Glass and glazing industry professionals flocked to Nashville for the annual Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference. The event at the Omni Nashville Hotel brought together professionals to discuss industry-related topics ranging from potential industry disruptions, recruitment of the next generation, code challenges and more.

The conference was organized by the National Glass Association (NGA).

Here are some takeaways.

Tips to Improve Employee Engagement

The 2020 pandemic changed the business world forever, said Tom Jackson, president and CEO of Steel Encounters. This includes employee retention. Jackson said that there are three reasons why employees lose engagement at work: anonymity, irrelevance and immeasurement.

To best engage employees, Jackson said to set cultural expectations, communicate, offer education and career development opportunities, hold them accountable and offer recognition for good deeds.

Finances are also important. Jackson said this doesn’t just mean salary, but financial education.

“Teach every employee the business,” he said. “Understanding the business should never be beneath anyone. If your employees know your financial goals, they will be more interested in the bottom line.”

Jackson said that metrics are vital to understanding employee engagement. Analyze each aspect of the business. What are the monthly retention rates? If the data indicates that improvements are needed, educate and engage instead of punishing. Jackson explained that the more you engage with and teach employees, the better your company’s bottom line will be.

What is the difference between a code and a standard? And how do they impact jobs? These are the questions answered by Tom Culp, energy codes consultant, and Urmilla Sowell, NGA vice president of Advocacy and Technical Services.

Understanding Codes and Standards

What is the difference between a code and a standard? And how do they impact jobs? These are the questions answered by Tom Culp, energy codes consultant, and Urmilla Sowell, NGA vice president of Advocacy and Technical Services.

According to Sowell, a code is mandatory while a standard is voluntary. Codes are minimal guidelines that are enforced, mainly about safety and conservation. There are various code drivers, including the public sector, laws, supplies, customers, trade associations and insurance.

Sowell added that standards are voluntary guidelines, best practices, test methods and specifications. They are mainly written by task groups. Examples of standards in codes include ANSI 297.1, ASCE 7 and NFRC.

Culp discussed several topics, including Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). He said he has noticed an increased demand for more granular EPDs, such as EPDs that are company- and product-specific, facility-specific and for processed glass. He also brought up opportunities in the retrofit market. He said the Department of Energy estimates there are two billion single-pane glazing units in commercial buildings. This means more work for installers.

Recent building performance standards have been enacted in New York City, Boston, Colorado, St. Louis, Washington and Washington, D.C. These standards are contributing to the rise in retrofit projects.

“It’s encouraging building owners to look at the whole package,” said Culp.

The BEC Conference ends on March 5. Glass Processing Automation Days begins March 5 and runs until March 6. Stay tuned to usglassmag.com and follow USGlass Magazine on social media for more news and updates.

News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *