Volume 21, Issue 2 - April/May/June 2007

Contract Glaziers See Green at BEC Conference

If there was a key word to describe this year’s Glass Association of North America’s 2007 Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) conference, which is fast becoming the industry leading event, it would be green. The majority of presentations tied in, some way, to energy-efficiency, green building design and LEED certification.

Topping the agenda was a green panel discussion led by architect Keith Boswell, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in San Francisco, James Bogdan of PPG and Henry Taylor of Kawneer Co. Inc.

Boswell began the presentation with a discussion on the LEED costs from the architectural and engineering side, and he showed examples of projects designed by his firm that have received LEED ratings. 

“LEED is a holistic approach in the design phase,” Boswell said. “Our costs are mainly in the research that takes place early on.”

His examples showed how elements such as light shelves and sunshades had been used to earn LEED points. High-performance glass, insulating glass units and double-glazed facades have also been used.

Bogdan explained that the three areas in which glazing can contribute to LEED are optimizing energy efficiency; using regional materials; and indoor environmental quality. He also noted that the three major drains of energy are interior light, heating and cooling. Products such as new low-E coatings can be used to reduce these costs.

Taylor began his presentation with a few statistics. In 2006, the AIA set a goal to cut energy costs by 50 percent by 2010 and 90 percent by 2025.

“The costs of green are not that much, but the resulting benefits can be great,” Taylor said.

Taylor discussed some of the different areas and categories in which LEED points are available for glass, and mentioned opportunities for products such as photovoltaics. “This can be used in lieu of spandrel; it can also be used in skylights. You can allow in the light and generate energy. It is a cost, but a good cost for our industry,” he said.

Other green areas of discussion came from presentations on electronically tintable glass, thermal requirements in curtainwall and insulating glass technology.

The BEC Conference, which was held recently in Las Vegas, attracted approximately 520 people.

Code Activity in the South
Florida passed legislation that extends the state’s hurricane protection building codes to the state’s panhandle, and the Mississippi Senate passed a bill that would enact a statewide commercial building code and encourage further adoption of state residential codes.

In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist signed a law that requires the same building protection in all areas of the Florida coastline.

DuPont Building Innovations has done extensive work in providing counsel to Gulf and Atlantic Coast states on stronger building codes. 

An industry supplier also was involved in the Mississippi action. Due to the impact the legislation would have on the glazing industry, Saflex played a role in supporting passage of the measure.

“Ever since Hurricane Katrina, we have been working with Mississippi to enact a statewide building code for commercial and residential construction,” says Nanette Lockwood, director of legislative affairs for Saflex, who has been working with the Coalition to Build a Safer and Stronger Mississippi and the insurance industry on this issue.  “This bill is a tremendous step toward protecting people and property throughout the state.”

Lockwood says, “Last year Mississippi passed legislation to enact emergency building code provisions for all coastal counties in the wind-borne debris region except George County.  More comprehensive legislation must be passed to ensure a stable construction environment where code enforcement is absolute and requirements evolve with the changing codes and technologies.”

Supporters hope to move the bill through the House.  

AIA Sees Commercial Increase
The nonresidential construction market is expected to increase by almost seven percent in 2007 in inflation adjusted terms, following the growth of near six percent in 2006. With balanced growth in the commercial / industrial and institution sectors, strong construction activity is projected in office buildings, hotels and health care facilities. These are highlights from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters. If this projection is accurate, 2006-2007 would be the best two-year period for the industry since the late 1990s.

“Unless there is a significant downturn in the overall U.S. economy, the prospects for nonresidential construction activity are very favorable,” says AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. “The high level of projected activity will help offset some of the effects of the slumping residential market.” 

Kamber Joins Editorial Board 
The Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal has expanded its Editorial Board and welcomes Tony Kamber to the group.

He is in his 24th year in the glass and glazing industry. A life-long resident of Louisville, Ky., he spent his first nine years in the industry with a large glazing contractor in Kentucky where he was a shop foreman, glazier, and, eventually, a project manager. He then moved to Amarlite Architectural Products and Pittco Engineered Systems, architectural aluminum manufacturers, where he held sales positions.

In 1994, he joined Arch Aluminum & Glass, where he has held such positions as territory sales representative, branch manager and, currently, national architectural manager. He has spent the last three years focusing on the architectural community, presenting AIA registered courses on aluminum framing systems and glass.

He is a graduate of the University of Louisville, and when not speaking with architects he enjoys, among other things, home remodeling.

“I very much appreciate this opportunity to participate on the Editorial Board for this publication which is doing so much to provide information to the architectural community about architectural glass and metal. I hope to be able to lend the same insight as the other distinguished members of the Board.”

The Trumpets Sound
The new $120-million, 197,000-square-foot Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville was designed by David M. Schwartz/Architectural Services Inc. of Washington, D.C. The “Neo-Classically inspired,” building hosts both the 30,000-square-foot Laura Turner Concert Hall and a 3,000-square-foot education center. 

In keeping with downtown Nashville’s traditional façades for important city structures, the exterior of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is made up of more than 26,000 individual pieces of limestone plus granite, marble and cast stone. Wausau Window and Wall Systems provided more than 300 of its Epic windows with beveled muntins for the project. They were enhanced for acoustic performance and historic styling. Further complementing the limestone, the windows were finished by Linetec in eucalyptus tree green with nickel-silver trim. 

In addition to the aesthetic the windows bring to the outside of the building, they provide natural interior light to the Laura Turner Concert Hall—one of the few halls in the nation to boast this feature. Other distinctive elements obvious to ticket-holders include a varied ceiling height, rising from 51-feet above the stage to 61-feet above the orchestra, to promote sound clarity and from which the Viennese-inspired custom light fixtures hang. The frosted globes and nickel-silver finish is carried throughout the center, as are the decorative ironwork and extensive use of Spanish and Italian marble.

The first performance in the new Laura Turner Concert Hall was held in September, an opening gala kicking off its classical music series. 

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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