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On the importance of early involvement of the contract glazier…  
nvolving all of the envelope contractors early in the detailing process establishes com-  
munication and increased coordination between trades. This results in identifying  
unusual and tricky conditions, usually at transitions between dissimilar materials. I like  
to be in the middle of that conversation to assure the design intent while maintaining the  
integrity of the envelope. Because the majority of our designs incorporate skins comprised  
primarily of glass, glazing contractors are typically our first call. This is additionally benefi-  
cial due to the tremendous impact that the glass selection has on the energy loads. The  
earlier we engage the glazing contractor to make informed decisions, the less conflict  
and change we have later in the design and construction process.  
—David M. Powell, Hastings Architecture Associates  
he benefits of having a glazing contractor on a project early are  
profuse. Not only can they help the owner to save money by mini-  
mizing material waste and identifying areas of high expense, but  
they can also be a great resource when it comes to material selection and  
detailing of complicated areas. If they are brought in on a design-assist  
basis, they can help the architect save fees by shouldering much of the details  
involving glass and metals. This can be one of the more important design-  
assist relationships to a project with an abundance of glass and metals,  
given the high visibility of the materials, and thus appropriateness of  
correct detailing.  
Adrienne Miles Ciuba, Gresham, Smith and Partners  
t’s important to get the subcontractors involved at the appropriate time in the process. I  
don’t always say the earliest is the best, as the architect needs time to design the project  
and discuss it with the owner. The reason I make that distinction is that while I do agree  
with bringing in subcontractors early, once you have them on board, they often drive to solu-  
tions that are easiest and most cost-effective for them. So it’s important to keep your options  
open until the design is settled enough. With that said, I think it’s important to get them  
involved, because they will help with constructability, and it also depends on the level of archi-  
tects’ expertise. There can also be a benefit of talking to multiple contactors in order to  
make the right decision. There are different ways to bring in a contactor. Certainly, it  
is helpful to have them on early rather than late, but there are times when the  
architect needs to have the design settled enough first.  
—Ben Tranel, Gensler AGG  
Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal