Volume 27, Issue 2 - March/April 2013

Education and Resources

PPG Education Center Educates Architects About Glass
Instead of bottling enthusiasm, PPG is “bottling knowledge” through its newly launched Glass Education Center ( The online resource is designed specifically for architects to serve as a source for information about designing, specifying and building with commercial glass.

Rob Struble, manager, brand and communications, PPG Industries, explains the intent and evolution of the site which was in development for roughly a year.

“In this downturn it seemed that many of the long-term ‘glass experts’ in architectural firms were retiring,” says Struble. “So we get a fair amount of basic questions along with questions at a higher level than we ever had before.” he says.

And, Struble says, “We have technical service files that can fill a room. So we digitized it and indexed it,” says Struble, who explains the goals of the site:
• It helps architects design better with glass;
• It provides a comprehensive source of educational information on glass; and
• It takes advantage of PPG’s deep knowledge base of glass handling fabrication and installation.

The result was a comprehensive site divided into three sections – Glass Topics, Glass Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and a Glossary. The online tool also features a mix of videos, illustrations and educational features that address issues such as preventing thermal glass breakage, specifying large insulating glass units, how low-E glass works, how heat-treated glass differs from heat-strengthened glass, and why it all matters for commercial building projects.

Glenn T. Miner, director of construction, flat glass, says the PPG Glass Education Center was created to address a growing demand, especially among young architects and students, for more accessible, interactive and engaging technical information about designing and building with glass.

“As commercial glass products become more sophisticated, glass manufacturers have an obligation to deliver technical information to architects and other building professionals in a way that helps them meet the increasingly difficult demands made of them,” says Miner.
He stressed that the site is not designed as a marketing tool.

“When visitors log on to the PPG Glass Education Center, they will find very little to no information about our products specifically,” Miner adds. “Our primary goal is to offer an objective, user-focused resource that enhances the safety, attractiveness and energy-efficiency of buildings constructed with glass, whether they are skyscrapers erected with monumental curtainwalls or small elementary schools with simple windows that open and close.”

And it really was designed with architects in mind.

“We went to 40 people in PPG who work with architects and asked, “What questions do you get the most?” says Struble. The result of that information cull was 60-70 different questions.

“At the end of the day everyone benefits if we use glass better,” he adds.
-Tara Taffera

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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