What a year it has been. While some companies were able to grow through partnerships and acquisitions in 2010, others were forced to close their doors. While the commercial construction segment continued to slide, green building grew at a rapid rate. From hurricanes to "death rays," 2010 also had its share of freak occurrences. Some of the top stories:
Most-clicked news stories of 2010
2010 was another tough one for our industry. Tighter lending conditions and high vacancy rates continued to suppress commercial building, while state and local budget cuts negatively impacted institutional building and educational facilities.
The industry said goodbye to several long-standing fabricators in 2010. Zeledyne officially exited the commercial glass business in March after more than 35 years of service. Mid-Ohio Tempering closed its doors Oct. 11. And industry veteran Barber Glass Industries went into receivership this November, although its retail operation in Guelph was saved. Still standing: Arch Aluminum & Glass, which emerged from bankruptcy in first quarter 2010.
Citing increased material, transportation and labor costs, several primary float manufacturers announced price increases on float glass products this summer.
The ASHRAE 90.1 reversal
The industry dodged a bullet this fall when ASHRAE reversed a decision that would have greatly reduced the amount of glass allowed in commercial buildings.
On the retail front, the EPA issued lead-paint regulations in April that significantly affect companies offering window replacement services in pre-1978 homes. Industry efforts to repeal the rules are ongoing.
Partnerships and acquisitions
To name a few: In January, Hartung Glass Industries acquired AGC Flat Glass North America Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia. Also that month, C.R. Laurence announced the first of several acquisitions this year, beginning with Tajima Corp. USA. In March, Kawneer entered the fire-rated steel market by partnering with Switzerland's Forster Profile Systems. Alcoa agreed to purchase Traco in June. And this November, Viracon expanded into Latin America and Brazil with its acquisition of Glassec Vidros de Seguranca Ltda.
Even in a depressed market, demand for "green" buildings continued to grow this year, with the value of green building construction starts up 50 percent from 2008 to 2010, according to McGraw-Hill. This year also saw the introduction of ASHRAE 189.1, the first code-enforceable green building standard in the United States.
And the list goes on...
To add to it, or to share your expectations regarding 2011, please comment here or send me an email. And if I don't talk to you between now and then, Happy New Year!
The author is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.