G3: Industry insiders talk glass

What are end users asking for in terms of products and services?
October 2, 2012
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION : TRENDS

Commercial

Filip Geeraert, president and CEO, Deceuninck 

“[Our customers] are definitely looking for something innovative. A nice example is the genius window system … We also see more colors; laminate; paint. [And we’ve] seen major changes in the commercial [market], beyond multifamily homes. People are also interested in the green initiative. Everybody talks about sustainability, so people want to play in that space as well.”

Retail

Brad Voreis, vice president of operations, Glass Doctor

“There are a lot of remodels going on. Homeowners are realizing that they’re going to be keeping their houses for the time being, and they are updating their showers.

Also on the residential side, people are finding that changing out their single-glazed windows for real glazing is beneficial. Part of that speaks to the energy conscious mood everyone’s in.  People are saying to themselves: ‘I should probably improve my home because that’s the biggest asset that I own and I’m going to hold on to it for a while.’ That’s a big trend [that] our franchisees [are seeing].”

 

Fabrication

David Petratis, president and CEO, Quanex Building Products Corp.

“We think they are asking for vinyl systems [in the commercial market]. [Aluminum extrusions] are a safe product, but as architects and builders try to push toward LEED standards, they’ve got to begin to understand the performance of the building envelope. And they’re open to innovation. We think the EnergyQuest, the co-extrusion capabilities, the color technologies that we [offer] blow through some of that market.

As I go through the East and see beautiful brownstone buildings with white vinyl, [I ask], ‘what’s going on here?’ Our industry can offer better. It’s our job to … say there are different methods to solve this equation and help customers be more aesthetic, more energy efficient. Vinyl is much more readily adapted [in Europe]. We think it’s a great opportunity [domestically].”