And We’re Back: Glass Industry Companies Gather for the Return of the AIA Conference on Architecture

When it’s been three years since your last national conference, you make sure its return is a big one. That’s what the American Institute of Architects (AIA) did this year with its Conference on Architecture, last held in 2019. This year’s event is underway at McCormick Place in Chicago, with hundreds of exhibitors excited to be back.

Several companies at the show are highlighting products that can provide increased amounts of fresh air and a connection to the outdoors. Peerless Products has a new French door with a Juliet balcony integrated into the window system. Sarah Lero, marketing manager, says the system helps create a spacious environment and meets fresh air requirements. In addition, the company has a new casement window that provides the look of a single-hung window.

Shelly Farmer, national sales manager with Trex Commercial Products, agrees that they are seeing more of a demand to create comfortable work spaces. She says several commercial companies are creating outdoor amenity spaces using glass railings and windscreens. These spaces provide a comfortable area for employees to work or relax on breaks, which, she says, are helping companies get their employees back into the office.

“They can use their outdoor space to create beautiful patios [for employees],” she says. “We are working with architects to design these spaces so [employees] want to come to work.”

A Long Wait To Show

Steve Schohan, marketing and communications manager with YKK AP North America, is another exhibitor excited to be back. The company is here with a new booth — one initially designed for the 2020 show, which would have been in Los Angeles. The bright, spacious space is the ideal setting for YKK to showcase a number of its products, including the new YWW 60 window wall. The window wall is the newest addition to the company’s enerGfacade family of products designed to meet the most stringent thermal performance requirements.

Schohan said a big focus for them this year is stressing the importance of the framing system. With that in mind, and in true YKK fashion, the company debuted a new video. Straying a bit from the well-known “I am an Architect” series, this year’s video, “No Frame No Glory,” is a cinematic parody featuring the fictional rock band, The Facades. The video follows the story of lead singer, Glass, who is seeking out his opportunity to go solo. But without the support of his band, will he succeed?

The AIA Expo continues today and tomorrow. Stay tuned to USGNN™ for more news and updates from the show. If you’re attending, stop by and visit USGlass magazine and the Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal magazine in booth 2117.

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