Volume 2, Issue 7 (July 2005)
Protective Window Safety Films: A Case Study in ASTM All-Hazard Building Code Standards
As the most vulnerable component in the building envelope, fragmentation failure of glazing systems is among the leading cause of injury and death during terrorist and storm events. As a result, safety films have gained popularity as a cost-effective alternative to high-strength or laminated glass, especially for building retrofits. Various combinations of wet glazed films and mechanical attachment systems, including those satisfying ASTM F 1642 for glazing systems subject to airblast loadings, have been shown to meet windload and debris impact standards, including ASTM E 1996 standards adopted by the International Building Code (IBC). Defining these and other synergies that may exist between ASTM F -series security standards and more traditional ASTM standards that address natural hazards such as wind and seismic loading may be key in introducing anti-terrorism provisions to the commercial building industry. Such an “all-hazards” approach may compliment efforts underway to introduce meaningful terrorism resistant building standards into the IBC and minimize potential code duplication.