In the last several weeks I have been hitting energy codes pretty heavy and below I have more of my interview with Avi Bar on that subject. But leading off this week is another code angle, and that’s one of safety and security glass. As we push for energy improvements it really does have to be handled in combination with ensuring that we are not taking our eye off the protective glazing side. I think catastrophic events can spur to action but sometimes it leads to only answering that specific bell, and leaving so many items open. So while there’s a major focus on school security (and there needs to be) there still needs to be a sustained focus on the other areas of protective glazing, including fire rated. (One take of mine? No more wire, please.) I do believe our industry has a great feel on this product segment, but there’s still more education needed. If we still have people in the field not “getting it” we as an entire industry fail.
That said I thought that the gang over at Glass Magazine hit the issue perfectly this month with their edition on the entire protective glazing field, including the basics of the product all the way up to the advanced. Really a job well done and a must read issue that doesn’t go maudlin and stays focused with the sort of professionalism and journalistic credibility you come to expect from the team at Glass Magazine.
-- I had the opportunity to listen in to the latest construction industry economic forecast this past week and for the most part the analysts were in very positive moods. While there are surely bumps in the road, optimism did rule the day. However one item did come up that bothered me and that was one analyst noting that if you want to build “green” you have to build new. I disagree, at least from our side of the world, with some of the technology we have out there, we can surely make serious difference in a retrofit application. Once again we need to educate!
-- As some of my loyal readers know I loved the TV show “24.” Amazing stuff. Well news this week is that 24 and Jack Bauer may be coming back. PLEASE make that happen. In the meantime, the show “The Americans” is now my favorite- though I am still 5 episodes behind…
-- Last week my interview with Avi Bar, Vice President at Advanced Glazings really got people talking. This week I wrap up our talk with a look at the architectural side of things.
Max: In your dealings with Architects and Designers are you finding that they are paying attention to the codes or are they more focused on the products they want to use?
Avi: My overall experience is that the Architects and Designers are becoming more aware of energy codes, however it isn’t easy to implement. The prescriptive methods don’t easily translate into their designs, and the modeling methodologies are complex to include in the first pass of designs. Therefore it’s an ongoing iterative process. There is a disconnect in the design community/owner interrelationship as fees for services continue to be tightened whilst the technical competency for designers is increasing. The complexity of the analysis process that the architects are now bound to engage on are a problem for them and perhaps an opportunity for a proactive glass industry. The more stringent the code, the more anxiety I have seen in the designers. This is a call for help to the glass and glazing industry to innovate and support them.
Max: A lot of the economic indicators for construction and architecture are trending upwards, are you seeing the same thing?
Avi: It’s hard for us to tell, as our products are not commodities and have seen overall increase in business even during the recession where billings were down and many glass fabricators have been shutting down. With that said, our current demand is growing at a much higher rate. Is that due to better economic conditions or finally a signal that the market for high performance translucent glass is maturing, we can’t say. Perhaps a mix of both. All in all, were optimistic.
LINKS of the WEEK
-- This piece absolutely pegs it on the dumbest things people are doing with smartphones.
-- Having worked in TV, I have seen this trick done TONS of times. Funny to see it called out like this and also how poorly executed it was.
-- Great story and I love when people get dressed up to go to ballgames. The seriously good ole days.