Volume 29, Issue 3 - Fall 2015
Glazing in Construction Outlook
Something Else you Should Know
The glass industry and related sectors are bracing for a pending shortage. Viracon, a major fabricator in the U.S., recently issued a letter to its industry partners warning as much.
“The glass primaries within our industry have been very consistent in their messaging that we should expect glass shortages in early 2016,” writes Garret Henson, vice president of sales and marketing. “From our perspective, we see this to be very real.”
Viracon and other suppliers stress the importance of communication between all parties involved on a given project, including the architect.
Glass prices have also gone up, with Viracon also announcing an increase over the summer due to float glass and coated float glass price increases of 5-12 percent.
The challenge of cost in North America can differ depending on the region, according to Hartung Glass Canada general manager Bruce Butler. Butler says the last major price increase saw a 10 percent increase in the East but a 15-percent increase in the West—a 5-percent difference that he attributes to less population and more freight challenges.
Energy Still Trending
Energy efficiency continues to be a big driver in the architectural glazing community. Steve Fronek, vice president of technical services for Wausau Window and Wall Systems, says the demand for European-benchmark thermal performance in windows and curtainwall has been steadily increasing.
“However, the U.S. design aesthetic, which differs from its European counterpart in preference for flush frame profiles and narrow sightlines, is not being compromised in selection of more energy-efficient products,” he says.
He adds that triple glazing is becoming more commonplace in colder climate zones, and that commercial window designs must now accommodate heavier, thicker glass, “not only for improved energy efficiency, but also for acoustic performance and flatness, requiring sturdier AAMA AW Class life-cycle-tested products.”
Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal