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Walter Broner
Senior Member
Username: walterbroner

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2017

Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 12:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Has anyone encountered the issue of the "tested components" v. "tested assemblies" for bullet-resistant bank transaction windows? Should there be an enforceable requirement in specifications that a manufacturer of a transaction window submit a test report for the entire unit (not just the glass and the stuffing for the frame)? Or possibly an "engineering judgment" certification that the unit being manufactured for the project is similar to the tested unit?
Stephen Wilson
Senior Member
Username: swilson

Post Number: 17
Registered: 02-2019
Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 03:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Yes, I've had this issue when specifying bullet resistant glazing assemblies. Usually it's a problem for site-fabricated components, such as when bullet-resistive glass is installed in storefront framing. It can be a problem if all of the components in the assembly aren't UL 752 tested to the same level of protection, especially if the components come from different fabricators.

If it's a unitized transaction window, it would be reasonable to request that the whole assembly be tested though. If it's arriving at site pre-assembled from one manufacturer, I think the manufacturer should be able to provide testing data.
James Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 333
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 09:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Definitely the whole assembly needs to be tested. Just ask any lawyer.
One thing I see (more in the past than lately) is the requirement for a ballistics resistant transaction window but nothing in the partition below or on either side. We often rely on the stupidity of criminals but, in a situation where one has a firearm, I wouldn't want to take the chance that he decided to shoot around the window.
Greta Eckhardt (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 10:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with all the comments about testing the entire assembly. Now, the next question is what test and what is the passing grade? "Bullet-resistant" is not sufficient - the client needs to decide what levels of impact-resistance and forced-entry resistance they require. UL publishes a standard with a number of levels, and I believe there is at least one other standard.
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1412
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Walter, to Greta's question, will you be listing different assemblies for the different levels of resistance?

I presume that since UL 752 is readily available there is no need to include a schedule explaining what each level relates to.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 1165
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 11:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The most common highest performing UL 752 Level is Level 3 (.44 magnum pistol). I believe this is still the standard for Federal courtrooms (it was 20 years ago). A gpod table comparing the different levels of protection will give some interesting information regarding bullet weight and muzzle velocity. There are a number of manufacturers offering products and assemblies that satisfy the Level 3 requirement. The testing is for 3 rounds into the glazing with no glass spalling on the "safe" side (other levels will have slightly different criteria). Once you go above that, you begin to severely limit your options.

I have had police department chiefs that want to have Level 7 protection. Why anyone would bring a weapon like that into a police station is beyond me, but the world has changed a lot in the last 20 to 25 years.

There are some film manufacturers that claim to make films that can be field applied to existing glazing that will offer wind-debris resistance or bullet resistance. It is my experience that these products offer minimal resistance and when you press them for testing reports or certifications, you will probably be disappointed.
J. Peter Jordan, FCSI, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, SCIP
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Thank you spec wizards for providing valuable feedback. I have taken a free look at current version of UL 752 on their website. Unfortunately that standard primarily concentrates on "equipment" and simply states that it 'can' be used to evaluate windows and doors. To address Greta's question, I'm investigating which companies bother to test their assemblies using ASTM F3038 test. This test however doesn't appear to include a ballistics test. There is also the Department of State SD-STD-01.01, but hardly any typical teller window manufacturer will need to comply with this standard. I am not finding a comprehensive forced entry *and* ballistics test protocol for commercial applications. Use of UL 752 to separately test the glazing component and the armor component that is shoved into the frame, and then skipping testing of the assembly (by shooting at the frame or any hardware component) allows manufacturers to claim meeting this standard. However, it still feels like a test of the assembly must be performed. As for Ken's comments, we would definitely list the required level of resistance, based on Owner's program of requirements.
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 806
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 01:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Forced entry resistance testing is not as quantitative as is ballistics resistance testing. For example, under ASTM F3038, testing is comprised of six personnel attacking the assembly with everything from sledgehammers and pry bars to battering rams, for a specified duration of time (5, 15, 30, or 60 minutes). But there is not a quantitative requirement for size/strength of the testers, nor the actual force with which they swing the sledgehammers, etc. As I tell students, the test basically is a bunch of guys beating hell out of the assembly.
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1862
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 03:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I think the level of protection required should be decided by the owner. They should be the ones assessing the relative risks and what hazards they are trying to protect against. This can include forced entry, as Dave notes, or ballistics. There are plenty of security consultants that can do this type of work, if the owner is not equipped to do so. If the owner can't articulate what's needed, how is the architect or specifier supposed to know?? It's not like there's a table somewhere that says "a mini-mart needs x" and "a check-casher needs y."
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1863
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 03:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I did a project once for a jail (pre-trial detention). In Massachusetts, jails are the province of the county sheriff. (This, and deed registry, are the only government roles that a county has in Mass.) This also meant that the sheriff was the client, and he know nothing about construction, or even security levels and standards. So they wanted the highest security on everything, not because they needed it, but because they were unable to make any reasonable assessment.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 1166
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 04:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree that the Owner should establish this criteria. Unfortunately, John's observation about many Owners is right on point. We have been successful in arguing them down when we show them how much more material (and cost) is required.
J. Peter Jordan, FCSI, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, SCIP
Greta Eckhardt (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 03:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with John's statement that the type and level of protection really must come from the client/building Owner, or from a qualified security consultant engaged by the client.

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