Back On: PPG to Supply Starphire® Glass
to One World Trade Center
After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop
glass to be used for One World Trade Center, PPG was told in early 2009
that the contract for that project was instead going to a Chinese glass
company (see April 2009 USGlass, page 30). But on October 29, PPG Industries
announced that it has received an order to supply Starphire ultra-clear,
low-iron glass for One World Trade Center in New York. The glass will
be used for the podium wall system on Tower One, which is currently under
construction at the new World Trade Center complex in lower Manhattan.
Gary Danowski, PPG vice president, performance glazings, talked exclusively
to USGlass following the announcement regarding how PPG was ultimately
awarded the project more than a year and a half following that initial
“A few months ago we started to become re-engaged with some meetings with
the Port Authority, and Tishman Construction,” he says. “We showed them
some initial samples of Starphire and got pulled into more and more discussions
regarding potentially fitting into the supply chain.”
Danowski says that even after that initial meeting he didn’t think PPG
would be awarded the project.
“To be honest, I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere,” Danowksi says.
“We thought it was too late: glass samples were being made, structural
steel was moving. Albeit the meeting was interesting and there were some
discussion points, but to be honest with you I’m surprised that we are
where we are today—though I’m happy about it.”
As to why the original Chinese glass supplier is no longer involved, Danowski
says PPG is not privy to that information.
Steve Coleman with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told
USGlass that “the original supplier (with good quality product) in China
“They didn’t want the job,” says Coleman. “The broker tried another supplier
in China and that product did not meet the color requirements. Now we
are purchasing from PPG and shipping the glass to China for fabrication.
The machine used to fabricate is already built in China.”
Danowski points out that the only thing that has changed with the project
is that PPG is now supplying the glass; it will still be fabricated in
“We are supplying the glass to Sanxin [Glass in China] which will fabricate
the glass, then it will come back to the United States to be installed
in the project,” he says. “We would have preferred to work through a shorter
supply chain and recommended some alternatives. Ultimately, though, this
wasn’t our decision.”
Officials at Zetian Systems, the Las Vegas-based subcontractor contracted
by glazing contractor Solera/DCM to perform design assist services, fabrication
and delivery of the glass for One World Trade Center, issued a statement
on November 1 regarding its selection of PPG’s glass for this project:
“PPG was recently awarded the glass order for the podium from Zetian after
a comprehensive review and analysis of all similar materials available
from the entire world market. As was its contractual duty, Zetian provided
a number of options and solutions for the project. It is very common that
the selection of materials and finishes for a very high-profile project
is extended over a relatively long time period. Zetian is very pleased
with the final decision to select PPG to supply the glass as their product
provides unique characteristics that are considered essential …”
Zetian notes that it has contracted the fabrication to Sanxin Glass “following
extensive due diligence.”
DCM did not respond to USGlass’ request for comment, while Tishman Construction
officials declined to comment.
© Copyright 2010 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.