G3: Industry insiders talk glass

What are the most challenging, and rewarding, aspects of custom projects?

Commercial

Bradley Leslie, partner/project manager, Giroux Glass

“One of the main challenges we find ourselves faced with when entering into a custom design project is finding the perfect mix of engineering requirements, fabricator capabilities and budget. One of these elements will usually take precedence in the early stages of a
custom design and will drive the other two. Once these elements are prioritized, the design can proceed at full speed. As a custom design evolves, aesthetic details and install ability become the next set of challenges. The design team will extend to experts from each of the trades involved in order to focus on every detail of the project and how it pertains to their individual trades. One of my favorite things about custom design work is the sense of camaraderie and team spirit that is born. From the client who is passionate about their vision and knows what they want, to the architects, engineers, project managers, and the individual tradesmen—everyone enlisted seems to step it up a notch when working toward a common goal. The greatest reward is delivering a final design that is one of a kind work of art—that started as an idea or a dream and has become reality. The end result often pushes the ever expanding boundaries of engineering, fabricating, and imagination. With a suitable budget, we can continue to push the current limits and challenge our fabricators on the path to the next level of glazing possibilities 

Bradley Leslie

Retail

Aric Wilson, president, Wilson Glass 

"The hardest part about custom work is making the time for it. Custom jobs are more fun, interesting and challenging, but they can be very time consuming. Getting something as perfect as you might want it on the first try is tough to say the least."

Aric Wilson
 

Fabrication

 Paul Sklodowsky, executive vice president, Anvil Craft Corp.
 

"In looking at the four-story, self-supporting helical stair at Drexel University's Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, the most challenging aspect of the custom glass work for this project especially, was accurately calculating the layout of raked bent tempered glass, setting it into a fixed aluminum shoe, and transitioning from compound bevels to level bent glass, all while maintaining smooth transitions between the lites of glass. This was especially challenging due to the architect's request for no top rail. The most rewarding part of this and all projects is seeing the finished product. The design and development of this particular stair started more than a year before we finished it. It's great to see it go from concept drawings and sketches to a finished product ."

Paul Sklodowsky