East and West
Two Different GANA Conferences Offer Industry
a Chance to Network and Learn
by Penny Stacey
The Glass Association of North America (GANA) has had a busy 2012 so far,
hosting both its annual conference in Sarasota, Fla., this February, followed
by its annual Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Las Vegas
The conferences were split apart for the first time this year, having
previously been a part of the annual Glass Week event. Even from separate
ends of the United States, each offered attendees a chance to learn, work
|Collins Offers Industry Outlook
The five-day annual conference closed with a presentation by Michael
Collins, managing director of Jordan, Knauff & Co. (and a columnist
for USGlass magazine’s sister publication, DWM), during which he offered
some predictions for both the commercial and residential glass industry.
He offered a few general positives, such as that commercial property
prices are rising and U.S. office construction “appears to have found
“We’re looking for increases in some of those segments,” said Collins.
Overall, Collins predicted a rise in the future. “In total nonresidential
construction, we’re looking for an increase this year,” he said.
Hospitals also are expected to be up next year in construction. “Hospitals
do use a ton of glass,” he said.
When it comes to fenestration imports, Collins said these saw a drop
from 2009 to 2010. “The door people are getting hammered, but windows
less so,” he said of the comparison between the amount of doors and
windows being imported.
“Typically [China manufacturers] stay away from commercial entry doors
because they want to have to deal with the codes and such,” Collins
With the import of glass, specifically, Collins said China imports
currently make up 42.2 percent of the U.S. glass imports at approximately
$209 million; Mexico, 11.4 percent at $56 million; Canada, 11.4 percent
at $56 million; and the rest 25.6 percent at $126 million.
The GANA Conference kicked off with a special energy division session
featuring Timothy Snow and Robert Tenent of the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., who spoke about the requirements and
potential for windows and concentrating solar power. Specifically, Tenent
discussed his work on the “Dynamic Windows Research Program.”
Tenent explained that while electrochromic windows are the most-often-discussed
type of dynamic glazing, there are other types, including photochromic
and thermochromic. Much of Tenent’s own research focuses on cost analysis.
“We’d love to put [the necessary items for dynamic glazing] into a float
glass line—in fact, that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Tenent. “ ...
If we can make the chemistry work, the price point will be there.”
There may be other potential as well, according to Tenent. “We hope there
are multiple paths to get to a lower price point,” said Tenent.
NREL officials also hope to get industry representatives further involved
in their work. “I’m really interested in working with industry,” said
Tenent. “I’m not interested in going out on my own on this.”
"The objective here is to take
a new look at how we use mirror. Daylighting can be a pretty complex
—Marc Deschamps, Walker Glass
Patrick Sargent, president of the Corona Solar Group, followed with a
look at the growing solar industry. “There are a lot of new things going
on in the photovoltaics industry, and a lot of things that could be going
on that are not going on,” said Sargent.
Sargent said currently the Italian and German markets make up 57 percent
of the entire solar market, though the United States has great potential.
“Everywhere in the United States is better for the solar market,” he said.
“North America does not have a national energy policy to speak of—they’re
letting the states control it here.”
Meetings and More
In addition to these sessions, many GANA divisions and groups held meetings
throughout the week.
The Energy Division received a code update from code consultant Tom Culp
of Birchpoint Consulting, who posed a general question to the group and
encouraged members to look toward the future. “Where do we want to go
from here?” he asked. “Are we willing to go to triple glazing as a requirement
in the energy code? It’s more glass, but it’s also more expensive.
“These are the kinds of questions we’re going to need to answer in the
coming months,” he said.
Rob Joyce of Guardian Industries also provided an update on the Energy
Division’s Governmental and Regulatory Affairs subcommittee. The group
intends to begin providing quarterly public policy updates, and is proposing
that the division organize a Washington, D.C., fly-in. “The objective
is to broadly educate Congress members on our issues,” he said.
Helen Sanders of Sage Electrochromics provided an update on the Life Cycle
Analysis Task Group. “Most of the activity in this group has been focused
on product category rules,” she said.
"The companies that are doing
anything with recycling decorative glass maybe aren’t releasing a lot
of information about it out there yet."
Gardner Glass Products
The group currently is working on developing these rules in conjunction
with the Department of Energy, through NREL. We’re getting close to having
a draft of the rules [complete],” she said.
Mark Deschamps of Walker Glass made a presentation about the utilization
of mirrors to enhance daylighting options. The session was held as part
of the Mirror Technical Division’s meeting.
“The objective here is to take a new look at how we use mirror,” said
Deschamps. “Daylighting can be a pretty complex issue."
Deschamps suggested that through detailed planning, mirror
can be used in a variety of ways to enhance a building’s daylighting.
“Not only do you want to capture light with mirrors, but you also want
to use mirrors to bring light deeper into a space,” said Deschamps. “Of
course when you do that, you minimize the need for artificial light.”
Mirrors also can be placed at various angles to adjust daylighting. “Play
with the angles and reflect sunlight around the space,” said Deschamps.
Though mirror often is commonly found in residential planning, Deschamps
encouraged attendees to look at the commercial market as well. “We tend
to think of mirrors as a residential concept, but we need to be thinking
about using mirror in commercial and industrial applications as well.”
|Triple Glazing Front and Center
The rise in triple glazing was a popular topic during a meeting of
the Insulating Glass Division at the Glass Association of North America’s
annual conference. Chuck Anderson of Guardian Industries provided
a presentation on the topic.
“There are a lot of things pushing the industry into the utilization
of triples,” said Anderson. Among these, he pointed to Energy Star
as one driving factor. “Energy Star’s not a code, but it might as
well be,” he said.
Though Energy Star is most prevalent in the residential replacement
window market, Anderson said, it could grow on the commercial side
“From the commercial side the [Environmental Protection Agency] would
like to have more buildings certified by Energy Star,” Anderson said.
The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) also plays a role.
“If we look at the IECC, we can see that the numbers are getting tighter,”
Currently, Anderson said research is limited into the prevalence of
triple glazing, and how much this technology is actually being used
in the market. “Trying to find out what’s going on in the triple market
is very, very difficult,” he said.
On the commercial side, “The triple market is very small ... but people
are making inquiries about this,” he added.
Triple glazing presents several challenges, such as load resistance
ratings. “Until recently, there wasn’t anything out there to help
you evaluate load resistance for triples,” Anderson said.
Cerium Oxide Research Continues
The Mirror Division Technical Committee’s meeting included a discussion
about cerium oxide and the fact that the shortage has lessened somewhat
(see related story in February USGlass, page 34). The division formed
a task group to look at the issue approximately a year ago, according
to Jim Ventre of Gardner Glass Products in Acworth, Ga., the chairperson
of the group. “[When the group was formed,] we couldn’t get any [cerium
oxide] really,” he said. “In the meantime, the supply chain has eased
up—and today there doesn’t seem to be an issue getting cerium oxide. Pricing
Sylvain Denis of Walker Glass, chair of the Mirror Division Technical
Committee, asked the group if the task group should be disbanded. After
some discussion, the group decided to continue the work of the task group
in an effort to watch the issue. “I’ve learned that there are alternatives,
but none of them are as good as cerium oxide,” said Ventre. “It’s things
like this that are important to be aware of.”
The group did change its scope, however, to address the changing market.
“I think the objective really is information and the development of alternatives
and keeping the group informed,” said Ventre.
“What we’re hoping for in the real world is something that pops up and
takes its place,” added Ventre.
Glass Recycling Options
The Decorative Division Recyclability Task Group is getting close to drafting
a Glass Informational Bulletin (GIB) about decorative glass, according
to task group chair Danik Dancause of Walker Glass.
“We’re not quite ready to start writing a GIB, but I think we’re a lot
closer,” he said. Meeting participants held a lengthy discussion on the
variety of glass recycling options that could be available for architectural
glass, but agreed in some cases information is scarce in this area.
“The companies that are doing anything with recycling decorative glass
maybe aren’t releasing a lot of information about it out there yet,” suggested
Mandy Marxen of Gardner Glass Products.
Attendees also participated in a GANA membership meeting on the final
day of the conference, along with a town hall-style meeting. During the
membership meeting, GANA executive vice president Bill Yanek provided
a presentation about his 7-month deployment to Africa, from which he returned
home in early February.
Technical director Urmilla Sowell provided an update as well, reporting
that the group published approximately nine Glass Information Bulletins
(GIBs) last year. “We also saw more than 100,000 downloads of GIBs, and
thanks to you guys we were able to put these out there,” she reported.
Creating Smart Buildings
GANA’s BEC Conference followed the GANA Conference just less than a month
later in Las Vegas. Keynote speaker Ted Hathaway, CEO of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope,
opened the conference with an informative look at creating smart building
envelopes. “It’s time to look at the impact of the buildings we create
on the environment,” said Hathaway.
“Building envelopes can no longer be passive or stupid,” he added.
He encouraged the use of collaboration and technology to reach smart building
goals, and profiled several projects in which he has seen these play a
“Our industry is at the forefront of technology and we have to be able
to share that knowledge with architects and designers,” he said.
Hathaway also suggested that focusing on the environment also can be popular
among owners and companies that eventually inhabit the buildings on which
the industry works.
“Companies today want to locate in buildings that are environmentally
friendly and sustainable,” he said.
The Cornellier Challenge
Victor Cornellier, president of TSI/Exterior Wall Systems in Upper Marlboro,
Md., followed Hathaway with a warning to attendees to heed recent events,
such as the closing and subsequent Chapter 11 filing of Trainor Glass.
“You can say, ‘well, that’s one more competitor I don’t have to worry
about,’” said Cornellier. “If you’ve used that phrase, it’s wrong ...
We’re one of the highest risk industries in the trade nationwide.”
Cornellier appeared optimistic about what’s in the future, though. “2012,
for everyone, is going to be a year of recovery,” he said. “Manufacturers
are putting out more quotes, they’re closing more orders.”
As the recovery occurs, he suggested that business leaders look at their
company mission statements and make a plan for the future. “What do you
want to be? What do you want to become?” asked Cornellier. “If you think
things are going to get better this year without having a mission, you’re
going to become another statistic.”
He encouraged leaders of contract glazing businesses to take this a step
further and review their corporate cultures, to create cultures that encourage
success among all levels of employees. “There are profit centers at every
level of an organization,” said Cornellier. “Make [employees] accountable,
reward them, give them authority.”
Succession plans also are crucial. “As you get further along and get a
little gray hair, you better be thinking about succession in every department
Networking and having relationships with employees is key as well. “If
you don’t have a network inside you’re company, you’re not going to succeed,”
he said. “Have dialogue daily with your employees.”
Networking also can occur with building owners—and this is important to
success, suggested Cornellier. “The owner is the most powerful relationship—the
true customer,” he said. “You don’t need to go around the architect or
general contractor, but you need to make a relationship with that owner.”
Four Perspectives—One Goal
An informative and popular panel during the BEC Conference brought together
owner David Bellman, senior vice president of Avalonbay Communities Inc.;
general contractor John Kane, executive vice president of HITT Contracting
Inc.; architect Keith
Boswell, technical director for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; and
contract glazier Courtney Little, president of ACE Glass Construction
Bellman said he aims to involve manufacturers and glazing contractors
early in the process. “No one knows better than you what a [curtain]wall
is worth,” said Bellman.
Boswell echoed Bellman. “Design development is a key phase of the job,”
he said. Kane spoke from the perspective of a general contractor and explained
the importance of communication among general contractors and glazing
contractors, even when a problem arises. “Nothing ages more poorly than
bad news,” he said. “The sooner [we] know [about a problem], the better
we can all work together to mitigate the impact on the job.”
Little advised attendees he was happy to hear what some of the others
on the panel had to say about working with glazing contractors early in
the process. “I think partnering earlier and better helps the whole process,”
He also expressed empathy for what architects and designers have to keep
up with on each job. “They have thousands and thousands of things they
have to deal with,” he said. “They’re just trying to build a building
and we’re here to help them.”
Looking for More?
Scan the Microsoft Tag at the right with your mobile phone to view all
of our videos from both the Glass Association of North America’s Annual
Conference and the annual Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference.
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.