Perils Abound in the Glass Industry
Become an Industry Advocate with
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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