted


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    WC Jerry,

    "
    Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    Nope, that why it has to be safety glass, even with that decorative glass in front of it.
    Jer, that's what I've been saying, the glazing behind the deco glass is tempered/safety glass.
    "

    That's what I am saying too, only differently.

    *Being as* that glass window is required to be tempered glass, it is being acknowledged *that the window will break*. You agree with that, right?

    *Being as* that window is being assumed *that it will break*, then it can no longer be considered as *being there* to provide support, it must be assumed to *not be there*, because it is assumed that it will break ... which is why it is required to be safety glass, even though it is behind that decorative glass.

    Thus, *being it can be assumed to be broken and not there*, then the decorative glass cannot be assumed to be supported from behind. Do you agree with that?

    Okay, that's 'the why' for the decorative glass not meeting the exception.

    Now on to the glass block.

    That glass block is one wythe thick. You agree with that, right?

    Then, based on that, that glass block is 8 units high by 18 wide (the highest step at the wall is 4 units wide, each additional step down is 2 units wide, for a total of 18 units wide).

    The reasoning behind not requiring a side support for glass block one unit high is that you have one and only one row of units, with a support across the top.

    The reasoning behind not requiring a top support for glass block one unit wide (not thick - wide) is that you have one and only one column of units, all attached to a support along the side.

    That glass block does not meet either of those conditions.

    Note also that the exceptions only exempt the side (one unit high) *OR* the top (one unit wide), meaning that there are no joints where the support is exempted, nothing to separate or come apart.

    Also note that if, and only if, there was only one unit (one unit wide *and* one unit high), you would not be required to support the top or the sides. Which only makes sense, because you have *one unit* standing alone.

    Do you follow that thinking?

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    Smile Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    WC Jerry,

    "
    Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    Nope, that why it has to be safety glass, even with that decorative glass in front of it.
    Jer, that's what I've been saying, the glazing behind the deco glass is tempered/safety glass.
    "

    That's what I am saying too, only differently.

    *Being as* that glass window is required to be tempered glass, it is being acknowledged *that the window will break*. You agree with that, right? Could break, yes.

    *Being as* that window is being assumed *that it will break*, then it can no longer be considered as *being there* to provide support, it must be assumed to *not be there*, because it is assumed that it will break ... which is why it is required to be safety glass, even though it is behind that decorative glass. That batheoom window was safety glass originally, apparently the owner had the deco glass installed over the original window (or some crazed decorator) and my argument is that the safety glazing is providing a solid backing for the deco glass. (if it is glass, perhaps its plastic. You and I will go to the mat on this one.
    Thus, *being it can be assumed to be broken and not there*, then the decorative glass cannot be assumed to be supported from behind. Do you agree with that?

    Okay, that's 'the why' for the decorative glass not meeting the exception.

    Now on to the glass block.

    That glass block is one wythe thick. You agree with that, right?

    Then, based on that, that glass block is 8 units high by 18 wide (the highest step at the wall is 4 units wide, each additional step down is 2 units wide, for a total of 18 units wide).

    The reasoning behind not requiring a side support for glass block one unit high is that you have one and only one row of units, with a support across the top.

    The reasoning behind not requiring a top support for glass block one unit wide (not thick - wide) is that you have one and only one column of units, all attached to a support along the side.

    That glass block does not meet either of those conditions.

    Note also that the exceptions only exempt the side (one unit high) *OR* the top (one unit wide), meaning that there are no joints where the support is exempted, nothing to separate or come apart.

    Also note that if, and only if, there was only one unit (one unit wide *and* one unit high), you would not be required to support the top or the sides. Which only makes sense, because you have *one unit* standing alone.

    Do you follow that thinking?
    Yes Jer, I follow your thinking, but my original question was "does that glass unit block wall required to be safety glazing?"
    My opinion is no. The methodology of the layup was/is not a concern in that I agree it is one hellova weak wall and falling against it would probably topple it? Check IBC 2101.2.5 & 2110 including the ACI refs. No where is there a requirement for glass unit blocks to be safety/tempered glass and in fact many are now heavy duty plastic. (cheaper you know)


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    No where is there a requirement for glass unit blocks to be safety/tempered glass and in fact many are now heavy duty plastic. (cheaper you know)

    Ah, but there is ... I know that I have never seen safety glass glass blocks, and that I have never seen or heard anything regarding it, but ...

    Your question was regarding the code, and I see *only one* exception for glass block in the hazardous glazing section: "10. Glass block panels complying with Section R610."

    Thus, if you back out of the glazing section to avoid the hazardous location tag, then the glass block needs to be installed in accordance with R610, as so stated in the exception, and that glass block *was not installed in accordance with Section R610*.

    Thus, that wall *does not meet the exception*.

    Let's start with this:

    Do *you* agree that glass block wall was not installed in accordance with R610?

    We can work our way through/over each hoop as we get to them.

    Looking forward to arriving at a definitive answer between the two of us (and all others who wish to participate).

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  30. #30
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    Cool Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ah, but there is ... I know that I have never seen safety glass glass blocks, and that I have never seen or heard anything regarding it, but ...

    Your question was regarding the code, and I see *only one* exception for glass block in the hazardous glazing section: "10. Glass block panels complying with Section R610."

    Thus, if you back out of the glazing section to avoid the hazardous location tag, then the glass block needs to be installed in accordance with R610, as so stated in the exception, and that glass block *was not installed in accordance with Section R610*.
    I've read 610 many times over and fail to grasp your argument, persuasive it might be. Thus, that wall *does not meet the exception*.

    Let's start with this:

    Do *you* agree that glass block wall was not installed in accordance with R610?
    Well, I went back and read R610 from beginning to end again and still fail to grasp your interpretation of non-compliance. Perhaps I'm too old for comprehending areas of the code that once came so easy to me? Anyhow, I keep going back to IBC's 2101.2.5 which sends me to Chapter 7 of ACI and there I find no mention of "tempered" or "safety" glazing.
    There's no doubt you are very persuasive Jerry, but you should be aware your dealing with a very thick headed Irishman whose ancestors where mostly Irish masons.
    We can work our way through/over each hoop as we get to them.

    Looking forward to arriving at a definitive answer between the two of us (and all others who wish to participate).
    Me too and I'm having trouble writing this as the format doesn't like my response. (as probably you will agree?)

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Me too and I'm having trouble writing this as the format doesn't like my response. (as probably you will agree?)
    That's why I separate the quotes into separate quotes, so I can respond to each part separately as needed. ('Course, though, it does make for many quotes in one post, and some here dislike that, but, oh well, it does work better that way.)

    Attached is a simple drawing of what I am explaining.

    If only one block wide, no top support required.

    If only one block high, not side support required.

    If more than one block high, side support is required.

    If more than one block wide, top support is required.

    Is that explained (with the attached drawing) any clearer?

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    EC Jerry, I need some time for some in-depth research on our glass block units project and promise to come back to it.
    BTW, I thoroughly inderstand your position so we shall see if there's any holes in it or its totally seaworthy?

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    WC Jerry,

    Hopefully no holes will develop very far from shore, I'm not a strong swimmer ... pushing off now ...

    "
    Everybody's talking at me.
    I don't hear a word they're saying,
    Only the echoes of my mind.
    People stopping staring,
    I can't see their faces,
    Only the shadows of their eyes.

    I'm going where the sun keeps shining
    Thru' the pouring rain,
    Going where the weather suits my clothes,
    Backing off of the North East wind,
    Sailing on summer breeze
    And skipping over the ocean like a stone.

    I'm going where the sun keeps shining
    Thru' the pouring rain,
    Going where the weather suits my clothes,
    Backing off of the North East wind,
    Sailing on summer breeze
    And skipping over the ocean like a stone
    "

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    EC Jerry, well I'm back and while waiting for my depo to start later I thought, "wait!" how do we know that glass block wall in my photo wasn't installed to 610.5 requirements and after perusing 610.5 in Vol 1; IRC Code Commentary 2006 I now feel reasonable certain (without actually seeing the construction) that the glass block enclosure meets applicable code. That is - if it was done per my attachment. There is no argument between us about it being a hazardous location due to being glass block, right? You ever try to break one of those units, they be tough!


    http://www.pittsburghcorning.com/literature/GB-230.pdf

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    how do we know that glass block wall in my photo wasn't installed to 610.5 requirements and after perusing 610.5 in Vol 1; IRC Code Commentary 2006 I now feel reasonable certain (without actually seeing the construction) that the glass block enclosure meets applicable code. That is - if it was done per my attachment.

    http://www.pittsburghcorning.com/literature/GB-230.pdf
    Your attachment confirms that the glass block in the photo *does not meet* R610.5, mainly because of R610.5.2 Lateral Support.

    2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)

    - R610.5 Panel support.
    Glass unit masonry panels shall conform to the support requirements of this section.


    Commentary (2003, I don't have the 2006)
    - Structural members supporting glass-unit masonry panels must meet the deflection limit of this section in order to minimize the potential for cracking in the glass panels. Lateral support is required for the top and sides of panels and may be accomplished by anchors or channel-type restraints.

    - R610.5.2 Lateral support.



    Glass unit masonry panels shall be laterally supported along the top and sides of the panel. Lateral supports for glass unit masonry panels shall be designed to resist a minimum of 200 pounds per lineal feet (2918 N/m) of panel, or the actual applied loads, whichever is greater. Except for single unit panels, lateral support shall be provided by panel anchors along the top and sides spaced a maximum of 16 inches (406 mm) on center or by channel-type restraints. Single unit panels shall be supported by channel-type restraints.

    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. Lateral support is not required at the top of panels that are one unit wide.
    - - - 2. Lateral support is not required at the sides of panels that are one unit high.

    Commentary
    -



    See the commentary for Section R610.5.


    Okay, now for me to ask you a couple of questions:

    - 1) Where are the required top and side lateral support anchors?

    - 2) Does that panel look like it will resist 200 pounds per linear foot of panel?

    By the way, I'm part Irish too, ... and part English, part Scottish, part German, part 'good old American from the Mayflower', part ...




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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Jerry
    Please allow me to answer your question with one of my own. How can you tell by just looking at that photo I posted that that glass block unit enclosure is not provided with top and side support anchors?
    Without that certain bit of knowledge our discussion is pointless as we agree on everything else, ….. oops, except the solid backing of the tempered glazed window that the deco glass adjacent to the tub is adhered to.

    Jerry McCarthy
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    How can you tell by just looking at that photo I posted that that glass block unit enclosure is not provided with top and side support anchors?
    Because there is nothing for those "anchors" to be attached to.

    There is only a sectioned cap placed over 4 units, then over two units, with no method of providing the required lateral support ("support", not the "anchors", the anchors require "support" to withstand the lateral load the glass unit panel is required to withstand).

    There is only one side support for which the anchors can be attached, there is only a bottom support for which the anchors can be attached, although the glass units were 'most likely' just laid up in the glass block mortar bed along the bottom, not anchors. However, even if the bottom has the anchors, where are the top anchors (assuming they are there) attached and supported? The same question for the right side anchors (in the tub facing the panel, right side ends of the panel).

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  38. #38

    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    I don't know why, but I tend to have a heck of a time understanding the safety glazing requirements.

    Based on the '06 IRC, should this window have safetly glazing?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Based on the '06 IRC, should this window have safetly glazing?

    no

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Thanks Rick.


  41. #41
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    Cool Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Every one of those installations I have viewed need to be safety glass or acrylic. If you can slip and fall into it, and it is not safety or tempered, then it is a hazard. You can quote code and regs and exceptions which means you are acting more like a lawyer than a home inspector. If a builder or architect or other inspectors are yelling exceptions and that I am overstepping my boundaries and knowledge I just go to the basic regs for safety or tempered.


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    In my opinion, Under IRC 2006 this window would indeed be required to have labeled safety glass installed.

    IRC 2006:

    Section 308.4:

    #10.

    "Glazing adjacent to stairways, landings and ramps within 36 inches (914 mm) horizontally of a walking surface when the exposed surface of the glass is less than 60 inches (1524 mm) above the plane of the adjacent walking surface."

    That area is the top landing of the stairway, the window is within 36 inches horizontally of the walking surface of the landing (and stair steps) and the exposed surface of the glass is is less than 60 inches above the adjacent walking surface. I don't see that any of the listed exceptions in this section of the IRC apply.


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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Based on the '06 IRC, should this window have safetly glazing?

    no
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Shuman View Post
    In my opinion, Under IRC 2006 this window would indeed be required to have labeled safety glass installed.

    Eric is correct.

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    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Brandon
    Looks like Eric is correct.
    Sorry that I gave you bad advice.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  45. #45

    Default Re: Code question - safety glazing

    Brandon
    Looks like Eric is correct.
    Sorry that I gave you bad advice.
    No worries,

    That's what amended reports are for.
    Eric and Jerry-- thanks.

    I tend to remember seeing a visual interpretation of sorts for these glazing requirements-- anyone have one, or am I nuts.


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