Deadly beauty

Why urban glass is a double-edged sword
Glass has cemented itself as the architects’ medium of choice. Renzo Piano’s majestic ‘Shard’ in London is Europe’s tallest building and the envelope continues to be well and truly pushed elsewhere around the globe in pursuit of construction utopia. Whilst designed to be aesthetically pleasing and more environmentally efficient, modern office blocks and other notable public buildings, shrouded in vast, architect-inspired expanses of glass, still remain vulnerable in the event of a terrorist attack.  Buildings with significant areas of unprotected glass and there are hundreds just in London alone, pose a dangerous risk to life in the event of a bomb blast.

According to London based secure glazing and counter-terror buildings specialist, Advanced Glass Technology, at least half of all flat glass in the City is unprotected.  Continuing high threat levels across Europe mean that investment in protecting personnel and infrastructure should be a major priority for property owners and facilities managers in urban areas. Having delivered a number of building protection projects in the capital as well as in the Middle East over the past 15 years, AGT is urging property owners to ensure adequate measures are in place, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, to mitigate the risk of injury and death in the event of a terrorist attack.

Due to the number of rapidly developing infrastructure projects in Northern Iraq, in particular within the Kurdish capital of Erbil, the region is now AGT’s biggest international market. As well as the private sector, including major oil companies and other corporations, the company is working on behalf of a number of embassies and Non-Governmental Organisations.

AGT are specialists in the retro-fitment of BSEN and GSA-approved anti-shatter security film, window frame anchoring systems and ballistic-proof doors and walling for any building. In the UK, the window film market has historically focused on providing aesthetic, anti-glare and environmental benefits but AGT believes that the requirement for physical protection is now critical. Advances in new construction materials have made the process of installation quicker, easier and more cost-effective, as Martin Westney, Managing Director, AGT, explains:

“A fundamental part of new building planning is the safety and protection of occupants, building assets and utilities, so our expertise in risk mitigation and injury prevention is increasingly being called upon. In light of heightened threat levels, UK companies employing large numbers of office workers, as well as organisations with assets in the public domain should have this on their radar and we would expect and hope that legislation to reflect this will be introduced.”

Tests have shown that the resulting shock wave from a bomb blast results in more than 1,800 glass fragments per square metre being accelerated across a huge radius, causing catastrophic destruction. With anti-shatter blast mitigation film in place, however, the glass breaks but all the pieces are contained, thereby protecting people in the vicinity, as demonstrated in this video.

Guidance from the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) requires security film to achieve a specified adhesion to the glass at regular intervals after installation. This is essential to maintain the film’s ability to hold glass fragments together after a ballistic attack or bomb blast. According to AGT, film requires replacement after failing a ‘peel test’ or after a maximum of ten years.

“Security film acts as a protective skin on windows but as they are constantly exposed to sunlight, UV rays and also temperature fluctuations start to affect the efficacy of the adhesive over a prolonged period. In the UK, we specify that film should be replaced within ten years and tested at least every five years,” said Westney.

At present, the complete unknown, AGT believes, is how ‘fit for purpose’ existing installations are. A culture of ‘fit and forget’ and the absence of documented ‘peel test’ records has the potential to put lives and property at risk in the event of a major incident.

It’s vital that maintenance records are checked to ensure that installations remain up to the job. Security film is an effective and proven means of protecting occupants and property but it has a limited lifespan and loses its protective capabilities over time. The ‘peel test’ involves the ability of the window film to hold a weight for a designated time before the film detaches from the glass. Correct adhesion is crucial for ensuring the integrity of the film’s protective capability, to contain shattered glass fragments. To do this, a good adhesive also needs tackiness to dissipate energy away from the cracks. Brittle or over stiff adhesive will propagate the concentration of stress at the cracks into the film, which may cause it to tear prematurely, rendering it useless in the event of a blast shock wave.

In AGT’s experience, record keeping is not applied consistently across the industry and there are certainly many installations that require immediate checks. Its advice to property owners is simply this, ‘if the answer’s unknown then pick up the phone’.

To discuss a project and request a quotation, please email sales@agt-int.com

Sports stadia must stay on the ball says AGT

 

Media reports MUFC fitting anti-shatter window film at Old Trafford
With the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro due to take centre stage in 2016, security of sports stadia should be a top priority for Governments, football clubs and other organisations says global security glazing specialist, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT).

In the wake of further global terror attacks, news has emerged that every single window at Old Trafford, home of Manchester United Football Club, is being covered in anti-shatter security film to protect thousands of spectators, staff and players, in the event of an explosion in or around the ground.

Media reports claim that the Club is taking the measures to ramp up its security even further, as a result of the terrorist atrocity in Paris last November. Work is underway to retrofit anti-shatter blast mitigation film, which AGT believes will take several weeks, given the size of the project.

The specialist security glazing business, which advises a number of embassies, non-governmental organisations and multi-national corporations in the UK, Middle East and Africa, is urging managers responsible for stadia security to review their existing protection levels.

Advances in security materials have made the process of installing anti-shatter blast mitigation film quicker and more cost-effective, which provides the optimum solution for any type of building, as Martin Westney, Managing Director, AGT, explains:

“Buildings with significant expanses of unprotected glass pose a dangerous risk to life in the event of a bomb blast. The resulting shock wave results in more than 1,800 glass fragments per square metre being accelerated across a huge radius, causing catastrophic destruction. With anti-shatter blast mitigation film in place, however, the glass breaks but all the pieces are contained, thereby protecting people in the vicinity, as demonstrated in our video.”

Guidance from the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) requires security film to achieve a specified adhesion to the glass at regular intervals after installation. This is essential to maintain the film’s ability to hold glass fragments together after a ballistic attack or bomb blast. According to AGT’s Martin Westney, film requires replacement after failing a ‘peel test’ or after a maximum of ten years:

 

“Security film acts as a protective skin on windows but as they are constantly exposed to sunlight, UV rays and also temperature fluctuations start to affect the efficacy of the adhesive over a prolonged period. In the UK, we specify that film should be replaced within ten years and tested by AGT at least every five years.”

 

Notes to Editors:

AGT is a leading supplier and installer of BSEN and GSA-approved anti-shatter security film, window frame anchoring systems and ballistic-proof doors and walling, for any building or glazed structure. Consultants to a number of embassies, Non-Governmental Organisations and businesses in the UK, Middle East and Africa, AGT also offers installation of specialist anchoring systems and anti-ballistic walling and doors, for enhanced levels of protection.

With security films starting at a thickness of 50 microns up to 450 microns, the multi-laminate polyester membrane can be applied to any glass surface. It is bonded with an aggressive pressure sensitive adhesive system resulting in any broken glass adhering to the film.

 

Peel tests should be carried out between 28-90 days after installation. As a guide, tests should be carried out at the following intervals after installation:

28 days for Category B1 films (100 μm)

42 days for Category A1 films (175μm)

90 days for Category A2 films (300μm)

 

Home Office guidelines for ‘Security Grade’ Anti Shatter Film require a peeled back, 25mm wide strip to:

  1. a) Hold a weight of 800 gms without stripping.
  2. b) Carrying a weight of 1500 gms stripping no faster than 300mm per minute (5mm per second).
  3. c) Move under a weight of 4000 gms.

 

For more information and a video demonstration of the effectiveness of blast mitigation film, visit www.agtwindowfilm.com

 

 

Terrorist attacks bring physical security into sharp focus

London based secure glazing and counter-terror buildings specialist, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT), is urging major businesses operating in heavily populated areas across the UK to review their security risk management strategy, in response to the terrorist atrocities in Paris.

AGT has spent the past 7 years working to protect buildings and personnel in the Middle East and Africa as well as the UK, and as such are regarded as the specialists in high end glazing protection, anchoring systems and catch cable technology.

Martin Westney, Managing Director of AGT, said:

“In the wake of such dreadful terrorist attacks, we would recommend that businesses undertake a threat and vulnerability assessment, as part of a wider review of their security. This would help to identify any additional risks that they may be exposed to and determine what action needs to be taken to mitigate those risks. From our experience of working in London in recent years, levels of physical protection within many large employers are woefully inadequate.”

Whilst unlikely that specific commercial organisations would be at direct risk of being targeted, AGT advises that employers in dense urban areas should be aware of their proximity to potential high-risk areas, such as visitor attractions and city landmarks, for example.

AGT are specialists in the retro-fitment of BSEN and GSA-approved anti-shatter security film, window frame anchoring systems and ballistic-proof doors and walling, for commercial and residential buildings. Advances in new construction materials have made the process of installation quicker, easier and more cost-effective, which ensured the optimum solution for any type of building.

Martin Westney, Managing Director, AGT, explains:

“A bomb attack near to or outside of business premises would have a significant impact on its ability to function, if at all. We would also recommend that companies look at their business continuity plan and communication strategy for the workforce so as not to put them at further risk in such an incident. A test of emergency security procedures should also happen at least once a year.”

Continued Westney:

“Having worked for many multi-national corporations across the Middle East and Africa in protecting building assets, AGT provides significant expertise in risk mitigation and injury prevention. In light of heightened threat levels, UK companies employing large numbers of office workers should have physical security on their radar.”

AGT’s ISO-approved anti-shatter blast containment film is a multi-laminate polyester membrane that can be applied to any glass surface. It is bonded with an aggressive pressure sensitive adhesive system, which ensures that any broken glass resulting from an impact or explosion adheres to the film.

In line with Home Office guidelines for security grade window film, AGT carries out ‘peel test’ checks post installation, to ensure that the bonding process has been 100% successful and that there is a record of maintenance. To discuss a project and request a quotation, please email sales@agt-int.com

Click here to download press release

Advanced Glass Technology slams the door on terrorism

With the government stepping up its fight against terrorism, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT) is set to play a large part in this with its blast-resistant walls and doors. AGT provides anti-blast film, security doors and bullet-proof walls to embassy, government, United Nations, corporate, and commercial buildings across the world.

With the increased threat of terrorist attacks, anti-blast walls, doors and windows are becoming a feature of many public buildings across London. Some are built to withstand such attacks – Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, for example – while others have been retrofitted with the latest technology to protect the building itself and the public.

AGT’s security doors can be made to specification and range from anti-attack through to fully bullet proof. With the increased need for this kind of protection, now is the time for businesses to start protecting their buildings, much in the same way the government is doing.

As well as security doors, AGT also offers bullet-resistant board panels for walls. These come in two sizes, offering two levels of protection. The 7mm boards are designed to withstand multiple rounds from 9mm bullets. The 12mm boards are designed to withstand multiple rounds from a range of weapons including: .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and 12g Solid Slug.

These boards are used to resist the penetration and ricochet effects of ballistic threats and, as they are easy to install, make a quick alternative to traditional solid wall or steel armour constructions.

Click here to download press release

Invisible Protection and Energy Savings

Martin Westney explains the security and energy-saving benefits of AGT glass products, his growing portfolio of clients, and the opportunities available to foreign firms in Kurdistan.

Can you give us some details about AGT?
AGT was established in 2009, but I have been in the window film industry for over 21 years. We have installed projects in Jordan, Nigeria, Mauritania, and Kenya. Our most popular products are anti-blast window films and anchoring systems. We take the existing glass and apply a special film on the inside. It is perfectly clear and will hold the glass in place should there be a blast or a natural disaster. It will stop people inside from getting lacerated, greatly reducing injury and the risk of death. Approximately 75% of injuries from a blast are from flying glass! It is all about mitigating as best as you can, and it is not overly expensive compared to the benefits it can offer. We have a range of solar films as well for reducing heat, reducing glare, and cutting out ultraviolet light.

Interview with Martin Westney – AGT London

What are the benefits of your products?
With the blast mitigation film, it is tested to international standards. There is a certain GSA (General Services Administration) and BS EN (British and European) standard that is a blast of 100 kilos equivalent from 33 meters. There are anchoring systems that we can use as well that will anchor the film into the frames, offering even greater levels of protection. The film strengthens the glass and, due to the super strong adhesive, helps to absorb the blast pressure. So you have already, instantly reduced the amount of serious injuries and fatalities. And it is not very expensive. It is probably one of the cheapest things you can do to reduce the risk to life. Because our films are invisible, no one knows they are there. We can combine solar film with the safety film, or you can just have solar protection. Again, for not a lot of money, you are creating a work environment that is healthier for the people working there. For us, it is about creating a safe and comfortable environment for people to work in.

When does AGT enter a project?
We normally come in right at the end when everything is finished, because everything we do is retrofit. We can do it on any building that is already here. Because of what we do, it has to be as dust-free as possible- going into a building site is no good for us.

Where do you place Kurdistan in terms of risk?
I think it is a perceived risk. Everywhere is dangerous to a degree. Kurdistan is as safe as anywhere I have been. You feel less threatened. The people are incredibly friendly, and everyone is very welcoming.

What are the company’s priorities in 2015 and beyond?
We would like to cement our foundations in the Kurdistan Region and expand into other cities. Our aim is to be here long-term and offer the right service and products for the right price. We have been working with Total, DNO, and Marathon. We have done a lot for Falcon Construction. Currently, most of our projects are for the oil companies- as they move into new offices they have certain safety regulations to follow and the anti blast window film is one of them. Erbil is currently our base, but we are starting to look at projects in Slemani. We can transfer our skills and staff and start working there, along with Erbil, then we will look at Duhok as well. We would also like to do more projects for government agencies and NGOs here.

Source: http://www.security-technologynews.com/article/invisible-protection-and-energy-savings.html

AGT Joint Venture with British Technical

Advanced Glass Technology (AGT) is pleased to announce that they have recently secured a deal to apply their 300 micron blast mitigation film to the new British Consulate offices in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq.

The Consulate has recently relocated some of its staff and services to a more central location within the City perimeter.

This contract was a joint initiative between AGT and British Technical, another UK company with a base in Erbil.

British Technical has a long standing relationship with the Consulate having been in country for four years and they have secured the CCTV and access control contract as part of the security requirements of the British Consulate.

AGT and British Technical have developed a working relationship over the past two years which has lead to various joint opportunities in both Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

AGT Managing Director martin Westney said ‘Working closely with like minded and well connected companies in an area such as Iraq, is important not only for our own business, but for the future development of new contracts for clients seeking a ‘one stop shop’ approach. If you are new to a country, how do you find all the services you need and companies you can trust, especially in security, this is what we can now offer via our network’ ‘

Irbil is attractive to foreign investors says UK firm

IRBIL, Iraq – Significant economic growth of 12% per annum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), reported by its regional investment commission, is creating major trading opportunities for international businesses, according to a leading British specialist in glazing security, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT).

Having established a permanent presence in the Kurdistan capital, Irbil, AGT has experienced increased demand from multi-national corporations for its protective window films, anchoring systems and ballistic-proof doors and walling. Due to the number of rapidly developing infrastructure projects in Irbil, it has become the London-based company’s biggest overseas market in just six months.

As the KRI continues to grow faster than the rest of Iraq, itself expanding at 9% according to the International Monetary Fund, billions of dollars of inward investment are expected to flow into Irbil alone this year, in support of new construction. As such, a fundamental part of new building planning is the safety and protection of corporate employees.

Martin Westney, Managing Director, Advanced Glass Technology, explained:

“Irbil is a forward-looking city keen to open up new economic opportunities. Although a relatively stable region, corporate social responsibility has no boundaries so global businesses investing here are very conscious of the need to protect their staff. There continues to be a rapid pace in construction of new offices and residential areas and as a result, our expertise in risk mitigation and injury prevention is increasingly being called upon by major multi-national operations as a means of providing peace of mind.”

As well as burgeoning growth in the construction sector, increasing security and wealth in KRI has generated renewed interest in vehicle ownership. This has led AGT to look at the possibility of launching a retail venture for its award-winning Glass-shield security film, in partnership with automotive distributors.

“Iraq has been deprived of cars for so many years,” continued Martin Westney of AGT.

“The number relative to population size is still very low, estimated to be around 5%, so clearly many of the world’s leading carmakers predict major sales in the years ahead. The challenge is that all cars are bought with cash and there’s no insurance, so there first needs to be a marked improvement in Iraq’s financial systems in order to generate sustainable growth in this sector.”

AGT Continues Work in Iraq

Advanced Glass Technology, a global leader in blast mitigation window films and anchoring systems has commenced further works in Iraq.

AGT Glass Shield: Blast Mitigation Window Film

AGT is the preferred global partner for many of the world’s oil companies and AGT has been chosen not only for its’ excellent work and professionalism but also for its’ experience in the region, having completed contracts for various UN agencies and allied Embassies in Jordan, Syria and Iraq previously.

Offering a full range of blast mitigation window films and anchoring systems for buildings and its award winning ‘Glass Shield’ protection for soft skin vehicles AGT has established itself as the leading company in the Middle East and North Africa region.

AGT have also worked in Nigeria, Mauritania and Kosovo and of course the UK, supplying and installing anti shatter films and solar films to glazed areas offering a number of solutions:

  • Protection from flying glass (ASF)
  • Heat & glare reduction
  • Privacy
  • UV protection

AGT are also authorised installers of No Bar, Clear Bar and Catch Cable and their operatives are fully trained in all aspects of these products which are designed to greatly enhance the performance of the blast mitigation window films.

 

AGT win prestigious London Contract

After multiple meetings, lengthy negotiations and passing “Due Diligence” criteria, AGT have won a six figure contract to protect all the glass on the London Cable Car Project.

The London Cable Car project will span the Thames, providing a low-emission, quick, direct and fully accessible link connecting the Greenwich Peninsula and the O2 with the Royal Victoria Docks and the ExCeL

AGT will be installing their Anti-Shatter (Blast Mitigation) film to all the glass within the project. And will therefore, be protecting Cable Car employees, Transport for London customers and members of the public against potential injury from flying glass in the event of an explosion.

Managing Director Martin Westney commented “that he was delighted at winning this prestigious contract in his home city of London and that he hoped AGT would now go on to become as successful in the UK as it is in the Middle East and on the African continent.”

AGT have already installed their Anti-Shatter films to Embassies, Government, UN, NGO and Corporate buildings in Jordan, Iraq, Kosovo and Nigeria and are in negotiations for contracts in India, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Pakistan currently.

Window on the world for Advanced Glass Technology

A raft of orders from the Middle East and Asia has propelled London based glazing protection business, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT), into the global arena for the first time.

In response to increased demand from organisations and businesses wanting to mitigate risk to buildings and occupants in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest or a terrorist attack, AGT has formed new partnerships in Jordan and India regarding the supply and authorised installation of its ISO-approved anti-shatter blast containment film.

Embassies, Non-Governmental Organisations and a number of private enterprises are among a growing list of buildings that will undergo protection fitment under the expertise of AGT over the next few months.

First established within the retail automotive sector, offering a solution to the increased level of ‘smash and grab’ vehicle crime through the retrofitting of its anti-shatter security film, AGT expanded its expertise into architectural applications during 2009. AGT also offers installation with a range of specialist anchoring and edge retention systems for enhanced levels of protection, according to the client’s requirements.

Commented Martin Westney, Managing Director, Advanced Glass Technology:

“With architects increasingly pushing the envelope in terms of building design, it’s vital that building owners seek to protect not only their investment but also the lives of occupants against any eventuality. We are pleased to be able to take our expertise into new markets and provide a bespoke and cost effective solution that’s proven to provide significant levels of protection and security.”

In response to demand for improved glass protection from Embassies, Non-Governmental Organisations and businesses in India, a specialist security consultancy in Mumbai has joined forces with AGT.

The new alliance means that DEFCON ISC has become the first authorised installer in India for AGT’s anti-shatter blast containment film, ‘Glass Shield’.

A subsidiary of the property and estate management company, Reshamwala Group, DEFCON ISC provides bespoke defence and security consultancy to organisations seeking to mitigate risk to personnel, buildings and vehicles in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest or a terrorist attack.

The appointment of DEFCON ISC is the first partnership for AGT in India and part of an expanding overseas operation that also includes agreements with specialist security agencies in the Middle East.

Commenting on the new partnership, Martin Westney said:

“Organisations and businesses in major cities across the world are increasingly recognising the importance of building protection and risk mitigation to personnel. We are pleased to be able to take our expertise into new markets and this new partnership with DEFCON ISC is one we hope will develop in the months and years ahead.”

Shonak Reshamwala, President of Reshamwala Group and DEFCON ISC, said:

“This new agreement with AGT will strengthen our proposition to existing and prospective clients and provides additional solutions that we can recommend to them in the interest of improving their security.”