One of the glass industry’s best get-togethers happens next week in Las Vegas—GANA’s annual gathering of Building Envelope Contractors (BEC). I first attended BEC in 2005 (and have made most of them since) and I’ve never come away without a changed perspective. I expect no different this year. But is it time for a name change?
Originally put together by building envelope contractors, BEC now seems like it’s morphing into more of a BEManufacturers’ organization. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a good sign, either. And maybe it’s not just BEC, but GANA overall—or is it just a reflection of the current state of the economy or times?
It appears there’s less and less representation on the various GANA committees from the glazing subcontractors. I’ve been involved recently in the re-write of the Sealant Manual GANA put out a couple of years ago. There were no glazing subs involved with that revision up until the time the peer review took place, at which time there was feedback from the trade. But that occurred after most of the background research and writing had been done.
Same thing with the 50th Edition of the Glazing Manual and the Protective Glazing Manuals. Not a lot of glazing subs; lots of manufacturers. The Project Manager’s Reference Manual might be the only exception: most of the input there came from the trade, as well as it should have.
Maybe that’s the point here. When required, the glazing trade does come through. Everybody’s heard about NFRC from Max Perilstein and me (sorry Max, not trying to throw you under the bus). From where I sit, it’s been tough for the glazing trade to get up for this type of fight, probably because it doesn’t impact their business on a day-to-day basis. Or because of the economy, it’s a reach to donate any time (and obviously the associated costs) to something that’s not directly attributable to turning the current economy into anything more than a fight for outright survival.
Granted, the larger subcontractors—and the manufacturers, too—have the same cost and time constraints, although it’s certainly arguable that being that involved is less of an impact on them than on the glazing subs. But the effect any of our combined efforts will have on the trade will certainly pay off in the end. For example, wait until the NFRC thing runs down to the glazing subs on a national level. Or, another industry-mandated code comes home to roost on your next project.
While the manufacturers have certainly a lot to offer, the glazing subs are the guys on the front lines. And all of us could use your unique and unquestioned expertise on things that affect the glazing trade as a whole. Please, if at all possible, join in and become more active. Because sooner or later, you will use one of the above-mentioned manuals, or call on a manufacturer because of a problem, or have to respond to a code thing you may have heard about and now have to act on. And the industry as a whole is invested in maintaining a certain level of professionalism, a certain esprit de corps, and all of our reputations are vested in successful projects, not just our own.
Beyond BEC, going to Las Vegas brings to mind March Madness. Rock Chalk Jayhawks. Thought Illinois was going to catch them, never did. KU’s only got the 10/11/12 seeds left in their bracket. How tough can that be? Don’t answer that. OSU (no, Charles Clift, not that OSU) / KU in semis at Final Four? Pittsburgh: gotta feel for the guy who fouled and put Butler on the line to win it at the end. Some heartbreakers, eh Texas? Got the lead, can’t inbound the ball. How does BYU lose their center and still advance—what rock did you crawl out from under if you don’t know about the Jimmer? And has anybody seen anyone as lucky (or as good) as Derrick Williams at Arizona? Have you seen so many meaningful last second plays at both ends of the court? Dontcha just LOVE the madness?
To my Philly roots: Finally, we got it over on Dallas. And PROUD of it, yessireebob.
Japan: may we all find something we can do to help. Be it small, minute, large or whatever. Japan’s not the only country with nuclear reactors in seismically active zones. Things like this, there’s no boundaries, there’s no them. It’s all just us.