Sometimes, They Get it Right - Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
Lite Notes by Ellen Rogers
by Ellen Rogers
July 10th, 2013

Sometimes, They Get it Right

I never thought I’d get a mention of actor Nicholas Cage or his movie National Treasure in a glass-related article—though the two have come up in glass-related discussions several times over the years. But I did. Just before the July 4th holiday I wrote an article  for™ about the use of glass in historic monuments and sites. Many in the industry remember well Nicholas Cage, as Benjamin Gates in the movie, shielding himself with the bullet-resistant glass encased Declaration of Independence. It was exciting to watch how the bullets bounced off the glass. We were all so proud.

Then there’s novelist Tom Clancy. I’ve not read any of his books myself, but have been told the author has done his homework when it comes to talking about glass—the bullet-resistant glass.

I’ve watched actors collapse into annealed glass walls and doors, where it most likely should have been tempered. And then (with that Hollywood magic, of course) the characters are up and running with barely a scratch.

I’ve listened to books on CD while traveling and have heard all sorts of inaccuracies when it comes to glass—police officers driving a rental car with laminated sidelites. Okay, okay, while not impossible, let’s be realistic: Police officers. Rental car. Really?

If you’re wondering what I’m getting at here, it’s glass in the movies (and books). I still find it surprising that in movies, TV and in books we here talk of “bullet-proof” or “hurricane-proof” glass. Yes, I know it’s just a movie or just a book, but proof versus resistant has been a message continually stressed by the glass industry. Still, people get it wrong.

This made me wonder … with increasing interest and use of architectural safety and security glazing products, how aware is the architectural community of proof versus resistant? When specifying for a hurricane-prone region, are you inquiring about hurricane-resistant windows? For Federal projects, are you looking for bomb-blast resistance? How do you keep yourself informed and educated about matters such as this?

Building and construction as well as glass and glazing technologies, are evolving. Staying informed is the key.


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