European Technical Approvals for Structural Sealant Glazing Systems (SSGS)

"The ETA 002 guideline requires a number of tests and assessments, such as checking bond and gluing on stainless steel and aluminum supports, says Jean-Louis Galéa, "Lightweight construction and roofs" engineer at CSTB. But in agreement with the SNFA (National Association of Windows, and Facades Construction and Associated Activities), it was decided to take advantage of the experience and know-how of some designers to avoid the need for them to start again from scratch. It was inconceivable that they should be obliged to perform long and expensive tests, when it was known that they would be positive."

Thus, when designers decided to ask for an ETA, CSTB suggested a 2-step procedure to make the ATec (Technical Assessment) "Eurocompatible"; firstly to produce a Technical Assessment to determine product characteristics, and secondly a DTA (Technical Application Document) to describe the range of applications in France and works design and construction conditions. These manufacturers have had a Technical Assessment applicable to products used in structural sealant glazing systems for many years. They asked for the ETA to comply with European requirements and open up new markets by offering their facade contractors the possibility of applying a CE mark on their structural sealant glazing product. Complying with the ETA 002 guideline required a great deal of work. For contractors, the work included particularly a search for all suitability tests carried out for projects over at least the last 5 years. A series of tests complying with the Guideline was necessary, in addition to this documentation work.

DTAs (Document Technique d’Application - Technical Application Documents) that are complementary to ETAs for installation of products have been included in the French procedure (Specialized Group No. 2) to replace Technical Assessments to provide an assessment in accordance with the CSTB’s structural sealant glazing technical specifications booklet (No. 3488 November 2003).

Seven of the 19 ETAs approved for structural sealant glazing systems in Europe were approved by CSTB, and 2 are currently being approved. 2 DTAs were issued by CSTB.

* The kit is a set of at least two separated elements that have to be assembled before they can be installed in works put on the market in a single transaction with a single supplier.
** The sealant manufacturer may have an ETA and CE marking; the bonder may have a "Structural Sealant Glazing Pass", an attestation of conformity that validates the production inspection in the factory. When the bonder holds this pass, he shows the validity of his work to façade contractors for whom he is working as a subcontractor. This Pass is recognized for CE marking, and also for all structural sealant glazing bonding operations.