Be Afraid, Very Afraid? Maybe.

9000b535-a978-47cb-9bca-bef1d15e4f34An overlooked headline showed up in one of our stories about eight weeks ago. It sent a bit of a chill down my spine, but it’s gotten nary a mention nor attention since that time. And it’s crept along under the proverbial radar ever since. But the story detailed a little-known action that some say will bring challenges to the glass industry; while others predict major problems for it. You decide.

The story in question explains how the International Code Council (ICC), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (AHSRAE) have agreed to jointly develop the 2015 edition of the National Green Building Standard, to be known as the ICC/ASHRAE 700 National Green Building Standard. This next and third edition of the standard will mark the first time that ASHRAE has been a partner in its development.

As most industry types know, ASHRAE has been “helpful” in the past, creating some proposed codes that would have reduced the amount of glass allowed on external elevations by as much as 25 percent The glass industry had to work its collective ends off helping to scuttle that one. That was a commercial code, but it seems now they have turned their sights on the residential green code. The National Green Building Standard has been designed to “advance sustainable homebuilding, remodeling and development – a sector expected to represent as much as a third of the market by 2016.”

ASHRAE’s motives may be true green, I’m just not sure which type of green. I don’t see them reducing the amount of heating, refrigeration or cooling systems in their code proposals. Some, such as Mic Patterson of Enclos, have spoken out publically to say they do not believe such diabolical goals exist and that the organization’s goals are pure.

What I or anyone else thinks doesn’t matter. Representation does. ASHRAE now has major representation on a code-making body that will have tremendous influence over codes of the future. And the glass industry better get a seat at the table right now to keep it from turning to stone again.