glassblog

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

From eye-catching, previously unimaginable glass applications, to never-before-seen automated machine solutions, glasstec 2016 exhibitors demonstrated what is now possible in the glass industry. See the innovations that were on display.

 

 

glasstec 2016 Part 1

Featuring photos from A+W, AGC, Bohle, Bystronic, Cricursa, Trosifol, Dow Corning and EuroGlas.

glasstec 2016 Part 2

Featuring photos from Fenzi, Forel, GIMAV, Guardian Industries, Intermac, Langendorf and HEGLA.

glasstec 2016 Part 3

Featuring photos from Lisec, OmniDecor, NSG Pilkington, Quattrolifts, Sedak, Sevasa and Vetrotech Saint-Gobain.

 

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

The 2016 glasstec show is now in the books. It was an incredible experience and it did surpass 2014 on many levels. So here's my take on the products, equipment, people and scene from Germany. 

On the side of glass and glazing products, the push at decorative and colors is still a driver. There was a ton on the floor. I was also impressed by the anti-reflective options. That material is getting so clear, it's really invisible. There were a handful of energy-related products. I really liked a product called Light Glass that could switch from clear, to opaque, and then even to a light that could illuminate the room. I also was really impressed by Glaze Alarm. This was a product I saw two years ago here and it advanced nicely. It has the potential to change the market when it comes to security systems for residential and commercial applications. Plus its inventor, George Schaar, is easily one of the nicest fellows I've ever met. 

Equipment-wise, this show always gets you going. I love the automation advancements, and the overall improvements that the manufacturers keep making on their machines. My favorite was one I would've missed but thankfully Nick Sciola of Hartung told me to check it out. It was the Grezenbach guided vehicles for moving packaged glass. These were automated vehicles and forklifts, and they were mesmerizing to me. It's just a matter of time before seeing these in plants in North America, especially for job shop fabricators.

Exhibit-wise, the marketing folks from around the world had bigger budgets to play with and really used some healthy creativity, too. I liked Glaston doing a remote tempering session. A crowd of folks at the Glaston booth could watch a big screen of tempering in Finland. Evidently others have done this, but this was a first for me. Other stands featured all sorts of efforts to get an audience, including a contemporary dancer, painted woman, back to the future theme, music and more.  The best overall booth, and the one most people talked about, was Guardian's. They had a concrete and glass structure that stood out. I was in awe. The structure showed the products they wanted to promote perfectly.

On the people side, I missed many that were coming, folks like the great guys from Glassopolis, Jordan Richards and Rob Botman. I also was bummed to miss Dick and Mike Macurak from DM Products. And I only got a second with Devin Bowman of TGP. He is so popular, though, that's probably the amount of time he scheduled for me. I did get to visit with many great folks, though. Loved seeing Donald Press and Peter Stattler of Okalux North America. Also great to spend quality time with Kris Vockler, Chris Fronsoe and Abram Scurlock of ICD Coatings. The last time I saw Deron Patterson from PPG was glasstec 2014 so it was good to visit. Running into Bill O'Keefe and Tim Nass of Safti First was very cool. You know I love everyone from Canada, so to run into the various company contingents from that great country was tremendous for me. Always fun to get to chat with Thomas Martini of Vitrum. He keeps me on my toes. Was also nice to meet his guys Adam Byrne and Tyler Boult. Good young talent there. Seeing Peter Garvey and Tim Richard and the team from SAAND was enjoyable. Though I talked their ears off for sure. Old friend Matt Hale was making his glasstec debut and he and Eric Channel of Global Glass Solutions were out of business cards by mid day 1. Not a surprise with how friendly those two are. And speaking of friendly, I am always grateful for the friendship of Max Hals and Ian Patlin of Paragon. Great guys who do super work and are as smart and hard working as they come. Last on this section Bernard and Linda Lax of Pulp Studio were great as always. Congrats to them on the new facility and all the good they have going on.

So aside from four solid days of seeing so much glass and glazing materials there was one really notable event that I was honored and quite frankly humbled to attend. The Guardian Gala. This event was off the charts with regards to food, entertainment, networking, you name it. I'm just a consultant hustling to make a living and to be amongst the best glass people in the WORLD is incredible to me. It was great to chat with so many people there, but it's always 
great to catch up with Chris Dolan. But I can't call him "Megatron" any more since that name retired from football. So I'll work on an updated moniker there. And I must mention it was really special to see Amy Hennes be mentioned by the president of Guardian's glass division at the gala. Those of us who work with Amy (putting my media hat on) know she really rocks at what she does. With how busy she is at these shows, I was thrilled to get a few minutes with her. 

All in all this really is a glass geek's dream event. Just so much to see and experience. And it gets me even more pumped for GlassBuild America. Yes, it's not the same, but the ability to meet up with people, see new products and learn are there and I never take any of those areas from granted. Plus it's a lot closer than Germany!!!

No links or videos this week. Writing and posting from my hotel in Dusseldorf, and I am afraid if I post a video it could crash the internet here. Next week I'll have reactions to the first slip in ABI in a while and more...

Click to read more From the Fabricator...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I made a big mistake last week, and broke a rule I’d been told many times before: Never test drive a car you can’t afford (or don’t have room in your garage for). You see, I made the mistake of walking past a Tesla showroom with time to spare. Before long, I was on a test drive of the new Model S, all electric sedan, around the streets of Seattle.  

After a brief 45-minute drive, I’d like to suggest the following. First, keep your old internal combustion car (better yet, with a manual clutch) for yourself or the scrapyard – your kids or grandkids will have no need or interest in it. Second, you WILL be driving an electric car in the next 10 years.  

The Model S totally changed both my past perceptions and preconceived notions all in the short span of 45 minutes. Finally, traditional automotive manufacturers have some serious catching up to do… quickly. 

This experience got me thinking about our own industry, and the opportunities we see (or don’t) that are ripe for innovation. Like my experience with the Model S, advances in glass technology are demolishing expectations around what is possible when it comes to building design and performance.

Let me explain. Architects specify glass to help make buildings more comfortable, with access to abundant natural light and views – whether it’s a view of a mountain or a cityscape. Nothing unusual about that. But as building codes and owner expectations have evolved, glass is now being called upon to do much more.

For example, ask a person on the street if window glass can stand up to a hurricane, and you’re likely to get a resounding “no!” since they’ve seen TV news images of windows blowing out during big storms. But, true to our industry’s spirit of innovation that I blogged about last month, manufacturers offer a range of glazing that can meet the nation’s most stringent hurricane codes – those of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Such products have been around for several years, but what about glass that is both hurricane-safe and fire-rated? Architects have been asking for that multi-performance, which is now coming to market.

Likewise, as communities demand that schools better defend against mass shootings, glass is playing a role. A parent might think that a concrete wall is needed to protect their children at school, but again, glass demolishes expectations. Architects are specifying high-performance glass in schools to make a more light-filled and conducive learning environment, while also resisting bullets and providing staff and police necessary visibility in and out of the building during emergencies.

For everyone in the glass business, good job at demolishing expectations around what is possible with glass – keep up the great work.

Jeff Razwick is the president of Technical Glass Products, a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. He writes frequently about the design and specification of glazing for institutional and commercial buildings, and is a past chair of the Glass Association of North America’s Fire-Rated Glazing Council. He can be reached at 800/426-0279.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, September 19, 2016

This week I will be in Germany for the bi-annual glasstec show. This event attracts people from around the world and my true hope is to see some new things, especially on the product side. On my last trip there, the equipment on display was dominant and impressive, but the actual product technology left me a little cold. We’ll see, and I look forward to reporting back here on what I find and what may make an impact on our world going forward. Also, this is a nice chance for me to get familiar with many exhibitors who will also be at GlassBuild America. I counted around 100 glasstec exhibitors who’ll also be in Las Vegas in October. So that will be a neat sneak preview for sure. Last, I always look forward to and get a kick out of the fact that I’ll run into people from North America there that I won’t see ever over here. Depending on wi-fi connections, I am going to try and tweet, so feel free to follow along on Twitter: @maxpsolesource 

Elsewhere…

  • The good news via the monthly forecasts keeps coming. The latest Dodge Momentum Index was up again for the fifth straight month. We’re still far from where we were during the crazy pre-recession times, but we’re also now getting far away from the depths of the recession itself. Obviously we all look towards November and we’ll see what happens then and the effect it may or may not have on the economy.
  • I was very happy to see my friend Scott Hoover and Solaria back in the news again in a collaboration with the NSG Group. I love innovation and technology and the more steam fresh products can get the better.
  • Time for the monthly review of Glass Magazine. And this is an issue that you will want to devour. A few pieces of note. Katy Devlin went inside with a piece on the PPG-Vitro deal. Story was great, but I also must say the appearance and layout of it was even better. Really loved how it looked! Also really liked the piece from Gary McQueen of JE Berkowitz on design assist. Well done.
  • But the real focus of the issue was GlassBuild America and what to expect and who and what to see. It was really an excellent primer to get you ready for the show. So if you are going, you really want to read through this. And if you are not going, it surely gives you a great taste of what you are missing. 
  • Ad of the month? Because this issue was gigantic, I could not just pick one ad winner. A lot of companies raised their creative game this month, so I have three who get this extremely valuable honor of being named my ad of the month.

Guardian is back in the winner circle again. Loved their ad featuring a sketch drawing and calling out where the glass goes. Just caught my eye and was 
impressive.

Schuco is also a winner this month. They showed an old typewriter and headlined “Don’t become a thing of the past.” BRILLIANT. Congrats to them on a great 
hook.

Lisec takes the last spot with their “Velocity” ad. They wanted to promote speed and the ad caught my eye and did that. It was a simple, clean piece that 
was effective.

All in all though, tons of good creative this month. Congrats to all out there working that angle!

  • Last this week, US News and World Report released its top colleges list this week and it’s always interesting to see what’s considered the best here and there. But I had to laugh that they listed the top “value” colleges and #1 was Harvard… and the “value” price was just… 62K per year. I guess value has a different meaning in the college world. 

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, September 12, 2016

In 1960, John Kennedy said the USA would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. On July 20, 1969 the goal was accomplished. This was such a large goal that future goals paled in comparison. This resulted in personal problems for some that worked at NASA. They had lost their focus, their drive, and moved into a maintenance mode. When we don’t set meaningful goals, it’s easy to move into a maintenance, or complacent, mode. 

I encountered a similar predicament in 2010. In October 2009, I set a goal to run 56 miles to celebrate my 56th birthday in September 2010. I trained daily for 11+ months to achieve this goal. My training was not limited to running. It involved a strict diet, cross training with a personal trainer, regular deep tissue massage, publicity because I was raising money for a non-profit, and other facets of training. I had a team of supporters that held me accountable. I focused on the goal constantly. On September 11, 2010, I ran 56 miles. Goal accomplished! And then it was over…

Now what? I rose every day without a personal goal. I was complacent. I thought about, and talked about, different goals, but none excited me. Those goals considered weren’t big enough to compare with 56at56. It took more than six months for me to regain focus. If I had set a subsequent goal prior to 56at56, I would have maintained my focus and not drifted into complacency. 

It’s this way in business, too. When businesses fail to create goals, they become complacent. Businesses need to have challenging goals; not just executing the current workload. My company is 60 years old and we’re continually setting goals. The time periods for each goal vary, but there are multiple simultaneous goals we are chasing. These goals keep us focused, excited, creative and mentally engaged.

I’ve learned from history (NASA) and personally (56at56) that it is extremely important to develop the habit of continually setting goals. We need to be thinking about the next goal while we’re working on the current goals. As long as we have a subsequent goal, even if we take a brief respite, we will not allow ourselves, or business, to fall into complacency.  

What are your goals?

Bill Evans is president of Evans Glass Co. Write him at bevans@evansglasscompany.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Many times in the past 11 years I have hammered in this space on the lack of respect our industry sometimes gets. And while some of that disrespect may be warranted, most of it is not. As an industry, we do a very solid and admirable job of working with the code bodies, offering insight, and in the end producing products that meet and exceed all standards set. And it’s an unending process, too. The groups that work for our industry, with tons of volunteers (and always needing and wanting more of those), keep setting the bar higher and higher.

Some examples? I am excited about the upcoming launch of MyGlassClass.com from the NGA. That will be a huge and helpful educational tool that everyone can benefit from. I am always into what IGMA has going on. When I read this week about their upcoming education conference I was excited because one of the main goals there is continuously improving long term performance of one of the crucial products we all produce and install. I’ve covered what GANA has done and is doing many times here. I’ve also noted my hopes and appreciation for the NACC and their angle to certify glazing contractors. That can be something that really makes a difference when outsiders question our skills. Add in the great work being done by AAMA, AEC (more on them below) and others, and you have to feel good about the way we go about business.

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of AEC, this incredible story included dogged work by that group in chasing down an aluminum stockpile in the Mexican desert. The fabulous Twitter feed of John Wheaton (@JohnLWheaton1) led many others and me to it and it truly is a must read. 
  • Congrats to Mary Avery of Tubelite on her promotion to VP of Marketing. Mary is off the charts talented and her work with Tubelite over the years has been smart, creative and effective. Awesome to see her efforts recognized! Plus I do usually love it when a marketing person gets the pat on the back… you know since it’s usually marketing’s fault for everything. (Inside marketing joke…)
  • Next weekend I leave for Germany and glasstec, so next week’s post will be focused on that and what I hope to see and accomplish. But the comical thing for me is I started to pull some clothes to pack and it hit me that I don’t think I have worn a coat and tie or suit since the 2014 glasstec. Maybe once or twice, but surely not often. 
  • Speaking of clothes, but with an industry spin, I have four shirts--all same make and model--yet all fit completely differently. One is gigantic, one too small and so on. Can you imagine if we as an industry did stuff like that? I’d be thrilled if I could get shirts within the tolerances we allow for tempered.
  • Last this week, it's rare any more for me to look forward to a new show on broadcast TV, but I am. “Designated Survivor” with my old pal Kiefer Sutherland of “24” fame is the star in the ABC drama. The previews look fantastic, so I’m hopeful I’ll have a new show to get lost in.

Read on for links and video of the week... 

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Requirements for product life cycle declarations are officially on the books. Is your company ready? Calls for life cycle assessments are appearing in everything from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program to ASHRAE and the International Green Construction Code. For glass and glazing manufacturers looking to compete for sustainable building projects, completing LCAs of products will be essential.

“Ultimately, the industry is moving toward more life cycle thinking,” says Helen Sanders, vice president of technical business development for SageGlass. “It’s not just, ‘am I saving energy in the building.’ It’s, ‘am I making the right choices with the materials I’m using?’”

A key driver of this trend is LEED Version 4, Sanders says. As of this month, LEED v3 certification will be completely phased out in lieu of LEED v4, which provides points for LCAs in the Materials and Resources category. Life cycle has also made its way into IgCC and ASHRAE 189.1, which are in the process of being merged. The green construction codes allow users to follow a performance path that calls for a whole building LCA. “If someone wants to pursue a whole building LCA, they will come to you for information on the life cycle of your product,” Sanders says. 

For several years, industry organizations have been working to prepare for these LCA requirements for glass and glazing products. The groups have developed Product Category Rules for numerous industry product types, from flat glass to fabricated glass to window systems. These PCRs provide the framework that allows manufacturers to develop Environmental Product Declarations about the life cycle of their individual products. 

In April 2014, the Glass Association of North America and NSF International developed a Flat Glass PCR. In September 2015, after years of work, a joint association task group published the Window PCR. The PCR, developed by GANA, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, covers single windows, skylights, curtain wall and storefront, for residential, commercial and institutional buildings. And, in August, IGMA and GANA officials announced the approval and release of the PCR for Processed Glass.

“The completion of the PCR for Processed Glass is the successful culmination of a combined industry effort spanning many years that started with the Flat Glass PCR, and then the Window PCR,” said IGMA Executive Director Margaret Webb, in the announcement. “This PCR was developed as a core product with processes for coated, laminated, heat-treated, decorative and insulating glass. The industry can now provide credible EPDs for their customers.”

The design and building industry is moving toward product transparency, asking manufactures to make life cycle disclosures, and these industry PCRs allow manufacturers to provide this information. So, is your company ready? 

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Since we are coming off Labor Day weekend I thought it was appropriate to talk about…labor! More specifically, the continuing battle to fill jobs in our industry. And actually the search for workers expands to an entire construction segment. We are surely not alone. What can we do other than talk and complain about it? One thing that is happening, but thanks to our bizarre political climate right now, I am not sure it will be pulled through, is a move in Congress for a few acts that can bring additional training and push to segments like ours. One is the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act and another Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity for Careers Act, or the Four Cs for Careers Act, and both have potential to at least create programs that could get more people into our systems. In addition, the Perkins Act, which was created to support the needs of industries like construction, is on the table for when Congress returns this fall. Not a lock for major success obviously, but a start. And we have to start somewhere.

Meanwhile, as I was preparing this, I came across a quote that I think makes sense with regards to how we get and then KEEP our employees:

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson

This plays to culture and many companies in our industry really do this right, but it is something that is always evolving. You always have to be on top of the situation. Hopefully between the acts above, more education and training, and companies embracing a positive culture, we can at least tread water and then gain on the employee needs. But a long road ahead for sure….

Elsewhere…

  • Another angle of employee/industry concern: health insurance costs. It’s going to keep getting uglier. This story from USA Today turned my stomach (but no way will I go to a doctor for that; can’t afford it!) Anyway, as most of you know, the rates will keep going up and up some more. This is a massive issue that somehow now seems completely off the radar really. I will note many companies are doing as much creatively as they can to combat the rate increases. As a brief example, I was very impressed when I heard/saw that my friends at Binswanger Glass had introduced some proactive measures to support better health for all in the efforts to keep rates under control. I am sure many others are doing that too. Because in this day and age, you have to.

Ok enough of the bad news… moving on to our world. 

 

  • I love innovative products. And innovative usages of products. I’ve written about many here like BIPV, dynamics, digital printing, Childgard glass, privacy and so on. The latest innovation I learned about at the recent GANA event is via the gang at Viracon: Glass that can protect the interior from cyber-spies. Basically someone with the right equipment can position outside an office building and attach to the Wi-Fi inside and with nefarious intentions do serious harm. So it was cool to see a product developed and advanced (as I know there’s been similar in the past) that can combat that. Props to Ron McCann and the team there on this one. Good stuff.
  • Just a heads up, the latest version of LEED--LEED v4--is now ready to be the only version of LEED accepted in the marketplace. Many still use the LEED 2009 and that has been allowed as LEED v4 has been rolled out. But come October, that option won’t be there. If you are not up to speed on new LEED and are active in getting requests for info or submittals for it, you may want to brush up on your research.
  • Last this week, this was just the last Sunday until February without NFL Football. So that season now begins. I am much more of a college guy now thanks to my absolute dislike for Roger Goodell. But I still follow a bit and I know many of you need my prediction for the Super Bowl. This year I am going with Cam Newton and the Panthers to win it all over my pal James Wright’s Cincinnati Bengals. 

 

Read on for links of the week... 

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, August 29, 2016

In my last glassblog post, I presented a variety of observations about projects, trends and issues regarding glass, glazing, cladding, enclosures, façades and building envelope systems from the perspective of a professional services provider, working on various curtain wall and cladding projects—small and large; custom and standard; consultative, design and engineering—throughout the United States. This blog continues that theme, looking at topics such as Professional Engineer seals and drawings, jobsite observations, glazing scopes and more.

1. PE seals and drawings
PE sealed calculations are required on almost all curtain wall projects, but without bridging the gap to the next step and requiring PE Sealed shop drawings, there is no guarantee that the two products are coordinated. In fact, if only one item should require PE review and seal, it should be shop drawings. Those are the documents from which the wall is fabricated and constructed.

How many times have we seen shop drawings not match the calculations? (Answer – many times.) This is especially true if calculations are being provided by a third party or outside engineer, and the shop drawings are being provided by the client or manufacturer. There is no guarantee that the drawings match the calculations unless they’ve got a stamp on them.

What’s the point to the above? Doesn’t it cost more money to get PE sealed drawings? Yes. But not much more, and not compared to the cost of an incorrect installation. The installation should match the intent and detail in the shop drawings, which should match the calculations. Clients should build this into the cost of the project. It can also be considered a value to GCs and owners to reduce risk.

2. PE seal assurances
A PE Seal still doesn’t ensure that the wall has been properly detailed to accommodate resistance to air and water infiltration, or thermal continuity. A PE seal covers the structural adequacy of mullion framing, infill materials (usually), connections, anchors and movements. Air, water and thermal issues are separate “system design” or “system engineering” issues. And they are equally important. Water intrusion is far more common than a structural failure. Plus water is quickly visible and has a broad impact on interior finishes, comfort, degradation issues and life-cycle. Shop drawings need to communicate seal line continuity including transitions to adjacent systems.

Even if a project has PE sealed calculations and shop drawings, along with a properly detailed wall system, there’s no guarantee that the wall will be installed in the same manner. There’s also no guarantee that the drawings have outlined every occurrence or condition in the field. Folks in the field are critical to providing continuity from design to installation, but collaboration between field crews and design professionals should be encouraged. Both need the other.

3. Jobsite observation
Jobsite observation by the engineer of record or by a consultant can seem costly on the front end, but it’s far less costly than a forensic investigation due to a failure after the job has been installed. This is not uncommon especially on mid-rise buildings with multiple façade elements all having to be tied together.

It would be wise for building codes in the United States to require site observations (special inspections like ICC Chapter 17) for cladding and curtain wall projects, which are the realm of the “specialty engineer.”

4. Glazing scopes
When a design professional is quoting work to a glazing subcontractor, two scopes of work are important to define. 

  • The first is the exact scope of work that the glazing sub will be undertaking and for which they want work products from the design professional. 
  • The second is to specify the work products and services requested, such as, design-assist, performance mock up drawings and calculations, project shop drawings, calculations, fabrication drawings, thermal analysis, and others. 

In addition, each scope should clarify, to the fullest extent possible, what actual deliverable will be received. Everyone has a different version of what a shop drawing should communicate. Defining expectations in advance is important. 

Even with that definition, engineering and design shouldn’t take place in a “box.” Frequent interaction between stakeholders, including weekly huddles, video or face-to-face meetings, along with project plan definition and phasing is all critical to keep a project on track and to align with expectations and requirements. 

5. Project plan
It’s all about “the project plan.” The better defined the plan, the better the results. Engineering is “the tail on the dog.” It’s subject to the project plan and design criteria. Engineering executes the plan and should seek to find value spaces and optimization within the plan.

6. Collaboration
Finally, collaboration is the best way to create an environment for a successful outcome on projects.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at jwheaton@wheatonsprague.com and on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1. 

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

This past week GANA held it’s Fall Conference in Kansas City. As always with events like these, there’s a great deal of information and education (as well as primo networking) available. So a few takeaways from that event…

If you haven’t heard the acronyms LCA or EPD, get ready. You will certainly be hearing more from them and about them in the future. LCA stands for Life Cycle Analysis and EPD is for Environmental Product Declaration. This is a trend that started a few years ago that boasts more transparency in a product's environmental make-up. Green building rating systems are a driver of it, but so are architects and building owners. Mark Silverberg of Technoform, who always leads thoughtful discussions on serious energy issues, was great in taking the audience through the options. This will be an area to watch. But I will also throw it out to you my dear readers: Are you seeing LCA or EPD in your specifications?

In the same session that discussed the LCA/EPD, Dr. Tom Culp gave some updates on the various code and ratings bodies. The push to be sustainable seems to getting more organized with two groups combining standards, and I liked the fact that one standard has an angle that really promotes the use of dynamic glazing. Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of that technology, so seeing it in the approach here was a daymaker. 

I learned that the NFRC hired a consulting firm to, among other things, “help them understand the commercial manufacturers value chain and what will encourage them to adopt the program.”  I was among many in our industry who told them these things way back in 2004, arguing that the commercial world was different than the residential. In the end, it seems so much of what our industry tried to teach them was ignored. I believe they could've saved themselves a ton of money and resources if they would have listened. Despite this most recent move, I am not sure they will ever really want to understand the commercial world.

The conference also featured a tour of the AGC Float Glass facility in Spring Hill, Kansas. For me it was the seventh float plant I have toured, and I still learned new things. The AGC folks really did a tremendous job with this effort; the plant was spotless and impressive. Major thanks to Gus Trupiano of AGC for setting this up. 

Finally, Kansas City also featured some great glass and glazing viewing. Really unique buildings, excellent usage of glass for the most part, and the downtown area was very nice. 

Elsewhere...

  • Next up on the North American show/conference schedule is GlassBuild America and the Glazing Executives Forum. You seriously can never have enough education, information or networking in your life.
  • But before GlassBuild America dominates the landscape, I am excited about getting to attend my second glasstec in Germany. That show kicks off in a few weeks and now that I have one under my belt, I am pumped to take the show on again. I look forward to reporting back on here some of what I see and experience. And if you are headed over there, I look forward to running into you along the way!
  • Last this week, the always great Twitter feed of Conners Sales Group (@ConnersSales) had an incredible link posted a few days ago. Check this one out. It is an “All Glass Office,” and when I say “All Glass” I mean ALL GLASS. Now I love glass. Live for it. Want it everywhere. But I have to admit this actually was even too much for me--at least for living or working in. Obviously if I was the fabricator or glazier, I would LOVE these jobs.

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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