Why Early Communication is Critical for Success

In an industry where labor, materials and other costs are increasingly on the rise, it is critical to prevent issues before they surface. We all know that mistakes are bound to happen, but we also know that they generally come at a cost. In a climate where time is money and every dollar counts, how can we work together to prevent hiccups and ensure success?

With so many players involved in each project, communication is an obvious key to helping the pieces fall perfectly into the project puzzle. A successful working relationship between a glazing contractor and manufacturer, in particular, can go a long way in anticipating and avoiding potential issues.

Architectural specifications are generally the starting point for how the glazing contractor and manufacturer will work together on a certain project. However, oftentimes these specifications may not take into account every aspect of the product and how the framing, glass and other components work together. That’s where early communication can have the greatest impact. By working with the manufacturer when you are first bidding the project you have the opportunity to be more competitive in the process.

For example, an architect may specify that a building envelope vapor barrier be integrated into a framing system. But what they may not realize is that what seems like an easy integration may impact the performance of the framing system over the long-term. By working together early and often, glazing contractors and manufacturers can play a critical consulting role for architects, thereby helping to anticipate and alleviate any potential issues, whether during installation or during the lifetime of a building.

Test reports are another great tool in the collaboration toolbox. Before committing to a specific product, compare the manufacturer’s test reports and the architectural specifications. Many times, products may be tweaked in the specification to achieve a higher energy value, for example. However, what may not be taken into account is that the manufacturer may use a higher level of glass, warm edge spacers, or other non-standard components not included in the specification to better meet a thermal requirement. By comparing the test reports and the architectural specifications, glazing contractors can better advise architects on a proper quote taking all components into the equation, so that there are no surprises later. 

Oftentimes, manufacturers have tools for energy modeling, or even tools that help calculate overall system performance, that can aid in the collaboration and communication process. Ask your manufacturer: what tools do you offer? By partnering with the manufacturer throughout the process, from start to completion, contractors are poised to be more competitive, prevent issues and save money. A win-win all around.

Terry Carespodi is a national sales manager at YKK AP America Inc., where he is responsible for implementing strategic initiatives to further the company’s long-term goals. He has a rich and diverse background in the architectural aluminum fenestration industry.

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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