The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Conference on Architecture in Orlando is featuring some new faces from the glass industry.
Dreamwalls, a division of Gardner Glass Products, is a first-time exhibitor. The company, based in North Wilkesboro, N.C., produces decorative glass and is highlighting its markerboards at the show.
Gardner vice president of marketing Mandy Marxen pointed out that many non-glass companies are now producing markerboards, so it’s important for the glass industry to remain visible to architects in that regard.
“We’re striving to get involved in projects earlier and earlier, something that the glass industry never really did before,” she added. “We’re just trying to get into more specs.”
Marxen said one thing that makes this show interesting is that architects are actually interested in implementing the markerboards into their own office spaces. She noted that they have responded well to Dreamwalls’ matte finish, one of the products it is showcasing.
New Jersey-based Galaxy Glass & Stone has been in existence for four decades, and in the past had focused primarily on the Northeast region and the New York metropolitan area in particular.
However, it has recently spread out into more markets throughout the U.S., and Galaxy president and CEO Eugene M. Negrin said it was time to take its decorative glass product to the national AIA show. Galaxy is a first-time exhibitor at the event.
“Last year we did 44 states,” said Negrin. “… So we wanted to be here to meet existing and new customers.”
Galaxy executive vice president Steven Brenner added that the company has an accredited AIA lunch-and-learn presentation, and coming to this event to further its outreach to architects was necessary. “I think it’s going to be a winner,” he said.
For other companies, location has made the AIA show a no-brainer.
Faour Glass Technologies, based in Tampa, Fla., is using the opportunity to showcase new product offerings.
Faour is featuring its frameless all-glass Slimpact product in larger sizes, as it is now impact tested to a 10-by-7 foot lite, opposed to the previous 10-by-5 size. The company is also introducing its frameless impact door, which vice president and general manager Angelo Rivera said has been in development for 18 months.
Additionally, Faour is highlighting its floating glass staircase. The structural glass treads are cantilevered from the wall with a concealed support system, giving the appearance that the stairs are “floating.”
Sun Metals Systems, a Tampa-based manufacturer of commercial glazing systems, has participated in regional AIA events but is exhibiting at the national show for the first time.
“Since it is right down the road from us, we decided that we needed to do it,” said vice president and general manager Matthew Price.
Sun Metals supplies it products throughout the U.S., and Price said during the show he’s heard many questions about thermal values outside of the southeast. And he’s not just meeting with architects—he said a couple contract glaziers from Michigan and Ohio, for example, have visited his booth to discuss projects.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based decorative glass supplier Eurostyle Glass Colours Inc. is another glass company either exhibiting for the first time or returning to the show after a few years away.
“This is the first time we’ve been here in a while, but it made sense because it’s right in our backyard,” said Eurostyle’s Glenn Comiskey.
Eurostyle is showcasing its decorative interlayer laminated glass products, which Comiskey said have been popular of late in office spaces, as well as lobby spaces just outside of elevators.
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for continued coverage of the AIA show, which runs through Saturday.