Coral Industries Recovers from Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Coral Industries was just one of many local businesses
that felt the impact of tornadoes that ripped through the area on April
27, leaving hundreds dead and neighborhoods destroyed.
Of the company’s 250 employees there were no fatalities, though there
were some who were hurt. “We have some bumps and bruises, but no fatalities—thank
the Lord,” says Lewis McAllister, executive vice president. “Fifteen to
20 employees lost their homes and most, if not all, they had.”
After being shut down for a day, Coral quickly resumed the majority of
its operations. While the company’s main plant was unharmed, the architectural
aluminum division was not as fortunate.
“It was leveled. There is nothing left,” McAllister says of the 50,000-square-foot
Operations there have been moved to the main building where another warehouse
is located. The architectural division suffered extensive damages so it
will be some time before that business segment resumes.
“The architectural division is 10 percent of our business. Ninety percent
is shower doors and glass and that part is up and running,” McAllister
Glass Eliminated from One WTC Podium
The glass portion of the podium wall of One World Trade Center in New
York has been eliminated from the tower’s design, the New York Times confirmed
on May 12.
Originally, architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) in New York had
specified that the lower 20 stories of the tower would feature an ultra-clear
glass unique from the remainder of the 104-story tower (the top of the
tower currently is being installed).
The high-profile project has undergone several changes since its initial
conception. In October 2010 it was announced that PPG Industries in Pittsburgh
would manufacture the glass for the tower’s podium wall, after having
been told in early 2009 that the contract was instead going to a Chinese
glass company (see December 2010 USGlass, page 10). Zetian Systems Inc.
in Las Vegas was supplying the Starphire glass to fabricator Sanxin Glass
in China, and bringing it back to the United States to be installed by
Solera/DCM in New York (Representatives of Solera/DCM declined to comment
for this article).
Zetian president Greg Olin told USGlass in March that the decision to
specify PPG’s glass was made by the architect. “We are suppliers; when
we put the options on the table and the architect says ‘I want that one,’
I don’t ask why,” he said. “There’s a world of difference in the way that
glass looks. The combination was just perfect. Once [the architect] saw
that it was available, and there was some inventory available immediately
to do the trials that we needed in order to keep the contract schedule,
it became a no-brainer” (see May 2011 USGlass, page 35).
Representatives of SOM would not return calls from USGlass to comment
on the reason for the design change. However, the Times reported that
as of the trials at Sanxin Glass in March, the “glass panels tended to
bow after they were cut and tempered, which interfered with the lamination
Olin commented on the New York Times’ report: “They [the Times] managed
to identify two key points: the scale and the breakage effect. Prismatic
glass can be tempered and laminated successfully into smaller lite sizes
than designed, but when it breaks, it acts differently than tempered flat
glass—no matter what size. This is the key to the change. It has nothing
to do with where it is produced. The laws of physics apply universally.”
Neither the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York nor Tishman Construction,
the general contractor on the project, would return calls from USGlass
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