A recent report on construction market conditions suggests that while material availability in the glass and glazing industry has been a challenge, the sector is in good company.
Gilbane’s second quarter Construction Market Conditions Report notes that while “supplier performance, delivery times, backlogs and shortages are showing some improvement,” supply chain risks remain “in the foreseeable future.”
Of the 19 “critical materials” the report cites as experiencing longer lead times than in previous years, curtainwall ranked as the second-longest with a lead time of nine to 12 months. Other materials related to the building envelope or fenestration industries on the list include roofing (6-9 months), metal panels (3-4 months) and specialty door hardware (3-4 months).
One section of the report summarizes the availability of various building materials, with glass inventories contracting and deliveries delayed.
A regional version of the report, focusing on Arizona, highlights challenges in the glass, glazing and metal segment, which reflect what much of the industry is seeing throughout the U.S. Gilbane notes increasing glass prices domestically and internationally, as well as shipping cost increases due to gasoline and shipping container prices. Additional challenges include the availability of specialty paints and aluminum lead times.
Finally, the report addresses the hurdles glazing contractors face with bidding.
“As the market remains red hot, firms are being more selective with what projects they bid and are having to escalate their numbers,” it reads. “Projects are slower to complete, primarily due to other trades not getting materials on schedule. A big concern for metal, glass and glazing firms is taking on too much work and then projects being unexpectedly delayed leaving their labor force without work.”