SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 31 October 2019

Glazing Performance Standards for Improved School Security


Bombings, break-ins, shootings, and severe weather have all resulted in a growing concern for the safety and security of children, teachers, and administrators in our schools. The Federal Emergency Management Agency addressed the subject in a 2012 publication, Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks and School Shootings. A variety of industry standards present test methods and specifications for blast, physical attack, ballistics, and wind-borne debris protection. These standards and others are not specifically focused on school construction, although they are helpful in assessing the performance of glazing and glazing systems in the built environment. The decision to incorporate enhanced glazing security into a school is usually left to the individual school district, which in turn, may rely on a security consultant or design professional for guidance on the specification and selection of materials. These professionals may not have glass-related expertise, which leaves them with the daunting task of deciding which ASTM test standards are suitable for schools. A new testing methodology is needed to answer specific threats in real-life environments. In order to achieve what our schools require, a full review of likely threats, weapons, duration of attacks, teacher and child responses, as well as costs pertaining to each choice will be necessary. It may be time to leave the decades-old, existing ASTM standards and create new ones that answer our twenty-first-century problems. This paper examines existing standards and the need for a comprehensive design practice that addresses performance of security-enhancing glazing materials, as well as their surrounding components, for schools.

Author Information

Block, Valerie
Kuraray America, Wilmington, DE, US
Kapiloff, Christopher
LTI Smart Glass, Inc., Pittsfield, MA, US
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Developed by Committee: E54
Pages: 143–156
DOI: 10.1520/STP161420180040
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7674-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7673-7