Monday, June 17, 2019

Plenty of rundowns came my way about the AIA show and the majority of reports were that it was not very good for the exhibitor. That’s never a surprise since AIA is not ever geared to take care of or support the folks on the floor, but this year I think it may push people off the bus finally. Our industry desires architects the way I desire pizza—intensely—but when you are spending six figures for minimal return, it may be time to recalculate the approach. AIA next year is in Los Angeles, which has people tempted, but I just can’t see it being any better because the show model is what it is, and always will be.

For additional perspective this very good recap, along with very helpful insight, from Mark Mitchell is worth checking out.


  • The agenda is out for the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild and it is dynamite. Aside from the yearly economist talk, there’s an awesome pair of presentations- “A New Type of Glazier: From Glass Company to Building Enclosure Expert” and “Labor Power Hour: Engage Your Front Line to Increase Your Bottom Line”—both of these sessions will be worth the price of admission and then some. Seriously look hard at this: link is here.
  • If you are exhibiting at GlassBuild, make sure you check the last email you received from the show and take advantage of the free webinar on “Increasing Brand Awareness & Driving Qualified Booth Traffic” —it is a fabulous session and worth your time.
  • Personnel news: an old friend lands in a new spot. The great Bob Cummings has taken over the role of vice president of architectural sales and marketing for Consolidated Glass Holdings. Bob is one of those guys that everyone loves. Not likes. Loves. So, I am sure there are many thrilled folks out there especially having him back in the fabrication side of our industry. Congrats to Bob on the new gig and it will be nice to have him back in the mix at all of our events!
  • At the end of the month the bi-annual Glass Performance Days will take place in Finland. This event is the international home for excellent technical insight for the glass world and features education in many different ways and settings over its time period. In addition, a major award will be presented, the Jorma Vitkala Award of Merit will be handed out during the opening reception and there’s a ton of very good and interesting candidates up for it. Click here for more details on the award and the nominees. Personally, I’d love to see Ren Bartoe win it as a fitting cap on his epic career in the business but there’s no bad candidate on the list.
  • Last this week, I was on an excellent webinar about travel security with regards to electronics. Learned amazing insights on the dangers in USB ports and airport boarding passes along with other dos and don’ts—shred boarding passes and luggage tags when done, the bar code contains a ton of info on you. The moderator also put up a slide of the riskiest airports with regards to Wi-Fi and data. Heads up, here they are:

5) Newark: having spent so much time there in my life, this does not surprise me.

4) Southwest Florida, Ft. Myers: shocking at first but then you think, snowbirds could be great targets.

3) Houston Hobby: I have never flown in or out of there, so no idea.

2) John Wayne: whoa pardner—the Duke would not be happy with his name on a “risk list” like this.

1) San Diego! This stuns me. I love San Diego, and I love that airport, so it’s amazing that your data and privacy may be more in play there anywhere else.

Fellow road warriors, be aware when you are in these airports—use your VPN to stay safe!

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 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, June 11, 2019

“What is the top question you hear from architects?” This is a question I have asked glass and glazing companies for several years when attending industry trade shows. The responses normally cover topics such as oversized glass use, aesthetics, cost or performance, and the products to fill those needs.

However, the responses to that question were different during the the 2019 AIA Architecture Expo, held June 6-7 in Las Vegas. While issues such as energy and thermal efficiency were always a part of the conversation, glass and glazing companies report that architects now more than ever seem to be asking for solutions on a per-project basis—engineered niche products—and the glass and glazing industry is rising to the challenge.

“We’re focused on the types of buildings architects are designing, asking, ‘what are you designing for,’ and then finding the right solutions, marrying materials with other product lines architects can design to,” says Colin Brosmer, vice president of sales for Kawneer.

This year’s AIA Expo showcased the industry’s major strides in finding the connection points between people and products. No matter what question architects have for glass and glazing companies, its response is to foster more conversations and training opportunities, then collaboratively engineer product solutions for connecting performance, aesthetics and cost, according to exhibitors.

Jacob Kasbrick, regional architectural manager for Guardian Glass, notes the regionality of architectural needs, and how to meet them as they change. Namely, the company’s SunGuard product line continues to expand with new coatings to meet codes and ordinances related to solar heat gain, reflectivity and visible light transmittance, which vary region by region. “We’re working with architects to navigate these shifting issues from region to region,” Kasbrick says. “It seems simple but taking architects to your plant is a great way to help them understand the product, how it’s made and what it does. It helps them with the vocabulary and knowing what they need.”

Several exhibitors indicated their effort to improve and expand current products, while also pushing messaging to improve their reach with architects, and better educate architects on product capabilities, on and off the show floor.

“We’re working on value-added and customizable tweaks to our products, to offer architects high-performance alternatives to traditional glazing methods,” says Michael Cintani, product manager, Mapes. The company showcased the Mapes SpanPanel for spandrel and floor lines and the Mapes R+, able to achieve R30. “The challenge now is to educate architects on our products and their possibilities. We need more conversations,” he says.

Tubelite hosts Lunch and Learns for AIA continuing education credit in order to educate architects on glazing systems, regional requirements and codes. In response to conversations with architects and other customers, the company launched a new hurricane impact door designed for Wind Zone 3 compliance. “Architects tend to design for Miami-Dade even in places beyond Miami-Dade County, where this testing isn’t required. This adds unnecessary expense and limits design capabilities,” says Tom Mifflin, product manager. “This door expands hardware and glazing options, opening design possibilities while still meeting large missile impact testing.”

While not everyone had a direct response to the number one topic architects are asking about, most had a response to this question: “How can the industry better serve the design community?”

The responses always called for more communication and more connection between all parts of the supply chain. Seemingly, some gaps between this industry and its ability to reach architects are closing, but the next frontier in designing and building for the future is making connections using technology and fostering transparency, exhibitor sources say.

“The point is not to push products on customers just to sell them. It’s to find solutions that actually work for each project,” says Danik Dancause, marketing operations manager for Walker Glass Co. In order to do this, “information has to be shared to help solve design issues. Ask the right questions, rely on architectural reps.”

The American Institute of Architects will be offering an online sales team training course this summer, to help manufacturers’ reps better understand and sell to architects. “Our research [from the sales rep training] shows that on one hand, manufacturers’ reps don’t think architects value them, and, on the other, architects view manufacturers’ reps as vital to their business,” says John Crosby, managing director, AIA. “The focus for manufacturers should be on a consultative relationship, rather than a transactional sales approach.”

On the trade show floor, “architects want to see, touch and feel products—we know this,” says Crosby. “We also know that architects can be overwhelmed by the expo. If they’re compressed by the show floor experience, what are we—AIA and exhibitors—doing wrong? Give them a reason to be in your booth and want to be there, to engage. They want to know what’s new and what they need.”

This is a growth opportunity for the glass and glazing industry, to continue building relationships and communicate vital product knowledge with architects. Exhibitors and industry companies can accomplish this through “technology, unique engagements and a customized experience,” says Crosby.

Brosmer calls for more technology and digitization as well, in order to improve supply chain communication and output. “A big opportunity for the industry is becoming more efficient from design to delivery. A way to do that is digitizing the supply chain, connecting one stage to the next,” he says. “Now we have a lot of passing off of documents, recreating documents and work, lots of questions. But how do you connect and understand the connection points of a project? Digitizing would get us there.”

Like with engineered product solutions, along with technology, finding and maintaining connection points throughout the supply chain requires more communication and openness. “Consumer buying habits with instant product information and purchasing options from retailers like Amazon are transferring to the B2B world,” says Steve Schohan, marketing manager, YKK AP America. “Sharing about what makes us great makes us more reachable. We can build on each other and improve each other.”

Read about the NGA's presence at the AIA Architecture Expo.
See coverage of the show on Twitter. 

Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine and content manager for the National Glass Association. Contact her at 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Some very good technical information hitting the streets over the last few weeks, and with holidays and vacations, you may not have seen them all so I figured I would do a quick roundup for you. Surely worthwhile information to be had. 

  • Trex Commercial Products had a fantastic release,  “Three Glazing Myths Debunked,” which was very impressive. The team there did a nice job addressing some big issues on the railing side and they did it in a sharp and concise way. Well done! 

  • Meanwhile the National Glass Association released three new Glazing Informational Bulletins (GIBS) that are all complimentary! These GIB’s were developed by your peers in the industry, an incredible list of talent that is for sure, and was led by my reigning Industry MVP Nathalie Thibault of Prelco Inc. The subjects were systematic updates to the “Recommended Applications for Heat-Treated Glass” and “Approximate Weight of Interlayer Used in Laminated Architectural Flat Glass” along with a new release, “Thermal Stress in Heat Treated Spandrel Glass.” The last one has gained notoriety thanks to some incidents in the field, so having a GIB at the ready is only making us better as an industry. Kudos to everyone involved and thank you for volunteering your time and knowledge. To get these docs along with tons of other technical pieces, click here.  

  • NGA also announced the launch of its new Glass & Glazing Academy, an online portal that will be working in combo with the fine folks from Architectural Record. This is a huge addition for our industry and credit to Andrew Haring and his team at NGA for spearheading it. More info can be found here

  • Obviously things are happening all the time in our world and keeping up with them can be a challenge. So do yourself a favor and make plans now to get to events like Fall Conference in Toledo (Register before 6/15 and save $150!) or GlassBuild America in Atlanta. Don’t get left behind! 


  • The annual AIA show was last week in Vegas and I was not there. I’m looking forward to hearing feedback on it and anything relevant I’ll share here next week. 


Big 3 Interview: Joanne Funyak, Vitro Architectural Glass 

So now it’s time for the kick off my summer interview season. I am very excited about the folks I have lined up and I’m still chasing a few. If you get an e-mail from me asking, please give it a consideration!  

The format is this: I ask three questions to folks I have chosen who I think have some interesting backgrounds and approaches. Also, I try to choose people that may not get the regular publicity that others get.  

To kick things off I interviewed Joanne Funyak of Vitro Architectural Glass. I have been a fan of Joanne’s for a long time but I had absolutely no idea of her incredible background and I am glad she escaped the chemical side to be in the glass world. Our industry is better for it! 

Max: In reading your LinkedIn page I was fascinated by some of the positions you held at PPG (and then Vitro) before you ended up on the glass side of things. You spent a ton of time in chemicals and coatings before you landed in the glass world. What have been the biggest differences in working with glass and glazing vs. your previous roles? 

Joanne: They are quite similar, especially the metal coatings and glass side for building products. The value/supply chain starts with the project architect looking at performance and aesthetics. Then it goes down the chain to general contractors to fabricators/metal coaters to the material supplier. Due to those similarities, my experience in metal coatings and glass made my role as ppg’s construction market team manager a little easier.  

When it comes to the products, it’s the same; performance and aesthetics. When I made the transition from coatings to glass though I thought to myself “How difficult can glass be?” It’s just melted sand. In coatings we had thousands of formulas for different applications. We made coatings for what we called cradle to grave. We made coatings for baby swings to caskets and everything in between (golf balls, washers & dryers, Harley Davidson, etc). So glass had to be so simple, right? Boy was I surprised! 

What are the some of the biggest glass and glazing trends going right now in your opinion?  

Right now, jumbo [over-sized] glass is a major trend. The addition of our jumbo coater in Wichita Falls which can produce our Solarban [low-emissivity] coated glass has positioned Vitro well to serve this market. One of the main purposes of this jumbo coater is to provide more efficient yields to our Vitro Certified Network Members. Architects are also designing with larger vision glass units which this will service. However, caution must be taken when designing on things such as wind load, thermal stress and cost to handle the weight and size of such large units. 

Other areas that are trending include decorative, or printing on, glass and bird avoidance to name a few.  

If you could have dinner with 3 other people, whether they are currently dead or alive, who would they be and why? 

Well of course my dad, He passed away 5 years ago, and I miss him dearly. 

Someone from the pioneer days. I often wonder as I watch old movies of how they survived, how they determined which terrain to travel, land to homestead, etc. How did they survive the heat during those hot, dry summer months, and cold during those freezing winter months? I think to myself if I had to go back to those days, could I do it?  

And I think Mario Lemieux would be one. I have been a Penguin season ticket holder for 30 years. I met him once in an airport but only to say thank you. I respect what he has done as a player, owner and community leader.  

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 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, June 4, 2019

For many glass manufacturers, the AIA National Convention is an event that is permanently fixed on their calendars.  Whether it’s to exhibit, walk the show, network, join tours, participate in seminars, explore a new city or all of the above, this once-a-year event is truly something that the industry looks forward to.

AIA, past and present
This year’s convention in Las Vegas will be my 13th AIA Convention.  I still remember my first AIA Convention in Los Angeles back in 2006.  I really did not know what to expect, as I had just started with Safti First a few months previous.  At least it was in a familiar city, since I spent a good amount of time in LA while I was attending Loyola Marymount University. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of the show.  I was very “green” to the glass industry, and construction in general.  

As Safti First continued to exhibit at the show year after year, it became less overwhelming.  Certainly, years of experience in the job made it easier.  However, it was also the connections I’ve made with other exhibitors, manufacturers and architects – all in different stages in their career – that have helped me the most.  Which is why I sometimes feel like the AIA Convention is a reunion of sorts where I can catch up with colleagues from other industries.  It’s our opportunity to discuss things happening in our industry, make speculations on construction forecasts, talk about recent product launches, and compare notes on how to better educate and reach architects. 

Safti First’s trade show team at last year’s AIA Expo in
New York (From left: Jennifer Hom, Mike Augustine,
Diana San Diego and Tim Nass).

How to have a successful AIA
For us, we’ve found that having a successful trade show starts with planning.  As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Tradeshows can be a significant investment in time and money.  It’s your chance to be in front of your audience amidst 650-plus exhibitors in a 200,000-square-foot space (at least that is the size AIA projects for Las Vegas).  When planning for the show, we go through our checklist of what needs to be ordered, sent, etc. for the booth.  We also prepare our pre-show email to let everyone know where we are and what we are doing.  We hone our message and set appointments with architects, industry publications and with others that we want to conduct a meeting with. 

In the last couple of years, we’ve taken it a step further by not just exhibiting, but by participating as an educational provider.  After all, architects attending the show are there to complete their credits and learn about new innovations on the products that they specify. 

Following-up on the leads and contacts that you’ve made is also very important.  At Safti First, we have a post-tradeshow protocol that we follow every time we exhibit.  Doing this consistently has increased our success rate for getting specified – whether through the firm’s master spec or specific projects that they are working on. 

Of course, there are many other strategies that you can use.  Whether you are a seasoned trade show veteran or just starting out, AIA has a ton of resources available designed to help ensure a successful show. See some of their resources here.   

Hope you find this information helpful, and I look forward to meeting you in Las Vegas!  Safti First will be at booth 7413. 

Diana San Diego is vice president of marketing for Safti First. Contact her at

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, June 3, 2019

This post is a special one; they’ll be no other news or links in it, so if anything breaks, I’ll share on next post or via social media. The goal of this post is to follow what the headline says,"Gone but not Forgotten." It dawned on me after Doug Nelson passed away a few weeks ago that we pay homage to the person who passes and then we move on—we rarely if ever look back and remember those folks who made a difference in our world. So, I decided that with this post I’d start to change that approach.

I want to look back at a few folks who are no longer with us and remind/educate the readers of what they did to advance our universe. They all played significant roles in the glass and glazing industry and while they may be gone; in my mind they are not and will not be forgotten.

I’m remembering two incredible technical guys, one manufacturers rep who set the bar very high and two fabrication leaders who left us a legacy that thankfully continues still today.

Greg Carney

Greg Carney is probably the one guy who’s no longer with us that still gets spoken about the most. So many folks at the trade level had deep and meaningful relationships with Greg that his name and memory are brought up on many occasions. Greg was the technical conscience of our industry. He was passionate about the products and the people and the approaches that were developed and perfected through the 90s. Many technical standards Greg led remain in place today. Personally, I miss him a ton; he was fun, unique and caring and was not afraid of the fight. I hope that we keep invoking his name and theories for many more years to come.

Lowell Rager

Lowell Rager was not as industry popular as Greg—not many people were—but Lowell was the personification of pure class. He was a technical mastermind and was a guy who saw the huge future of soft coat low-emissivity when so many of us were still trying to figure it out. He was ahead of pretty much every technical curve despite finishing his career for a company that only sold tinted glass. I just loved how cool Lowell would be under any condition. He deflected heavy compliments to him the same way he smoothly dealt with any jobsite complaints. He was class to the end.

Dave Helterbran

I saw Lindsay Price recently at the Texas Glass Association event and it immediately had me thinking about her dad Dave Helterbran. Dave was awesome. I knew Dave as one of the best manufacturers reps in the U.S., one that immediately added legitimacy to your product when he added it to his company’s line card. Every time I ran into him, he had a warm smile on his face and encouraging words, even if things weren’t going great. Dave battled and beat cancer and then somehow got the West Nile disease and beat that too. Eventually he couldn’t outrun the health issues but during that entire time, he kept plugging away and fighting. I’ll never forget that because I don’t think I’d have the strength to fight on the way Dave did. In addition Dave had massive fan club of people who really legitimately loved the guy and, honestly, I think the feeling was probably mutual.

Jim Dwyer and John Mammen

Last ones to mention this time around are fathers of two sons who to this day carry on the amazing class and style that their fathers were known for. I’m speaking of Jim Dwyer and John Mammen. Both were incredible people, top notch businessmen who did things the right way and they both brought sons into the business—John Dwyer and Syracuse Glass and Chris Mammen at M3 Glass Technologies—who are carrying on the same sincere approaches today. As an industry we are lucky that the lessons from Jim Dwyer and John Mammen are continuing and I am personally glad that I can call John and Chris friends of mine. 

In the end I wrote this because I don’t want these folks to be forgotten by the industry at large. There are others who may have passed that I did not mention, and there are quite a few industry titans on that list. Take a few minutes today and think about someone who passed who made a difference in our industry and do right by them. I know I am inspired to do so daily.

Thank you for reading through this non-traditional post, next week I’ll be back with my traditional insight and details.

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 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, May 28, 2019

The quality level of all manufactured goods assembled and delivered in the curtain wall supply chain flow downhill from design and engineering decision-making, whether good or bad. The assembled system of products that is a “curtain wall system” applied uniquely to each building type and layout is only as good as the decision-making that is input throughout design and engineering, regardless of how well the quality of glass, metal, sealants, thermal breaks and other components perform or adhere to specification. That’s why the decision-making supply chain is so important.

There are two basic elements to a supply chain: the decisions that feed into it, and the materials that make it up. Much is discussed and defined in the material supply chain. Conversely, little is done often in the clarity, definition, operating procedures, limits and boundaries in the decision-making supply chain.

Decision-making in the supply chain
These decision-making elements of the supply chain are delivered as a service and as intellectual capital to the project team members, while goods and products are produced in the design, engineering, and project management process. We think, often without appropriate self-awareness, that since much of this is made up of what we think of as “soft skills” (which are really “hard” and have everything to do with success) that we can’t define and govern them.

Taking responsibility for decisions
So much of this aspect is left to chance and good will. We hear phrases like “well I have no control over the architect” or “I’m at the mercy of the owner on this one.” Not true. We have the opportunity to control ourselves, our company behavior and approach, our processes and to define with clarity what each person and business in the decision-making supply chain is expected to be responsible for. We can define accountabilities, procedures, chain of command obligations, and how decisions will be made and approved. These things are too important and there’s too much at stake to leave it to chance.

Getting on the same page
We should do all that we can to treat decision-making, decision processes, milestones, submittal reviews, operational procedures, scope definitions, design criteria, submittal processes, design meetings and other instruments of service or expression of intellectual capital in the same manner by which we define material specifications and tolerances in the material supply chain. 

This means sharing standards, communication platforms and protocols, QC lists, product specs, decision-making protocol, and similar areas, getting design professionals on all sides, including those at the vendors and suppliers, on the same page and under the same set of standards.

Most breakdowns on projects, in customer service, and in creating a quality product, occur in the area of communication. If there’s a lack of clarity, there will be a problem.

Defining decision-making processes is a good thing. When decision-making fails, and it will at various points along the way, we should confront it, mitigate it, manage it, reveal it, use it as a time to learn and adjust, and then move on to better outcomes.

Nothing should be taken for granted. Everything is best done in a collaborative manner, with professional candor, with as much clarity as can be created, and with accountability on all sides. Let’s not throw stuff over the wall and leave outcomes to chance.

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 and on Twitter, Instagram and Word Press @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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A few weeks ago, I was extremely honored to give the keynote address at the Texas Glass Association Glass Conference II. It really was a wonderful experience as the folks from great state of Texas are some of the best around. They are truly classy and hospitable to the end.

The theme of my hour-long presentation was “State of the Industry” where I spent around 30 minutes on economic forecasts and then the rest on trends, concepts, events, and conclusions. On the forecast side I pulled data from 11 different sources and went through many different segments and applications. The main takeaway I provided after all of this research was that there is a softening of the markets coming our way. It doesn’t look like it will be a long stretch and there’s no indicators that show the weaknesses being as bad as 2008-2009, but it was interesting for me to get into all of the data and see this is what we have coming.

Basically, there will be some lighter volumes into 2020, with things improving towards the end of next year and into 2021. One of the things I told the attendees was to look at technology and innovation now instead of later. If you can improve yourself or your operation now—meaning efficiencies, etc.—this is the time to do it.  Don’t wait until next year, that is for sure. 

The event overall was fantastic. Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass had an incredible presentation on the workforce of today and how to reach them. He’s become a very polished and natural speaker—he’s more than just a TV star these days. In addition, I really enjoyed what Nathan McKenna of Vitro and Erica Couch of Tri-Star delivered in their spots. Great stuff all the way around. Kudos to Felix Munson, Sam Hill, and everyone at the TGA for a job well done!


  • I did also talk about the Architectural Billings Index and was waiting to see if we were back in the black this month after our first down month in two years. Sure enough, we climbed into positive territory, with a reading barely at 50.5. I had a feeling it would pop up from its low number in the previous month and now I see it treading water for a while. 
  • Glass Magazine review time: the issue has “Protector” on the very snazzy cover and is the May 2019 edition. The main theme is Glass & Metals 401: Guide to Protective Glazing. With how important this segment is in our world right now, I strongly recommend you grab the issue or check it out online as the info in here is absolutely fabulous and necessary. 
  • Ad of the month goes to C.R. Laurence. “The Building Envelope Simplified” was an excellent ad piece that truly shows the power of glass and smartly showed where CRL’s contributions were. The picture and callouts did the heavy lifting and impressed me. Kudos to the minds behind that one.
  • I never fly in or out of JFK in NYC, but I may have to make an exception someday to get to the new TWA hotel there. Looks incredibly cool!
  • Last this week, another GlassBuild plug from me. Don’t click away, read on please. Have you registered yet? Have you gotten the hotel taken care of? If not do it now—we have now passed Memorial Day and we all know this summer will fly by. There’s a ton of good pieces in the works for the show and you will need to be there and especially if you are looking to the advice I laid out at the top of the post. You have to be there. Any questions on it, please reach out to me!

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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Miika AppelqvistEnergy efficiency plays two parts in the story of tempered flat glass: the production portion and the installed phase. Glass production is an energy-intensive process by its nature, so even small reductions there can result in considerable savings in energy and costs. And the energy costs of heating and cooling city buildings are astronomical.

First, let us consider efficiency in the production of flat tempered glass. How we look at energy consumption is not only about green values, the environment and government subsidies. It’s also about decreasing operating costs and time of manufacture.

In a glass tempering line, the furnace section accounts for the largest share of the total line energy consumption. The majority of energy goes to heating the glass. And the most direct energy savings can be found in reducing heat losses during that process.

Efficiency in action

Recent innovations in glass processing have created a world of new environmentally friendly options for green experts. A modern tempering line actually reduces heating losses from compressed air systems, convection generation, time wastage and furnace walls. It also helps cut down on energy output in quenching and cooling, thanks to improved loading efficiency and furnace capacity.

The speed of the line also plays a role in the energy expended per piece of glass produced. Waiting time is wasted energy.

Another critical part of optimizing flat glass tempering lines for energy reduction is to make sure that operators have been trained in efficient power use. They should be familiar with the metric of optimal energy consumption, so they can judge their own effectiveness. Today there are also tools to measure energy efficiency by each operator.

Daylighting interiors

Although energy savings are hugely important for producers during manufacture, the amount of energy expended during production is very small compared to the total energy usage in buildings. Moreover, this further depends on the type of glass installation.

Green building materials, and glass in particular have an important part to play in the reduction of energy requirements for modern commercial buildings. One term in use these days for glass design in buildings is daylighting. Well-diffused outdoor light has been found to be more healthful and obviously less expensive than indoor lighting. Dynamic glass can also provide shading. These same glass features can reduce heating and cooling costs dramatically.

The ultimate clear breakthrough

Just a few years ago, a fully transparent solar concentrator was first created to turn any sheet of glass into a solar cell. Transparency was achieved by shrinking the components. And shrinking means the way they absorb light has changed.

After the cell is altered, it harvests only the parts of the solar spectrum we can’t see with our eyes. So it captures just the ultraviolet and infrared light, and the rest of the spectrum is free to pass through. This allows the panels to be transparent to the eye.

Today, many glass application development projects concentrate on bringing intelligence into the glass pane. This doesn’t only apply to transparent solar cells but to all kinds of smart-glazing applications. The future of energy efficiency belongs to glass.

Originally published on Glastory.

Miika Äppelqvist is vice president, Glaston Corp.

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.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Glass Magazine Awards are back, with brand new categories to showcase the glass industry's most innovative products and projects from the last year. Submit your nomination by May 24.

Brand new categories
Glass Magazine awards are split into two major categories, products and projects. This year's list of project sub-categories recognizes a changing glass industry landscape, with new awards for Best Green Project and Best Jumbo Glass Project.

New product award categories aim to recognize the entire supply chain, from Best Innovation for Architects, to Best Innovation for Installers. Learn more about the categories and competition rules here.

Dave Vermeulen accepts a Glass Magazine Award for
Technical Glass Products at the 2018 GlassBuild
awards ceremony. 

A continuing celebration
Every year, Glass Magazine Award winners have their work showcased in the September issue of the magazine. Last year, for the first time, award winners were also recognized in a ceremony on the floor of GlassBuild America. The editorial team plans to continue this new tradition by celebrating the best innovators in the industry, at the longest-running tradeshow in the industry, during this year's GlassBuild America. 

If you have questions, comments, or trouble submitting the form, please contact Norah Dick, assistant editor, at Thank you for your participation!

Monday, May 13, 2019

In our industry, it is easy to get bogged down in the details, and with good reason. The right cuts, sealants used and installation processes can make or break a job. We live in a world where every detail and measurement is critical to the success of a project. But if we take the time to step back, what we are doing is much bigger. As glazing contractors, manufacturers and architects, we are designing the future. And each building, with its own design inspiration and personality, tells a story.

It may sound a bit hyperbolic, but as I was speaking at a conference recently about one of our recent projects, this rang particularly true to me. And as I got to thinking about it, I realized how crucial of a role we each play in making these stories come to life.

The JW Marriot shows the evolution of Nashville

The JW Marriott Nashville was a particularly noteworthy project, as the building owner and architects on the job set out to truly design an icon—a building that would forever change the skyline of the city of Nashville. The glass and fenestration were custom-designed to create the unique shape of the building—a football-like elliptical shape—as well as meet the acoustic and energy requirements. Each aspect of this project helped to tell the story about a changing and growing metropolis, and a building that would be written into its history.

JW Marriott Nashville

Tulane University School of Business blends with its environment

Tulane University School of BusinessThe JW Marriott is just one example, but it doesn’t take an iconic building to have a story. Tulane University’s School of Business is another great example. Every aspect of the design tells a story about its philosophy. It was designed around its environment, saving 100-year-old oaks by weaving around them in a snake-like fashion, using the most high-performing glass and fenestration for protection from coastal weather challenges, and providing the ideal environment for higher learning, with an emphasis on day lighting and acoustics. 

Every project has its own vision, and as glazing contractors and manufacturers, we are responsible for bringing that vision to life. Like many things often are, this incredible responsibility is easily lost in the fast-paced nature and detail-oriented culture of our industry.

But if we change our view and think about the story that we want to tell and the legacy the building will hold, it can change how we work together. For example, we may all be inclined to look for solutions to problems, whether it be a slight modification or customization that may make a big difference in the end result. By working together throughout a project in a professional and collaborative way, we can tell these stories successfully and with high regard for each role in the process.

Steve Schohan is a marketing and communications manager at YKK AP America, where he develops marketing strategies and leads research efforts on emerging markets and trends, with an emphasis on driving industry product evolution and innovation. Schohan has more than 25 years of experience in the retail, construction, home improvement and consumer products industries. He has served as the vice president of QEP, a company involved with the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of a comprehensive line of specialty tools and flooring products. Schohan also spent nearly 15 years with Dow Chemical Company.

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