glassblog

Monday, February 16, 2015

So I have been banging on the “glass capacity” issue for a while now and this week I chatted with several people who are dealing with this growing problem. First, there are still folks unaware that glass, especially ¼-inch clear, is getting harder and harder to get. That is on everyone in the supply chain—suppliers, fabricators, glaziers and the media. Communicating about what is happening in the industry is a must. And while this issue has not affected the entire industry yet, the way it is heading I am pretty sure it will. So as I have said before, be proactive.

On that note, I did hear from a few people who are struggling with the best ways to be proactive. Some fabricators are developing programs to reserve glass but some of those programs carry risk (penalties if you don’t take the glass when scheduled is one), and with the volatile schedules of the general contractor, the glaziers are wary about commitments. The fear is, by struggling to get glass, we as an industry could be setting ourselves up for losing that part of the building to other materials. Now while I don’t see “glassless” buildings, designers could choose to go with less glass area, which is scary and ironic since we fought so hard to deflect efforts to limit glass usage in the codes. So again, communication through the chain is key as this is a legitimate issue and one that is not going to go away quickly. Make sure everyone knows what the obstacles are, be truthful with lead-times, push for guaranteed sizes, etc.

In the end, all of these things, as well as other proactive measures, will help and also make everyone more efficient. And if you have not been touched with this tightening of materials, congrats, but be prepared as I have a good feeling you will.

Elsewhere…

  • I know I say it over and over, but sometimes when something is so good, it deserves constant repeating. Katy Devlin’s blogs on Glass Magazine are not to be missed. Last week’s recap of a facades conference was incredible. So good that I think I may need to take a few months off to recharge because my stuff is not even in the same stratosphere.
  • In my last post, I noted one of the buildings that was chosen as “the coolest” in 2014 and wondered who fabricated the glass. Well sure enough it did not take long for the always-excellent Bill Coady of Guardian to pipe up with the info. The glass used was Guardian SunGuard Neutral 40 on No. 2 and Neutral 78/65 on No. 5. The glass was fabricated by Garibaldi Glass. Congrats to all and thank you Mr. Coady for reading the blog and replying!
  • Great news this week about a good friend of mine, Steve Cohen. PPG announced that Steve has joined as National Architectural Manager-Northeast. Quite a coup for PPG since I believe Steve is one of the most talented guys in our industry. And while I am biased since I like Steve personally, I can tell you from a professional side in dealing with him, the guy is fantastic. Great move for both sides here.
  • Last this week, two more sets of lists since I love those things…

The top 25 Architectural “fails” and the top 5 commercial construction trends. The “fail” piece is just mindless fun, but the trends piece is pretty interesting and does relate to our world.

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

The author 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, February 16, 2015

Once again, Glass Magazine will recognize the top glaziers in the United States in its annual Top 50 Glaziers report, and it's time to nominate your company.

The May 2015 issue of Glass Magazine will feature the highest-earning contract glaziers of 2014. In addition to company statistics, the Top 50 Glaziers issue will include glazier profiles, industry statistics, project spotlights and more.

We want to feature the glass industry's achievements. In order for us to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, we rely on direct submissions from the industry. If your company should be included in the Top 50 Glaziers report, please complete the nomination form today. The submission deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 25. And feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Green building means so much more than energy and thermal performance, a sentiment made clear during the Facades+ architectural conference held Feb. 5-6 in Los Angeles. To truly build green—to consider the lifetime environmental impacts of a building from material extraction through construction, use and eventual destruction—demands consideration of durability, sustainability, recyclability, preservation and more.

These green building considerations are top priority for designers, builders and materials suppliers, as the design and build community increasingly works to addresses climate change, according to numerous speakers during the Facades+ conference. “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. There are ways we can affect change in our design, at the scale at which we work,” said Emilie Hagen of Atelier 10.

“The dialogue is still so tightly focused around energy, and in many ways, rightly so,” said Mic Patterson of Enclos. “However, as we continue to address the big problem that is threatening civilization, we start to peel it back and see issues like the embodied energy in these systems, and the life cycle costs that are not trivial considerations. We start to recognize that durability is a critically important thing. And we remember that recycling is not free—it takes real energy and real water use.”

Pulled from my more than 14 pages of notes from the invigorating and exciting conference are 10 top considerations for the building community as it begins to address climate change in a bigger and bigger way. Green building is moving beyond a trend  to an expectation, and even to a necessity. And the entire building chain is needed to successfully execute it.

  1. Net zero building.
    Net zero will be a future performance expectation of buildings, according to several speakers. “One could look at net zero as the next speed bump,” said Kevin Kavanaugh of CO Architects. This trend is well underway at the federal level, with the General Services Administration requiring all new buildings to achieve zero net energy by 2030. 
  2. Net zero ready.
    When net zero isn’t in a project budget, many architects are targeting a middle step: net zero ready. For new and existing buildings, net zero ready allows owners to prepare for additional investments, such as renewables, that can be added at a later point to make the building fully net zero. 
  3. Material transparency.
    Health Product Declarations and Life Cycle Assessments are becoming a more critical part of design for architects, particularly as they work to achieve more stringent performance criteria, like those required in the Living Building Challenge. “Material transparency, material selection, is one of our greatest challenges right now,” said Stacey Hooper, an architect from NBBJ and one of the conference organizers. “I really encourage [material suppliers] to do an HPD and LPD. It makes us all a little more able to make decisions,” added Margaret Montgomery, also of NBBJ.
  4. Durability and Sustainability.
    Energy-efficiency and thermal performance have dominated the focus of green building. However, building and building material durability and sustainability need to become equally important aspects of the conversation. Increasing attention to life cycle is bringing this issue to the forefront. 
  5. Preservation.
    One of the greenest ways to build is to renovate and preserve existing spaces. Preservation architects are becoming an increasingly important segment of the design community as they transform existing buildings into spaces that preserve historic appearance while providing levels of energy and thermal performance expected in new construction. 
  6. Value.
    Tied closely to durability and preservation is how we value our built spaces. “The things we love, we take care of. We value them. It means we maintain them and extend their service life,” explained Patterson. “It’s easy to see this in Europe, but we haven’t gotten around to doing a lot of these things here. I was recently in Rome, and I saw the Pantheon, a 2,000-year-old building. This durability in construction, this care and maintenance, these things contribute to sustainability.” 
  7. Updatability.
    A next-level conversation topic for green design should be future retrofits—considering the updatability of materials at the time of original construction, according to several speakers. The expected lifespan of a building will surpass the expected lifespans of individual building systems. Considering future retrofits at the time of construction will not only ease the retrofit process, but will also maximize performance during each building life phase. 
  8. Dynamic and integrated facades.
    Critical to a high performance building, particularly one capable of achieving net zero goals, is a dynamic façade—specifically, a dynamic façade that is integrated into building controls and adapts to air, light, temperature and other factors. “Everything around a building is dynamic, but most envelopes have no capability to evolve or adapt. Façades need to be adaptive and upgradeable,” said Alex Korter of CO Architects. 
  9. Human health.
    Building performance should also consider occupant performance, in addition to energy factors. “We need to consider what about a building makes a human healthy—that allows for thriving occupants,” said Atelier 10’s Hagen. “Factors like lighting and natural ventilation are not just energy savers. They can be tools for helping people in the environment thrive.” 
  10. Water.
    While there is a lot of talk about energy, the energy/water nexus is not being talked about nearly enough, according to NBBJ's  Hooper. “Half of the water we consume in the U.S. is used to cool energy power plants. This is staggering. Then consider that the energy used to heat and cool buildings is 45 to 50 percent of total energy use in the U.S.,” she said. Reductions in energy consumption in the built environment will lead to reductions in water consumption.

Katy Devlin, editor, Glass Magazine
 
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


Monday, February 9, 2015

In one of my predictions for 2015, I noted that the “Bird Safe” glass revolution would grow. One key area of growth is to get a stronger voice in the code process and that seemingly is happening. I think I underestimated the bird safe lobby and their desire to get safe glass specified and installed—probably because this has been an issue on the radar for several years. I remember being at a meeting where the always-on-top-of-things, Julie Schimmelpenningh (then of Solutia, now of Eastman) brought it up as an issue to be aware of and approach. And basically companies did; but the drumbeat for it to take off never took place. But now with easily available bird-safe glass products, and a possible push on the code side, we’re about to see the revolution grow.

Elsewhere…

  • Those of you who know me, know I have not been a fan of the USGBC green rating system LEED for a while now. Well it looks like I am getting more company on that front. First, a Turner Construction survey shows that interest in alternative green rating systems is up 250 percent in the last two years. And then we have Alabama, Georgia, Maine, and Mississippi that have now essentially “banned” the use of LEED for state-funded projects due to one of the credit items in the old 2009 criteria. Now I think green and sustainable building is a must (I prefer Net Zero), and having a solid, reliable and logical green rating system is crucial. So I am surely not against the concept, but against at least the set up of the biggest guy on the block. What will be interesting now is to see if any of these alternative systems can truly step up and be a significant competitor to LEED.
  • Not sure where these stack up energy or “green” wise, but a very neat piece on the “5 coolest buildings” completed in 2014. None in the United States, but one is in British Columbia and I am curious which of the awesome glass fabricators in the Pacific Northwest supplied the glass for it…
  • I’m still in shock over the Super Bowl… That ending. Wow. Anyway, the commercials are the best part for me, so a quick rundown here. Obviously the one that made the most news was the bizarre Nationwide “kid” commercial. If there was ever a PR and marketing combined fail, it was that one. Killing off a kid in front of 114 million viewers in efforts to sell insurance is simply wrong. To defend it by saying you were trying to “educate” is a joke as well. Best commercials for me: the Budweiser dog returning home (we have four dogs; I’d be a mess if one left); and the comical Bryant Gumbel/Katie Couric BMW flashback to 1994. I laughed even more as that was the year I got my AOL e-mail address that I still have and use today. Last, the Doritos middle seat commercial was great; all of us have been in that position in one form or another. Great twist.
  • Last this week, I have noted here many times that following the Glass Magazine Twitter feed can be just as good as being there. And this past week that was true again during a Facades+ Conference in Los Angeles. The stream of tweets were quick and insightful. And once again, while I wish I could have attended, I was able to get some of the flavor needed thanks to the feed. That is where social media really pays off—the ability to real-time an interesting event. Or being able to review the feed at the end of the day and see it all at once. Nice work!

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

The author 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, February 2, 2015


Giroux Glass CEO Transition and Networking Event at the Aquarium of the Pacific

The story of Anne-Merelie Murrell’s time in the glass industry is the stuff of movies—fitting for the CEO of the Hollywood-adjacent Giroux Glass. It all began in 1991, when Murrell was in her early 60s and purchased the Los Angeles glass company as part of a larger real estate deal. 

“Twenty-four years ago, I saw this group of buildings, and I wanted to buy them,” Murrell said last week during a Giroux Glass CEO Transition and Networking Event at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. “A fellow by the name of Louis Giroux said he would sell the buildings, but only if I took his glass business as well.”


Murrell

Lomedico

Murrell said yes, despite having no previous experience in the glass industry. And, in the 24 years that followed, she grew the company from a small service glass shop into one of the nation’s largest glazing contractors. 

“I can't tell you what a thrill it has been,” Murrell told a group of about 120 architects, glaziers, glass vendors and contractors, during the event. “This has been a wonderful and exciting part of my life, surrounded by the most wonderful people, who also have the same passion for the glass industry. We expanded into three different locations in Las Vegas; San Bernardino, California; and Fresno, California. And there is talk of more for the future.”

Murrell said a great point of pride from her time at Giroux Glass is the company’s project portfolio, which includes the large decorative glass wall at the Aquarium of the Pacific. “I look back at the buildings we've been involved in—the Getty Center, the Staples Center, the Skybridge over the Grand Canyon, the City Center in Las Vegas, various terminals at LAX, along with numerous hospitals and museums. The pride when you see something you've done that is so permanent. I'm so glad I'm not a plumber. You can't get that same aesthetic sense doing that as you can in the glass industry,” Murrell said.

Murrell, now in her 80s, stepped down from Giroux Glass in January, with former CFO Nataline Lomedico taking over as chief executive. “How fortunate I've been. But, there comes a time for all of us to step aside. I announced two years ago that I would be seeking a new CEO to take over in January 2015. Many names came up. Many people were talked to. But, the real diamonds are really at your feet. And thus it was with Nataline,” Murrell said. 

The Giroux story will continue, with more growth, more innovation and more iconic projects. “But that’s for Nataline to tell you about,” Murrell said. 

Katy Devlin, editor, Glass Magazine
 
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, February 2, 2015

As all of us in this industry know, it's not without its troubles. If asked, most people will mention the need for qualified employees such as manufacturing help, maintenance and--on the glazing side--project managers. But the next need mentioned is usually education and it’s nice to see the efforts one company is putting towards that effort. The PPG Glass Education Center is an incredible resource. I visited it again this week after the release of their newest video on Weather Resistant Design, and I was once again blown away. There is simply a ton of info on there from the basic to the very advanced. It can be a training center for new employees and a great resource for seasoned veterans. In the end, it’s a very impressive vehicle for our industry to use. Major kudos to Paul DiCesare and the tech team at PPG on the content, as well as Paul Bush on that regard and of course, I must give props to the marketing guru Rob Struble for his efforts on making this fly. Well done, folks!

Elsewhere…

More props for companies doing good things…

  • How about Viracon? The folks there raised more than $112,000 for the United Way of Steele County. That is simply an amazing and awesome total. Congrats to Carla Kern who chaired this effort for Viracon and every employee there for giving of themselves.
  • And another one while I am at it, Garibaldi Glass announced their intent to have their annual “Glass Day” program on May 1. This is going to be the fifth edition of an event that provides tremendous education and insight into our industry. I have heard so much about this event over the years and my goal this year is to finally be there in person. And yes, while an event like this has a great benefit to Garibaldi, it also does wonders in educating the region (glaziers, architects, owners, etc.) on the world of glass and glazing.
  • Education will also be at the forefront at Glass Processing Automation Days in San Antonio in March. Info on this event was just released and it has the potential to offer some great insight for the fabricator. I’ll surely have more on this as it gets closer. 
  • The NFRC is possibly getting some competition. It's not in our actual industry, but this could lead to openings elsewhere. The Window Covering Manufacturers Association with support from the Department of Energy is starting the Attachments Energy Ratings Council. So now the NFRC, which has always been the one and only group with the ability to rate window film and attachments, could be getting some competition if this takes off. And it's competition with the backing of the DOE, which is huge. So this will be one to watch. 
  • Next week I will have my Super Bowl commercial likes/dislikes since that is now my favorite part of the game. I'm also still trying to figure out why the Seahawks passed instead of ran at the end. Amazing failure there. Wow.

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

The author 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, January 26, 2015

We are very early into the New Year, but the economic indicators and predictions are all quite bullish. The Architectural Billings Index and Dodge Momentum Index both have been plugging along in the positive. In addition, cash flow predictions are finally improving and pointing to a healthy bump in nonresidential construction starts. So, while we have legitimate concerns on supply and transport, at least for the near future, the business climate is still looking to be very ripe.

Elsewhere…

  • Excited to say there’s a new blog out there for everyone to check out. One of the industry's true influencers, John Wheaton of Wheaton-Sprague, has joined the blogosphere. Check out his initial efforts. With the incredible insight that John is always sharing, usually on Twitter, his blog will easily become a must read.
  • Speaking of must-reads, major kudos to Katy Devlin of Glass Magazine for the coverage she provided from the BAU event last week in Munich. Katy went solo to the show and cranked out incredible, timely coverage via Twitter and on GlassMagazine.com. She made the show come to life, allowing all of us unable to attend at least have the ability to follow along in real time.
  • I mentioned this a year ago, but was at this airport again this week. Dulles Airport is absolutely a masterpiece for a glass geek to take in. Simply awesome applications everywhere.
  • It was on the trip to D.C. this week when for the first time ever I had a cab ride where the cabbie did not have a GPS. So I’m running the directions from the GPS on my phone. I am still scratching my head on that one. How can you be in that position without that tool? Another reason I try and do Uber instead; those guys HAVE to have GPS.
  • I was doing research this week and I ran into an old Glass Magazine article penned by Greg Carney. Man I miss that guy. With the annual GANA events coming up in the next several weeks, I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about Greg a ton.
  • Those GANA events I speak of, the Annual Conference and BEC, are scheduled for early March in Las Vegas. BEC, thanks to the incredible leadership from Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning, is really primed to be another excellent edition. The agenda this year is very strong with some great speakers including Joseph Puishys, the CEO from Apogee. A few people in the know have told me that Mr. Puishys is an incredible public speaker. So I am looking forward to that for sure. In the coming weeks, I’ll surely highlight more of the agenda as well.
  • Last this week, I have to ask, outside of the New England fans (including the great Dan Pompeo of Architectural Glazing Solutions who is off the charts with his support of Boston area teams), is anyone rooting for the Patriots next week? I am on record already with my Seahawks support and prediction, so that’s not changing. But I just wonder if there’s anyone who’s not a normal fan of either team rooting for New England. Regardless, I will be watching the game for the commercials as much as the game itself.

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

The author 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, January 26, 2015

Architects and designers are requesting more from glass, in part to help them realize their increasingly complex, out-of-the-box building designs. And now it seems it’s not only the architects who want “different.” Officials from two American cities—Boston and Orlando—recently encouraged developers to propose more thoughtful designs and iconic looks for newly constructed downtown buildings.

According to a Jan. 9 article in the Boston Herald, “Boston Mayor Argues for Bolder Building Design,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh told an audience at the Boston Chamber of Commerce in December that downtown Boston needed more innovative architecture. The Mayor called the latest buildings installed during the city’s recent building boom “merely functional,” and urged developers to go beyond the normal and create structures that reflect Boston’s “culture of innovation.”

It’s a noble charge, but as anyone involved in any level of the construction industry knows, high-quality designs come with a high price tag. In the article, Tom O'Brien, managing director of HYM Investment Group, said, "Developers will now be looking at how to create a revenue benefit from the extra expense of creating better designs to add to the skyline."

Kamran Zahedi, president of Boston developer Urbanica, says the city’s developers should take cues from European countries which have developed innovative multi-family housing projects within tight budgets. "It would be sad if we do not also create beautiful 21st century architecture here in Boston," he said.

The Jan. 26 Orlando Sentinel article “No Space Needle or Gateway Arch: What Defines Orlando's Skyline?” details Orlando’s desire for innovative design, asking, “Why doesn't Orlando have a skyline that stands out?” City Hall development task force members want “iconic” architecture to give the city a “unique and identifiable brand”—beyond Disney World. 

According to the article, city planners said downtown Orlando probably won't see a building taller than the 441-foot SunTrust Center—the tallest building in Orlando—due to the close proximity of Orlando Executive Airport. But city officials and members of the task force say tall isn’t the key; it’s creating something that communicates and identifies the city’s spirit.

However, sometimes what’s unique is not what the locals ordered. As if in response to Boston’s and Orlando’s pleas for iconographic buildings, Rowan Moore in the Jan. 18 Guardian article “The last thing east London needs is another seven towers” describes the pitfalls of the proposed high-rise development in East London’s Tech City. He says that all the opponents of the development agree it has nothing to do with the area, and quotes the area's mayor: “this scheme is completely unsuitable for this part of [the local area].”

Tech City workers oppose the new development because it does not offer the right kind of space to vitalize small- to mid-sized enterprises in the area; conservationists oppose it because “the towers will crash into views in neighboring conservation areas, as the relationship of the new to the old is clumsy”; and Tech City residents oppose it because it will cast a shadow, eliminating already integrated daylighting in buildings hundreds of yards north. Moore also points out that the development is unlikely to have more than 10 percent of its units as affordable housing. Developers argue that the complexities of the site “make it unprofitable to offer more, or to reduce the bulk of their towers.”

And this is where all the talk of bigger, better, more complex buildings really hits home. Design at its roots should be practical. And structures that do communicate the essence of a place are all about what they offer to and say about the people who live there. “It’s not a beautiful word, localism,” says Moore. “But it’s an ideal with whose basics it is hard to disagree: that local residents and businesses should have a say in what happens to their communities.”

Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at bstough@glass.org.

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's a different post than normal this week, as I am just talking one subject—books. Over the holidays I read one of the best books ever: What Did Jesus Drive: Crisis PR in Cars, Computers, and Christianity by Jason Vines. The book is an extreme look inside the world of public relations at the highest level, where the media spotlight seems to be on 24/7. The majority of this book is how Vines, the PR lead for Ford and Chrysler (among others), handled major public relations issues with his companies, and the strategies and thoughts behind the decisions. Plus there's some great background on the most successful marketing plays ever pulled off in the auto industry. The best part of this book was the style of writing; it was written like you were having dinner with the author who's just telling you stories about his days in the trenches. No “political correctness” scrubbing, just the whole story in a conversational manner.

So what does this have to do with the glass business? Basically my immediate thought was that we are pretty fortunate as an industry that for the most part our PR crises do not go mainstream and if they do they surely peter out quickly. In addition it gave me perspective on how to handle events if they came up. Overall it’s just a great business read on the inner workings of the car, computer, and Bible industry. (Yes, a portion of the book is dedicated to a company with the task of reprinting the Bible and that was pretty fascinating to me. I never expected that industry to have any issues that is for sure!) Those of you who know me and have been reading this blog since 2005, know that my favorite all-time business book is The Disney War by James B. Stewart. I have to say that this one may knock that from the top.

Next up on the list is Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! by Nicholas Carlson. Should be interesting to read especially right after the Vines book.

That’s it for this post; I apologize for no links or video of the week. We’ll be back to normal next week!

The author 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, January 20, 2015

BAU 2015, dubbed the “World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems,” kicked off yesterday in Munich. This is my first time attending BAU, and thus far I find it immense … and exciting. The six-day show hosts 2,000 exhibitors from 46 countries, and occupies all 17 halls of Messe München—in total 180,000 square meters of gross exhibition space.

The glass, aluminum and façade trades occupy about three halls of the show floor. And throughout those halls, increasingly complex, better performing and sophisticated glass, curtain wall and window system design take center stage. Below are the top trends that caught my eye on the first day of the show.

  • Ventilation. To maximize performance and occupant comfort, European markets increasingly demand ventilation solutions for their façades. Tilt-and-turn products for nonresidential applications were evident throughout the floor, along with a growing number of alternative venting solutions. View photos from the floor.  
  • Integrated solar shading. The more stringent energy codes in Europe have also driven the trend toward solar control solutionsmechanical blinds within the insulating glass unit, dynamic glasses, in-façade metal screens, sliding shutters and more. Many of the dynamic solar solutions can also be automatically controlled to maximize building performance. View photos from the floor. 
  • Complex facades. From multifaceted geometries to multi-material curtain walls, suppliers are capable of ever-more-complex façade systems. 
  • All-glass doors and movable walls. The trend in all-glass sliders and multi-fold wall systems continues to move toward bigger units with smaller hardware. Suppliers are now offering floor-to-ceiling glass doors and walls that seem to float through space as they're opened and closed, due to the minimalistic hardware. Manufacturers are also offering a growing number of automatic openers for these all-glass systems. View photos from the floor.  
  • Frameless systems. Customers are also seeking this all-glass look for their exterior door, window and wall systems, prompting manufacturers to develop a growing selection of frameless solutions.

View additional photos from the show floor, and follow @GlassMag on Twitter for additional coverage throughout the week.

Katy Devlin, editor, Glass Magazine
 
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.
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