Volume 47, Issue 2 - February 2012

GANAPerspectives

Perils Abound in the Glass Industry
Become an Industry Advocate with GANA
by Brian K. Pitman

Recently, the Glass Association of North America (GANA) signed a letter from various organizations in the construction industry, which included the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), to President Obama and the leaders of both the majority and minority parties in both the U.S. House and Senate. The intent of the letter can be summed up in the following paragraph from the letter itself:

Our members are ready and willing to get back to work designing and building the infrastructure that will keep America competitive in the 21st Century. They want Congress and the Administration to perform the fundamental business of governing that will provide the stability needed to get this sector moving and take millions of Americans off the unemployment rolls. Reviving demand for construction, particularly private sector construction activity, is essential to sustaining broader economic growth. We urge you to take action on these critical measures that will help our economy fully recover.

Over the past decade (and more specifically in the last five years), many business owners and managers in the glass and glazing industry have been acutely aware of many perils they face in the industry. The poor economy has been the most obvious, but others have surfaced on occasion that could be as potentially devastating as the economic stagnation. These include the ASHRAE 90.1 update discussions in the second half of 2009, some of the original directions of the National Fenestration Rating Council’s Component Modeling Approach (CMA) Product Certification Program for commercial fenestration and more.

In each of these situations, an owner’s ability to profitably run his business was put in jeopardy.

"GANA has attended committee meetings on behalf of the industry, voiced the opinion of its members in code hearings, even visited Capitol Hill on multiple occasions to share concerns with members of the U.S. Congress."

Bringing In New Advocates
GANA-led advocacy groups focused their resources on finding a solution that wasn’t damaging to the industry and the companies within it. GANA has attended committee meetings on behalf of the industry, voiced the opinion of its members in code hearings, even visited Capitol Hill on multiple occasions to share concerns with members of the U.S. Congress. And though these efforts have resulted in success for the industry (and made it possible for many glass and glazing companies to keep manufacturing, fabricating and installing some great products), the efforts never end, simply because the perils to the industry never end.

GANA absorbed the former Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC), which began operating under the GANA banner in early 2010. That committee, which includes other international organizations within its membership, routinely meets and discusses the many code-related issues facing the industry. Under the guidance of GANA consultants Dr. Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting and Thom Zaremba of Roetzel & Andress, members carefully monitor proposed changes in the building, energy and green codes that would preclude glass as a viable construction medium. Additionally, they discuss and propose changes to the code that positively impact that glass and glazing industry.

GANA has a long history of working on the behalf of the industry, especially with employee education and providing invaluable networking opportunities. In the next decade, its advocacy efforts, however, may be much more important and have a bigger impact on your company than any of the other benefits of membership. Perhaps now is the time for you to consider membership in the organization. We invite you to contact our members to hear their opinions about membership. Joining the association and the strong efforts to keep the glass and glazing industry moving forward could mean the difference between a profitable future and a perilous one.

Brian K. Pitman is the Glass Association of North America’s director of marketing and communications.


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